To all those looking forward to getting their own ecommerce website built instead of surrendering before giants like amazon or ebay; here are some of the most crucial points to remember before choosing a perfect ecommerce platform for your business. Simply follow these points to get a robust ecommerce platform built for a successful online business.
We have been through lots of well-versed and helpful articles before this; however, we found it important to share our knowledge and experience (since we are serving as ecommerce development company since last 4 years) to make it easier for entrepreneurs to decide which ecommerce platform to choose for their domain expertise.
There are certain assumptions and exceptions to this and this may not be the very best of what you are looking for, but as you move forward even after getting an ecommerce website built, you will face the consequences. And the below features/traits in related form or other may be the ones that may come forward as hitches after you start selling online.
(Note: Every eCommerce site can be made scalable, robust, supportive, secure, trouble free, user friendly, easy to run (admin), and anything you need. There are no limitations except budget and estimated time. This is why people out there look for a perfect and quick ecommerce platform that may suit their requirement without spending extra bucks)
Easy to customize
Reason why we prefer easy to customize ecommerce platform instead of payment gateway:
Customizing an ecommerce site according to your vision will cost you more than integrating a suitable payment gateway. There are tons of pre-built payment gateway solutions, as well as you can get a payment gate way of your choice built within weeks, but it is hefty, time consuming and expensive, to customize an ecommerce site as per your requirement or blueprint.
It is more important for an ecommerce site to be user friendly and attractive than anything else.
Thus, we find it wise to give weight to easy customization instead of payment gateways. Look for an ecommerce platform that is flexible and easy to customize!
Trouble Free Admin Panel
Look for a trouble free admin panel so that you can upload products, manage inventory, insert title and description, specify selling location and limitations, manage the fluctuation in price of the product, get customer details, create discounts, analyze traffic, read the data, and the list goes on..
Admin panel is something you are going to deal with the next few years perpetually, thus, you deserve something flexible, quick, and easy.
We have a glimpse of admin panels of some popular ecommerce platforms including:Prestashop, Magento, SpreeCommerce, NopCommerce
Hope this helps you!
Amazing Attractive Themes
Your visitors/customers do not care about payment gateway nor do they care about the admin panel. They do not notice the platform your site is built on nor do they get attracted by the SEO elements.
The only thing a customer is attracted by, is, an attractive user interface.
We suggest people to opt for an ecommerce platform that has heaps of free/paid themes available. For example, Magento has numerous pre-built themes available here: http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/themes.html
Although you can get a template built on your own, however, it may cost you handful of bucks and time.
“Think and Grow Rich”- Napoleon Hill
The above quote applies involuntarily when it comes to selling things online. When it comes to getting an ecommerce website, always care about scalability issues.
Scalability is a unit to measure site’s performance during periods of heavy traffic and bulk transactions occurring at the same time.
As your ecommerce business grows, you will have to face scalability issues. And believe us; if you do not face scalability issues, you isn’t growing fast enough.
We suggest you to go for a platform that is ready to cope with increasing traffic and transactions. The server you choose for hosting your site also has a significant role to play in this.
Pre-Built Solutions/ Plugins
What if you need a small social sharing button on your product page? You will have to run towards the one who built the site for you-you will explain him what you actually want- they will provide you an estimate after two days- you negotiate- they accept- it took 3 days to get the button assembled-you liked it-story ends.
The whole story took more than a week.
What if the social sharing button you need is available as an extension/plugin and you can install the same instantly?
Plugins are bliss! They save you time, money, efforts, and frustrations.
Search for a platform that has manifold plugins and extensions available in the market; be it paid or unpaid.
As soon as your online business grow, you will be wanting and realizing the value of pre-built solutions like extensions, plugins, gems, java scripts, and more.
Magento, Prestashop and WooCommerce both have got innumerable plugins and extensions built (paid:unpaid) by versatile developers, experts, and community people.
Magento Extension Store
WooCommerce Extension Store
Prestashop addons Store
Community/Availability of Developers
What does community and developers has to do with this?
A lot of people do not research about the availability and size of community members as well as developers (or development companies), due to the reason that nobody made you aware about this thing before opting for an ecommerce platform.
For example, you need an extension developed for your ecommerce website, but you do not wish to continue with the previous company or developer. You will start searching for a freelance developer or company to get it done.
The lesser the availability, the more they will charge.
The more the availability, the more options you will be getting to choose from, the lesser will be the cost due to competition.
Note: Costly sometimes mean quality backed by experience, while cheap is sometimes disaster.
The bigger the community, the easier it will be for you to find answers/solutions to minor/common issues. Also, you will be getting essential news and updates related to ecommerce and platforms frequently from people around or within the community.
How to measure the size of community?
After you are done with researching for an easy to customize, flexible, and popular ecommerce platform, you should swirl your thoughts around suitable payment gateway.
There are some payment gateways that might not accept transaction from a particular country or region, and there are certain ecommerce platforms that may not be flexible enough to adopt certain payment gateways. There are certain payment gateways that charge a bit more for a particular country, while some other payment gateway may charge minimal on the same occasion.
Choose a payment gateway you wish to integrate in your site and test if the same is accepted by the ecommerce platform you wish to choose.
Yes. Ecommerce platforms have pre-built marketing features such as creating coupon discounts, newsletter subscriptions, and discount on product, live chat, real time visitor analyses, search query analytics, and more.
An example of this in Magento
On the contrary, enterprise level ecommerce platforms such as Kentico, have advanced and ingenious integrated marketing solutions. Read here to know more- kentico development
It is important for an ecommerce site to be SEO friendly so that your products get discovered on versatile search engines. Though, one may not rely or give weight to this trait for paid marketing, brand awareness, digital marketing, and related advertisement are more preferable for ecommerce platforms to generate sales; one should not belittle or underrate the potential of search engines.
We do not wish to stretch the tale. There are some more traits to look after before choosing an ecommerce platform, however, we find the above ones the most essential and important to look after.