Ecommerce has been growing for the last decade. Online sales have jumped up nearly 20% within two years, and are only going up. If you’re starting a business and selling a product or a service, an e-commerce site is essential in order to expand your business.
There are tons of options available to you whenever you decide to get an e-commerce website. This article will highlight the top 5 things to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform and some extra tips on how to increase your online sales.
The first thing you should consider when searching for an e-commerce platform is the price. Whether you’re a small business just getting started or an already established brick & mortar business moving online, you need to know the exact cost of your new online shop.
The best platforms all have a monthly fee. Depending on the type of platform you get (self-hosted vs. hosted) the costs may vary. You should also consider the processing fees that will be associated with the platform. You should also consider how your customers will be paying. Some platforms don’t offer the ability to pay via third-party vendors (such as PayPal). If your platform does not have the necessary apps or plugins for checkouts, the customer may become irritated and abandoned the cart. Try to weigh the pros and cons of each to get the best for your budget.
One of the biggest factors in choosing an e-commerce platform is the apps and plugins available on it. Most platforms will have plenty of tools for you to run your business. Your business needs to be top of mind when deciding on the plugins that will work best for you and your business. When looking at different platforms, think of what tools you’ll need or already use for your business. Here are some of the most popular types of plugins that you should look out for:
- Accounting plugins to help with sales, taxes, revenues, and profits
- Email marketing tools to help you keep in contact with your customers
- Sales platform that helps you reward your customers for using your products
- Apps to help with shipping your products
- Apps for reviews
- Analytics tools to help track your data
- Seo tools to help rank your site
3. Mobile Friendliness
Nearly 70% of searches are done from mobile devices? This percentage is only going to increase as phones become more powerful and available to more people. Often those searches continue to the add cart and first-time users purchase because of the availability of having a phone. Shopify has an excellent app that is also user-friendly so you can see everything happening on your e-commerce in your pocket. This means it’s important to look for platforms that are mobile-friendly and allow customers to easily access your website as well as make a purchase on their mobile device.
4. Customer Service
Arguably the most important part of any business is customer service. The experience provided by traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are based in a physical store, they have more control over how smoothly their business runs.
E-commerce is similar in the front end. You can control everything from top to bottom you just have to figure out how. There are many blogs on how to run an e-commerce store to help you get the best out of your business and maintain it.
On the back-end of each e-commerce platform, it’s mainly apps and plugins. The front end should be the main focus because it is the only thing the customer sees. Your product page should have professional photography as well as a good description underlining why people should buy your product or service.
Another thing that your product page needs are plenty of reviews. Search if there is an app for reviews on the e-commerce platform you are looking at or any other apps and/or plugins for customer service and checkout. The checkout must be quick and as painless as possible.
All business owners hope their business will grow in the future, but you may not know how much and how quickly. Nonetheless, it’s important to look for a platform that will scale along with your business.
You don’t want to pay for features and storage that you’re not using when you first start out. You also want to keep up with higher demands as your business takes off. Choose a platform that you can scale to your business size and that won’t charge you extra fees for doing so.
Choosing an e-commerce platform can take some time, however, once you know what you are looking for you are well on your way to building your online business. We recommend Shopify because it is user-friendly, reasonably priced, has many apps, and is scalable. Shopify has everything you need to grow your business and more.