How to Choose the Right E-Commerce Platform

Shopify? WordPress? Online Retailers?

Choosing the platform that matches your needs and objectives can make or break your business. In light of the rise in online shopping, it’s no wonder that more business owners are trying to expand to their digital presence. We at Global Trends know that choosing the right platform is not as easy as it seems. Here’s what to consider when looking for the perfect fit.

Determine Your Business Goals

Whether you are an existing business or planning to start one, you must begin your e-commerce strategy by establishing your business objectives and needs. These are what will guide your company toward success. By doing this, you’ll have a roadmap for establishing your online presence and ensuring your chosen e-commerce platform meets all of your requirements.

On the other hand, if you are already using a platform for your business, review how it is currently operating, what needs to be improved, can we integrate social media channels, are there any security issues and if there are any limitations, for example. Based on this, we can better assess which points we should look for in your e-commerce platform and choose the best fit wisely.

Compare Platform Costs

Unfortunately, e-commerce platforms do not come free of charge. The majority of platforms provide different pricing packages that include (or do not include) specific technologies and tools that can aid you in managing your online business. Considering that hosting prices vary, it is important to do your research and consider what is included and what is not to select the one with the best price-to-value ratio.

SaaS platforms are usually billed on a monthly or annual basis; however, we must be aware if there are any additional costs, such as additional transaction fees, essential plug-ins, and even layout design fees. A platform subscription typically costs around $25 per month. Nevertheless, if not thoroughly researched, monthly costs can spiral out of control due to extra expenses necessary to run your online business.

Find The Design That Suits You Best

SaaS platforms (Software as a Service platforms) that host e-commerce usually offer a wide range of design templates for you to choose from. They are usually aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly and allow you to change basic features such as colors, fonts, and positioning of images. However, for further and more complex changes, you may need the assistance of a developer if you’re unfamiliar with coding.  Making sure your website is mobile-friendly is no longer optional, since most shoppers buy on their phones instead of their desktops.    

Depending on the services or products you offer, your website will require a specific design to better showcase who you are as well as what you offer. In order to ensure that your customers will easily associate your brand with what you are offering, you need to make sure that your design is cohesive with the right branding. 

Test Platform Functionality

Ultimately, it comes down to making sure that your website and operations run smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Having a platform that is easy to navigate and set up correctly is vital to the success of any e-commerce business. Your credibility as a business will be based on how well you manage your backend. A platform that automates managerial tasks such as what is available for purchase, what is running low, and what cannot be shown to be available for purchase is crucial. This is because no business owner wants to sell something that is actually out of stock! We cannot forget about making sure that payment processes also run smoothly and that your business will get purchases through at the end of the shopping process.

Having a compelling website design might seem important to an online business owner, but the importance of having a well-operated backend is often overlooked. In order to figure out platform logistics, your company will lose time and energy due to a complicated and unresponsive interface.

Check Support and Services

You will find that most e-commerce platforms have simple and easy-to-use tools to help you run your store. In spite of this, sometimes a customer support call is necessary. Platform support is rarely something that business owners consider when looking for the best ecommerce platform. However, it is definitely a service that must be taken into account when researching. “Do they provide 24/7 support? How can I contact them? Via phone, chat, or email? How fast do they respond?” – Demonstrates how important platform support is when picking an ecommerce platform.

In addition, you should explore the platform’s educational and training features in order to better prepare your team. Some of them offer pre-recorded videos, while others offer live training that will guide the user step-by-step.

Now that you know what to look for on an e-commerce platform, you have a better understanding of what to consider for your business. We at Global Trends and our e-commerce specialists are here to assist you throughout the entire process of launching a successful e-commerce store!