When selling online, the type of e-commerce platform that you choose to use can have a huge impact on how smoothly the online sales process goes. This is particularly important, as the more difficult you make the buying process be, the less likely customers will choose to buy from you.
What Do You Need?
When it comes to e-commerce platforms, there are generally two forms: “off the shelf” platforms, or customized platforms. What you have to decide is how tailored you want or need the product to be. For example, if you’ll want a completely different looking website from your competition, then any “off the shelf” options may not fit the bill.
What’s Your Budget?
As you can imagine, having ecommerce providers fully customize your site can cost you significantly more than if you were to purchase ready-made ecommerce platform software. Some costs that you can expect to incur include:
You may also need to pay licensing costs if you’re using proprietary technology for your website.
What’s Your ROI?
Here’s a tricky one for most businesses to figure out. Investing in e-commerce platforms will obviously result in an initial financial loss, and there are free or low cost“software as service” (SaaS) products out there. So do you choose a more economical software that may not have have the scalability or the functionality that a more customized ecommerce platform can offer? Or do you invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars into a website that may hurt your bottom line for the next several years and hope people buy from you online and make your efforts worthwhile? If you find a SaaS that can grow with your business, offers customization and can still create a great customer experience, then that is likely the product to choose.