How to Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform

Posted by on September 18, 2017

How to Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform

Ecommerce has been around for more than a decade now, with online retailers like Amazon becoming increasingly ubiquitous—so it might surprise you to learn that ecommerce is actually still growing at a remarkable clip. Ecommerce sales were up by 15 percent last year, and are predicted to continue their climb.

For companies with products to sell, there’s never been a better time to capitalize on ecommerce—though of course, there are some technical considerations to make. One is the ecommerce platform you’ll use. There are many to choose from, and not all are created equal.

So what should retail businesses consider when selecting an ecommerce platform? Here are just a few of our recommendations.

Picking the Best Ecommerce Platform for You

Pricing

Pricing is the critical first consideration. With pretty much all ecommerce platforms, there is a monthly fee attached. There may also be processing fees you have to pay with each transaction. You obviously want to get the best deal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean picking the cheapest platform. Don’t sacrifice features you truly need just to get the price point down.

Payment

Another thing to consider: How your customers will pay. Some platforms may not offer integration with third party payment services, like PayPal. This is how a lot of customers prefer to do their online transactions, so you may decide that inability to use PayPal is a deal breaker.

Integrations

Speaking of integrations, something else to consider is the array of plugin options available to you. Some examples of what we’re talking about:

  • You may want an accounting plugin to help you handle things like sales taxes and promos.
  • You may wish to integrate your ecommerce platform with an email marketing program.
  • You may want to implement some sort of customer reward program.
  • Plugins to help you calculate shipping may also come in handy.

Which plugins do you think you’ll need? And does your desired ecommerce platform support them? These are important things to weigh.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

An online store won’t do you much good if nobody can find it—which means SEO is a big priority. Will your desired ecommerce platform allow you to pick your own domain name? To incorporate a blog? To allow for user reviews? These are all important SEO features that you’ll need to have if your site is going to be discoverable to consumers.

Mobile Friendliness

A majority of online searches, plus a good many online purchases, are handled on mobile devices. As such, it’s critically important that your ecommerce site be easy to use across a wide range of devices. Most ecommerce platforms offer responsive, mobile-friendly design these days, but a few do not—and that could be trouble.

Customer Service

Imagine what would happen if your server crashed, and your online store was inaccessible for minutes, hours, or even days. At the very least, you would lose some revenues—and frustrated customers may never come back. Crashes and other technical errors can happen, but what’s important is that you have someone you can contact to get the issue resolved expediently. Make sure, as you look at different ecommerce platforms, that you pay attention to the customer service offerings. Be sure that you know exactly who to contact and how to contact them, 24/7, should anything go wrong.

Security

You owe it to your customers to provide them with a secure way to process payments. (And if you don’t, customers simply won’t feel comfortable doing business with you.) Ensure that whichever ecommerce platform you choose has robust security options, and in particular HTTPS/SSL capabilities. Something else to verify is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance.

Scalability

Ideally, your business will grow over time—and with it, your ecommerce needs might grow, as well. Your ecommerce platform should accommodate this, and provide you with ways to expand your features and your storage capabilities down the road. Make sure you investigate scalability before you settle on an ecommerce platform.

Which Ecommerce Platform is Right for You?

The decision of which ecommerce platform to use isn’t one you should make lightly. There are many considerations—scalability, security, marketing functionality, payment options, general flexibility, customer support—that are all potential deal breakers.

EverythingOnline works with a lot of companies in the online retail space, and we know a thing or two about ecommerce implementation. We’d love to guide you through this important decision. To learn more about ecommerce options, reach out to our enterprise seo experts today.