Starting an eCommerce store has become a more and more popular business idea. eCommerce is definitely up there with some of the easier businesses that you can start today, with plenty of options available to make the process quicker and easier, such as dropshipping. With this method, you don’t need to worry about carrying inventory or ordering in loads of stock before you can start selling – you simply list the items for sale, and they will be shipped straight from the manufacturer or the drop-ship vendor to your customer.
Another reason why more and more people are choosing eCommerce as their business model of choice is that it’s undeniably popular. Almost everybody loves online shopping, and there’s no getting away from the fact that it is convenient and easy for customers. This is especially true in the new age of COVID-19, where retail stores were closed to the public for some time, and customers grew even more accustomed to getting what they needed online. So, whether you are starting a brand-new business or looking to move your existing retail company online, what should you look for in an eCommerce platform?
How eCommerce platforms work
eCommerce platforms allow business owners to skip the hefty fees charged by web developers and designers and build their own online shop using user-friendly tools and templates designed for anybody to use, even with no prior coding or web design experience. There are various platforms available with varying degrees of difficulty available. For example, Shopify is designed for complete beginners with no design experience and has a number of pre-designed templates that you can use to create a great site.
On the other hand, WordPress with the WooCommerce plugin may be more suitable for those who have some degree of web design experience and know their way around the platform. The article “WooCommerce vs. Shopify – which is the best eCommerce platform” on PieSync’s blog will help to guide you on these two tools.
Consider how user-friendly the platform of your choice is to use. If you need to build your site as quickly as possible or have absolutely no design experience, you will want to opt for something simple to use that you can pick up quickly. On the other hand, if you are more adventurous, have more time to learn something new, and have some experience of building websites, you might want to opt for a more advanced platform. Read some reviews and be honest about your skills and knowledge to find the right platform for you.
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eCommerce platforms have different pricing structures, so it’s essential to find one that is not only suitable for your needs but within your budget. Consider how much your business can afford to spend on an eCommerce platform each month or year and go from there. Remember, the total cost of using an eCommerce platform for your website is likely to depend on many additional factors, such as how many products you are selling or the advanced features you need. A simple and straightforward site that sells a handful of products is likely to cost less on any platform than a more complex site with product personalization options.
Take a look at some different sites that have been built using the eCommerce platforms you are considering and consider the results. What kind of site are you looking for? Do the sites look like the kind of thing you would want to be a reflection of your business? Are they modern and mobile friendly? Are there good user navigation options? Remember, you also have to think about your customers when you are choosing an eCommerce platform. Along with having features that are easy for you to use, it also needs to produce professional, modern websites and leave a good impression on the people shopping with you.
Take a trial
Many eCommerce platforms have a free trial option that allows you to find your way around the platform, have a look around, and try out the different features before you commit to signing up. Suppose you are unsure of which eCommerce platform to go for. In that case, you should take as many free trials as you can of different platforms, as actually using the platform might be very different from how you would imagine it to be. This method gives you a way of finding out what works well for you and helps you make a more informed decision.
If you want to start an eCommerce business and design your own website, choosing the right platform can be tricky. Keep these factors in mind and try before you buy to get a better idea of the most ideal platform for your needs.