E-Commerce is one of the fastest growing business niches. Experts predict that next year’s worldwide B2C sales will amount in $1,92 trillion, and in 2018 this figure with grow up to $2,35. This business model comes with plenty of benefits. It overcomes geographic limitations like no other sales model before, by allowing consumers from faraway places to easily purchase products. E-Commerce also saves customer’s money and time and comes with much lower running costs, since it doesn’t require hiring sales personnel or paying rent.
Today there are many different e-commerce platforms, but in spite of that sometimes it is hard to choose the one that comes with an appropriate set of features. In this article we listed some of the most important things that e-commerce entrepreneurs should have in mind when choosing the right platform for their business.
E-Commerce platform needs to be reliable, because each website crush results in huge revenue losses. Platform should be able to withstand even the highest traffic spikes that usually occur during online shopping holidays like: Cyber Monday or Single’s Day. Platform’s reliability can be easily determined by doing load tests, which will show all of its bottleneck issues.
Cyber-attacks and data breaches can be dreadful for e-commerce business reputation. That’s why security is the top concern for both entrepreneurs and website administrators. Chosen platform should come with Secure Socket Layer certificates which allow customer’s browser to process secured transactions. Certificate can come with the platform or it can be bought separately, but it’s a security minimum which guarantees that all transactions are protected. Some platforms come with an additional security features that might include: DDoS attacks monitoring and fraud protection.
Another security minimum is that chosen platform is compliant with PCI standards. Platforms that aren’t compliant with this set of 12 standards (which are obligatory for all websites that accept payments and store customer’s credit card information) can be audited.
Easy to Use
Website administration is just one part of this business. E-Commerce entrepreneurs also need to deal with purchasing, storing and shipping goods, marketing, paperwork, etc. That’s why user experience of e-commerce platform is very important, because only platforms that are easy to use will leave enough time to entrepreneurs to deal with whole bunch of other tasks required for running a successful online store.
Platform admins should be able to create product pages in the fastest way possible. Content managers should come with plenty of useful short codes and advanced page design features.
Number of free design themes offered with an e-commerce platform is another important criterion. Depending on the chosen platform, it can come with a few or a few dozen free themes and several hundred paid ones. Most e-commerce beginners choose free themes for their store, and their number and quality is crucial to many entrepreneurs.
Big online stores often require customized themes, made exclusively for their set of products. In this case it is much better to choose platforms with big following and developing communities, because these guarantee wider selection of both free and paid themes, as well as expert help and support on theme’s community pages.
Number of Payment Options
Today consumers have wide variety of different payment options at their disposal. That’s why payment diversity on platform’s check-out page in some extent determines the number of possible customers. Most platforms can process credit card transfers, some others also include popular online payment systems. When choosing future platform entrepreneurs also need to determine whether it supports payment getaways that come with local currency support.
With e-commerce being such a competitive niche, choosing the wrong platform can result in problems that will make potential customers to search for desired products elsewhere.