Choosing a new e-commerce platform is one of the most significant technical decisions you will have to make. Price, hosting, support and popularity can all play a part in driving you towards or away from specific platforms-but all this information can at times be overwhelming-and with so much at stake, it is vital that you remain highly organized in your process. Let us take a look at what you should consider when selecting an alternative e-commerce platform.
An e-commerce platform is only as good as its ability to handle peak traffic. As your online retail site grows, it needs to be able to scale with minimal effort without compromising experience and performance. Thus, when evaluating platform options, look for businesses that are similar in size and profile as yours.
Is it hosted?
Two significant categories of e-commerce platforms exist: hosted and self-hosted. Organized means that the company providing the services will host your store, while self-hosted implies that the entity will provide you with the software and let you source the web hosting services. While this is not that difficult, it requires more time and money. So, if you do not want to do the extra legwork and want to save some extra cash, it is advisable to go for the hosted option.
How much will it cost?
Money is a massive consideration in every business decision, and choosing an e-commerce platform is no exception. While some platforms are free to use, others (mostly hosted) charge a monthly fee dependent on factors like how much traffic are you generating or how many products are you selling. Thus, apart from the set-up and licensing costs, you should also focus on costs for maintenance and the specific values that come with integrations, workarounds and develop contingencies to have a clear picture of how much you will end up spending.
Will you be supported?
Choosing a new e-commerce platform is a vital, long-term investment. As such, you should get details of how well the platform you plan to use will come in and offer support to you when called upon. Whether you are an e-commerce expert or merely a novice, you might need help answering specific questions or carrying out particular tasks at some point, and if you are not comfortable researching for the answer, you may want extra support, i.e., a phone call or an email from your platform. In any case, the platform vendor should be able to quickly provide you with details of how to use the platform and how to reach out to him when a need arises.