The e-Commerce sector is booming continuously, and it is not only the competitive market hitting businesses hard but also the customer expectations. Customers nowadays want services that offer them ease and comfort.
Do you still have questions about the popularity of the e-Commerce platform? Well, it is now clear as crystal that after the pandemic, customer behavior took a gradual shift, and there is a significant increase in online shopping. No matter what size your business is, digital transformation proved beneficial for every business!
A report from Mckinsey states that online sales in the United States jumped around 40 percent over in 2021, and consumers are happily shifting their paradigm toward the omnichannel paths for almost every industry.
Customers and shoppers before making the final purchase rely on multiple channels throughout their journey. So the service provider must ensure offering a smooth shopping experience across different environments and devices to thrive in the competitive market.
When talking about the businesses to scale up, you must ensure vital strategies that allow you to choose the best e-Commerce platform and helps your business reach exponential heights. Here is an article that focuses on the core and crucial factors to choosing the right platform and you make the right choice.
Why it is crucial to choose the right e-Commerce Platform?
Well, a lot goes into making a successful e-Commerce platform than you might think. Choosing the right business platform will empower your business towards growth and makes it easier to manage the websites, visibility, and sales online.
An e-commerce platform is generally a software solution that is designed to offer ease in the buying and selling scenario of businesses. Today more and more businesses are relying on cloud-hosted platforms for e-Commerce rather than hosting their solutions. e-Commerce platforms allow businesses to create a storefront with all the products and prices displayed helping maintain a relatively modest budget. Crucial factors you must keep in mind include
Businesses relying on e-Commerce platforms must be able to expand their offerings and services instantly.
b. Cost Optimization
The cost of building an eCommerce platform is just the beginning, the other factor includes the ongoing maintenance cost.
c. Customer Engagement
You must include tools that help in more customer engagement. Do not forget to integrate amazing tools.
Businesses must focus on prioritizing the customer support that supports more conversion, loyalty, and customer retention.
Types of e-Commerce Platforms
When you are searching for an eCommerce platform, you should make a professional choice by considering all the different types of eCommerce platforms.
When you are planning to have an eCommerce platform for your business to revive, you must be able to make a professional choice while considering all the factors. Here are the platforms you must be aware of.
1. Traditional Platforms
It allows your in-house IT team to build and customize your webshop before installing it on the cloud services, including Amazon Web Services (AWS). You are to pay an upfront platform usage or fee.
2. Open Source Platforms
It does not make you pay an upfront platform fee and therefore is one of the most preferred platforms businesses rely on simply. Also using these platform offer ease and saves plenty of money on resources as you don’t have to pay for the initial design, development, maintenance, upgrades, migration, and more. Recognized examples include Magento.
3. Cloud Hosted Platform
Cloud eCommerce platforms are the systems that save your data and deliver it via the Internet. Availability is there even when you are offline. With the traditional and open-source showing up no results, there is an introduction of cloud versions, also popularly known as cloud platforms.
4. SaaS e-commerce Platform
Built on a single codebase and delivered on a cloud-based system, SaaS is a cloud-based system that can be accessed via web and mobile browsers and is subscription based.
5. Tailored e-Commerce Platform
Customized e-Commerce platforms offer an approach that is customized and tailored as per your business needs and helps manage the system precisely. With the cloud-hosting eCommerce platforms gaining more traction, the method becomes less popular.
Factors that help you choose the best eCommerce platform
Right marketing is required for businesses and therefore it is crucial to choose the best eCommerce solutions to choose from worldwide. A customized solution of course is the best and offers amazing competition.
1. Right Hosting and Platform Ownership
E-commerce platforms can be easily hosted on the cloud. Finding the right hosting, its installation, updates, and maintenance is necessary. It benefits businesses with enhanced security, better remote control, and more data visibility.
For a cloud-hosted platform, you can avail of the hosting solutions including Amazon Web Services so that cloud manages the uptime with ease. Cloud does not need much investment and customer support is better. Also, ensure that the platform offers more security audits so they can identify potential security risks. You can make the necessary changes and protect your customers from the risks.
