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Choosing an eCommerce Platform for Your Online Store

Ecommerce business owners have a dynamic mix of choices when it comes to selecting an eCommerce platform for their online store. Ecommerce platforms w...

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Ecommerce business owners have a dynamic mix of choices when it comes to selecting an eCommerce platform for their online store. Ecommerce platforms were developed to make it easier for businesses to deploy and manage their eCommerce site without needing to code. However, not every platform is the same.

The real challenge of building a website now is choosing a platform that fits your business. You have to feel comfortable with your eCommerce platform beyond development because you will use it on a daily basis. That’s why its necessary to consider the following factors when selecting an eCommerce platform.

Customization

It’s of outmost importance to have an eCommerce site that can be customized based on your business needs. A flexible and scalable platform will save you time and money because you won’t have to spend extra time or money adding features as you grow your business. Oftentimes, business owners choose platforms that don’t allow them to make major changes on the site without affecting its core structure.

Your eCommerce platform should then allow you to add any plugins you need to help enhance the beauty and functionality of your online store. Therefore, make sure to know whether your platform is capable of handling business requirements.

Usability

Another important aspect of a platform is its usability. Don’t just ask yourself, is your e-store easy for customers to use? Also ask, will it be easy for you to manage? Optimal User Experience is essential for your customers. But its also important that you have access to all the necessary admin features to let you manage your site easily. That’s the key word here: Easy. you don’t want a platform that makes your life harder.

There could also be a time when you’ll want to add more features to your site. This could include moving your site to another web host or adding a blog later on. It could even include custom modules or features. All of these require strong website portability so custom design and development can be much simpler.

Learn more about the Importance of UX Development 

SEO-Friendly

A website that is not SEO-Friendly most likely won’t gain success online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows your site rank higher on search engines so customers can find you. Without SEO however it will be hard for you to bring in site traffic and you need traffic to sell. 

In order to to that you must choose an eCommerce platform that provides SEO tools along with instructions, tutorials, support or any kind of help on how to use such tools. 

Pricing

It certainly isn’t smart to invest a lot of money on something that doesn’t work to suit your business. So its critical to pay attention to costs.

With different platforms come different prices. Some offer a free version while other offer premium versions with more features. Open Source platforms like Magento are free with the Community version, but the Enterprise version is more costly but offers much more. The more you pay, the more you get is the basic principle of website building platforms.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t opt for a free version if it meets your business needs. Looking at the prices for every platform along with its features is necessary. But making sure the prices for the platform you are going to choose are under your budget is more important.

Mobile-Friendly

Smart phones aren’t just changing our everyday lives, they are changing how we do business and with whom we do it with. Nowadays, being on top of technology trends can make or break your business. One of the top trends for the eCommerce industry is mobile commerce.

Purchases using a smartphone or tablet are rising by 48% year-over-year and experts predict that mobile will continue to be a driving force for eCommerce everywhere. Now this means that you could go the more expensive, but effective route through mobile app development or the more simple route of responsive design.

If your website isn’t responsive, meaning it isn’t compatible with smartphones or tablets, then you’re setting yourself up for loss. Mobile is a powerful engine for both offline and online sales. Therefore, you must choose a platform that’s mobile friendly with a responsive template, fast load times on smaller screens and mobile optimized versions. This will help your enhance user experience as well as site traffic and sales.

Why DIY Website Builders Aren’t the Best Choice

We’ve discussed free platform versions and concluded that they might work for your business. However, you have to consider what comes along with such versions. There are many platforms that allow you to start for free, but then ask you to pay for the site you developed. Often, business owners who prefer to go with “Do-It-Yourself” platforms to design and develop their site, save money, but it doesn’t fully reflect professionalism.

Profesional Design

The eCommerce market is highly competitive. In order for your eCommerce store to stand out it must look trendy and appealing to customers. Research done on website attractiveness and functionality show that that you only have about 7 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention before they decide to stay or leave your site.

You have to make those 7 seconds count! Website design doesn’t just refer to making your website look beautiful with quality images, brand colors or an attractive homepage. Design also includes enhancing every element of a website like the navigation system, user-friendliness, mobile friendliness, key features and so on.

This is what mean we mean by professionalism. Your DIY eCommerce website may turn out beautiful aesthetically, but may lack personalization and customized features in the back end. Therefore, if you save money from a DIY platform but then have to worry about the design and development of your e-store then that isn’t really a free solution. You would then have to hire professional designers and developers.

So, if you think you could handle all the aspects of your site on your own, then DIY website builders might be for you. But if you really want to gain an advantage over your competitors, then professional web development is your best choice.

Magento: the Preferred Ecommerce Platform

Magento is simply one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, CMS solution available to design online stores. Its packed with plenty of features and functionalities to enhance your online store and offer great user experience for your customers and as well as your admin staff.  Throughout the years it continues to evolve and now Magento 2.1 is available with new functionalities and features.

Iblesoft views Magento as the top eCommerce platform because of it unlimited range of built-in features and hundreds of versatile plugins. However, we do offer eCommerce web development on other powerful platforms like WooCommerce and AspDotNetStoreFront. Regardless of choice, our developers are ready to develop your ideal eCommerce solution.

Here’s a list of the most well known eCommerce platforms that give great results:

  • MagentoIblesoft
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • OsCommerce
  • PrestaShop
  • Volusion
  • Squarespace
  • Zen Cart
  • Drupal Commerce
  • AspDotNetStoreFront

If you still aren’t sure which platform is the best for your business, then you can talk to one of our eCommerce consulting experts!

Contact Iblesoft for all you eCommerce and web development needs!

Iblesoft…Our business is your solution.

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