ENTREPRENEURSHIP / FEB. 02, 2015
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How to Select an Ecommerce Platform

Ecommerce platforms are very important for anyone selling goods and services online. Some of the most common ecommerce platforms include SendOwlDigital Product Delivery (DPD)E-JunkieMagentoBigcommerce and Shopify. With this wide range of options, choosing a suitable platform for your site can be a very frustrating exercise.

Here are some tips which will help you select the right ecommerce platform:

1. Pricing

You need to choose an ecommerce platform which fits within your budget. However, don’t just base your decision on price only. The most important thing is to find a package which meets your needs. For beginners, it would be advisable to go for a low-priced package with limited features. You can then upgrade to a higher package as your business grows.

2. Ease of use

This is a very important consideration, especially for those who are just getting started. Choose a platform which you can manage on your own without having to hire experts. The best platforms for beginners are DPD and SendOwl which come with minimal features. If you require more advanced features, Magento, Bigcommerce and Shopify would be a better option.

3. Features

Before settling for any ecommerce platform, find out if it has the features you need for your business. For instance, if you are targeting customers all over the world, you will need a platform which has multi-currency and multi-lingual features. You should also find out whether the features can be customized further to meet your business needs.

4. Scalability

As your business grows, you might want to add more products to your ecommerce site. It is therefore very important to find a platform which is scalable. Forecast your business growth and consider whether the platform can handle your future needs in terms of hardware specifications and the number of products.

5. Add on ability

With time, some features on your site might become out-dated. You might therefore need to add more features to enhance the functionality of your site, or even upgrade to a higher version. Be sure to choose an ecommerce platform which will allows add-ons.

6. Platform integration

Find a platform which can be integrated with shipping tools, order management systems, financial gateways and email marketing services. If the platform cannot integrate with some of these, find out how much it will cost you for add-ons.

7. Reporting and analytics

Keeping track of stats is very important for the success of your ecommerce venture. Some of the analytics worth monitoring include number of daily visitors, length of visit, most visited pages, abandoned shopping cart and conversion rates. Choose a platform which can help you keep track of such statistics. This will give you an idea of how to improve your marketing campaigns.

8. Security compliance

Running an ecommerce business will mean handling sensitive customer information. It is therefore very important to go for a platform which has features for ensuring safe online transactions.

9. Mobile friendly

Nowadays, many people shop using their smartphones and tablets. Look for a platform which is optimized for mobile devices.

Selecting the right ecommerce platform is very crucial for the success of your business. Take time to consider the tips above before making a decision.

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