One of the first decisions, when you start your eCommerce website, is the looks of your online store. There are a few questions you will have to answer.
- How much time and money do you have to spend on customizing your site?
- Which interface will make it easy for your customers to shop?
- How can you easily manage the back end of your website?
This is where an eCommerce platform comes in.
What Is an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is a software application that allows online businesses to manage or build their website, marketing, sales and operations. The best eCommerce platforms put the tools you need to run your store together in one convenient dashboard.
If you primarily sell in an eCommerce marketplace such as Amazon, you might not need to build your own online shop. However, your own branded eCommerce site gives you a chance to showcase your products.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is an important step for your online retail business. You need to understand which platform will provide the best strong point for your business growth.
A fact to Consider When Choosing the Best E-Commerce Platform for Your Business.
All eCommerce platforms are not alike. Some cater to small startups, some are geared toward larger enterprises, and some are great for online retail on a budget. Others come with a higher price tag. Another factor to consider is whether the apps and plugins you’ll need to run your store are compatible with the platform or not. Do you look for the same what exactly you were looking for in your business growth?
The eCommerce platform that works best for you will depend on your business. Factors to consider include:
- How bigger your business is
- What kind of products you willing to sell?
- The target market segment you want to reach
- Whether your business is an established or a startup venture
- Your budget for succession planning of your business.
In addition, you want to consider the estimate of the eCommerce platform. Some platforms, like WooCommerce, are open-source.
Here are some of the most popular eCommerce platforms. These platforms are a good place to start your research.
Best eCommerce Platform for Startups
When you’re just getting started, you might want a free or low-cost eCommerce platform. However, you also want a platform that will give you room to expand. Your online shop might be a part-time venture at first. However, you should be prepared for success. Choose an eCommerce platform that gives you room to grow. The eCommerce platforms in this section offer free or low-cost plans. These affordable plans have enough features to get you started. Each will allow you to customize as you grow – for a price.
Shopify offers several plans for small to medium-sized businesses. It is one of the best platforms as it doesn’t require tech knowledge to operate. It has all the features you need to launch a full eCommerce store. There’s a good reason why it is used by over 1 million worldwide online retailers. It is one of the most used platforms, and there are a large number of up-to-date Shopify reviews all over the web to help you decide if it is the right one for you. Shopify works well for retailers in the startup phase. When your business is in this range, you don’t need the advanced capabilities of the more expensive platforms. Shopify also offers a “Plus” option for bigger businesses (more on that below). The option to grow with Shopify is a big plus of this eCommerce platform.
Shopify has all the features you need for setting up your store. This includes a shopping cart, reports and analytics, and flexible payment options. You also get social media integration and marketing tools. You won’t need third-party applications with this platform. Shopify also offers mobile access. In addition, it allows you to control your back-end from an app on your smartphone.
Shopify comes with all the features you need to run an eCommerce store. The platform includes a content management system. You also get customer relationship management tools. As one of the largest eCommerce platforms, there are often direct integrations with many fulfillment services for Shopify. Your data is hosted on Shopify’s own secure servers, with daily backups. The platform keeps business and customer information secure as well. It offers 24/7 monitoring and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.
You can get 24/7 customer support over the phone, email and live chat. There is also one-on-one help via Shopify experts. These are pros who can help you with design, coding and marketing. You also have self-help options. The Shopify Manual Which has a collection of FAQs will get you started. You also have access to discussion forums with the Shopify community.
It can be challenging to change the theme templates. If you don’t know Shopify’s Liquid programming language, you may need to hire a web developer to make modifications.
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