Once you’ve decided it’s time to implement an e-commerce platform, the next step is to decide which one. There are a lot of solutions out there, so how do you know which e-commerce platform is perfect for your organization?
We wanted to help you get off on the right foot, so we put together a list of the most important factors to consider in choosing the best online sales platform for your business.
First, you need to ask yourself what you need your solution to do for you. In every organization there are a wide variety of needs that need to be fulfilled.From a marketing perspective, you probably want to be looking at a platform that will support personalization and an omnichannel strategy, for instance. From a sales perspective, you’ll need a solution that reduces admin work and gives your customer service representatives and sales agents the tools they need to best assist clients. From a finance perspective, you’ll want your e-commerce solution to speed up order processes and offer more functionality for analyzing your business.
We suggest starting with your technical needs. First, consider whether you want a self-hosted or hosted platform. A self-hosted platform is a plugin that allows you to set up a web store within your existing website. Such a solution gives you complete control over your online store, but it does mean you’ll have to build from scratch and manage it all yourself. Hosted platforms come with a domain, website and shopping cart, and they don’t require any maintenance. That’s because the hosting company takes care of everything relating to e-commerce once you subscribe to their hosting package.One thing to look out for if you decide to go for a hosted solution is what kind of customization options the provider offers. You’ll want to verify whether the web store can be designed to suit your brand, and whether it offers the functionality for all of the features you’re planning on having.
As we mentioned, functional needs are going to pertain more to your marketing and sales goals. One of the great things about launching an online sales platform is that you’re suddenly able to reach an entirely new client group that you wouldn’t have otherwise had access to.
Never underestimate the importance of good mobile functionality. Increasingly more users are browsing, getting informed, and making purchases on their tablets and smartphones – it’s a convenience that they value greatly.Mobile sales are great for your business because they give your clients 24/7 access to your web store and they give your sales team new opportunities for making pitches and closing deals when visiting clients.