5 Ways to Know Which eCommerce Platform is Right for Your Business

Did you know that global eCommerce sales may reach $6 trillion by 2024? 

That’s a lot of products and plenty of opportunity for savvy business owners. 

If you’re serious about selling online, then you need to know how to choose the right and best eCommerce platform. There are many options available, each with its own distinct features and benefits. 

To help you make the right choice, this guide details 5 things you should ask about before selecting the best eCommerce platform for your business. 

Whether you are just starting out or looking to upgrade your current setup, this article covers everything you need to know about these solutions. Let’s get started.

What is an eCommerce Platform?

An eCommerce platform is a software solution that allows you to set up and run your own online store. 

The platform’s design and functionality are tailored toward online retail, making it easy to set up and operate an eCommerce store. 

You can use an eCommerce platform to sell physical and/or digital goods. 

An eCommerce platform provides the essentials of the online store experience, such as user registration, shopping cart, payment gateway, and inventory management. It also includes 

  • an inventory management system, 
  • automated marketing tools, and 
  • analytics. 

In short, an eCommerce platform is software that helps you set up an online store.

5 Things you should ask before selecting an eCommerce platform

1. What are your business needs?

Naturally, you need to know what you want your eCommerce platform to do for your business. 

  • This will help you determine which features are must-haves and which are nice to have. 
  • This will also help you focus your search on those platforms that fit your needs, instead of those that offer a one-size-fits-all solution. 

An eCommerce platform can vary greatly in functionality, features, and price. It is important to match your business needs with the right features in order to avoid overspending on unnecessary extras. 

Picking the best eCommerce platform that suits you allows to focus on growing your business instead of spending time and money on building your eCommerce solution from scratch. 

You can leverage the existing features of the platform to run your store more efficiently. 

Similarly, it makes it easier to expand your business once sales take off by allowing you to easily integrate your store with additional features.

2. What is the platform’s compatibility?

You’ll want to make sure that your “best” eCommerce platform of choice will integrate well with your website. This will make switching to the new solution easier for your customers. It will also provide a seamless experience for your customers. 

If your current platform offers a wide range of integrations with other solutions, then it is a good option for you. If not, then you should definitely look elsewhere. 

An eCommerce platform should integrate with your website’s content management system. It should also integrate with your payment gateway, shipping and inventory management system, and any other tools you rely on to run your online store.

3. What is the lock-in period?

While it’s expected that you’ll want to be on the latest and greatest platforms, it’s always important to be aware of any lock-in contracts that come with the package. 

Make sure that any platform you are considering doesn’t have any clauses that will tie you down in the long run. 

If you’re concerned about the future of your business, or simply want the ability to switch to a different platform, later on, there are a few things to look out for. 

The first is how long the contract lasts. Shorter contracts are easier to break. You can also check for early termination fees. These are fees that you must pay if you decide to break the contract early. 

Another factor to consider is how difficult the contract will be to break.

4. What type of user experience do you want to offer?

How easy is it to navigate through the platform? Do the menus make sense? How user-friendly is the design? 

If a platform is cluttered and confusing, then it is definitely not the right one for you. After all, your customers will be navigating through the platform on a regular basis. Therefore, it is vital that it is user-friendly. 

  • A good eCommerce platform will have a clean and crisp design that makes it easy to navigate through all its features. 
  • It should also have helpful tutorials and guides that allow you to quickly become acquainted with the platform. 
  • The design of the platform’s homepage is also important. It should display your brand and product information in a clear, enticing way. 
  • The homepage should also provide a quick and easy way for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for without clicking away.

5. What type of UX in your product selection?

When buying new products for your store, it’s important to consider their effect on your customers’ experience. After all, your customers will be interacting with these products on a regular basis. 

  • Your product selection should be simple and straightforward to use. This includes your payment and shipping methods. 
  • It should also be easy for your customers to find and compare products. 
  • Your product images should be clear and high-quality, as well as representative of your products. 

One way to improve the experience for your customers is to outsource your product selection. This will allow you to focus your energy and time on your core business rather than managing your inventory. 

It will also allow you to consider your customers’ needs and preferences when making your product selection.

Bottom line

When it comes to choosing the best eCommerce platform for your business, it’s important to check if it is right for you – do your research. 

You’ll want to start by determining your business needs. This will help you pick the best eCommerce platform that best fits your needs and avoids overspending on unnecessary features. 

Next, you’ll want to check for platform compatibility before making sure that there are no lock-in contracts. 

Finally, you’ll want to consider how easy the platform is to navigate, as well as its effect on your product selection.

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