While the idea of having a robust, feature rich platform like IBM Websphere, the reality is it is out of budget for most new online retailers. Not only is it far too costly to set-up you will have to hire a full time developer for the day to day running. Furthermore while all the features may seem wonderful it makes no sense to pay for a platform you will only use a fraction of and that is complicated to use. The fact is there are more suitable platforms with which to build your eCommerce store.
Here are some of the things that affect which platform you choose:
- Number of visitors
- 3rd Party Platforms to Integrate
- In-house resources
- Business processes
Let’s take a closer look at these and see how they will affect the platform you choose.
Budget – As we said earlier there are platforms that just priced out of budget, first sit down and determine how much you have to spend on your platform. Some platforms such as Shopify offer a free trial, and allow you to upgrade if you need to in the future, but there will be a monthly cost. You also have the option of building your own store in WordPress and taking advantage of plugins like Ecwid and WooCommerce to build your store. There will be monthly costs for hosting and such but there are some advantages for flexibility.
Product Types – Often this is overlooked and most people expect all platforms to work the same, but what if you have a custom made product that requires a deposit. You can also sell something like T-shirts that come in 5 different sizes and 14 different colors. Some eCommerce platforms can’t handle the options so you need to be aware of features of different platforms.
In-house Resources – If you have a custom system built for you, do you have the capability of making updates and changes. Is it easier to find a system where you just enter products and the amount of inventory? Find a platform that is easy for you to maintain and update.
Marketing – Can you easily integrate your marketing efforts to your online store? Is it easy for you and your customers to share your products across social media channels? Will the platform be SEO friendly to help you achieve top rankings in Google and other search engines.
Will the amount of choices available to you to set up your eCommerce store, platforms like Magento, Shopify, along with WooCommerce and a host of others choosing one can be difficult. Here is a video that takes a closer look at each one and which might be the best fit.