With the rise of digital platforms for shopping, e-commerce has become a legitimate and prominent business for many. E-commerce is pretty much any type of business or commercial transaction that occurs through the internet.
If you’re starting your own business, or are not seeing results with your target market, it may be time to look for the right e-commerce platform for you. This is probably one of the first things you should have done research on, as finding the perfect fit for your business can lead to meeting your goals.
From a consumer standpoint, they expect online merchants to provide an efficient and easy-to-use website that has a stress-free payment process. You should always be thinking about what will make things more convenient for your customers.
User experience is king for E-commerce, and you should make it seem less and accessible on all platforms. This is even more important now as 66% of individuals are predicted to be smartphone users in the coming year.
However, research shows that smaller businesses tend to ignore digital solutions. For brick and mortar sellers, taking their business online is one that doesn’t come with much thought. Usually. It’s whatever is easiest and cheapest for their side.
For those taking the very smart leap of investing in a good e-commerce site, then congratulations! You’re positioning yourself at a point of advantage over your competition by giving your customers a great experience at your site.
Are you looking for the e-commerce platform to do just that? We’ve rounded a list of the things you should take into consideration before putting your money into a site. Say goodbye and turn your back on the dazzling sales pitch, because here are the factors you should keep your eye on when choosing your e-commerce platform.
We won’t try to sugar-coat it: an e-commerce website is a huge investment. However, it is a necessary one that will reap more benefits than your initial investment.
This seems like it’s pretty much common sense, but price is one of the biggest deciding factors for your pick. You should first have a budget in mind, and make sure it’s a reasonable one.
Then, shop around and canvas the prices of the available platforms, and compare their features to check which one is the best bang for your buck.
Don’t forget to get in-depth when inquiring about fees. Some providers offer a base rate that incur more fees with every feature that you add on to it. Be sure to find one that will offer everything you need, at the best price possible.
Not all e-commerce platforms are the same, and you’ll find different features in every single one. Most platforms offer the bare necessities for functionality, but some offer built-in marketing tools that may enhance user experience as well as giving you valuable insight.
The e-commerce platform you choose should integrate the most essential features for you, in a format that will be accessible on both desktop and mobile platforms.
One of the key concerns of integration is payment processing. Find one that will give a variety of options for your customers, as this will foster a better seller-buyer relationship. If your customer has a good experience your site, it is more likely that he or she will be a recurring buyer or that he/she will recommend it to other people.
Don’t forget to integrate a strong and reliable technical support window as well. It may be just an e-mail that they can reach you at, or a more responsive one like an instant chat box. Whatever it is, if it answers a potential customer’s query right away, it will work. Online sales is built on tapping into the impulse purchases of people, and the quicker you answer, the faster they’ll buy.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: customer experience is the most important factor in your search for an e-commerce platform.
Just think of it this way: If you were the person using the website, would you be happy with the service you’re getting? Or will the poor design and bad purchase experience just lead you to closing the page?
Make this your guiding question whenever you consider a provider. It’s important to invest in a seamless and smooth interface and an easy-to-navigate design, as this will encourage potential customers to stay on your website.
Customers demand a convenient and fast interface. The fewer the clicks and the shorter the loading time, the better.
Apart from your customer’s ease of use, you should consider its benefits for you as well. It should be easy for you to access data that will give you key insights that will address your client’s pain points. These metrics can also help you track how well a campaign is working, and if you’re business goals are being met.
#4: SEO Adaptability
Digital marketing encompasses a huge chunk of your e-commerce site. Some people may have the misconception that SEO is limited to social media platforms and blogs, but targeting your SEO for e-commerce sites may be beneficial as well.
Since a major part of SEO is search result ranking, utilising digital marketing strategies is essential.
For example, if a customer were to look for “outdoor furniture in Sydney”, they will most likely choose a product from the first 2 pages of the search results. This makes it all the more important for you to focus on your site ranking.
By doing this, you’ll be driving customers to your site. Coupled with a good user experience, it is very likely that they’ll be driven to purchase from your site.
Here are some SEO features that you should look for in an e-commerce platform:
- Use of own domain name
- Addition of blogs to your site
- Customers being able to leave reviews on the site
By having the three above, you will be able to capitalise on the success of your site’s SEO.
As with all things, security is an important feature, almost to the point of being an unspoken rule.
Since e-commerce deals primarily with money and data, security is a primary concern for both the online merchant and the consumer.
The first concern is that of payment. Make sure to check if the payment providers you have are accredited, and are following industry standards. You may risk your client falling to fraud or lost money, so it’s important that you don’t overlook this detail.
E-commerce has a responsibility to protect the information of its customers. This comes in for when data phishing occurs, which can cause your clients to receive spam or ads, or any other adverse effect of having their information leaked.
From the business end, it’s also important that you protect your site from theft. Fraud and chargebacks are rampant, and criminals are known for using stolen credit card to make online purchases.
If you fall prey to these acts, you may find yourself paying for the cost and shouldering even the shipping expenses. This is because, from a legal standpoint, the law is in favour of the cardholders.
Something that you should keep in mind is that the use of crypto currency payments is final. This may rule positively in your favour, or be a problem for you in the future. Make sure you’re well-protected by beefing up your site’s security measures.
Picking out your e-commerce platform is one of the first steps of starting your online store. It requires a lot of careful thought, and should not be something that you take lightly.
It might seem tedious to do all this research, and you might be tempted to just look for the easiest option. However, it is all this hard work that will avert any future worries, as well as making sure that your site performs better.
Since you will be importing lots of data and doing a lot of legwork to establish your online business, it’s vital that you do it right the first time. You wouldn’t want to switch to a different e-commerce platform because you were unsatisfied, and have to do all the work again!
It might seem like a lot of effort to compare the best e-commerce platform, but there will surely be one that your business will resonate with. Don’t be afraid to dabble in establish e-commerce platforms like Neto to see if they’ll be the right fit.
Finding the right e-commerce platform for you and your business will make sure that your day-to-day work flows more smoothly. From processing orders, to analysing statistics, your daily operations will flow with little to no hitches.
Looking for a digital agency that understands your needs and helps you build your business? Drop us a line at Perceptiv Digital and we can discuss how we can help you reach your goals.