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How to Choose an E-commerce Platform Provider

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Business owners today have more options than ever for choosing a platform for their e-commerce store. But having greater choices doesn’t always make it easier to arrive at a decision. With so many out there, how should you go about choosing the one that’s best for you—especially if you’ve never built an online store?

Here are some tips for how to choose an e-commerce platform provider.

Strong Lineup of Templates and Design Tools

The appearance of your e-commerce site is extremely important. You need to think about design in terms of aesthetic appearance, but also functionality. Many consumers will be turned off by a website that doesn’t look modern and professional. For one thing, it will signal to people that you don’t care that much about your brand is perceived, which might mean you cut corners with products and services too. Consumers will also be skeptical regarding the safety of a poorly designed site. Online data theft has been a huge issue over the past few years. People need to know that a site is reliable if they’re entering their personal information into it.

Platform Offers Easy Scalability

A lot of first-time e-commerce storeowners overlook the importance of scalability when they’re building their first site. But the ability to scale up based on evolving needs is crucial to an online retailer. Many brands will experience the bulk of their sales during concentrated times of the year—such as the holiday season. You don’t necessarily want to be paying for a ton of bandwidth when you don’t need it. Additionally, it’s common for e-commerce stores to experience rapid growth if they fulfill a strong niche. You can lose out on a lot of potential business without a scalable website.

Platform Costs

Of course, you need to consider costs when determining the best e-commerce platform for your brand. There’s a fairly wide discrepancy between the main platform providers, which becomes even greater when you consider the difference between premium and entry-level plans. You should also see how much additional money you’ll need to spend in order to get your e-store exactly how you want it. Depending on the platform, you may or may not have to spend more on high-end templates or plug-ins. Make sure you total up all costs before you make a decision.

See What Other People Say

Reading customer reviews is one of the best ways to decide what platform will be best for you. People who are new to the e-commerce world should spend extra time looking at online ratings. While most of the big providers have pros and cons and there are hierarchical rankings for different types of e-commerce. You’ll be sorry if you choose a provider that might be great for certain types of online business, but not yours.

Mobile Compatibility

Retailers didn’t need to worry about how their websites would look on a smartphone in the past. Today, well over 50 percent of all searches happen on a mobile device. It’s something that’s practically inseparable from how we define ecommerce in a modern sense which, according to Shopify, includes both desktop and mobile commerce. Entrepreneurs who want to do business in the current e-commerce landscape need to go with a platform that provides optimum mobile compatibility.

Site Needs to Be Fast

Site speed is one of the most important things to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform. Many platform providers give consumers a few options for bandwidth restrictions. If your site brings in a lot of traffic, you’re probably going to have to pay more than an e-store that doesn’t handle as much volume. But it’s crucial that you don’t downplay site speed as a major consideration. At least 40 percent of Internet users will abandon a site if it doesn’t load within three seconds. Failing to deliver this will cause you to lose sales in the e-commerce world.

Reliable Customer Support

Even if you’re the only employee at your e-commerce business, you don’t want to feel totally alone. This is especially true if your site stops functioning correctly. This problem can be amplified if it happens during a particularly profitable season—such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You want an e-commerce platform provider you can trust to have your six. Strong customer support can get you back on your feet and negate potential loss of income.

There’s a lot to consider when you’re shopping around for an e-commerce platform provider. These are a few of the top concerns you should keep in mind when determining which one will work best for your online business.

TUT Staff
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