As a business owner, there are many factors you need to consider when venturing into the world of eCommerce services. Somewhere along the way, you may realize that having a well-developed website is a worthy investment in this digital era.
A user-friendly website will help your customers navigate your platform easier and give them the essential information before purchasing.
While it can be common for small businesses to rely on a mediator like eBay, Amazon, Lazada, or Shopee to sell their products, it may not always be the best option for your growth. Your business may need an eCommerce platform in the Philippines to better oversee back-end capacities. This includes aspects like stock service, client service, order management capabilities, and support.
If you're ready to learn more about how you can build the best eCommerce platform and make your business stand out from your competitors, then this guide is for you.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is a virtual space where businesses and consumers can make transactions. This is typically developed through a software application where your customers can freely discover the products and services you offer, place them in their virtual shopping carts, and go through the checkout process. In the simplest form, eCommerce should take into consideration how a customer completes his/her shopping experience, from discovery to delivery.
Depending on the brand, an eCommerce platform can have various types of features that help enhance the convenience and capabilities of your online store. This means that you can customize and develop it to perfectly fit the needs of your business.
The Important Features of an eCommerce Platform
The elements you add to your eCommerce platform can help you with multiple phases of your business. This includes product launch, shipment management, and many more. To help you ensure that you have all the necessities available, here are some must-have features you need to consider.
- A unified platform
Instead of running different systems for different elements of your process, unify everything through a cloud-based platform to gain better control over your eCommerce business. This covers all aspects of your shop like order management, marketing, merchandising, finances, customer service, logistics, etc.
- Intelligent management systems
Automation features can ease your business processes and maximize the profitability of your brand. While your system handles repetitive and minor tasks, you can focus on the bigger things that need immediate attention.
- Support and security
Your eCommerce platform should provide sufficient support to keep your business secure. This will also help you deploy different business models faster across multiple channels, brands, and locations.
- User-friendly interface
Delivering consistent and insightful content throughout your site can give your customers a better experience while exploring your platform. But this should also be matched with an interface that is easy to navigate, use, and understand. Moreover, ensure that your content does not disrupt users' experience browsing your eCommerce platform.
- Multiple payment options
While cash remains the preferred payment method in the Philippines, offering more than one or two payment methods can improve your chances of finalizing a transaction with a customer. Besides offering debit and credit card options, you should also consider other payment channels like GCash.
9 in 10 digital merchants accept digital payments and the majority of merchants intend to continue or increase their usage of digital financial services.
5 Types of eCommerce Platforms and Their Benefits
There are many different ways you can set up your eCommerce platform. Take a look at your options below and their benefits.
- Hosted platforms
A hosted platform can give you full control over your eCommerce business and the data involved. Hosted platforms can be easily set up, managed, and maintained.
Even without coding skills and technical knowledge, businesses can create an online store through these. Because of this, hosted platforms are usually seen as an all-in-one solution.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS systems allow you to connect your own software to other business systems. This lets you handle more complex business processes, making it ideal for larger B2B businesses.
- Open-Source platforms
Various software solutions are openly sourced and are free for the public to use, which gives developers free rein to alter or improve them. They are also widely available, giving you better control over your budget and other resources.
However, open-source eCommerce platforms can be difficult to set up compared to hosted platforms. You'd have to prepare hosting and security, and build your own theme—all of which require coding and technical knowledge.
- Licensed platforms
Licensed software needs to be bought to grant you access to its features. Compared to open-sourced options, this can be a more secure way to build your eCommerce platform since they can also include support packages.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
This refers to any software that is made available for end-users online. Instead of keeping it on your computer, the program is accessed through a cloud portal on your web browser. Compared to other platforms, SaaS saves you the trouble of installing any complicated software.
Pave Your Way Towards Digital Success
A lot of business owners often wonder what is eCommerce and how it can benefit their brand. Getting in tune with eCommerce trends can be a great way to grow and scale your business faster. But rather than relying on third-party websites like eBay, Shopee, or Lazada, there can be more advantages to having your own eCommerce platform.
Having a well-developed platform can give you better management over your online business while making it more convenient for your customers to shop with your brand. If you're looking for an all-in-one eCommerce solution that offers your business endless avenues to scale your brand, consider Rush's eStore service.
Book a Demo today and get a glimpse of how you can get the right tools to meet your customers at every stage of their buyers' journey.