Today, being a retailer is way harder and way simpler than ever before. A major reason is that there are a lot of retailers that work on the web, and there are a lot of competitors for them too. As much as every coin has two sides, the same applies here. It is no longer enough to offer the right items, instead, you have to impress your customers and offer them the exact items they dream about. Oftentimes, offering the right items for the right customers needs multiple stores to sell from multiple channels. Either way, to sell on the web successfully, you need to think about choosing and implementing the eCommerce platform.
But first, what is an eCommerce platform?
For starters, an eCommerce platform is a software platform that allows businesses to create, run and develop their stores. As soon as many digital stores trade using multiple channels, you need a platform that supports that (in necessary) and a lot of other stuff, including the interaction between backend and frontend working parts. Practically, there are many options when choosing an eCommerce platform, so to make the issue easier, we will discuss some of the most popular options in the paragraphs below.
Why selecting the best eCommerce platform matters for your business
Building and running a digital business is close to the same as offline business. There are a lot of processes that run behind the scenes that need to be managed. As soon as running a business is a strategic decision, building and running the eCommerce digital store is a matter of choice, and as soon as you need to automate these processes behind the scenes, you need to figure out the eCommerce platform that can handle them automatically for you.
Practically, when it comes to choosing the eCommerce platform, there is a need to consider several factors, including but not limited to growth potential, running costs, customer engagement, and objectives to achieve. Also, make sure the eCommerce platform you are choosing is not focused on the skin-level issues of the digital store but goes deeper into the management processes and marketing campaigns. As a complex approach, this is going to help to improve the ROI. Thus, an eCommerce platform is a great tool when it comes to boosting profits and increasing revenues.
What factors should you consider when selecting an eCommerce solution?
Today, there are several factors to consider when it comes to selecting the eCommerce platform. Remember that operating and development are only a part of features necessary for the online store to be managed well.
The online store must be marked high in search results. When the webpage is shown in the first several results provided by the Google search, this helps to sell the product better. At this point, there is a need to make the online store SEO-friendly by default. Specifically, there is a need to add a searchable domain name that represents your brand and includes meta descriptions and meta tags to the pages. Also, there is a need to add captions and descriptions and configure crawler robots well. Pagination and URL structures should be helpful as well, and this might mean the need to update the sitemap, especially in XML. In other words, make sure that the chosen platform has access to all necessary Google analytics tools.
Too many customers are purchasing goods on the internet from their phones. That said, the online stores should be ready for this. Making your digital store mobile-friendly is a step towards future growth. Customers want to make their purchases quickly and easily from their mobile devices, without the need to wait and access their desktops. As soon as the customers’ attention is shifted to mobile devices, it is important to be prepared for this and make your online store mobile-friendly right from the start.
Easy to navigate and secure
When your customers come to your website, they want to find what they need fast. Ideally, in two or three clicks, any item on your website should be located and ordered. The thing is, for your customers to return to your store, it is important that they had a good time browsing and they have found what they aimed to order. When your customers leave your website happy, they will return to complete orders.
In other words, if you want your sales to increase, make sure your navigation is evident. Just one more tip that is close to easy navigation: invest in secure checkout. Having a safe and secure checkout page allows your customers to trust that their data is safe with you. In the future, this will bring more customers to your store.
It is important to make sure that your store is scalable. Practically, scalability is not only about the ability to handle more traffic. Scalability includes the opportunity to integrate third-party APIs that might become necessary when your store grows exponentially (that’s what we all want, right?). At this point, make sure that the platform you choose supports the scalability of your store. For example, the Magento extension for the Salesforce integration allows for rapid growth and boosts the scalability of your system by offering the integration the powerful extension. Check if your chosen system has the same opportunity for growth.
When choosing the eCommerce platform to develop your store, make sure you have enough options to integrate. Specifically, the ability to choose among the handful of integrations is the thing that helps to maintain rapid growth no matter what. If you think about re-platforming, make sure that your current marketing channels and CRM are supported by another platform.
Product Management System
Today, customers expect the store to provide the utmost shopping experience. At this point, the online stores need to meet the expectations at the highest level possible. Some features you may need are:
- automated import and export of the product file in excel and CSV files
- mapping the products according to your needs
- supporting uploading the high-quality images in bulk
- providing advanced listing features so that your items are sold not only from your digital store but also from international retail platforms.
Customer payment options
When it comes to payment, your customers must be comfortable with payments online. Therefore, when choosing the eCommerce platform, make sure that it works with PayPal, Square, Apple Pay, and Stripe, which are the most favorite payment processing systems chosen by the majority of buyers online. However, be sure that you are also comfortable with getting this kind of payment from your customers.
Order Management System
You might need an order management system that allows shipping orders quickly. Today, there are a lot of competitors in retail, and sending orders quickly is a must to stand out. Order management system must work well with order tracking, email notifications, and shipping service so that you are aware that your orders are shipped carefully and quickly. Potentially, the chosen order management system or OMS works with your inventory system which allows automating inventory and ensuring that only items that are in stock are available for purchase on the website.
The integration with Facebook allows you to sync your inventory with Facebook and Instagram. The biggest benefit here is that you create your catalog once and then you can use it for different social media platforms, to promote and sell your products.
Finding (and then implementing) a new ecommerce system is a significant task. Taking on this project will most certainly take a significant amount of time (and, for businesses, money). The good news is that choosing the appropriate solution may help you scale your business, improve operations, and increase sales, so while choosing an ecommerce platform can be difficult, it's well worth the effort. You can contact us and get professional help from our team.