In this digital era, the eCommerce market is expanding bigger and brighter than ever. Taking your offline brand into a digital landscape or to a point where your online store brings a lot of orders in a week or month greatly impacts your business growth.
In addition to an eCommerce platform, hiring a relevant eCommerce development company also impacts how your eCommerce web solution will look like. However, choosing the right platform is not as easy as it seems. This is due to an abundance of options available, like Shopify, Magento, Lightspeed, OpenCart, WooCommerce, and many others.
The right platform helps you meet your requirements and achieve your goals. To make it easier, in this blog post, we have discussed some crucial features that a business owner should look for in any eCommerce platform.
So, keep scrolling the web page to make an informed decision before relying on an eCommerce platform for your online store development.
Why Use an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is the backbone of an online retail enterprise, whether it is for B2B or B2C companies. It helps you interact with your clients, customers, and employees.
These software applications let businesses execute complex functions both in the back end and front end. The right platform is the one that helps you successfully deliver the objectives you have set for your business.
Let’s see some top eCommerce platforms available to build a top online store.
- Shopify: It is the most comprehensive and feature-rich eCommerce platform, with over one million active users worldwide. This all-in-one platform comes with high-quality tools to help in your online store development. Investing in Shopify eCommerce website development is an excellent choice for business owners to showcase their products online and reach a global customer base.
- Magento: Besides an online store, if you have an idea of developing an eCommerce marketplace, you should pay close attention to Magento. It stands out as a powerful eCommerce platform in the market. You can even hire a Magento development company to create a competent multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace for your business.
- WooCommerce: It is a customizable and open-source eCommerce platform built on WordPress. It offers a lot of customizable opportunities to meet specific business needs and develop a customized eCommerce store for their business. This developer-friendly platform is built with a REST API. It is scalable, too, and can virtually integrate with any service.
- OpenCart: One of the respected names when it comes to open-source eCommerce platforms is OpenCart. This free-to-use platform enables the selling and purchasing of online products.
- Lightspeed: Another eCommerce software is Lightspeed. It was founded in 2005 and offers services to restaurants, retail, and hospitality businesses.
Features like employee reporting, customer tracking, robust reporting, and inventory management set it apart from other eCommerce platforms. You can read our Shopify vs Lightspeed to decide which one is well-suited for your eCommerce store development.
Different Types of eCommerce Platforms
When it comes to choosing a suitable platform, there are different types to choose from.
Open-Source eCommerce Platform
These types of eCommerce platforms are free to use. Here, you are not required to pay any upfront cost to purchase the license fees. However, you still have to pay for migration, initial development, upgrades, etc. A popular example of an open-source eCommerce platform is Magento.
Cloud-Based eCommerce Platforms
A cloud-based eCommerce platform refers to outsourcing a remote network of servers hosted on the internet for storing and processing data. It provides many benefits, like lower maintenance costs and reduced complexity. One of the significant benefits of using them is that they help to avoid the physical superstructure.
You can invest in eCommerce development services to leverage the benefits of cloud-based eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Adobe commerce (Magento), and others.
It lets you contract someone to develop the eCommerce solution of your dreams. Though it is less common nowadays, if your business has a specific set of needs that none of the eCommerce platforms can fulfill, it will be the perfect choice for you.
Essential Features to Consider Before Choosing an eCommerce Platform
Let’s now discuss the vital features you should look for in any eCommerce platform before considering it for your online store development.
Do you revisit a website that you find hard to navigate? No, not at all. For nearly 94% of the respondents, easy navigation is the most useful website feature. Everybody wants a seamless experience while browsing, especially in 2023. A site that is easy to navigate allows users to shop much faster. Thus, easy navigation is a must-have feature to look for in an eCommerce platform.
An eCommerce business, or any online business, starts with the aim of becoming successful. So, to grow your online store in the future, it is required for a platform to be scalable. An eCommerce platform that possesses the ability to integrate specific APIs to manage large-scale implementations is considered a scalable eCommerce platform.
So, while selecting a platform, you must look for whether it is easy to scale or not. For a better approach, you can look for the best eCommerce solutions developed using that platform. If they are easily handling large traffic, it will be best to consider that platform.
Order Management System
eCommerce is a highly competitive business; thus, it needs to be backed with an intelligent order management system with features like order tracking, email notifications, and others to ensure on-time order processing.
Order Management System (OMS) needs to communicate with your inventory management system to ensure the stocks are regularly updated. It is the back-end process for managing and fulfilling online orders. It offers integration and automation across every step of the order journey.
Having such a feature in an eCommerce platform makes the order fulfillment process streamlined, cost-effective, and automated as much as possible.
Product Management System
A product management system enables the creation of different categories and the mapping of products to them, high-quality product image upload in bulk, ability to map different shipping options with individual products. Thus, every eCommerce business needs advanced eCommerce product management with cutting-edge features to upload and manage the product listing.
Discovering, interpreting, and communicating data patterns related to online businesses is what includes in eCommerce analytics. It helps in measuring user behavior, ROI, and others. Having this feature in an eCommerce platform is helpful to marketers for making better decisions to increase sales and business improvements.
Many eCommerce platforms have their analytic platforms to gain more in-depth analytics. Thus, you should look for an eCommerce platform that keeps tabs on all the essential things.
Every eCommerce business owner aims to reach the maximum potential customers. How exactly to do that? With effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
An eCommerce platform must offer basic SEO features by default to engage with the maximum targeted customers.
Why do you need an SEO-Friendly eCommerce platform? A platform that comes with packed SEO features enables your eCommerce site to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs).
According to Search Engine Land, nearly 60% of searches take place from mobile devices only.
Also, Google accounted for 96% of mobile organic search visits in the US as of the first quarter of 2019. Thus, you should always look for a mobile-friendly eCommerce platform that will help you avoid losing your mobile customers and increase ROI.
Safe and Secure
Being essential for every web solution, security becomes a vital thing for any eCommerce store. It is because an online store always has to deal with varied types of data like credit card details, users’ personal data, and many others. Most eCommerce platforms offer top security features, and you should always take full advantage of them.
One of the best ways to ensure whether your chosen platform is safe and secure or not is by confirming if it supports HTTPs or SSL support.
Look for a platform that has an integration of social media, Google merchant integration, multiple payment gateways, multi-channel integration, and more to streamline your eCommerce business.
Return Management System
Return Management System (RMS) is another crucial feature that takes care of your online store’s return policies. Having a relevant return policy helps you win maximum customer trust.
So, while selecting a platform, an online store owner also must look at the return management system feature that includes return sales, auto-process returns, and return types in an eCommerce platform.
By following the features mentioned above, you should be able to evaluate every major dimension of an eCommerce platform. You can now validate various eCommerce platforms’ features and choose the best one for your eCommerce site development.
So, now find the best one and hire an eCommerce development company to leverage the benefits of that platform.