The choice of which e-commerce platform to select for your business can make or break the seamless operation of your store. That’s why a lot research is involved when it comes to the best options and best practices. Often people choose the wrong shopping cart thinking they will save money, but in reality it only costs them more.
First let’s start with some key perspectives you might approach your decision process from:
- I’m on a low budget – If you’re on a low budget, choose a platform that can scale, so you don’t have to keep changing. If your sales take off, position yourself for success.
- My Web Designer is helping me to choose – If you are working with a Web Designer, there are 2 key things to consider. First, work with a Web Designer that’s well-versed with e-commerce web sites, not just regular ones. There’s a different thought process required, particularly optimizing the design for order conversions. Second, working with a Word Press site and adding on a plugin for an e-commerce store can create its own host of challenges such as:
- Every time you have a change or modification, you will have to pay your Web Designer/Developer.
- Tech support on the e-commerce plugins are very limited and often are by email only
- You have to pay for the hosting and ongoing updates
- Business is growing, I need something better – you should think about your needs for multi or omni-channel sales, scalability for integrations with order fulfillment providers, Amazon, EBay, marketing, accounting and much more. Finding the right platform is key.
- I am spending too much money on Web Developers – You could be in 3 primary camps here. Word Press sites with e-commerce plugin, open source custom written e-commerce platform or on an enterprise platform. Choosing a platform that’s provided well thought out design and backend functionality can reduce your costs and time you spend managing it to get the features you want. Many of the popular platforms that in the past considered mid-grade are now being built with enterprise functionality.
There are many popular e-commerce platforms available today. The one you choose will depend on a variety of factors, such as:
- Payment method: Will you use PayPal (the most popular and easy-to-use option today) or some other third-party processor? The platform you choose must support it.
- Size of your stock
- Digital or Physical: which type of goods do you sell? You’ll need to consider shipping costs, for example.
- Self-Hosted or Hosted?
- Payment Plans: which ones fit your budget? Will you choose one that pays monthly or as a small percentage of each sale?
- How do you plan to track inventory?
- What options do you offer per product, such as sizes and colors?
- What is your proposed shipping policy?
- Do you sell products both online and offline?
Coming up with a Design
Your design is critical to fostering your company’s branding and image. Most e-commerce platforms offer template designs that may be free, or customized options that you have to pay for every month. Others hook you up with developers for a completely customized design. Decide if you will go the cheap route and use a design used by many others out there, or pay a little more and have a one-of-a-kind presence on the web.
Going the affordable route now can actually end up costing you in lost customers later.
It’s About More Than the $$$
Don’t just focus on cheap plans. Sure, you may find one that charges $15/month, but you’re only getting bare bones services with those types of plans. Pay a bit more, say $80/month, and you’ll enjoy community support, themes, add-ons, and advanced shopping cart software that includes features for product merchandising, site design, search engine optimization, online marketing and order processing. Going with a more robust e-commerce platform can help you start selling more products faster.
You can achieve increased sales and customer satisfaction when you choose us to help you learn best practices in order fulfillment. Our e-commerce consulting services can help you launch and maintain a successful online enterprise. Contact Fulfilltopia now for a free quote to get started!