5 questions to ask when choosing a new e-commerce platform
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Deciding on an e-commerce platform that boosts all your business features is not easy. In fact, this choice that you make for your online venture is a big part of setting up a good head start as well as a strong foundation for your future success. Whether you are looking for a new e-commerce platform or switching to a new one, chances are you might feel overwhelmed with ample of options available in front of you. But as long as you are asking the right questions, you will find no problem in choosing the right platform for your business.
To make a right decision and narrow down your search for the best fitting e-commerce platform for your online business here we have listed down some critical questions you need to ask first:
How much control do you want to have?
Before we discuss some more profound concerns first decide, whether you want to self-host your online venture or are you fine with some limitations in exchange for some ease of use and automatic bug fixes? When choosing an eCommerce platform, you need to decide between a hosted, or a self-hosted web development service.
Adopting a self-hosted route will give you the flexibility to customize your online business that also requires handling all the technical backend which may or may not be within your scope of knowledge. On the other hand, going with an established E-commerce platform like Shopify will give you more time to manage your sales, online marketing and brand building without worrying about the technical aspects.
What will you sell?
Your product inventory plays a vital role in choosing the right e-commerce platform. What you want to sell, how big your inventory is and the complexity of your products need to be considered beforehand. If you have a huge inventory, go for an e-commerce platform that can easily scale up based on your requirements and doesn’t charge by how many products you list. And if you are selling digital products, you might have your own set of conditions so research well before choosing one for your digital business.
How do you want to accept payments?
Online customers quickly get discouraged when they don’t find their preferred payment method online. So consider how the majority of your patrons will be paying for your products and services. If you want your ECommerce store to accept credit card payments directly from your store, you need to apply for a merchant account then. There are also many third-party payment gateways that can integrate with your e-commerce platform like Paypal. But not all platforms do well with these third-party payment solutions so do your homework on all the intricacies before taking the plunge.
Is your site secure?
When it comes to online shopping, customers take great care of their data security. They need to know that they can trust your store or not. So if you are going to a self-hosted solution, make sure your site is PCI compliant. PCI stands for payment card industry that ensures that any business which processes, stores and transmits credit card information has a safe environment.
What is your budget?
Small businesses work with a low budget in the beginning, and that restricts many options from the list. With hosted E-commerce platforms you have to pay a dedicated monthly fee based on how big your catalogue is where a self-hosted solution may cost more upfront, and you might need to spend some additional costs by doing some of the work yourself.
Ultimately, you want an e-commerce platform that lists all your products. Get through your specific requirements, consider these questions, gather the necessary data, analyse its top characteristics and choose the best E-commerce platform for your business.