Currently, the eCommerce industry is worth $2.3 trillion and was estimated to double to 4.48 trillion by the end of 2020. So, it is high time you upgrade your eCommerce software and make the most of the booming industry. However, selecting a particular eCommerce platform is not an easy thing to do. It is very important that you make the smart choice by picking the right one.
Here’s a quick guide for you to decide on a suitable eCommerce platform:
Table Of Contents
- What is an eCommerce Platform?
- What Are The Different Types of eCommerce Platforms?
- Factors To Consider When Selecting An Ecommerce Solution
- 5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Ecommerce Platform
Let us start with what an eCommerce platform actually is.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is basically an end-to-end software solution allowing retail enterprises in managing their own website and other aspects of the website, including the sales, marketing, and operational work quite seamlessly. eCommerce platforms are the backbone of online businesses. These platforms facilitate businesses in swift and hassle-free buying and selling of products. Whether it is Amazon seller account management, eBay Marketplace Management, or any other eCommerce related job, an eCommerce platform provides a single solution to carry out all the core business functions and makes it easier for businesses to grow.
What Are The Different Types of eCommerce Platforms?
There exist a plethora of eCommerce platforms for you to explore and decide on the best one for your online business. Let us walk you through them:
1. Own Platforms
Though this isn’t actually an eCommerce platform, it is a kind of method to get into a contract with someone to develop one internally or externally. It isn’t quite common these days. However, if you are targeting a niche market, then you can definitely go for this one. The specific set of needs and requirements can be met through this. Without a doubt, this one offers more than any commercial eCommerce platform can.
2. Traditional Platforms
There are certain traditional platforms available as well, including Oracle Commerce, Hybris, IBM Digital Commerce, and Kentico. For these platforms, you will have to purchase a license fee upfront which can be renewed on an annual basis. Consequently, a team of developers or your IT team will create, customize, and install it into the cloud or on-premise.
3. Open Source Platforms
Open-source platforms are no different from traditional platforms. They follow the same development process. The only difference is that there is no upfront cost involved, unlike the traditional platforms. Businesses have to pay only the development fees along with upgrades, migrations, and implementation. One of the popular open-source eCommerce platforms used widely by businesses is Magento.
4. Cloud Platforms
The platforms such as Volusion, Demandware, Magento Enterprise Cloud, and Salesforce Commerce are a perfect example of cloud platforms. Cloud platforms are formed by bolting some traditional and open-source platforms onto a hosting system. Magento is one of the popular options opted by businesses to build their eStore. Infact, many offshore companies offer Magento product data entry, integration, upgrading, etc. to take things forward.
5. SaaS Platforms
SaaS Platforms are usually built on a single codebase. If you choose an eCommerce SaaS platform, you get to experience the same technology, that too for a fixed monthly fee covering server use, upgrades, security, and maintenance.
Factors To Consider When Selecting An Ecommerce Solution
When selecting a suitable eCommerce platform, there are certain factors and considerations you need to keep in mind besides focusing on the development. They are as follows:
1. Experience and Expertise
Know whether the potential agency you intend to hire possesses the technical skills and expertise in catering to your distinct needs and requirements. Make sure your outsourcing partner has the requisite experience of working in the industry and is well equipped to handle all kinds of complexities. Dig deeper into the potential agency and go through their forums, customer reviews, and case studies to be clear that they can handle your eCommerce business and do more than just development. To start with, look for services pertaining to eCommerce catalog content management, eCommerce product image editing, product data entry, and more.
If things go wrong, just be clear that your vendor will provide the necessary support to solve the issue. You will need round-the-clock support and assistance over email, phone, and webchat to resolve problems at the earliest possible time. eCommerce back-office support services come in handy to get online customer support and assistance.
eCommerce platforms offer comprehensive SEO functionalities enabling your website to rank highly in search results. When you are on the lookout for an SEO friendly eCommerce platform, factors to be considered include using your own domain name, the addition of a blog to your eCommerce platform, enabling customers to leave reviews, etc. In Fact, writing SEO friendly product descriptions is necessary to bring in more relevant traffic to your eStore.
An eCommerce platform that you use must be mobile-friendly. This is important because your potential audience might be present across different mobile phones, tablets, and PCs. A mobile-friendly eCommerce platform will make your business visible to an audience across all mobile devices.
Another important thing to consider before deciding on an eCommerce platform is security. It is necessary that all the necessary security protocols are in place since you are a part of a digital platform involving financial payments.
5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Ecommerce Platform
When choosing an eCommerce platform, there are some common mistakes that must be avoided at all times. They are as follows:
- Investing in an eCommerce platform that has a rigid monolithic infrastructure
It not only leads to slow and lousy performance, but also contributes to lengthy downtimes if you plan to update a small component. You might as well have to deploy the entire system.
Instead of such an eCommerce platform, you should go for the one that is built on a microservice architecture. It is quite easy to update, manage and upgrade as all the components operate individually and connect via API calls, leading to rather efficient performance.
- Selecting a platform that lacks scalability
If you choose a platform that’s hard to scale, you are definitely hindering the growth of your business. Pick an eCommerce platform that supports multi-site and multi-tenancy.
- Overflowing features
Choosing an eCommerce platform that has too many features than you actually need also affects the scalability of your business. You are spending more on the features that you don’t actually need. You should invest in a platform that offers just what you need. Meanwhile, as the business grows, you can always add new features and capabilities. This will also help you keep your spending in line and help you grow faster and better.
- No objectives whatsoever
It is very important to set clear objectives before you actually choose an eCommerce software. If you do not really have a predefined objective ahead of the launch of your eCommerce store, you are simply wasting your time. And when you are already unsure of your objective, you’ll end up choosing the wrong platform. You can set a goal, for instance, you aim to make over 5,000 sales in the first quarter or intend to launch your eCommerce store within the next 2 months.
- Customizing the wrong way
Choosing a rigid eCommerce platform is the biggest mistake you’ll ever make. Of course, you would like to customize your platform for the audience and make changes to boost sales. But, if you happen to choose a rigid platform, you can’t customize it as per your need. You’ll have to stick to what the platform offers.
Choose a platform that suits your brand in the best way and is flexible to cater to your requirements.
The above guide will help you choose an eCommerce platform that best suits your requirements and business model. Pick a platform that has been designed to help your business grow and not the other way around.
Data4eCom is an end-to-end data support company offering comprehensive eCommerce marketplace management services, helping clients spanning across the globe in building their eCommerce business and creating opportunities for growth. We also render competitor price monitoring services, eCommerce product image editing, online customer support services, to name a few.
To learn more about our services, connect with us at email@example.com.