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How to Choose the Best E-Commerce Platform for Your Business?

Which e-commerce platform your storefront is hosted on equally matters as how many visitors visit and buy from your store. If your system is failing from the inside, there’s no scope in a dream that you may have for your business, that is, to grow your business through what your business is going through right now. Small or big. No matter which stage your business is in, there’s no excuse for choosing the right and 'reliable’ e-commerce platform that contributes to your business growth. 

What are the Key Markers of a Reliable E-Commerce Platform?

  • Web Hosting: Third-party sneak peeks should be avoided to protect the store data from vulnerabilities. It should be safely hosted on the platform's servers. 
  • Domain Name: Is there a platform that allows you to purchase a domain name, put all your bills together, and smooth out the process? That’s the one e-commerce platform you need to live in the 21st century.
  • High Uptime: Enabling your e-shop to run smoothly with regular checkups is the most important thing to ensure your online storefront is available 24/7.
  • Bandwidth: Select a platform with enough bandwidth to meet your business's demands as it expands. 
  • User-Friendly Dashboard: It should have an interface with easy controls, customisation, and a management dashboard.
  • Themes: Search for editable and ready-to-use themes to make the web design process more accessible and 'wow' any visitor. 
  • App Store: A platform for integrations and scalability, available as a large app store.
  • Mobile Optimization: This is the step one priority to make your business platform visible and friendlier. Mobile-oriented features and template elements are thus required for the best user experience.
  • PCI Compliance: Kickstart e-commerce platforms with measures of ongoing security protocols to prevent data breaches and be safer with credit card information.
  • Sales Channel Integrations: Easy assimilation with leading marketplaces and platforms to further your business reach.
  • Inventory Management: All-encompassing solutions for tracking orders and managing product stock.
  • SEO Tools: The instructions, aka the search bar, are to be stored in one place, stretching from URLs to meta-data so that a seeker can seamlessly search through what they want on your brand’s platform. The perfect SEO Agency can utilize these SEO tools in the best way possible.
  • Customer Support: Setting up and implementing the product features are supported by responsive customer service.
  • Scalability: The platform's ability to scale well with your business growth in the store, the bandwidth, and the functionalities also comes under the services of a good e-commerce platform.
  • Checkout and Payments: Seamless checkout experiences are well-integrated with popular payment gateways.
  • Shipping Partners: A good e-commerce platform has pre-built integrations with couriers for shipping purposes to cut off the manual effort to deliver the orders in a blink.

For New D2C Brands Getting Started

As for beginners in this field, you need an easy-to-setup e-commerce platform to build your store. It should provide an all-in-one package that is easy to use and set up during the installation. Here’s what you should be looking for: 

  • Pricing: If you’re just “dipping your toe in the water” or launching small, notice the platform’s pricing. You need it, whether it will cost you so much just to have a word editor, an outliner, and so much more from the list.
  • User-friendly: When you start your store, you may need a team of people to help you design and develop your site. This is why the e-commerce platform you choose should have a simple and user-friendly dashboard to eliminate this complexity.
  • Budget-friendly: Designing an online store from scratch may be costly; therefore, look for a platform that provides free themes and templates.
  • Knowledge base: This is because you will go through most store setups independently. Therefore, you will need something to help you. This is where you should check the extent of the platforms' knowledge base and learning resources.
  • Customer support: Not even step-by-step instructions can spare you from problems with setup if you are entirely inexperienced in creating an online shop. Customer care is at the heart of the service and support offered here.

Digitalisation as Offline Brands Go Online

For those who have been offline and have a customer base they would like to offer online shopping, the e-commerce platform should have a balanced connection between the two channels. Conceptually, it implies giving the customers a smooth omni-channel shopping experience here. Here’s what you should be looking for: 

  • Fast setup: You must rapidly adapt to customers' ever-changing purchase habits when using an offline store. The time from launching a store to selling a product should be as short as possible, so it is also vital that the platform allows fast and easy store setup.
  • Offline store integration: You should be able to connect clients' online and offline experiences to manage their data, orders, and operations. It is also essential to do this to offer consumers a much better and smoother shopping experience.
  • Inventory management: Stock control becomes necessary as you sell both offline and online simultaneously, or else you will disappoint customers by being unable to meet their orders promptly. The platform should provide an environment that integrates seamlessly with the inventory management system for synchronisation online and offline.
  • Customer support: While moving online seems straightforward, having a large inventory might require you to integrate expert solutions. Not only do you maintain your platform, but it also leads you to those who can.
  • Analytics: Keeping physical stores operating means costs. You will also need to observe which factors propel your business growth faster, such as injections of marketing and advertising.

For Businesses Scaling Up

Your business needs to be updated more frequently as you grow and become successful. That is where your front end should be independent of your backend; you can create the updates faster. Check if the e-commerce platform offers a headless commerce function or not.

  • Platform and app customisations: Make sure your brand is set up effectively after your channel has been established, and this involves more than just your storefront’s look and feel. Regarding your widgets and pages, you may be required to make customisations to make them look and work how you want them to.
  • Sales channel integration: As you scale your business, you must work on your sales channels to connect with your ideal customers. Conduct a detailed study on sales channels that could be integrated with the e-commerce platform you would want to choose.
  • Inventory management: Get the inventory management in place at this stage, and don’t forget that you’ll be operating on multiple channels, so the inventory tracking must be on point.
  • Analytics: Ecommerce should have such a capacity that you can monitor your marketing efforts and the sales channel's performance and make the right purchase decision.

Picking the right e-commerce platform depends on the current goals of the brand and future requirements. Consider factors like pricing, themes, payment options, support, features, and security when deciding, and take advantage of trials before committing to a plan.

Are you looking to boost your online presence? You can count on Brown Men Marketing, click here to grab a coffee and discuss.

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