A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right E-commerce Platform
Choosing the Right E-commerce Platform in 2020
If you're looking to launch a small business selling items or services on the internet, you need to build an online store. And now is the perfect time to do that. The e-commerce industry is booming and expected to top $4 trillion this year.
But if you want the best possible outcome from your online ventures, you need to pick the right software for your shop. Choosing the appropriate platform is an important decision that can make or break your business. The thing is that different marketing strategies need different platforms to succeed. Software that's good to promote cool online games like Booster Slot would simply not be as effective in selling hand-made photo frames.
The online market is full of options, and this article is here to help you make a balanced decision and pick the software that fits your business needs. We'll take a closer look at the key factors that you should look for in a platform. Sounds good? Let's dive in.
Reasons to Use E-Commerce Software
The thing is that anyone who wants to stay competitive in the online world has to do it via an e-commerce platform. It doesn't matter whether you have a B2C or a B2B company, using an e-commerce platform for your services gives you an efficient way to communicate with clients and employees.
An e-commerce platform handles the most important functions of both the interface and back-end systems. Your inventory, CRM, web design, etc., can all be managed by the platform. It wasn't that long ago when online companies were required to hire a full IT team to develop their in-house software. But this approach has never been cheap. That's why most businesses these days have opted to use low-cost open-source platforms that are developed by specialists and can easily be customized.
The Different Types of Platforms
All e-commerce platforms fall into one of the 5 following categories:
1. Open-source platforms
Open-source platforms do not ask you to pay anything to start using them. The license is free. However, there are fees for implementation, upgrades, and development. Magento, for example, is an open-source e-commerce platform.
2. SaaS platforms
A SaaS e-commerce platform's architecture is usually based on a single codebase. A fixed monthly fee gives you server space and covers the maintenance and security costs.
3. Traditional e-commerce platforms
With traditional platforms like Hybris, Kentico, or IBM Digital Commerce, you can pay the license fee once a year. But you still need a knowledgeable IT team to build the shop on top of the provided platform.
4. Cloud platforms
Many traditional e-commerce platforms, like Salesforce, or Demandware, are using a cloud hosting system. That's why they call themselves cloud platforms.
5. DIY platforms
Building your own platform is the least common way to operate an online business these days. But sometimes a niche business has so specific needs that they need more than a regular e-commerce platform. Using a full team of developers to come up with fully customized software might be a worthy investment for them.
Main Factors to Consider When Picking a Platform
Picking an e-commerce platform with the best SEO features assures that your site will rank high in Google's search results. Make sure that the platform allows you to pick your own domain name, and enables clients to leave reviews.
There are lots of things that can go wrong with your e-commerce venture, so pick a platform that provides 24/7 support.
3. Order Management System
E-commerce platform design with features like email notifications and order tracking ensures that the orders get to the clients on time and accurately. Go with a platform that can interact with your inventory management solutions so that the customers could only purchase the in-stock items.
At some point, your business will start to grow. And your chosen platform has to be able to keep up with the expansion.
Your e-commerce software will be actively handling payments and your clients' financial information. So it needs to be as secure as possible. Look for platforms that have features like Secure Electronic Transaction (SET), Secure Socket Layer (SSL), and a safe login screen.
Have you ever looked at how an e-commerce platform works on a mobile screen? Mobile commerce is on the rise, and your shop should be easily accessible via a smartphone.
The Best e-commerce Platforms for Selling Video Games
Selling video games online is the best way to do it. All you need to reach an audience is a well-functioning online store. The most important thing in choosing a platform is analyzing the following factors:
- the overall expenses
- how many other video game sellers are using the platform
- shipping options
Here are some great e-commerce platform examples that people have used successfully for gaming-oriented shops:
Magento is one of the most secure platforms out there. It has a free open-source option and a paid commerce option. The cool thing is that thanks to its numerous built-in features, you don't need to install an endless list of extensions.
No e-commerce platform list is complete without Shopify. It's a secure and user-friendly platform for selling any kind of products, including video games.
WooCommerce comes with some pretty cool features like tax calculations, geolocation, and the latest shopping cart software. Plus, the platform offers its users over 4000 plugins to make the shop-building process easier.
These were our tips on how to choose the best e-commerce platform for your business. There's no need to go blindly with the most popular names. Instead, use the advice from this article and pick the most suitable software for your shop. And look: you don't have to get it right with the first software you use. Narrow your choices down to at least two different platforms and test them out. Soon, you'll find the one that works best for your particular business.
What are some of the best e-commerce platforms for small businesses that you've used? Let us know your favorites in the comments.
Alex Norwood is an experienced traveler and an online entrepreneur. He runs a successful eCommerce business and is always on the lookout for new lucrative ways to make money online. Traveling is Alex's passion, and he has visited over 20 countries in the last 5 years.