As most of the consumption is shifted online due to COVID-19, entering the global e-commerce market has become an essential task for many manufacturing and distribution companies. Finding an online business platform that is upgraded for your business plan or model is not the same as just expanding one deals channel. The ideal online business platform assists your organization with acquiring an edge in the wild market competition. Whether you are starting an online business without any preparation or growing your business from offline, utilizing an online business platform can take your deals and brand attention to a higher level. Hence, picking the right online business platform is pretty much as significant as giving a decent item or administration to your clients, and is a fundamental piece of developing your business. Online B2B platform are also an example of online business platform.
A good e-commerce platform should give a swift and comfortable shopping experience in comparison to any other online shopping mall. From difficult-to-use user interfaces to forever lagging or buffering sites provide a poor experience to the clients. You have to make sure your customer is not facing any problems with cumbersome shopping processes and inconvenient payment options. You need to minimize all the problematic factors in your business. You have to make your customer shopping experience easy and smooth then you can easily turn your customers to loyal ones.
Tips for Selecting the Best Platform for Your Business
There are business platforms dedicated to e-commerce that have emerged as more and more e-commerce operators what to build their own malls but lack the resources to prepare them on large scale. Platforms like Shopify are D2C shopping platforms based on portals. Below are some techniques to select the best platform for your online shopping mall.
The reputation of Existing Users
Review the comments and reviews of business owners who are currently using the platform, such as in the business community where you often come and go, or on the customer bulletin board of each platform. You will be able to get information about the pros and cons of the platform and the latest services it offers. You should check how each platform actually works and what makes it uncomfortable through third-party case monitoring.
Make sure the cost of building and maintaining the platform is within your budget. Most platforms operate with a monthly fee, and services are available through quarterly or annual contracts. What you need to pay attention to here is the fee related to the platform. Many platforms provide useful add-ons, features and apps, but it is also important to note that each additional option may incur additional costs.
User-friendliness of administrators
In today’s Internet environment, it is said that the technology that each group of administrators for each platform is familiar with is different. For example, managers who are not yet familiar with digital technology tend to find the ‘drag and drop interface the easiest. Therefore, when selecting an e-commerce platform, you should consider the user-friendliness of the person in charge of operating the website who will actually operate it. Check whether the person in charge of platform maintenance has technical knowledge familiar with the platform and which platform can be used comfortably.
Appearance and Templates
Make sure the platform is tailored to appeal to your brand. If you build your own website, you can appeal to your brand identity more strongly than when you enter an online marketplace such as Amazon or Etsy. This has the same effect as redesigning the customer experience. You should check the following items to see if you can implement your brand identity well.
Product Features and Sales Experience
Each e-commerce platform exposes products in different ways. Therefore, when choosing a platform, you need to understand the characteristics of the products you handle, and check whether the platform’s product exposure method and available services match your product and sales method.
Product customization and visualization
– Does it offer optional add-ons or gift wrapping?
– Do you offer subscription services?
– Can you make the most of the product photos and descriptions? For example, when you sell fresh food, you need to provide different details than when you sell custom art or clothing.
Product Display and Search
Do you sell a limited number of products, or do you need to display hundreds of stock-keeping units? Not all platforms support large SKU databases. So, if you have a lot of items, make sure the platform easily sorts them and shows them, and makes it easy for buyers to find what they’re looking for.
Choose a platform that can create an engaging search and purchase experience.
“Save for later”, “Add to wish list”, and customized product recommendations based on customer data give you an edge, and even if you offer a reward/reward program, it will be easy to acquire loyal customers.
It is important not only to the security of the website itself, but also to the security of the payment system. They also need to be able to pay using their preferred payment method and currency, including credit cards or foreign currencies. Decide if you want to adopt a payment system like PayPal, and see if the platform already offers that feature. Most of the platforms are PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant to secure the customer’s credit card information. Make sure you have these systems in place on the platform of your choice as well. Please also note that additional processing fees may be incurred in connection with the payment security system.
Shipping is a big part of the e-commerce business. The customer’s purchasing experience means from the moment an order is received until the product is delivered in flawless condition. Most platforms, including Shopify, eBay, and Etsy, have a built-in shipping service as a default option. However, if you use the built-in function, you have to pay a certain amount of shipping cost to the platform company. If you need to ship more than 10 packages per week, setting up your own shipping account can make shipping cheaper.
These are some tips which is very useful for selecting an online platform for your business they can surely help you choose the best platform for your online store and a valuable amount of customers and visibility.