How to Choose A Platform for Your Ecommerce Website
Starting an online store is probably one of the most straightforward ways in which on can make money online. Running one such store is very much like running a traditional brick and mortar place, only everything happens online.
Nowadays, the world of ecommerce mostly happens on various platforms since it costs too much to design a website from the scratch, especially considering that these platforms come with a variety of features that expand the functionality of your store and make your life so much easier.
But how does one choose between Magento and WooCommerce and Shopify and any other ecommerce platform?
The easiest way is to answer the following questions.
What are you selling?
You would think that it doesn’t matter what you will be selling when it comes to selecting the right ecommerce platform for your needs. However, as you will find out, this is actually the first and the most important question that you will have to answer.
For one, will you be selling physical products or something digital? For example, many people sell online courses via an ecommerce website. The reason why this is important is that certain platforms are better suited for such digital products; while others do physical products better.
It should also be pointed out that even when we are talking solely physical products, certain platforms do certain types of products better and people have already grown accustomed to seeing a certain platform for a certain line of products.
You should also consider the number of different products that you will be selling. For example, some ecommerce stores sell only a few products while others have thousands to choose from. This is an important factor because certain platforms have amazing discounts for stores that sell only a few products while others do not.
How will your customers pay you?
Now that you have determined what you will be selling and how varied your offer will be, it is crucial that you work out the various payment methods you will be featuring in your online store.
For most ecommerce business owners, being able to accept PayPal payments and a few basic credit cards is enough. However, certain ecommerce stores want to be more versatile and work in markets that may be using less traditional payment methods.
The owners of such ecommerce stores need to be extremely careful as certain platforms are not really that open to third-party payment methods and it can be quite difficult to work out a way to feature those payment options.
Are you particular about the look?
For many ecommerce store owners, the look of the website is not the primary concern. They know they have a product that will sell itself and they understand that their website does not have to be anything spectacular. They also do not mind their store might resemble other stores that sell similar products.
Other ecommerce business owners know that they have to go visual if they wish to carve a place for themselves in the market.
This is important to answer because certain platforms provide more choice when it comes to website templates and the different ways in which you can personalize your website. Other platforms may not be that friendly to customization and you might feel too restricted.
What features do you need?
All of the world’s leading ecommerce platforms come with amazing ecommerce solutions that will provide the basic skeleton of your online store. Then, you will build on top of that skeleton with third-party apps and add-ons that will bring enhanced functionality to your store.
Of course, once again, not all platforms do this equally well. Some platforms are more welcoming to third-party apps and they pride themselves on working well with 3p developers, allowing for amazing integration of these solutions to provide fantastic features to their users.
If you have a feeling that you will be using a bunch of add-ons and apps, you will do well to find out which of the platforms does this the best.
What’s your financial situation?
There is really not that much difference when it comes to how much you will be paying to get your store online. Various platforms all fall into a certain price-range that does not fluctuate much from platform to platform.
That being said, there are still ways in which you can make a better decision with your money.
For example, if you know that your store will not grow significantly over the next period, you can go for longer plans that will provide you with certain discounts. If you know that you will have to upgrade your store soon, you will go with a platform that is more friendly to scaling up.
In addition to this, you can always find deals based on the number of products and customers you will be serving.
The important thing is to do your research and don’t rush into any deals that might hurt you down the line.
In fact, this is the thing to take away from this entire article – do your research, weigh your options carefully and pull the trigger only when you are certain you have approached the decision from every single direction.