Each platform has its own set of strengths and weaknesses depending on what sort of functionality you’d like your website to have. A good eCommerce platform is one that solves your current problems, and leaves enough room for growth and deeper customization. Hosted eCommerce platforms make your life easier. You don’t have to worry about security, vulnerabilities, PCI compliance, backups, or website crashes. It just works. Whenever you are thinking about taking your business to next level, there are lots of elements to consider. Here are some helpful hints for researching platform.
#1. Choose a platform based on your goals:
Before choosing one, write down your ecommerce business goals and write your feature expectations from a platform.
- The total budget you can afford for the platform design
- Features you’d be interested in
- Availability of extensibility / plugins
#2. Easy eCommerce platform integration:
Think about level of customization are you looking for, and consider platform with affordable and easy to customize templates. A platform that allows you to start from scratch may be your best option.
#3. Choose based on the products you sell
#4. Choose based on affordability:
Identify your budget.Choose a platform that fits your budget.
#5. Decide between self-hosted or hosted platform:
Here is when a self-hosted version is the right choice for you:
- When you require more customization
- When you need full control .
Here is when a hosted version is the right choice for you:
- Reliability: A quality SaaS provider is reliable in handling heavy traffic with less down time.
- PCI compliance: It ensures a secure environment for processing, storing and transmitting credit card information.
- Ease of use: You don’t need to train and maintain internal staff to set up and run the store, since it is easier to use.
#7. Choose based on the back-end features:
Usually, most of the people are super conscious about the front-end design and front-end features of their store but they often ignore those of their back-end. In fact, the features and usability of the back-end are as important as the front-end; since you’re spending most of your time on the back-end, it can not only affect your overall work productivity, but chances are it’s going to reflect on your front-end and ultimately, your customer’s user experience as well.
Shopify, Bigcommerce, & Volusion
These three allow you to create your own online store out of one of their several customizable templates. It’s a great option for a do-it-yourself approach. Each has its own pricing model, features, plugins and user interface, so it’s best to compare to see which might best fit your business needs.
WooCommerce is a free, open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress websites. This means that you will need to create a website in WordPress and then add WooCommerce to that website.
Above are just basic overviews of some of the most popular e-commerce solutions out there. There are others, like BigCommerce, Wix, 3dcart, Magento etc.Before choosing a platform, you should make sure to do additional research and read online reviews.