If you’re planning to launch your own online retail venture, you’ll probably want to know which eCommerce platform is right for you.
Selling online can be a vital next step for an existing business and the best way to kick off a new venture. According to Don’t Disappoint Me, online sales in the UK increased by a staggering £15.2 billion between 2018 and 2019 alone.
Before we explore eCommerce platform options, let’s take a minute to get excited about this type of business venture. In 2020, over 2 billion people bought things online.
Understandable in a pandemic, right?
However, consider this. By 2025, at its current rate of growth, the Global eCommerce sector will expand by an extra $1 trillion.
Getting your share of this eye-popping potential depends on having the right website. One you can build and run confidently and successfully. This makes choosing between eCommerce platforms an important decision.
To make it easier – and provide you with help launching your online shop – here are important insights on deciding which eCommerce platform is right for you.
The most successful eCommerce platforms
A great starting point is finding online shop providers with a strong track record for success.
The ones pulling in big numbers are clearly doing something right, and the longer-standing eCommerce platforms have had plenty of time to adjust and improve their services.
However, it’s not just the numbers game. Different platforms are the preferred option for different sizes and types of online retailers.
As a rough guide, if your new venture is substantial or complex in its product offering, your shortlist is likely to include WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento.
If you’re starting small, or you have a niche product portfolio, you may find platforms like BigCommerce, BigCartel, Squarespace and Wix are simple and effective for your eCommerce start-up.
If you have an especially tight budget, newer players may offer cost savings.
Things to research for online retailing
Comparing platforms then comes down to a series of questions, to match services to your specific business model, goals and budget.
Take the long view on your return on investment…
Don’t just look at the upfront cost of eCommerce platforms. Research things like monthly fees for hosting and domain name registration, and likely charges for upgrading or adding to your website.
Take the long view on your return on investment, as cash flow is the biggest killer of new start-ups.
No business should launch with the aim of remaining static! The platform you choose must have sufficient flexibility for your business growth and expansion. Including quick and easy ways to change your product pages and refocus your brand on your website.
Some of your considerations should be from your customer perspective. Look at typical sites from each platform. Which provides the best user experience?
The best eCommerce platforms offer you tools and techniques to make growth more assured.
Including features and functions that make it easier to run your business efficiently and effectively. Do they provide digital marketing support that can be applied to your internet shop?
Also, does the platform you’re considering make SEO easy to understand and practice? Crucially, look carefully at the payment systems your eCommerce shop provider supports.
Responsive online shops
It’s crucial to check the ability of each platform to provide you with a website optimised for use on small screens.
Over 50% of eCommerce is done on mobile phones!
Integration with social media
Your social media strategy is important, so make sure your digital shop platform integrates smoothly with the big four – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Do they provide ways to support other social media options too, such as the fast-growing Tik Tok and the creative world of Pinterest?
Or, if you are in certain niches, how does each website provider support LinkedIn activities?
Reviews of eCommerce platforms
Seek out the views of non-competitors and ask about their everyday experiences. Also, check review sites and retail-specific forums for recommendations and insights.
However, keep in mind though that no eCommerce platform will have 100%, satisfied customers!
Ask eCommerce experts for help
An eCommerce platform with the best features and tools makes it as stress-free as possible to build and run a successful online shop.
Feel free to contact Factory Pattern for specialist help in making your eCommerce business strong and sustainable. Including professional guidance on the best eCommerce platform and digital marketing campaigns that work.