The emergence of new technologies and the impact of COVID-19 have significantly transformed the business landscape. Among all innovations and developments, arguably the most notable one would be the prevalence of eCommerce.
At the start of 2021, sales from eCommerce platforms reached approximately $4.891 billion, which is expected to hit $6.388 billion in 2024.
Whether your business is new or has been around for quite some time, it's clear that going digital will provide countless opportunities for your brand. But as you make the shift online, you should be aware that the eCommerce platform you choose can significantly factor in your growth, running costs, and more.
But now you may be wondering, what exactly is an eCommerce platform and what are the things I should consider when selecting one? To help you start on a strong note, our guide will teach you how you can choose the best eCommerce platform for your business.
7 Factors to Consider When Choosing an eCommerce Platform
An eCommerce platform is an online channel that connects buyers and sellers with each other. Businesses that use one can better manage their operations with end-to-end software solutions and enable their customers to shop for their products with ease. Given the world’s shift to the digital space, making use of a reliable eCommerce platform will allow your business to create a strong online presence and bring about other exciting opportunities.
However, simply putting up your products on the web won't guarantee your success online. It takes the same amount of strategic planning to establish and maintain an eStore as it does to run a physical shop. Fortunately, having the right eCommerce platform will make this process a lot easier. To get you started, here are seven things you should factor in when looking for one!.
- Pricepoint and budget flexibility
In addition to processing expenses, monthly fees are common on eCommerce platforms. Don't give up on your non-negotiables to save a few bucks. To maximize your eCommerce brand, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each platform.
A tip: keep in mind how your buyers will pay for your product and if the platform offers customer demand features such as shipping and reviews. It's crucial to understand all costs to prevent regrets, whether you're a small company in the start-up stage or an established brick and mortar firm going online.
- Functions and plug-in integrations
Not every platform supports every integration, so it's important to know your specific company needs to decide which features and functionalities are right for you. SMEs are often subscribed to several software solutions to maintain an online presence and this can be counterproductive and costly in the long run.
Fortunately, other third-party marketing automation systems, such as CRMs and ERPs, make it simple to incorporate additional customization options.
For instance, an accounting plug-in is a must-have. Sales, taxes, revenues, and profits are all included in the financial data provided by this application. On the other hand, keeping in touch with your consumers is made easier with the help of an email marketing integration.
Another popular plug-in is the customer loyalty program on several eCommerce sites. Rewards are a great way to thank your consumers for their loyalty and encourage them to buy from you again. Additionally, eCommerce platforms with the right plug-in integrations will also enable you to accept payments or transport orders seamlessly, paving the way for a pleasant user experience.
- Vendor support quality
Check if your vendor can provide you with round-the-clock assistance. Make it a point to partner with a provider that offers help 24/7 and can be easily reached by email, online chat, and other communication channels. In the event of a technical error (order management malfunctions, page discrepancies, etc.), you can always keep your site optimized.
- Vendor support quality
- Overall security
Since you'll be processing payments and managing sensitive data regularly, you'll want to use an eCommerce platform that adopts appropriate security measures. Given that cybercrime is at an all-time high, choosing a reliable eCommerce platform will ensure that customer addresses, credit card details, and more are kept confidential.
Your eStore increases brand confidence and trust when customers know how seriously you value privacy and security.
- Speed and scalability
The best eCommerce platform must provide a lightning-fast performance in today's era of "micro-moments." When a prospect turns to their smartphone during an intent-rich second to act on a desire to know, go, do, or purchase, your firm should immediately cater to their action. And you must maintain this as your company expands and grows.
Assessing the flexibility and efficiency of a platform isn't a walk in the park. You'll have to test for shortcomings such as poor loading time, frozen sites, 404 errors, and lag. Moreover, looking at the capacity of an eCommerce site during heavy traffic periods, how it grows, and regular site performance are important elements of your assessment.
Your firm can rank well in search engine results if you choose an eCommerce platform with comprehensive SEO tools. Incorporating your website and blogs to your eCommerce platform, utilizing your web domain, and enabling consumers to post feedback are essential elements to consider when searching for an SEO-friendly eCommerce site.
For example, your domain name will be an annual cost. Unless the eCommerce site offers hosting as part of the subscription price, you'll have to make recurring payments. Not to mention that you’ll have other essential expenses to consider such as your website’s SSL certificate. Having one guarantees your website’s safety from external threats and is a direct indication that you are a certified e-commerce business.
Choose the Right eCommerce Platform
By 2040, experts predict that 95% of sales will be conducted through eCommerce sites. Now that more and more brands are going digital, it's not an exaggeration to say that adopting a reliable eCommerce system is necessary.
Choosing the best eCommerce platform where your business will operate requires significant time for research and resources. However, remember that choosing the right site that suits your needs will help you expand your company, enhance your operations, and boost sales. All in all, it's well worth the effort.
If you want to acquire an eCommerce platform that will give you everything you need and more, you might want to try out Rush's eStore suite! As an end-to-end eCommerce platform in the Philippines, Rush offers convenient and competitive features that will greatly switch up your business.
Interested? Book a demo with our sales champs to learn more!