What To Look For In A Quality Ecommerce Platform

Ecommerce can be a tough gig. That's why you need the best software on your side. With it, you can give customers the best possible experience, encouraging them to convert.

Even in 2022, setting up an ecommerce store from scratch is a possibility, but for almost everyone, it's not worth it. Platforms are cheap and offer all the tools budding businesses need to get started.

In this post, we take a look at some of the factors to look for in any ecommerce platform so you make the best possible decision.

The Number Of Integrations
Perhaps the most important consideration is whether you can integrate third-party software you want to use into your ecommerce platform. This way, you can manage and control everything from a single hub and avoid clunky, fractured setups.

Ecommerce platforms vary considerably in how many integrations they offer. However, at the very least, you should get payment and shipping, email marketing, and accounting. Nice-to-have bonuses include customer loyalty and third-party digital tools.

How Many Themes You Get
User experience is critical on ecommerce websites. If customers don't enjoy their stay on your site, they'll find another.

Research shows that ecommerce brands' user experience is significantly more important than other factors for differentiating them from the competition. In other words, your prices might be low, but it doesn't matter a great deal if your website is clunky.

Themes let you differentiate your site from everyone else's. And they make it possible for online businesses to create believable brands.

Some platforms offer free themes, but you'll need to pay for others. Premium themes tend to be significantly better than free ones.

How Well It Scales And Performs
The goal of any ecommerce business is to grow sales over time. You might have an aim to increase revenues and volumes ten times every year for the next five years.

For that reason, having a platform that scales and performs is essential. You need something that can expand, no matter how much you boom.

Rumor has it that Magento support and maintenance is good, but you'll need to experiment to see which platform works best for you. Most now use cloud services, meaning that they have almost unlimited room to expand. Just check fees, though. They can rise significantly once you get to the enterprise level.

You'll also want to double check platform reliability. Again, while most are good, some have more downtime than others, potentially putting your firm at a disadvantage.

Ease Of Use

If you're new to ecommerce, you don't always have a lot of technical skills, particularly in the software department. Additionally, you might not have the budget to pay the salary of someone who does.

Therefore, it helps to use a platform that's easy to use. You want something that you can pick up in an afternoon.

With that said, you'll need to be careful. Sometimes, simplification makes things easier in the beginning but then limits you at the end.

A High Level Of Security
Unfortunately, security breaches are a regular part of life for many firms these days. Hackers constantly target them for customer data. Recent research shows, for instance, that identity theft, phishing and account theft are all common problems.

If you're handling a lot of sensitive data, you need platforms that protect you. Therefore, choose those that offer e-commerce security plugins, multi-layer security, firewalls, antivirus and antimalware, and HTTPS. Avoid those that don't provide a suite of security services up front. These may not take the issue as seriously as they should.

Excellent Personalization
In the past, users got a generic experience on ecommerce websites. Things looked and felt the same, no matter who they were or what background they came from.

Because of this, firms spent a lot of time designing websites for the average person. They wanted something that would appeal to their buyer persona.

But with personalization on some platforms, that's becoming a thing of the past. Now firms are able to create sites that actually react to the characteristics of the person using them.

For instance, platforms can vary website functionality based on demographics, psychographics, time of day, country, language and the user's history.

Lastly, you'll want to make sure that any ecommerce platform you use is mobile-first. More transactions are occurring on smartphones and other portable devices than ever before. And this is driving a flurry of interest in supporting platforms.

Ideally, the smartphone experience of your website should feel better than the desktop version. Navigation and layout should all be simple and intuitive.

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