If you have products to sell online and need help choosing an e-commerce platform, keep watching this video. Oh. With an online store, you can sell your products twenty four, seven, so while you’re at home reading a book or cooking dinner, someone like me can be giving you their money.
Businesses that sell online are also better able to adapt to the changing retail environment. I’m going to cover some things you need to know before choosing an e-commerce platform and compare a few different types of platforms. So you know in which direction to go for your store. What do you need to know before choosing your e-commerce store? For starters, when it comes to how to choose an e-commerce platform? There’s really not one best e-commerce platform for small businesses. There may be pros and cons to each option, but the best e-commerce platform is the one that meets your business needs and capabilities. One very important factor to consider is who will be managing your e-commerce site. Different e-commerce platforms require different skill levels. Some can be updated without requiring a ton of work on the backend, meaning you don’t need to be a professional web developer to make changes to your website. Other platforms are more complicated and require some understanding of code. If you partner with an e-commerce web development agency, which I would recommend, you open yourself up to more options since you have a team of highly skilled professionals behind you. Get it? Behind you, OK, moving on, another major factor you need to consider is budget. How much can you afford to spend on an e-commerce platform if you spend twenty thousand dollars on your website and only make nineteen thousand dollars in sales? You can probably choose a more affordable e-commerce platform. You can take some action to boost sales like implementing a strategy or investing in ads. But that can potentially add a lot to your expenses. Some e-commerce platforms are free to start, while others charge tends to hundreds of thousands of dollars. So knowing your budget can help narrow down your options. A third factor to consider is how much inventory you sell or plan to sell in the future. If you have a large catalog of items, you’ll need a more robust e-commerce platform, likely with many customization options. Not every platform offers that. So you may hit a major roadblock if you make the wrong choice. Speaking of choice, let’s go over a few different platform types. E-commerce platform comparisons. First, I’ll explain to common sort of overarching platform types, vendor specific websites that are meant for only one business or online marketplaces that feature products from a number of different companies. Your website, with a built in ecommerce features, would be considered vendor specific. While a platform like Amazon falls under the online marketplaces category, you can certainly choose to have your own e-commerce site and also sell on a marketplace. But keep in mind that each platform you use costs money. You can really break down the vendor specific e-commerce platforms. If you do a search for e-commerce platforms, you’ll see a lot of complex descriptions of each platform type. I’ll keep this simple, just like the platform type I’m going to talk about right now. Probably the most user friendly type of e-commerce platform is a website builder. You might hear these sites referred to as SACE e-commerce platforms. SAS stands for software as a service. These sites are meant to make setting up an e-commerce store easy. You don’t need to have experience with code or degree in computer science to create an e-commerce site with a website builder. Basically, you can choose from a variety of themes and then just drag and drop to make edits to the site. Some examples of website builders are Shopify, Squarespace and Wix.
If you need your website to be completely customized with specific features or you have a large number of products to sell, a website builder may not be right for you. This leads me to the next type of ecommerce platform, one that requires you to know how to code. OK, that’s not the official term. Usually people call these open source e-commerce platforms and open source e-commerce platform gives you more flexibility with your site, but you also take on more responsibility in managing everything you may need to find a Web hosting provider or handle site updates on your own. Plus, making changes isn’t as simple as clicking a button. Some popular open source platforms are Drupal and Magento. If you do choose to take on more responsibility, I definitely recommend checking our E check list on our blog so you don’t miss any important steps. And also, you can always reach out to our team to learn how you can get a customized e-commerce site. It’s what we do. Just use this video as a jumping off point for your e commerce website research.
Take your time and make sure you consider what you need to do before spending big money. Oh, and don’t forget about e commerce. So you want a platform that allows you to fully optimize your site for search engines so people can find your products in their searches.