The platform you choose can make or break your online store.
According to research by Statista, worldwide e-commerce sales are predicted to experience a threefold lift and jump from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021. To clutch lucrative outputs from the booming industry, many businesses are setting up online stores. At the core of all the budding online businesses, as well as the established ones, lies an e-commerce platform, powering these stores for smooth functioning.
E-commerce platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify and BigCommerce have made selling online easier than ever before. They offer amazing platforms along with the essential tools for building, managing and marketing an online store. Most importantly, these e-commerce platforms play a decisive role in the success or failure of an online store. A fully functional and integrated e-commerce platform ensures smooth sailing of online stores. A wrong decision of e-commerce platform can cause irreparable damage to the online store's performance and business reputation.
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That's why it is crucial to keep certain factors in mind when choosing an e-commerce platform to ensure that you find the right platform that caters to all your online store needs. So, whether you are new to the e-commerce industry or an established e-commerce merchant seeking a change in platform, it is important to keep these factors in mind when choosing a platform.
1. Integration options
Integration is one of the most important things to consider in an e-commerce platform. Running an online business requires more than just an e-commerce platform; many plugins and software need to be integrated for performing different tasks. Before moving to an e-commerce platform, make sure that it is compatible with the different applications and plugins required to run your business. Lack of compatibility between the platform and the services you offer would create obstacles in the operations of your online store.
To find the perfect e-commerce platform, make sure that it offers various third-party integrations like plugins, email marketing tools, enterprise management, geolocation, tax management, content management systems, customer reward programs and shipping apps.
What use is an e-commerce platform if it is unable to grow with you? When choosing a platform for your business, it is critical to check its scope of scalability. Choose an e-commerce platform that not only is best for your platform today, but would also support your business as it grows. As you scale your business, your site will experience increased traffic. Make sure that the e-commerce platform is able to handle your peak traffic, maximum orders and page visits without any lag. An e-commerce platform that does not support both horizontal and vertical scaling will lead to sluggish loading times, error messages and frozen pages with increased traffic. This will frustrate customers and drive them away.
3. User experience
One of the most important things to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform is the experience it offers to all its users. Top e-commerce web design companies believe that user experience of an e-commerce platform is key to the majority of the conversions. The platform should offer a seamless experience to users so that they do not leave the page without making a purchase. While a flawless UX can seduce a visitor to purchase, even a minuscule flaw in the design can drive away a potential buyer. Intuitive navigation, guest checkout, efficient searches, category pages and breadcrumbs are some of the features that can ensure a seamless user experience on the platform.
Cybercrime, hacking and theft are matters of serious consideration. Online shoppers require a guarantee of security before entering their banking or credit card details online. If you want your potential customers to trust your business and make monetary transactions, it is important to choose an e-commerce platform that guarantees online safety and security at all times. In addition to protection from cyberattacks, make sure that the e-commerce platform you choose offers a secure environment to your customers while they enter their credit card, debit card or other banking detail for purchase. It should not make use of sophisticated OOP language, and it should be SSL certified and PCI compliant for increased security.
5. Payment gateways
To make your online store functional and profitable, it is important that the platform has reliable payment gateways. The mode of payment acceptance should be in accordance with the modus operandi of your business. Whether you require a payment gateway and merchant account or a payment service provider to handle your payments, the e-commerce platform should integrate with the payment method. The payment experience the e-commerce platform offers should be smooth, reliable and secure to boost customer trust in your site. The e-commerce platform you choose should be compatible with the payment gateway of your online store, or it could lead to technical glitch or unacceptability.
Online shoppers are not just looking at the product and price; they expect a seamless experience on the platform while making any purchase. The factors discussed above, along with other factors like the support team, SEO, mobile friendliness, affordability and product catalog, all impact the user experience. So consider them before setting up your store on any e-commerce platform and enjoy more engagement.