As online shopping becomes more popular, an attractive easy-to-use website can make your business stand out. Modern site features like cart abandonment savers and dynamic shipping pricing once reserved for large companies are now accessible to just about everyone. Platforms like Adobe Magneto have opened up a number of possibilities for retailers improving site design, functionality and customer service.
There are a variety of factors to consider before committing to the platform that will be right for your company. Prices are a primary consideration – basic e-commerce design software costs around $29 per month – although these highly affordable options give you an online presence, they are likely not as robust as you may require.
It’s most important to pinpoint your overall goals and what you actually want your retail website to accomplish. Increasing sales and catering to your specified target customers are obvious objectives of any retail site but to pick the perfect e-commerce platform, you have to perform a bit of a self-assessment of your business size, requirements and your programming capabilities.
Here are some of the most important factors that go into deciding on the right e-commerce platform:
Size of your business
If you’re a small business with under 100K in revenues, platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify can be great options because of their general ease of use that won’t require a great deal of programming. Shopify doesn’t charge transaction fees on purchases made over your site, which is crucial for smaller companies where every dollar matters.
These platforms also have capable customer service teams available so you won’t need as much in-house troubleshooting help. This is beneficial for small businesses employing less than 10 people.
Bigger businesses having multiple product categories that receive a consistent stream of demand usually turn to Adobe Magneto. It’s scalability and the fact that it is available on any hosting provider, a pair of features the previously mentioned platforms don’t have make it a solid provider for businesses doing more than 250K in revenues with the itch to grow quickly.
Open source vs SaaS
Speaking of Adobe Magneto, this popular platform has open source software capability making it as expandable as you need. Open source is more complex and requires a level of technical skills however there are vast benefits to this capability which are advantageous for growing or larger organizations. On top of scalability, open source software lets e-commerce companies customize the site to their wants instead of just working off templates. This allows for a level of personalization so customers won’t feel like they are in a cookie cutter environment like many other places on the web.
Software as a Service (SaaS) – like Shopify and BigCommerce – may be a great fit for your company if you don’t have the ability to hire a team dedicated to the programming aspect of your site. SaaS platforms are also cheaper but their limitations as well as copy and paste formulas may not be the desired effect you’re going after.
When assessing your business and the platform that will be the best fit, it’s also crucial to know how to get the most out of SEO. After all, an estimated 43 percent of e-commerce traffic comes from an organic Google Search. You should be doing regular keyword searches to make sure your brand and its products are regularly appearing where you want them to. This is important when selecting a site platform because some free platforms limit what you can put in your URL or page title and they may not give you the option of independent navigation links.
Both of these are essential to optimize your e-commerce platform to make sure your company is consistently being found by your target customers. In addition, you’ll want a software that allows you to give your own meta descriptions and image alt tags. A platform that gives you the ability to host a blog is another option that can increase your SEO with fresh, relevant content.
One last major consideration is making sure you’re setting yourself up on a mobile-friendly platform. Currently, two-thirds of all e-commerce traffic comes from shoppers on their cell phones or tablets.
For retailers looking to expand their customer base online, choosing the perfect e-commerce platform for their specific needs is paramount. Retailers must take into consideration their company’s size, programming capabilities as well as their current and future growth goals before deciding on the proper tools to take them to the next level.