eCommerce is the lifeblood of many businesses, and it generates income for blogs and non-profits as well. This means that selecting the best eCommerce platform for your business is a critical decision.
Pick the wrong platform, and you’ll lose customers just as they try to checkout, whether due to software glitches or overly complicated checkout procedures. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right eCommerce platform for your business.
Determine Your Hosting Situation
Self-hosting is when you set up the web host that you control. You have complete control over its configuration and setup. Hosted ecommerce sites provide more support and often better IT security, but you have to pay for the service or else the site goes down.
The ability to scale up the site as you need more memory or bandwidth depends on the service provider. Some web hosts support and assist with ecommerce site development, and others may limit how you could configure your ecommerce site.
Review Your Ecommerce Platform Options
The best situation is selecting an ecommerce platform that lets you customise it to fit the look and provide the functions you like. An ideal case is an ecommerce platform that can plug and play with your website as well as the enterprise resource planning system that tracks orders and inventory. Magento is great for this very reason, since it lets you connect with ERP systems, bank systems and blogs.
Companies like Bing Digital Magento Agency for instance can customise the Magento system so that it can connect with anything else you’d like it to. This is critical if you want to integrate an existing legacy system with the ecommerce site instead of recreating it all. It is also economical, since a more expensive platform with everything you want from connections to back office systems to reporting is cheaper than a cheaper platform that requires massive integration with plugins and testing to get the same end result.
Check on Payment Methods
If money is the lifeblood of commerce, the ability to accept payment from your customers is the lifeblood of an ecommerce site. Review the payment options available with any ecommerce platform you want to use relative to the methods you’re accepting now; at a minimum, you should be able to accept the same payment methods online as you do in person.
Verify Its Compatibility with Marketing Methods
Before you make the final decision, review how well each ecommerce platform on your list supports your preferred marketing methods. For example, Magento and a few others let you connect ecommerce product listings with blog posts so that you automatically promote the product when you share the blog posts on social media. The ideal case is an ecommerce platform that provides good search engine optimisation while letting you distribute ads on social media about discounts with coupon codes you’re offering.
Which ecommerce platform is right for you depends on the functionality and features you’d like. Remember that the out of the box platform isn’t what you’re stuck with; you can add various modules or hire developers to build upon it, though open source platforms are a better choice if you want a custom ecommerce platform.