You’ve decided to start an eCommerce business and sell your products online. Whether it is products you’ve made yourself, or you are an entrepreneur that want to take advantage of the growing eCommerce industry, the next step is to find the right eCommerce platform for your new business. You need to make sure that you find one that will work well for your abilities and your business’s needs. While starting an eCommerce business isn’t quite as detailed as starting from scratch with a brick-and-mortar store, there are still a lot of aspects that go into owning and operating an eCommerce business. And the right platform is a huge part of that! So, how do you choose? Follow these five points to consider and you’ll be well on your way to choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business.
Points To Consider
Not every eCommerce platform is the same, and neither is their level of support. If you aren’t technologically savvy, and you’re worried you may need help troubleshooting problems with your website, then figure out the customer service policy ahead of time. Depending on the type of eCommerce platform, the amount of support they give you can vary. The right eCommerce platform for you will match how much outside help you will think you need.
#2: Size of Stock/Inventory
This is important not only for picking the right eCommerce platform for you but also when considering your budget. If you are anticipating heavy website traffic or high volume of orders (like if your business is transitioning to a larger scale and you want to make sure that your platform can handle it), then make sure you select an eCommerce platform that is intended for higher amounts of traffic. If you do have a smaller stock or inventory, some eCommerce platforms may provide a variety of payment methods for hosting depending on a number of products you are selling.
#3: Type of Products
Figure out what eCommerce platform will best showcase your products. If you are selling digital products as opposed to physical goods, you will have different needs and should pay attention to what is provided from an eCommerce platform. Also, different eCommerce platforms have different looks (templates, features, etc.) and you should browse available templates before deciding! You may find the perfect template for your products and your brand on one eCommerce platform that isn’t available on the rest.
#4: Payment and Shipping
As an online store, you want to make sure the eCommerce platform you are using provides your customers with adequate payment security so they feel comfortable purchasing something online. There are a handful of points to consider when choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business. First, determine what the platform provides for checkout and payment options. Second, you should find out whether they provide security measures (an SSL certificate, for example). If the right eCommerce platform for you doesn’t provide the security measures you want, find out what you can do to add security measures.
You also need to determine how the shipping costs for your products will be calculated (which also depends on the fragility and size/weight of your product). Also, if there is a specific shipping platform that you want to use then find out if the eCommerce platform properly integrates with it.
#5: Hosted vs. Self-Hosted
If you are particularly tech-savvy, have some knowledge about web design, or prefer having a greater amount of control over your website hosting, then a self-hosted eCommerce solution is right for you. Many times they are an eCommerce plugin for a website (like WordPress) that can be installed, setup, and integrated into an already existing website. If you are not so technologically advanced, the right eCommerce platform for you may be a hosted eCommerce solution. With minimal technical knowledge, you can sign up and create a website with their templates and features to choose from. There are pros and cons of each; a hosted eCommerce solution is much easier for those not comfortable with web design, and there is often a lot of customer support. They very rarely charge for software updates, and the provider handles all payment and security options. However, hosted eCommerce platforms don’t allow for a lot of customizability. If that’s something that is important to you but you still want to use a hosted eCommerce solution, a web developer who is experienced with eCommerce platforms can help.
The pros of a self-hosted platform are that you can readily design and create a website that is entirely unique to your brand, and you often can have advanced, custom functions you can’t access with a hosted solution. However, they aren’t always as secure for the customer’s payment and information security, and they can often be more expensive in the long run.
How 1 Digital Agency Can Help
At 1 Digital Agency, we are a full-service eCommerce design and development agency that can help from anything to designing and helping to launch your eCommerce business, all the way to digitally marketing it across blogging, social media, email marketing, and more. If you need design and development help outside what an eCommerce platform’s customer service can provide you, you can contact us and we can help with any troubleshooting you may need. Or, if you want your self-hosted or even hosted eCommerce solution expertly customized and uniquely designed to match your business brand and your personal preferences, we can help with that too! We are experts in a variety of eCommerce solutions (both self-hosted and hosted), including BigCommerce, Volusion, Shopify, Magento, 3DCart, WooCommerce, and more.
Contact us today and find out more about how we can help you launch your eCommerce business!
- Natalie Nako
- June 14, 2017