How to Choose the Best E-commerce Platform
Each of these platforms woos clients on its side purporting to have the best features and prices. Due to this aspect, as a beginner looking to establishing an online store, it may be hard to make a decision on which to subscribe to and which to show your back.
Importantly to note, platforms offering you free and affordable features or those charging high prices does not mean that either is best or worse for your business. With this in mind, you have to consider several factors in choosing the best e-commerce platform for your online store. Here are the top five:
The nature of hosting
As you select an e-commerce business, you need to consider whether it offers website store hosting solutions or you have to self-host your store. I know Shopify offers hosting and many other services. Either of the two options has both benefits and shortcomings. For self-hosted model, you get an opportunity to customize your store according to your likes and preferences. However, you have to cater for other site maintenance and security needs which might be costly to you.
On the other hand, hosted options you are saved from maintenance and security issues. The platform takes care of all necessary updates to keep your online store and customer data protected. However, you do not enjoy vast customization options. As well, you have to operate with its terms and conditions which are bound to change at any time.
The type of product and services you want to sell online
Another aspect to consider when selecting an e-commerce platform is the product you are looking on to sell on your online store. Different platforms offer different listing options. If you are dealing with digital and physical products, you need to go for a platform that supports both options. Also, you need to look at the listing charges and options each of the e-commerce platforms is offering to the clients.
The site charges
It may sound luxury and easy way to set up an online store, but you need to be conscious when making this decision. Before settling on the e-commerce platform to host your online store, it is essential to weigh the costs involved in relation to the gains expected. In particular, you should only pay for features that will enhance your business.
Otherwise, you will waste a lot of cash on features that do not add any benefits to your business. As such, you need to consider what the platform charges and the benefits your business will gain from the provided features.
After sale or support services
It does not matter whether you are an IT or an e-commerce professor or not. At one point or another, you may need some help on managing your online store. With this in mind, when selecting an e-commerce platform, you should consider the nature of support services you will get and whether it is sufficient to your store needs.
Payment options available to your customers
As you operate your online store, you need to provide convenient and reliable payment options that your clients can use to pay for your goods and services. Some e-commerce supports certain payment options while others have their own and do not accept any other.
As such, when selecting an e-commerce platform, you have to check whether it accepts third party payment methods so as to prevent increased case of abandoned carts due to the inability of your customers to transact through the available options.
All in all, choosing an e-commerce platform is not a walk in the park. However, if you consider the above factors, you will be in a better position to make online store decisions.
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