Choosing an eCommerce platform in 2021

Why choosing the best eCommerce platform matters for your business

The pandemic has forced society to adapt to change and rethink their existing ways, both personally and professionally.

The retail industry in particular has had to reassess strategies and explore new ways to connect with customers. With physical stores being forced to close, the already existing shift to online selling was only accelerated, with consumers having no choice but to shop via their personal devices such as phones and tablets.

The switch from bricks to clicks has therefore meant businesses have had to decide which eCommerce platform to choose to host their site on – an important, yet often tricky decision.

Not only has this applied to retailers new to the online world, but many existing eCommerce retailers have had to evaluate their existing software and platform choices in order to account for a surge in users. 

But why does the choice of platform have so much significance? Well even with the lifting of restrictions, research shows that online shopping will still be the preferred method of shopping for many.

This means the online competition is high. Retailers will have less opportunity to connect with customers face to face. Aspects unique to physical stores such as in person conversations with customer service staff, will happen less and customers will be missing out on the physical brand experience.

But not all is lost! With the right technology in place, this experience can be adapted to a digital environment instead – but a lot of thought and strategy needs to go into this and it all starts with the platform choice.

Choosing the best eCommerce platform for your business

 

Retailers need a flexible and scalable platform that provides a fantastic customer experience whilst meeting all business needs and desires.

The three main eCommerce platforms that retailers can choose from are:

  • SaaS (software-as-a-service)
  • Open-Source
  • Headless commerce.

How to choose the best eCommerce platform

Whether they are starting up a new site for their business, or looking to replatform their current site – the platform needs to be the right one.

Like with everything these days, there are numerous options to choose from, it’s hard to know what route to take. And to add to the pressure, choosing the wrong eCommerce platform could be costly.

Selecting an eCommerce platform based on their popularity is not the best way. The truth is, the best eCommerce platform is the one that successfully delivers the outcomes and objectives that you have set for your business.

Choosing an eCommerce platform based on popularity is not always the best way. Instead, the best eCommerce platform is one that can meet all objectives for each individual business.

It can be a pretty daunting decision, which is why we’ve put together some of our top tips on what to consider when choosing the best eCommerce platform.

Here are some different factors and considerations retailers will need to weigh up when choosing an eCommerce platform.

1. Budget
Before you get started with any platform, make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are getting yourself into in terms of cost. There’s nothing worse than being hit with extra bills that you hadn’t planned for. Find a platform that is the most cost efficient for your business needs and will provide future flexibility whilst avoiding a price surge. Estimating total cost of ownership and return on investment is important to any replatform strategy.

2. Scalability 
It’s important to find a platform that will grow with your business. As eCommerce brands grow and develop, their needs and requirements change. Therefore brands need to have a platform that can support this, for example dealing with a future traffic surge as your business grows.

3. Customer Support 
As discussed, with less opportunity for face to face interaction with brands, businesses need to ensure their online experience can live up to this. Some industries in particular may find their customers need assistance when shopping and trying to decipher which product is best suited for them.

Having a platform which can support quick and easy online customer support can therefore be a quick win for improving customer satisfaction rates and driving conversions.

4. Design 
Whilst every retailer will want a visually attractive site to some degree, design may be a more important factor to some more than others which will often come down to the nature of the brand. Retailers must ensure the platform they choose to host their site on will allow them to meet and deliver all their design wishes.

Replatforming an existing eCommerce store

For brands looking to replatform their store across to a new platform, we’ve put together a helpful guide packed with all the detail you need. Suitable for brands of all sizes, our ultimate eCommerce replatform guide will reveal:

  • How to identify if a replatform is required
  • All the stages of the eCommerce replatforming process
  • Risks/challenges that a replatform project may present

As well as discussing some successful eCommerce replatform stories!

Get your copy for free today by clicking here.

5874 Commerce: eCommerce Agency Birmingham

All eCommerce platforms come with their advantages and disadvantages and it’s important to put time into deciding which one is the right fit for your business.

If you need assistance with your eCommerce strategy or platform choice then reach out to our team of eCommerce consultants today. Email success@5874commerce.com or call 0121 369 5874 to start the conversation today.

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