When choosing the right ecommerce platform for your business, there are many factors to consider. Don’t base your choice on popular or well-known brands alone, as you may be disappointed to find out that they lack features which would benefit your ecommerce operations.
Whether you are just starting out with an ecommerce platform or reconsidering the suitability of your current provider, this list of considerations will help you to make an informed choice.
- Mobile optimisation
With 79% of smartphone users having made an online purchase in the last 6 months using their mobile, it’s vital to make sure your ecommerce platform is mobile-friendly. Product pages which don’t display properly result in potential customers quickly becoming disinterested, and can even damage reputation.
When deciding whether an ecommerce platform is adequately mobile optimised, it can be worth looking into whether the platform has its own app, or if it offers mobile optimised themes and templates.
- SEO possibilities
To be found online, you need to have control over your ability to rank highly in search results. Because of this, you should make sure your ecommerce platform is SEO-friendly. Things you should look out for include the ability to:
- Amend meta descriptions and meta tags
- Add custom domain names
- Design image captions and descriptions
- Create canonical tags
- Access robot.txt files
- Create SEO-friendly formats
- Link to Google Analytics
- Amend XML sitemaps
- Can it be scaled?
Regardless of the size of your business, your ecommerce platform should be one which can be scaled up or down accordingly. The main objective of an ecommerce business is to grow in size, so your chosen platform must be able to facilitate this. It should also be able to interlink with your application programming interface (API), for example, the Salesforce CRM. Understand the requirements of scaling up on each platform and how it will impact your ecommerce operations.
Security should be paramount in order to grow and retain trust. To avoid potential data leaks and privacy concerns, you should choose an ecommerce platform that uses PCI-DSS compliant payment systems. You should also check whether it uses HTTPs or has an SSL certification. Another method of DDoS attack protection is the use of Google Captcha on forms, helping to make hacking and spamming more difficult on the ecommerce platform.
- Multi-channel management
Being able to integrate multiple channels can be an incredibly useful feature, saving time and resources. Running a separate ecommerce site and marketplace seller account can be made more successful through effective integration, working to collaborate between channels with inventory and orders.
- Effective product management
Industry-leading ecommerce platforms are far more complex than traditional methods of listing items. From being able to upload multiple products from Excel and CSV files, to uploading imagery in bulk, there are many functions which can simplify your product management. Check your ecommerce platform has the necessary features. More advanced features include mapping products to set categories, mapping shipping options with specific products, creating in-depth sorting filters based on chosen criteria, and even creating recommendations and listings based on wish lists, similar products, or other factors or your choice.
- Returns processes
Return management systems should be able to deal with any returns that occur. This is a great way to keep customers happy and streamline your system when it comes to quickly processing returns. Some of the return management system features available include:
- Creating return types such as exchanges, partial refunds and full refunds
- Denying and approving requests to return items
- Automatic refunds after approval
- Printing of invoices and return address forms
- Inventory updates throughout returns process
- Order management
An ecommerce platform can manage the entire order process, communicating with inventory management systems without the need for time consuming periods of processing. There can be order updates and email notifications which enable you to stay on top of order management, knowing stock levels and available inventory. In addition to this, you may want to check your ecommerce platform is able to integrate with common CRM and ERP solutions using plugins or API integration.
Once you’ve thought about each of these ecommerce platform considerations and how important they are to your business, take a look at the various features of each potential platform and choose an the one which works for you.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.