Platforms like Magento and WooCommerce are open-source platforms that offer you better control and ownership. Here the source can be modified and is quite accessible. The best eCommerce platforms will leverage the best tools and technologies to deliver an amazing omnichannel experience to engage more customers when they look forward to the best shopping experience. It will offer a competitive edge to your business and get customer loyalty.
Integrating cloud hosting in eCommerce offers the most scalable solutions that have out-of-box features and amazing functionalities.
2. Check for Pricing
Price is one of the crucial factors that affect the bottom line and therefore it must be considered when you are assessing the e-Commerce platform. You must be able to calculate the entire ownership price before you make the decision. No matter a small online business or plans to move from brick and mortar store, it is vital to understand the cost of every platform before moving forward.
Examine all the pricing features by watching out for the features examined in the free plan and also the premium ones. Every platform has a sort of monthly fee and there is a processing fee associated. Consider how the customers will pay for the products and assess the opportunity cost.
3. User Experience and Themes
What website do you like the most? Is it Netflix or Airbnb? Well, now when I talk about the reason one of them would surely be amazing user experience, theme, and easy navigation. Yes, the platforms able to deliver an amazing experience to the customers tend to gain more popularity within no time.
Whereas the platforms unable to do so, struggle hard to gain visibility. As per research, the experience of customers nowadays has even become more important than the pricing. It is not that only consumers are looking forward to buying products that they find it affordable, but with they also look out for an engaging and immersive user experience.
Also, the theme must be taken care of where that ultimately defines your store and there are a variety of options you can choose from. Well, you can find both free and paid themes that will require you to pay some extra amount. Standing out from the rest of the competition is critical, and it is surely worth investing in.
4. Don’t forget Integrations
Integrations including the right tools, API, and plugins are the critical ones that must be taken care of in mind. Well, when you choose the platform check whether it offers you the integrations or not because not every platform offers it with ease. Know well and strategize your business requirements before choosing the platform and get the right integrations you need as per your business requirements.
Having these quick integrations makes the customer journey and business handling much easy when it is about the functionality of your eCommerce website. Whether it is shipping of the products, accounting, billing, marketing, integrations help with everything.
Some of the integrations you must ensure keeping in mind includes.
Helps with the financial information including the revenue, profit/loss, tax, and more.
- E-mail Marketing
Helps you update customers and can tell them about everything while staying in the loop.
- Customer Loyalty Programs
It helps offers rewards to your loyal customers and empowers more trust amongst them.
- Shipping and Payment
Payment processing and shipping becomes easy and simple.
5. Platform Security
Website security is a top-notch concern for any business in the digital age, and customers would never go and offer their card details when they are suspicious about the platform. A single mistake or breach can damage the customer's trust, and you lose them!
As customers would never prefer transactions with a shady website, and when your website does not have an HTTPS or an SSL, visitors won’t feel comfortable and provide you with the necessary sensitive data. Also, research says that phishing, account theft, and identity thefts are the common threats that continue to raise concerns.
Because an e-commerce platform handles sensitive data, check for the security credentials in-depth and as per the current and future needs. E-commerce platforms must ensure PCI compliance, secure data backup, and safety protocols to protect the platforms from DDoS attacks.
6. Integrate Multiple Payment Gateways
Customers nowadays prefer personalization and ease of making payments. For the customers, it becomes easy to pay when they get multiple payment options Ensure connecting your platform with a secure and reliable eCommerce payment gateway. We quit buying items generally sometimes when we don’t find the reliable payment gateway of our choice, and therefore it becomes a necessity. Not all eCommerce platforms are compatible with all the gateways and ensure integration of a localized payment gateway.
eWallets are a popular payment gateway and seeing significant growth across the world. So ensure from UPI to net banking and other local payment methods, your customers are happy and satisfied with the different options of making the payments with ease.
OZVID offers a helping hand!
These are some of the crucial factors that can help businesses make robust decisions for eCommerce platform development. It is vital to ensure you can offer a unique and competitive platform while keeping all the factors in mind.
At OZVID- we know how important it is for businesses to choose the right eCommerce platform and enhance their businesses. We have more than a decade of experience and are a leading partner in the software development world that can help you make the right development decision. Want to discuss anything for your other eCommerce development project? We are here for you!