The decision to enter into the world of digital selling is a big one. The next big decision to make is to decide upon the best e-commerce platform for small business. While searching the web, you might find multiple e-commerce solutions online but selecting the right one is a daunting task. In order to make the process of selection simpler for you, we have enlisted some important points that you should consider before making your choice. Do make sure to ask these questions before deciding upon an appropriate solution.
What Is The Pricing Structure
Always check for the pricing structure before selecting an appropriate e-commerce platform for your business. All the platforms have their pricing structure displayed on their website. A solution can be considered to be the best e-commerce platform for small business if it offers dynamic pricing structure. This model makes it easier to scale up or down according to your needs at a later date. An e-commerce solution is an important investment and you should consider all factors before making a decision.
What Features Are Being Offered
When you are researching for an appropriate platform for digital selling, do make sure to check the features extensively before you can call it the best e-commerce platform for small business. Basically, an e-commerce software is simply a bundle of some specific website features. They are :–
- Product Listing
- Shopping Cart
- Order Processing for Customers
- Payment Collection
- Providing the Business Owner with Order Information.
But sometimes your business might require features above and beyond. Connect with the support team of the e-commerce solution provider and understand deeply about all the features that they provide. There will be certain trade-offs which may or may not matter but make sure you get what you want.
Does It Support Your Preferred Payment Gateway
Do make sure to confirm if the shopping cart supports the payment gateways used by your company. Don’t you think the best e-commerce platform for small business will be the one that includes your preferred payment gateway in its solution? Also, make sure that there are other payment options which you might add as your business scales up in due course of time.
Is The Solution Scalable
Website scalability should be planned early else it can become a big problem. Always make sure that the solution provided allows you to scale without any compromises. The best e-commerce platform for small business is one that gives you the ability to expand and scale. Check with their support team and try to understand your options of scalability. When evaluating an e-commerce solution, make sure to check how many products it can handle without compromising the performance. A good platform will always grow with your business and ensure smooth operations.
Does It Offer A Mobile Application
When entering into the digital selling, a mobile app can help your business grow multi-fold. The best e-commerce platform for small business should also offer functionality to create a mobile app for your customers from within the dashboard. If such an option is included, you will be able to tap the potential of mobile commerce as well.
Is It Using The Latest Technology
Technology plays an important role while measuring the performance and scalability of an online solution. Do make sure that the e-commerce platform you select, utilizes the latest technology and is highly extensible. Select platforms that are easy to customize and provide a user-friendly experience to your customers as well as your team.
Is The Platform Easy To Use
You will be managing your business operation from your website on a daily basis. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or have a team, it is very important that everyone is able to handle the daily website operations easily. One of the most important things to consider in the best e-commerce platform for small business is its ease of use and a smooth learning curve not only for the business owner but also for the team of people who work for you.
What Extra Add-On Features Are Included
Some of the e-commerce software available today usually aim to offer a one-stop solution for starting and managing an online selling business. It is hence, important to understand what kind of extra features and functionalities are being offered along with the platform. For example, if you sell internationally a multilingual functionality can be extremely useful. Other features like multi-vendor options or certain other B2B features can also be useful if you have extensive extensions incorporated in your future plan. These add-ons assist in business expansion at a later date, and the best e-commerce platform for small business should not be limited in its scope rather it should have growth oriented features that make it a stay-on platform.
What Security Features Are Being Offered
One of the most important points to consider before deciding upon an appropriate e-commerce solution is to make sure the platform is safe and secure. The best e-commerce platform for small business would be the one that offers enhanced security features in order to safeguard your customer’s interests. For instance, wouldn’t it be great if your solution provider gives free SSL certificate to make the checkout process seamless, secure and efficient?
Is Shipping and Logistics Included
Does your e-commerce platform offer an integrated shipping and logistics service? Essentially, every product bought from your website needs to be delivered to the customers. You will always need a hassle-free shipping and logistics solution to streamline your deliveries. If a robust shipping solution is integrated with the offerings it will certainly be the best e-commerce platform for small business.
How Good Is The Customer Support
No matter how customizable or user-friendly your selected e-commerce solution is, you will always need additional support from a professional team. E-commerce solutions are highly complex and an initial setup help will always be required. Any platform which provides a good after sales support can be extremely helpful in the long run.
What Kind Of Analytics & Reporting Features Are Included
When you are managing an online business, you will most probably be receiving multiple orders on a daily basis. Hence, the best e-commerce platform for small business should have features that make it easy to manage all the orders and properly and helps in analysing the sale stats. Make sure that the e-commerce platform you select provides useful business analytics and easy sales reporting options. These reports are also helpful in managing proper invoicing and taxation. Some platforms even offer detailed analytics on user behaviour which you can utilize to streamline your marketing strategies.
In a nutshell, choosing the best e-commerce platform for small business is very crucial and you should consider all aspects before making a decision. In order to make your online journey successful, you should make sure that you have all the right tools available. Do your research, take some time and make an informed decision. Keep in mind, that even a small mistake can ruin both your online and offline reputation.
Note: This blog was first posted on 27th Aug 2018, and has been updated on 14th Mar 2019.