Expert’s Guide on Choosing Finest eCommerce Platform for Your Business
Online business is gaining importance in recent times and also the growing competition is making it more challenging. For any enterprise, it is important to choose the right platform for reaching out to the larger crowd while considering scalability and long-term growth. Involving various channels for marketing and campaigning is essential to attract potential customers leading to growth and development.
eCommerce Platform – A brief
In today’s market, you can find numerous business platforms that help in developing business in the right direction. The eCommerce platform is an application that enables the business for managing their operations, processes, websites, sales, marketing, etc.
Certain eCommerce solutions online provide the advanced tools and software that allow integration of various processes enabling centralized and automated operations. The digital eCommerce platforms also have powerful features that will help the sales teams to boost their progress.
It is advisable to implement the use of eCommerce solutions online for business development for the following reasons:
- It provides the vision that helps in articulating the strategic direction for planning eCommerce. It allows involvement and getting the feedback from the customers that is essential for business development.
- It allows for the development of the architecture for supporting the vision for future development. It enables the identification of data and development of interfaces for implementing the changes for customers viewing.
- It allows for selecting or choosing the partner that will help in the implementation of the eCommerce platform for scaling and business growth.
- The best-fitting eCommerce platform will help in setting up the business goals and achieving the required milestones.
- Implementing the eCommerce platforms allows for setting up the business from scratch and expanding it by providing an enterprise-level solution.
What Option Do Business Owners Have On Choosing an eCommerce Platform?
The various options for the business owners for the selection of the eCommerce solution online include:
1. Open-source eCommerce platforms
This option includes the cloud or on-premise hosting environment and requires manual implementation across the board. It allows the user to modify the different aspects of the codes. This type of eCommerce solution online is best suited for the organization involving development and IT heavy operations and those who control their eCommerce environment.
Implementing the open-source eCommerce platforms makes the user organization responsible for:
- Gaining PCI compliance
- Incorporating manual patches and getting the release of the update from the eCommerce platform provider
- Should consider the concerns based on the security issues
- Should include the quality assurance for the integration of various applications used in the organization like ESP, CMS, CRM, ERP, Analytics, BI tools, etc.
- Building a new set of tools for promotion and discounting, Merchandising and marketing tools like email marketing, SEO features, etc., designing drag-and-drop building tools
- The implementation of open-source eCommerce tools requires more technical knowledge, it is expensive to manage and cumbersome
2. SaaS eCommerce platform
This option of eCommerce solutions online helps in removing the complexity while running the online business. For implementing this eCommerce platform, the organization does not need to build or develop an open-source eCommerce solution but can rent the available eCommerce platform as per the requirement. Considering the cost, the renting option for the SaaS eCommerce platform is cheaper and easier as compared to the open-source option.
The SaaS provider can help the organization in managing various tasks like product updates, PCI compliance, hosting, security, and other tasks related to the various software. Implementing the SaaS eCommerce platform allows the business to do-to-market at a faster rate as compared to other eCommerce platforms.
The Saas solution has closed-off portions for the code that makes the development and IT teams concerned regarding lack of customization and flexibility. This issue can be used by incorporating APIs.
3. Headless commerce platform
This option is a revised version of CaaS eCommerce that has the shopping cart decoupled from the CMS. The headless eCommerce platform uses the cloud environment for hosting and uses various applications like the design experience platform (DXP) like Adobe experience manager, Content management system (CMS) like Drupal or WordPress, etc.
While implementing there is a plug-in for the decoupled eCommerce shopping cart solution. Instead of decoupled carts, SaaS technology will help in the reduction of the cost and also provides higher API flexibility.
The advantage of implementing the headless eCommerce platform is that it enables faster go-to-market features while significantly reducing the total cost of ownership. It enables the implementation of the use of APIs, decoupled technologies, plug-ins, etc to help in maintaining the single source for data for monolithic systems.
The various decoupled solutions that work in coordination with the headless commerce provider include:
- Content Management System (CMS) that slows in building pages and blogging
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) allows data collection
- Email Service Provider (ESP)
- Product Information Management (PIM) for selling through various sales channels
- Order Management System (OMS) for inventory management
- Point of Sale (POS) for covering the payment processors
- Marketplaces like eBay, Flipkart, Amazon, etc.
How To Choose The Right eCommerce Platform?
There are various features that the user needs to consider while selecting the best eCommerce solutions online for business development. Some of the important features that need to be considered while choosing the right eCommerce platform include:
1. Cost of ownership
When selecting the eCommerce platform, it is important to assess the cost of the eCommerce platform. It is essential to understand the full cost of each platform before selecting. Most of the platforms have monthly fees that include the processing cost.
The organization should consider the pros and cons for each of the platforms to get the best value for the budget. It is also important to consider the payment options made available to the customers as their convenience also plays an important role.
It is also important to consider the hosting cost, the duration of the contract, the maintenance charges, estimated annual costing, etc.
Integration plays an important part while selecting the eCommerce platform as the business includes the use of various other applications and software for the proper functioning of various operations.
There are some essential plugins to look for while selecting the eCommerce platform that includes:
Useful for handling financial details like taxes, sales profits, revenues, etc.
It allows staying in contact with the customers.
Customer loyalty programs
It enables rewarding the customers for using the products and making repeat purchases.
Payment and shipping
This should make the process simple and accurate for making the payments and shipping the products.
Third-party digital tools
The eCommerce platforms should be able to easily integrate with the different tools like marketing automation tools, ERPs, CRMs, etc.
