The COVID-19 outbreak and lockdowns that ensued ended the debate about eCommerce’s future. According to McKinsey, the rise of online shopping has been driven by the consumer shift caused by the pandemic. More specifically, it noted that consumers worldwide are still planning on shopping online even after the crisis.
The rapid emergence and evolution of digital transformation have affected various businesses across different stages, including B2B, B2C, and DTC. For a long time, eCommerce was believed to be a small portion of the total retail revenue. It has now become a major contributor to the sector’s growth. According to data collected by Savvy, the number of consumers shopping online increased by 40 per cent in Australia, with the global eCommerce market expected to grow at 85% during the next few years. It is estimated that the sales of this industry will reach a total of around 6.54 trillion by 2022.
Whether you are a start-up company or looking to scale your operations, it’s important that you have a strategy in place to ensure that you can effectively utilise digitisation.
In this article, we’ll talk about the various factors you should consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.
Factors To Consider While Choosing the Best eCommerce Platform
As part of the marketing process, an eCommerce platform is often the expert in helping you convey and frame your offerings. However, choosing the right platform can be very complex. There are over 300 platforms you can choose from, with various custom-built solutions as well.
Before you start implementing an eCommerce platform, it is important that you first establish a strong relationship with the customers. This will allow you to manage your cost-sales ratio and provide a platform that meets their needs while also within your budget. By prioritising your customers’ needs, you can have an exceptional eCommerce platform on your hands that matches the functionality buyers have come to expect.
Here are just some factors you should keep in mind when choosing the right eCommerce platform:
1. Hosting and Platform Ownership
There are two main types of platforms: cloud-based and self-hosted. The former allows you to manage the various aspects of your online business. Conversely, the latter lets you focus on the security and control of your online platform.
Amazon Web Services is a hugely popular cloud-based platform in Australia. With this platform, you can get hosting for your website, typically implying that the cloud platform is responsible for the brand’s uptime.
In terms of ownership, there are three main platforms: open-source, SaaS, and headless. With open-source platforms, you can have complete control over the source code, and you can modify it as well. These platforms are ideal for IT-focused businesses, as they allow you to focus on the security and control of your online business.
Today’s shoppers consume content and buy products through digital touchpoints, such as smart wearables, web apps, and voice-assisted devices. This has put the burden of running an eCommerce platform on the shoulders of the organisation. With headless commerce, you can keep up with the changes and deliver a consistent and seamless shopping experience.
The best eCommerce platforms allow you to create an omnichannel experience that enables customers to shop wherever. This helps build trust with your customers and gives you a competitive advantage. Headless commerce can also help speed up the go-to-market process by reducing business costs.
2. Cost of Ownership
An integral factor to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform is the cost of ownership. Whether you’re a small business or an established brick-and-mortar store, ownership costs should be weighed with its benefits to ensure you can keep it running without overburdening yourself.
Most eCommerce platforms come with a monthly fee and additional processing costs. It would help if you considered these ongoing and initial costs of the service. You should also weigh the pros and cons of each platform to get the best possible value for your money.
Payment methods that customers will use to pay for your products must also be assessed. Some platforms do not allow third-party payment methods, such as PayPal. This can be a huge issue for your customers, as it can lead to your shopping cart abandonment. Diverse payment acceptance is the cornerstone of a reliable, legitimate business, so choose a platform that supports multi-instrument acceptance.
Another critical factor you should consider is the availability of plugins and integrations. Plugins provide that extra degree of functionality to your online store that helps you update the site seamlessly and keep up with modern trends. Not all eCommerce platforms have the same features and functions, so it’s important that you thoroughly understand the requirements of your business.
Email marketing is a powerful tool that allows you to keep in touch with your customers and provide them with a personalised and relevant experience. You can also create loyalty programs for your customers.
One of the most popular plugins that you should look for is a third-party digital tool that can be used to integrate with various marketing automation tools.
Recommended Read: Email Marketing: Things You Should Know About.
4. Themes & User Experience (UX)
Most of the world’s most popular digital companies, such as Airbnb, Netflix, and Lyft, are known for their impeccable UX design. They work hard to create an elegant and user-friendly experience designed to help their customers navigate their way through their various platforms. According to a study, the quality of a brand’s UX will become more important than the price of its products by 2025.
Today’s consumers are more likely to shop for products if they’re in an immersive environment. A well-designed theme is integral to any eCommerce platform’s design and can help you create an engaging and user-friendly experience. Some platforms require a subscription to use their themes, while others provide free ones.
5. Speed & Scalability
The speed at which your eCommerce platform can deliver a fast and effective experience is important in the age of “micro-moments,” which is when people are more likely to shop for products. The right eCommerce platform can help you grow your business and attract more potential customers.
It’s important that you first identify the areas where your platform’s performance can be improved. The number of customers it can handle simultaneously will play an integral role in ensuring your site is always running. This can help you determine if the platform can handle peak traffic times.
Versatile Website Design Services in Canberra with TocToc
People from different backgrounds and income levels look for common features in an eCommerce platform. They want a fast and responsive design to make their experience as effortless as possible. They also want more detailed information about the products and services they buy.
ECommerce platforms and web design services go hand-in-hand. If you’re looking for the best web development team in Canberra, we’re here to help: with years of experience providing digital marketing services, TocToc has helped numerous businesses unleash the potential of the internet and helped them drive their sales through content marketing, website design, and email marketing services.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you reach out to a wider audience.