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How to Choose the Best Platform for Your eCommerce Business

How to Choose the Best Platform for Your eCommerce Business

So, you've dreamt up an amazing product you want to sell online? Now there are decisions to be made — build your online store from scratch or use a pre-built eCommerce platform?

Sure, building your own store gives you ultimate control, but it also requires a lot of technical expertise and resources. Using an eCommerce platform, on the other hand, might be a compelling alternative. They provide a ready-made foundation for your online store, along with features like shopping carts, secure payment gateways, and inventory management tools.

For example, WooCommerce — a major eCommerce platform with a market share of 39% — not only has all the essential features for selling online but allows you to install other plugins, like email marketing, reviews management, etc. And of course, there are plenty of WooCommerce alternatives that you can choose from. The only question is — how to decide which one is the right one for you?

In this article we will share key factors you should consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.

Think about what you’ll need

Start by mapping out your needs. Are you a one-person operation selling handmade crafts, or a growing company with a lot of inventory? Do you need social media integrations? Email marketing capabilities?  Identifying your priorities from the get-go will make picking out a platform much smoother.

For example, if you're a small business with a limited product range, a platform with a user-friendly website builder and built-in marketing tools might be ideal. On the other hand, a larger company with a complex inventory might prioritize a platform with advanced product management features and robust analytics.

Budget wisely

Be aware that eCommerce platforms come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their price tags. While free and low-cost options exist, they often have limitations on features or customization. Be realistic about your budget, but remember, the right platform can be an investment that pays off in the long run.

Many platforms offer free trials or demos, so take advantage of these to test-drive the features before committing. Don't be afraid to create a spreadsheet to compare pricing plans and see which platform offers the most value for your budget.

Prioritize user-friendliness

Unless you're a coding master, you'll want a platform that's easy to use. Look for intuitive interfaces with drag-and-drop website builders and easy-to-manage product listings.

Your platform shouldn't add complexity to your day-to-day operations, but make your life easier. Remember, you're here to sell your amazing products, not spend your valuable time worrying about the tech side of things.

Envision your business growing

The last thing you want is a platform that can't handle your success. Choose a platform that scales to accommodate growth, whether it's adding new products, managing increased traffic, or integrating with other sales channels.

As your business expands, you’ll want to add functionalities like email marketing or loyalty programs. Platforms with app/plugin markets offer just that. You also want to look for platforms that integrate smoothly with other sales channels, like Amazon or eBay, if you plan to expand your reach beyond your own online store.

Don’t forget about security

You’ll have the responsibility of keeping your customers’ data safe. Ensure your chosen platform prioritizes security by offering PCI compliance and data encryption.

Check for the reviews about each platform’s security features and consider those with a history of reliability. Don't be afraid to ask the platform provider detailed questions about their security protocols — transparency is key.

Design matters

Don't underestimate the importance of aesthetics. Your online store is your storefront window — it's the first impression you make on potential customers.

Choose a platform that offers a variety of themes and design options that will help you create a stunning website, consistent with your brand image.

Wrap up

Knowing that the global eCommerce market is expected to be worth a total $6.3 trillion in 2024, considering starting an eCommerce business makes sense. Who wouldn’t want their own piece of that cake, right? But for you to succeed in that, choosing the right eCommerce platform is a crucial step.

By considering your needs, budget, and future goals, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect fit. Remember, the best platform empowers you to focus on what you do best — selling amazing products and building a thriving business! So, take your time, do your research, and don't be afraid to experiment with free trials to find the platform that feels like home.

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