Despite the rapid growth of e-commerce in recent years, almost 23% of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) shrug off the need to roll out a digital platform, mainly because of the added labor and costs that come with building and managing a website. Luckily, there are more than 120 software solutions that businesses can use to get their websites off the ground in a short amount of time (and with minimal effort required). But how do you determine the best e-commerce solution for your needs?
There are many factors that you should consider before deciding on an e-commerce platform. Since it will manage your virtual shop’s day-to-day operations—from tracking product inventory, to processing customer payments, to shipping purchased goods, it’s crucial that you review the available options and fundamental features that fit your business needs.
One of the first things you should look into is the customization power of your e-commerce platform. It must be able to capture the experience that you want to deliver to your audience. Keep in mind that e-commerce solutions rarely offer the same volume of design options as well as customization opportunities—there are those that offer a plethora of free and paid templates, while others put forward limited choices. So make sure that your platform of choice matches both the design vision needed for your online shop as well as its technical requirements.
Aside from customization power, e-commerce platforms also differ in their search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities. If you desire growth in the digital marketing scene, this is an essential feature to research. BigCommerce, for example, boasts multiple functionalities such as the implementation of structured data on product pages, on-page optimization features, and SEO-friendly templates, which can help drive traffic to your website and improve your search engine rankings. Magento is also a promising choice if you're looking for increased visibility via organic searches. It offers configuration options to enhance site speed, customization features to make URLs engine-friendly, and convenient metadata-generating plug-ins among others.
While the look and feel of your business, as well as its SEO power, are extremely integral features of an e-commerce platform, don’t overlook your users’ transactional experience. A seamless shopping journey, specifically a hassle-free payment experience, is something that your platform should be able to provide. Make sure you’re able to accommodate various payment methods, such as card payments, bank deposits, cash, payment getaways, as well as different currencies, as this can affect the volume of transactions, especially the sales of your online shop.
Indeed, choosing an e-commerce platform is one of the most critical aspects of launching a virtual store. But selecting an e-commerce solution is not just a matter of meeting the standards of search engines, it’s also understanding the kind of experience that your users want and expect.