3. Themes and User experience
The eCommerce platform should have a simple, elegant, and welcoming interface. There are varieties of options provided by the eCommerce platform for the themes to select from; some of these themes are free of cost while some have subscription charges.
Some eCommerce options are premium and might require some additional fees for using the advanced features.
4. Headless commerce support
Due to digitalization, the customers review the products and purchase the different digital touchpoints. These might range from progressive web applications or voice-assisted devices.
This puts an additional burden on the eCommerce platform. It is important to deliver a seamless shopping experience to the customers and keep the customers engaged.
The most commonly used eCommerce platform allows for delivering the omnichannel experience to keep the customers engaged and provides a competitive advantage.
5. eCommerce platform speed and scalability
The eCommerce platform selected must be able to provide a lightning-fast experience. And it should remain consistent as the business scales and grows. It is easier to evaluate the performance of the platform based on its scalability.
This can be evaluated by checking how many customers can be handled simultaneously by the platform during peak traffic time.
6. eCommerce platform security
In this growing digitalization, the risk of cyber-crimes is increasing tremendously. Due to this, website security plays an important concern. There are several stringent global laws implemented for protecting customer privacy.
Proper care must be taken as it involves sensitive data and the platforms should include some built-in protection for securing these details. It can incorporate security options like monitoring fraud protection and DDoS attack.
7. Support multiple payment gateways
Implementing the eCommerce platform should help in building customer relationships. This can be done by making it simple for the customers by allowing them to make easy payments for their purchases.
The platform should allow the customer to connect to the reliable and secure eCommerce payment gateway that enables the safe movement of the funds from the customer to the business owner. Implementing a good eCommerce platform can include a variety of payment options making it easier for the customers to make the payments.
A Complete Review of 6 Best eCommerce Platforms in 2022
Numerous eCommerce platforms are gaining importance based on the benefits that they provide to their users. The organization should consider the pros and the cons of each of the available eCommerce platforms to make optimal use.
1. Pimcore Digital Commerce
Pimcore digital commerce framework streamlines varied eCommerce processes for the brands. It creates a highly transactional and personalized customer experience with outstanding scalability. Accelerate your eCommerce business by using an open-source eCommerce framework that allows you to build high-performing and sophisticated B2B and B2C commerce solutions.
Pros for Pimcore Digital Commerce
- Manage complex pricing and product structure
- Manage complicated availability computation
- Facilitate with individual design and checkouts
- Support multiple currencies, product views, catalogs, languages, and price-lists
- Enables Agile projects to address the increasing needs
- Flexible promotions
- Multiple front-end solutions and apps
Cons for Pimcore Digital Commerce
- Not a ton of themes or add-ons yet.
- Backend plugin work requires both front-end and backend knowledge
This is a product search engine ideal for larger retail brands. The business owns starting its stores from scratch and wants to expand its business to use this platform. It allows the user to customize without knowing the coding by using the customizable templates.
Pros for BigCommerce
- Flexible and scalable
- Excels with multi-channel selling
- Strong SEO Performance
- Fantastic Theme Designs
- Comprehensive abandoned cart feature
Cons of BigCommerce
- Inconsistent speeds in consecutive studies
- Gets expensive for high volume stores
- Cart abandonment isn’t on the entry plan
- No 1-click Selling/Upsells
It is one of the most trusted platforms used by larger brands like Nike, Procter & Gamble, Cisco, etc. Coding forms an integral part of the package included in the Magento.
Pros of Magento
- Robust and feature-rich
- Strong SEO
- 1-Click selling
- Lots of users and community
- Scalable and highly customizable
- Flexible enough to host in various software
Cons of Magento
- The themes are very costly
- It easily Slows Down the process
- Requires Development Skills
- Virtually no support was provided
- Requires large space and memory to perform well
This platform was founded in 1999 but was launched much later in 2002 as an eCommerce solution provider. It is one of the best options for selling products.
Pros for Volusion
- Great onboarding and help center
- Provides great flexibility with Sitemaps
- Includes built-in subscription/recurring payments
- SMB friendly
- Well laid out dashboard
- Clear inventory and marketing system
Cons for Volusion
- Lack of up/cross-selling features
- Many sites have a poor URL structure
- One of the slowest SaaS platforms
- Many of the sites are outdated
- No built-in blogging functionality
It is a simple platform that allows affiliate sites and eCommerce under a single roof. It allows for integration with various applications that make it easy to use.
Pros of WooCommerce
- WordPress is the best platform for SEO
- Allows 1 Click selling app available
- Lots of WordPress experts are available
- It is highly customizable
- Provides many marketing options and plenty of other integrations
Cons of WooCommerce
- Incorporating good hosting can be pricey
- Needs to deal with blame games for troubleshooting.
- It has virtually zero support
- It needs extensions for simple stuff
This platform is best for the selling of products. It allows the users to one-click selling of the product. It has easy to use drag and drop interface that makes it user friendly
Pros of Shopify
- Allows lighting fast load time
- Super easy to set up
- Lots of certified partners providing help
- Includes 1-Click selling option
- Allows multiple channels and social selling
- Provides great themes with varied designs
Cons of Shopify
- Poorly rated in SEO in consecutive studies
- Cannot customize the checkout process
- Applications can add up and become costly
- It needs a developer for incorporating advanced features
There are different types of eCommerce solutions online available in the market and the organization needs to select the best platform based on their requirements. These different types of platforms have their pros and cons and the organization should consider these factors along with the different features provided by these eCommerce platforms.