How to Choose an e-Commerce Platform

There are multiple e-Commerce solutions available today. When choosing your platform, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of each solution, as well as how they can help your business grow.

With so many solutions available, it can be daunting to figure out which one is right for your e-Commerce needs. We’ll break down some considerations when choosing the right e-Commerce platform for you.

1. Understand your target customers

Identifying target customers is the first step to success. Say it’s a blockchain startup, a cybersecurity company, or an educational organization, they must be able to specify their target customers and understand their behavior.

Run target audience research or analysis by digging into their demographic and psychographic aspects. Study their behavior and find out which e-Commerce platform is the most favored by your target customers.

Demographic segmentation aims to look for audiences’ age, gender, education, income, etc.. On the other hand, psychographic segmentations dig into target customers buying attitudes, such as lifestyle, social status, interest, habits, and behavior.

List those e-Commerce platforms that are suitable for your target customers and potentially drive the most sales. Study their funnel comprehensively to come up with the most suitable marketing content. Simply put, understanding target customers is an excellent strategy to choose the most profitable e-Commerce platforms for your business.

2. Check vendor experience and expertise

As you have a list of e-Commerce platforms to support your business, you need to explore their funnels and features yourself. Does it have an intuitive user interface? Or What features and benefits do they offer to customers and sellers? Answering the two questions can help you find out about vendor experiences. 

Before joining the platforms, consider checking vendors’ experience and expertise. Search for other vendors within your expertise that have joined the platforms ahead of you. Consider taking some time to survey their sales flow and customers’ impressions. You can also run product recommendation quizzes to boost sales.

Learning other vendors’ experiences lets you know if they’re making good sales on certain platforms. Find out why some vendors thrive in the platforms and why some fail. Moreover, checking on vendors’ experience allows you to come up with a more robust strategy to get the upper hand over them.

3. Pay attention to the provided support

If you finish checking on other vendors’ experience, now you can focus on examining the support provided by each e-Commerce platform. Some e-Commerce platforms provide packing, shipping, and returning support for sellers and buyers.

Check on their responsibility for potential problems during transactions, such as missing packages, unrecorded payments, refund status, package return, and more. Choose e-Commerce platforms that have received excellent reviews for handling those problems.

You can also visit their websites to find the FAQ section and look for the support they offer to sellers and customers. It’s essential for businesses to learn the platforms they want to join, especially for smaller businesses to make profits.

4. Ensure the security and privacy policy

It becomes a natural need for businesses to join safe e-Commerce platforms to get customers on board. The e-Commerce platforms you choose must have top-tier security systems to ensure a safe virtual transaction for sellers and buyers.

The security system essentials you must check include consumer data privacy, encryption and firewalls, and authentication. Generally, you can find a link to the privacy policy in the footer of a website. 

The privacy policy must be well-written for users to understand data privacy transparency, which refers to the information they collect from users once they sign up. Some important key points to look for in privacy policy are:

  • Information about users’ private data you collect and manage
  • Users’ choices to opt-in and opt-out
  • Users’ access to the private information you collect
  • Guarantee of personal data security

5. SEO-friendliness

Typically, big e-Commerce platforms have powerful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to boost organic traffic. Users who look for products through search engines like Google and Yahoo can still see results that lead them to certain e-Commerce platforms.

However, online sellers can also optimize SEO by considering the metadata of each product page, which include product title, description, and tags. You should research for relevant keywords to write the metadata of your products.

Smaller businesses can use long-tailed keywords to improve the visibility of their product pages. Long-tailed keywords help them reach a more targeted audience and compete stronger with bigger brands. Moreover, test the site loading speed and backlinks quality as both play important roles in optimizing SEO.

Some of the best tools for keyword research are Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Moz. You can also find other options available online, some are free but the paid ones undoubtedly serve you more.

6. Mobile responsive

An e-Commerce platform must have responsive designs for all devices, including tablets, laptops, and smartphones. As most visitors proceed to e-Commerce platforms through smartphones, having mobile-responsive designs is a must.

Those platforms that are mobile-responsive have reformatted the desktop experience to be more accessible for mobile use. Reformatting the desktop version may include enlarging clickable buttons and resizing or reformatting pictures to provide a fast and seamless user experience.

You can check whether eCommerce platforms are mobile-responsive through several attempts, which are:

  • Run a mobile-friendly test on the Google Mobile-Friendly Test platform
  • Open the sites on a desktop with minimized screen
  • Access e-Commerce platforms through a mobile device
  • Check on Chrome DevTools
  • Check on Google PageSpeed Insights
  • Use Google Search Console to check mobile usability

The points above are simple to perform. However, you can just try the platforms on your mobile devices and tell whether it is fast-loaded, responsive, and intuitive for users.

Bottom line

With more e-Commerce platforms sprouting over the years, it can be challenging, especially for smaller businesses to choose the most suitable ones. Boarding on the wrong platforms will be a waste of all that can lead to a short-lasting company.

Another point to consider when choosing an e-Commerce platform for your business is by looking at the cost of ownership. Some platforms require sellers to pay a certain amount of fees for every product they sell. So knowing the fee rates are necessary before registering your business.

Small businesses can try some online market recommendations such as Shopify, Weebly e-Commerce, BigCommerce, and Squarespace Commerce to escalate their businesses. Moreover, consider the above points in choosing an e-Commerce platform to generate positive results and grow your business.