Choose the right ecommerce platform

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Today, we are heading further and further into an era of electronic data interchange and reliance on the internet. And businesses' shift of focus from brick-and-mortar stores to online ecommerce proves this. 

Ecommerce is about buying and selling on the web, so firms need the right software to get the job done well. Companies must find the software to suit them, and with some good advice, this needn’t be a problem. 

While there are various types of ecommerce software, its most important role is to simplify the customer experience. Customers need to be able to find products, add them to their basket, and check out as simply and efficiently as possible. 

Getting the right software can help you go from start-up to success. With so many options available, it’s essential to get to grips with the right type of software to suit your company.

Types of Ecommerce Software 

There are three main types of ecommerce software:

1. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) are simple options.

Both of these offer e-commerce solutions via the internet. SaaS provides solutions through software, and after the hardware is added, this then becomes a PaaS. These are more straightforward options for those who aren’t so tech-savvy. 

With this option, additional design and custom features may require some developer skills. However, updates, patches, and new features are all dealt with automatically. 

So, if you’re the type of business owner that finds yourself asking questions like, “what is software testing?” or “how does coding work?”, then these could be your best option. These services usually charge monthly and transaction fees but provide the business full support when it’s needed.

2. On-Premise platforms allow a company to have more control over its site. 

This type of ecommerce platform is hosted locally by the retailer and often managed by their IT department. On-site professionals can fix any problems as they occur, do manual updates, and add new features. 

If your business has its own internal IT team, then this is an excellent option for you. It allows firms to have more control over their site and create their own custom storefront solution.

What to Look for in an Ecommerce Platform 

The type of platform you choose depends on the type of business you have. Ultimately, though, you want to select one that’s user-friendly and enables a significant process improvement for your company. Here are a few points to help you make the right choice. 

1. Choose a simple interface for your customer to interact with.

This is how the website looks from the outside and how the user interacts with your site. Some interfaces may require a little more technical skill to navigate than others, so it’s important to look around and get an idea of what would work best for your client. 

Consider how you want to use your site. Do you aim to just sell products? Or would you like to sell, blog, and even share social media videos? Whatever your vision, make sure your platform of choice makes it simple for customers to access these features. It’s also helpful to select an interface that allows you to make any potential changes with ease. 

2. Find a design that expresses your brand identity. 

When it comes to design, you should pick something that reflects your brand. The majority of ecommerce platforms have numerous options to choose from that are both free and paid for. It’s always a good idea to select an option that’s clean and straightforward for users to ‘read’. I.e., ensuring that writing isn’t overly cursive or that colors don’t clash, etc. 

Of course, to avoid selecting something overused, it’s possible to make a custom design. But this will inevitably demand more time and skill. 

3. Select a payment process that keeps things simple.

You wouldn’t be setting up a business if you didn’t want to get paid. So, you need to make sure that you choose something that makes the payment process uncomplicated on both sides. This includes certifying that people can pay in the correct currency and with the methods most convenient to them. 

You should look into the shopping cart software available to allow for a smooth user experience from start to finish and the payment gateway technology that moves money from the customer’s account to yours. You must set these up with your ecommerce software from the get-go. 

4. Make sure you pick a platform that meets security standards.

With hacking more prevalent than ever before, it’s vital to ensure your ecommerce software has the measures in place to protect both you and your customer. The simplest way to do this is to select a platform that meets PCI security standards and has SSL certificates. 

Setting up your own business is exciting, and finding the right software will help get it off the ground. Be brave and show your personality with your online store. So, for now, all that’s left to say is good luck! 

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