More people are now buying online; it’s easy, convenient and safe. They expect the ability to buy from even the smallest businesses. Many who shop at a physical store tend to have researched online prior to the purchase. Any business can now sell online and have an eCommerce site of their own. Choosing a right platform is very important and sometimes not an easy choice. The success of your business could depend on that decision.
The key factors to take into consideration while choosing an ecommerce platform for your website include your budget, type of product you are selling and customisability/ features your online store needs.
Most businesses tend to start their consideration with a budget in mind. We suggest you start with the product or service. If you have only few products, maybe it is better to build in eCommerce capability into your current website. The nature and type of product is a factor to consider, e.g., are you selling physical goods or digital downloads or both. Do you require the site to have stock updates, inventory control, shipping features, easy-to-use admin interface, etc. Other factors include how many products you have for sale, options such as size and colour per product and if products are also sold offline.
It is best to decide on a budget range, since there are many options and this will help differentiate between the must-have and nice-to-have features. It is a competitive ecommerce marketplace and the budget should be set considering the same. Review the features and the customisation required for your store. Consider various costs such as setup fees, payment gateway charges, additional processing fees, integration costs, hosting charges and fees for themes.
Most eCommerce platforms have robust features. A key difference lies in open source being more customisable than hosted platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce. In saying that, if your brand does not have its own unique appearance and looks, a hosted platform can work for you. An open-source platform such as Magento, WooCommerce and Presta Shop will allow more control and are easier to scale. The ability to customise should not be overlooked and considered seriously as part of the decision process.
In conclusion, it is critical to ensure that you select the right ecommerce platform for your business. It should be a solution with all the features that work for you, your brand and can attract and convert visitors to customers. Give us a shout if you want help with the decision or with your online shop.