Starting an ecommerce website is one of the most profitable business ideas of recent times. Earlier, managing an ecommerce marketplace was not easy, but as innovators pushed the boundaries of technology, one can easily manage an online marketplace effectively by choosing the right ecommerce platform.
Entrepreneurs can add loads of features to their ecommerce marketplace, which can help them to execute strategies effectively. But, what are those things, which should be considered before choosing an ecommerce platform? Let’s find out.
The desktop is slowly losing its charm as the number of millennials, which makes up for a majority of Internet users, prefer browsing and shopping using smartphones. According to comScore’s recent report titled “2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus”, smartphones accounted for 65% of the total digital time spent. The statistics also showed that there is 12% fall in the digital time spent on desktops. This is an important call for website designers to realize the importance of making ecommerce marketplace mobile ready.
According to Business2Community, 60% clicks go to the top three search results, which appear in the organic section of SERP. After knowing such statistics, it becomes important to choose an ecommerce platform, which gives ample amount of features to make the marketplace search engine friendly.
Pro Tip – Consider an ecommerce platform which offers features to write meta information about each product and web page, auto-refresh of website’s sitemap with updated list of products, implements the use of rich snippets to make the search results look more interactive.
According to Econsultancy, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to the same website after going through a negative experience. That’s a bad news for an ecommerce portal, which is investing a lot of time and effort on things other than user experience. However, by carefully comparing ecommerce platforms, one can choose the right platform to ensure a good user experience.
Pro Tip – Website designers should make use of breadcrumbs trail to make navigation less confusing for visitors and the number of required fields should also be kept to a minimum to ensure a quick checkout process.
Some ecommerce platforms offer the option to add new features through plugin store, while some offer the addition of features through custom development. However, by not opting for custom development, entrepreneurs can put their ecommerce portal at risk of online threat. The reason behind this is, during custom development, new features are added by an experienced programmer and changes are made in the rest of the code as well, improving the overall security of the marketplace. Therefore, it is advised to prefer custom developed ecommerce platform.
Pro Tip – Entrepreneurs looking for a secure ecommerce solution should go for custom development.
For an ecommerce portal, it is important to address the issue of scalability, which is why choosing between a hosted and self-hosted ecommerce platform becomes important for entrepreneurs. Hosted platforms are much easier to maintain, but they fail to satisfy the demands of a growing ecommerce business. This is where self-hosted platforms come in. In addition to improving scalability, self-hosted platforms also provide more control in the hands of the ecommerce business owner by allowing more modifications and customizations to the ecommerce platform.
Pro Tip – If scaling is an issue, then choose a self-hosted ecommerce platform.
Constantly testing the code to check for vulnerabilities and implementing the best programming practices are some ways to improve the security of an ecommerce marketplace. However, this is not a one man’s job and keeping up with the latest information about online security is difficult for a person without technical know-how. Therefore, it is advised to go with hosted plan while choosing an ecommerce platform as it are maintained by the ecommerce platform provider.
Pro Tip – Need an ecommerce platform with minimal maintenance? Go with hosted plan.
Starting an ecommerce website is a profitable business idea, but it also requires investing in other things as well. Therefore, one should ensure proper utilization of funds and it is advised to choose that plan of an ecommerce platform, which suits the budget while satisfying business requirements. The basic plan in most ecommerce platforms is offered at a startup-friendly price, which aspiring entrepreneurs can choose to establish their business. Depending on the requirements of business, entrepreneurs can choose a costlier package at a later stage.
Pro Tip – Choose a basic package of an ecommerce platform and start small. Learn how visitors behave on the marketplace and improvise.
Ecommerce is a broad term and give rise to many profitable business models. With each business model, entrepreneurs face a different challenge, which an ecommerce platform helps to solve. For example, an ecommerce marketplace owner may wish to see analytics with different KPIs, which were originally not a part of the stock ecommerce platform. The owner can approach the makers of ecommerce platform and ask for a custom solution.
Pro Tip – By carefully researching about the kind of features, a specific ecommerce business will require, one can go with a custom solution to implement those required features. Such a custom solution will enable an entrepreneur to be in a better control of his ecommerce business by using the right tools at the right time.
Some ecommerce platforms charge money on the basis of the number of products an ecommerce marketplace can have. Depending on the requirements of the ecommerce marketplace, entrepreneurs can choose accordingly. In the case of a multivendor ecommerce marketplace, the product list can easily grow to more than 10,000. Therefore, it becomes important to choose such an ecommerce platform, which does not put a limitation on the number of products a marketplace can have.
Pro Tip – Go with that ecommerce platform which does not limit the number of products.
Online shopping improves the convenience level of a user. If an ecommerce marketplace provides a quick and easy way to buy products, then buyers will not feel the checkout process to be a burden. The entire purchase process should follow all the best practices recommended by experts.
Pro Tip – To improve the user experience, choose that ecommerce platform, which comes with optional registration while checkout process, social media login and a single sign-on option, and mention steps in checkout process beforehand.
Ecommerce portals come with a variety of features to assist marketers, with the most important feature being powerful analytics and report generation system. Marketers rely on analytical information driven by ecommerce specific KPIs to know about sales and come up with strategies and ways to improve sales or traffic.
Pro Tip – Choose that ecommerce platform, which enables one to track the activities of visitors, know where a visitor lost interest while checking out, and conduct tests using two different inputs to improve services.
Selling is just one of the many things, which an ecommerce portal does for everyone. However, for a marketer, a lot of thought goes into increasing web traffic and sales on an ecommerce marketplace. By choosing an ecommerce platform, which comes with features like social media integration, robust report generation, and more, one can execute campaigns and get insights into social analytics as well as website analytics.
Pro Tip – Prefer an ecommerce platform, which offers integrated blogging platform, analytics reporting section, affiliate marketing section, and more.
It is not easy to entice visitors into buying products from an ecommerce marketplace. To improve sales, one need to display product information in a useful way that can save visitors from putting effort into understanding the product. To overcome this challenge, one needs to have a combination of content types, such as video, text, and more.
Pro Tip – Consider choosing an ecommerce platform, which supports product description, product videos, product photographs, social media sharing option, and more.
What will you consider before opening an ecommerce marketplace? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below.
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