Whether you migrate woocommerce to opencart or WordPress to Shopify, one quest is common in these decisions. It is the quest for the best. As an e-commerce business owner who is looking at getting the best experience from an e-commerce website, it is not enough to want the best. You must understand what to look out for to get the best you want.
Things To Consider When Choosing Best ECommerce Platform For Your Store
Below are some of the things to consider when choosing the best e-commerce platform for your store.
As a business owner, you start by drafting a budget to guide your priorities and preferences. Checking out several sites can distract you with amazing features and good customer service. You don’t have to be carried away by this. You must define your expectations and stick to them.
Some subscription plans for some websites can be too good and still true. The best thing to do is not to jump at the cheapest right away. But to weigh each of the plans to know what fits your business and project into its future as well.
After your customer has made his order and gotten to the last part which is payment, you don’t want to lose him to your stressful payment option. You want their transaction to be simple. Here you have to compare shopping cart experience on different platforms so you can find out the one that offers a user-friendly experience.
You can avoid losing sales by going with a shopping cart that is simple to use.
It is important to know how the platform you are choosing operates. Some e-commerce platforms can be either self-hosted or cloud-based. When you choose a self-hosted platform, you have to find the hosting yourself, install it and take care of the updates when due.
Going for a platform like this can be expensive sometimes. Although, there are advantages to using a platform like this. You have more control over your platform and you will be able to manage the security of your platform. In addition, your data is more visible for your viewing.
On the other hand, a cloud-based platform offers you hosting. This means that your brand is being managed by the platform. A platform like this is affordable and offers appreciable customer support. The only downside is that you don’t have control over your server. You cannot tweak the server to mirror your specific business need.
Platform Ownership Mode
There are three different modes of platform ownership you can choose from. They include Open Source, SaaS and Headless.
Choosing an Open Source platform allows you to have better control and exert ownership since you have a source code that can be both accessible and modified. You have the liberty to host your website, handle security issues, and run integrations and analytics. This kind of platform fits well for IT-infused businesses.
To use a platform like this, you must have a wealth of technical knowledge. But you cannot run updates or adopt any method to alter features.
For a SaaS platform, it is more like renting. This platform offers cheaper services than an Open Source platform. With the SaaS platform, updates, security, hosting, and a host of other software management activities are taken care of by the provider. The grey area of using a platform like this is that it is not flexible to use and you cannot customize it.
The Headless platform affords you ease in offering multiple channels to engage customers where they are and also when they want to shop. So you easily build customer trust and gain an advantage over your competitors. This kind of platform offers the best experience at a reasonable cost.
Choosing an e-commerce platform demands that you check out for integrations and plugins. Some platforms offer a certain level of integration while the rest offer almost nothing.
You must have an understanding of your business needs to be able to decide on the important features that are needed to scale up your business growth. Depending on your business needs, there are integrations you must look out for but are not restricted to these. They are:
Accounting: You need tools that help you keep proper records of all your financial records which include sales, taxes, revenue and profits.
Email Marketing: This helps you keep in touch with your customers after they have made purchases. You can equally study your customer behaviour using the analytics features to relate personally and recommend products that your customers are likely to be interested in.
Customer Loyalty Programs: Keeping a track of your customers’ order history helps you keep track of your loyal customers. In a case where you wish to reward your loyal customers, it becomes much easier to tell which is deserving of such.
Payment and Shipping: Having a plugin that takes care of your payments and shipping makes it easier to manage payments and deliveries. Your Customer enjoys seamless payments and hitch-free deliveries.
Third-party Digital tools: Necessary integrations can be done with third-party tools. Such tools can include automation systems, customer relationship management and ERP. This allows you to add additional customization to your e-commerce platform.
Your user experience is something you must consider when choosing an e-commerce platform. You don’t just have to do it the way you prefer but you have to consider the preference of a larger majority of your potential customers.
According to research, your user experience is more important than your price and product. What customers are interested in is not buying from a shop with the best price or product offer. They look forward to an environment that engages and immerses them.
Affording your customer a good user experience requires simplicity, a welcoming interface and a variety of options. Another side to your user experience is your theme. You should go for an e-commerce platform that affords you a wide range of alternatives.
Some platforms offer free themes. For more sophistication and better design, you can invest in paid themes to gain a competitive edge. This can attract people to browse through your website and eventually become customers.
Compatible with Online Platforms
You will agree with me that the customers you need are not on your website. There are online platforms that serve as a good customer base for your business. So you have to choose an e-commerce platform that gets along with what you use.
This includes your social media space. A platform that can easily connect you to your social media, market places and retail stores is something to consider.
Appears On Google Search
The first page on google search is usually considered to offer the best value ever. While this might not be always true, you can take advantage of that myth as well when choosing your e-commerce platform. It is all about keywords. Built-in SEO tools serve a lot to put you in the search spotlight.
To ace your website visibility on a search engine, you have to choose an e-commerce platform that offers the right tools.
Can bet that you are reading this on your mobile phone, but if not I can still bet that most of your online activities are done on your phone. This is also true in the case of your customers and even higher. Most people shop on their mobile devices.
In choosing an e-commerce platform, you must be particular about its being mobile responsive. Most of the online sales come from mobile devices.
Think of features you need to put your product and services on the small screen. Shopping on mobile devices has a future, so position yourself where customers are.
Good Customer Support
Offering good customer service is as important as advertising your product. While you work hard on giving your customer the best service, don’t ignore you.
A glitch in your system can impact your sales negatively. This happens even when you are not at fault. To handle challenges like this, you need a store platform with all-day customer support.
A fraudulent experience from your customer in the event of making payment or after making payment can bruise your reputation and dent your record of integrity as a business. So you must make it safe for customers to part with their debit card details without fear of being scammed.
So you have to choose a platform that protects you from software attacks. One bad record from your business can have a ripple effect on the reputation you have built all the while.
As your business grows, your needs will change and you will need an upgrade to make future sales easier. So certain things must call to mind when you think of expansion.