E-commerce platforms are the online shopping equivalent of a blog hosted on WordPress. These platforms allow you to set up an online store using built-in templates without the need of designing your own website. But how to select the most apt Ecommerce platform to build your online store?
What are the points you must consider before finalizing an Ecommerce platform? Also, what are the pros and cons of using e-commerce platforms?
Selecting the Right Ecommerce Platform
E-commerce platforms offer fast setup times and let someone without programming skills set up a customized shopping site. But these platforms do have some limitations. The price you pay for this service, the quality of the resulting e-commerce site, and IT security depend on the vendor you choose. Take all related costs into account before selecting an e-commerce site or hiring a professional developer to create your own. Depending on the platform you use, the cost may be proportional to the sales that the site generates. If you generate significant sales, it may be cheaper to have your own site.
Don’t use the initial cost of the e-commerce site as the basis of your selection, since this doesn’t take transaction fees and payment card fees into account. Hosting platforms with built-in software costs more than a web service, and the more complex your site or the larger your product catalogue, the more you’ll have to pay.
The Pros of E-commerce Platforms
Working with existing e-commerce platforms saves you the time and cost of developing your own e-commerce site. You could have a working e-commerce site available in a matter of hours. You don’t have to know programming to set up a store through an e-commerce platform. E-commerce sites eliminate the need to design a working shopping cart and other advanced functions.
Ecommerce platforms also offer a lot of flexibility. For e.g. you could get basic hosting from a company like certa hosting and opt for a simple e-commerce WordPress theme. Your online store will be up and running quickly and you will also have the liberty of selling any product that you want.
The Cons of E-commerce Platforms
The payment and shipping methods you offer your customers through the e-commerce platform may not be those your customers want. Not all e-commerce platforms let you accept popular payment options like Apple Pay, Paypal and Bitcoin. Some won’t even accept 3rd party payment processors.
E-commerce platforms may not allow you to sell certain classes of product. Others may allow the items to be sold, but don’t present them well. Details like aspect ratios and image file sizes could affect the customer’s impression of your product and their decision to buy from your online store.
The degree to which you can customize your site on an e-commerce platform depends on the option the Ecommerce platform gives you. Some platforms give you just a few basic templates to work from, while some offer a host of options that take hours to set up.