The E-commerce industry is growing at a rapid pace and as per records, its current worth will double by 2020. If you’re planning to upgrade your E-commerce store to ensure you’re getting the appropriate results in terms of ROI and sales, then making an upgrade is a very smart move.
But selecting the best E-commerce platform is not a simple job as it seems. In fact, it is the most important decisions to make in your online business journey. To help you decide how to select the best platform, we’ve put a detailed guide that includes all the factors and considerations you have to keep in mind.
Why Selecting Right Platform is Important?
Building an E-commerce website is more than putting up your product on the web for sale. It is quite complex than you actually think. Just like operating a physical store, the same level of planning is needed into the running of an E-commerce store. And if the planning is perfect, then you can easily get the benefit of the digital environment where you can automate and streamline several activities that actually need human intervention.
But when it is about selecting a platform, you need to remember that your E-commerce store will express the following things:
- Running costs
- Customer engagement
Many E-commerce vendors try to focus on issues like UX, design, and content. However, the real issues are present within the lead generation process and customer engagement. All these processes can provide you right insights whether you’re making ROI or not.
Does the Best Platform Exist?
Selecting an E-commerce platform on its popularity is not a perfect approach. Select a platform based on its successful delivery of features and business objectives. If a platform offers features to achieve goals like an increase in revenue, building customer engagement and online reputation then selecting it is a good move.
Also, the right platform should be compatible with current technology trends. Another important factor in selecting a platform is the business’s competitive landscape. If you want to survive in a fast-paced industry, then you’ll need an online platform that can work and adjust at the same speed as customer requirements change.
Types of E-commerce Platforms
When it is about selecting a platform, you have different options to choose from, as given below:
1. Customize Your Own
You can customize a platform as per your need for which you can outsource someone internally or externally. This type of platform is not common nowadays. However, if your business has a specific set of needs that no commercial platform can provide, then this is the perfect option.
2. Conventional Platforms
Conventional platforms require a license fee which needs to be renewed on an annual basis. Your team of developers will then customize on top of the platform and later install it for further E-commerce store development. Examples of conventional platforms comprise of Kentico, Oracle Commerce, IBM Digital Commerce and Hybris.
3. Open Source Platforms
Similar to conventional platforms where you develop, the main difference is that no upfront cost is needed to purchase the license. But, you do have to spend some money on the initial development, ongoing development, implementation, upgrades and migration. Magento is a renowned open-source E-commerce platform.
4. Cloud Platforms
Cloud platforms are considered as a little depressing. Some traditional and open-source platforms have integrated hosting services and now consider themselves as cloud platforms. Major examples include Demandware, Magento Enterprise Cloud, Salesforce and Volusion.
Different Costs to Run E-commerce Platform
1. Maintenance Costs
If you opt for an open-source platform, then it requires maintenance cost to performs to business requirements. And depending on the size and complexity of the eCommerce store, these costs can vary. Maintenance is usually done on the monthly fee basis.
Open source platforms, usually need downloading and installing the updates whenever they are released. If you avoid installing updates, then there is a huge risk of your store getting hacked and online threats. Installing updates need some technical skills, thus you need Magento 2 development company help. With cloud platforms, updates are covered with in the monthly fee.
3. Adding Improvement
Consumer needs different features and unique content from time to time. That’s why it is important to ensure that your online store maintains its relevancy by including improvements and adding features whenever it is needed.
Factors to Consider When Selecting an E-commerce Platform
When things go wrong with your E-commerce store, make sure the platform has the necessary support to get out of the problem. Always look out for the platform that offers 24-hour support and can be reached through multiple channels like email, webchat and through the phone.
As your business expands, make sure your E-commerce platform has a scalability feature as well. Your store development platform is the most important element of your business. A platform that lacks scalability can hinder business growth.
3. SEO Friendly
E-commerce platforms that come with built-in SEO features will allow your E-commerce website to rank higher in the search engine results. Important points to consider when searching for an SEO friendly E-commerce platform include:
- Smooth adding of blog
- Customer reviews section
- Domain name
These above-mentioned factors play a major role in selecting a reliable E-commerce platform. Consider these factors before making any decision.
As you can see, there are multiple factors behind selecting an E-commerce platform and no platform offers all the solutions. At last, it all comes down to your online business requirements, integrations, future growth and technical knowledge. Keep these above pointers in mind when choosing your platform. The e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid pace and enterprises are opting it to meet the demands of the consumers. Enterprises are getting good results in terms of sales, revenue, user engagement and ROI after opting E-commerce business operation.