Success and growth lie at the core of any business. Gone all the days when the success of the business was mainly dependent on how it operates locally. We currently reside in the dot com era where selling products online have become easier than ever before. And all thanks to the incredible e-commerce options available across the globe. In this industry, there’s a lot of lingo thrown around and, more often than not, it’s easy for us to get overwhelmed. So, which one platform out of the hundreds is supposed to be chosen?
First of all, you need to know that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ or the ‘best’ eCommerce platform. However, based on a business’s goals, resources and preferences an appropriate eCommerce platform can be chosen. Now the very first step of choosing an eCommerce platform is the most critical decision to make and the decision taken will reshape the story of your online success. Though it will take a bit of research on your part but not knowing where to direct your search will definitely make a huge difference. So it is very important to stay in an informed manner.
Determining an appropriate e-commerce platform
In the ongoing business trends, the realm of e-commerce business is considered profit- spinning. Earlier, managing an e-commerce marketplace was insanely tricky but as innovators pushed the boundaries of technology, one can manage an entire marketplace without much hassle. The following post consists of a few basic yet crucial points you need to keep in mind while making this choice.
- Hosted or Self HostedDeciding the kind of hosting suitable for your business should be the first factor to consider while opting for an e-commerce platform. Now what is the difference between the two, you may ask?
A hosted eCommerce is a piece of software that runs on someone else’s server whereas a self-hosted e-commerce platform is a piece of software that you run on your own machine. Hosted ones are commonly known as SaaS: Software as a Service where one cannot access the source code of the software but is provided with everything that is required in exchange for a service fee. Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion are common examples of a hosted platform.
On the other hand, a self-hosted platform requires the developer to have access to the source code of the software and gain complete control and flexibility over your website. In such cases, from setting up to running and maintaining your web store everything comes under your responsibility. Magento, WooCommerce, and osCommerce are examples of Self-hosted platforms.
- Stock Size
Another interesting factor that plays an important role in the decision-making process is the stock size. You need to decide how many products you will be selling, based on that you can select an appropriate platform. After all, you will be paying a huge amount for the platform for selling a huge quantity of products while you only want to sell just a few is not a financially viable option.Apart from this, choosing a platform according to smaller stock might create troubles for you in future especially when you decide to scale up or increase your stock.
- Flexibility of Product Catalog
It is truly said that functionality and aesthetics of a web store are somewhat related to the product catalog. Henceforth, it is very important to compare your products with the template of product catalog they offer. Here the kind of goods (digital or physical) you are selling can also be kept into consideration.
- Range of payment methods
Offering customers with a wide range of payment options can definitely result in maximizing the overall sale of your business. E-commerce platforms featuring a variety of payment methods always lead to success and growth of your business.
- Integration Capability
Do you think that eCommerce is just limited to shopping carts? If so, then you may be wrong. There are many more things that you will need to do while running your online business. For instance, if you aim to sell on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay then your eCommerce solution must be strong enough to integrate with them. In addition to this, other integrations that you may need can be CRM, Accounting, Warehousing, Analytics & Reporting etc.
The aforementioned points are some of the most important options that can be taken into consideration while choosing an eCommerce platform that’s right for your business. Well, it’s all about taking the utmost care while making this first and most critical decision of choosing an eCommerce platform. Remember, it is the choices you make that makes you.
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