The world-shattering COVID-19 pandemic opens the door to the digital transformation of most businesses, which includes Business-to-Business, (B2B), Business-to-Consumer, (B2C) and Direct-to-Consumer D2C. When customers preferred online shopping during the period of lockdown and social distancing, small businesses and shop owners confronted a major decline in their businesses. Thanks to the fundamental changes in buyers’ mindsets, entrepreneurs are forced to transform their stores into online to sustain themselves in the competitive marketplace.
An e-commerce platform helps entrepreneurs efficiently lower the time and effort required to operate a business. It permits online businesses to easily monitor their operations, websites, sales and marketing. There are numerous e-commerce platforms available including Shopify, Adobe, Commerce, WooCommerce, Big Commerce and 3D Cart. Choosing the right e-commerce platform helps merchants effectively manage their online businesses. Here are some major factors to consider while selecting an appropriate e-commerce platform.
Considering the cost of ownership
The initial step in accessing an e-commerce platform is calculating the cost. Knowing the cost of each platform is extremely important, regardless of whether it is a small business just getting emerged or a recognized brick-and-mortar store transforming into e-commerce. It consists of every cost associated with domain and hosting, maintenance, and social media specialists who will monitor the brand’s online presence. Other expenses include marketing costs for hiring email marketing/SMS marketing professionals for re-targeting customers. Extra charges should also be taken into account, including automation tools, delivery or fulfilment integration, and SEO.
Employing robust catalogue with store analytics
The e-commerce platform should provide essential tools and features to develop an appealing and customized catalogue. These consist of ‘highly recommended products’, ‘pickup and drop feature’, and uploading hundreds of commodities through CSV or excel file. Additionally, company owners should obtain a comprehensive analysis of the store, including website statistics, customer satisfaction, and geography statistics. Along with that, the e-commerce platform should be linked to Facebook pixel and Google analytics.
Businesses must employ a multichannel marketing approach that contains social media marketing, email marketing, and SMS marketing. This way, they can capture the customer’s attention and attract them to the business. Automation assists retailers pitch their offers to a broader audience, re-target customers, and send them discount vouchers. Thus, automation enables businesses to attain maximum efficiency with the least amount of work and time.
Upsell, Downsell, and Scalability
The owners can enhance and utilize the stored data and customer base if the e-commerce platform provides the upsell and downsell features. The stores should be scalable enough so that they do not hinder business growth.
Retailers can seek assistance from a recognized platform or company that can provide 24/7 assistance and immediate solutions to their issues. Additionally, a dedicated business manager can support them to scale their business development.
Opting for contactless e-commerce
In the pandemic driven era, businesses (mostly in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities) should digitize and go contactless, providing a superior experience to customers at a low price, in order to achieve multi-folded growth. Currently, ordering through QR codes at grocery shops, restaurants, and other establishments has become a vital aspect of e-commerce.
Test store functionality and ease of use
One should be able to do their job (marketing the brand) without learning a bit of coding or having greater technological knowledge. For that, the platform needs to be navigated easily, configured appropriately and used over time.
Here are a few factors to look for:
• Setup Flow
Check whether the platform provides a simple setup flow, describing everything one needs to do before the launch, including adding items, configuring taxes, registering a domain name, and processing payments.
• Product and Stock-Keeping-Unit (SKU) Management
Once the basics are set up, the bulk uploading of commodities from a CSV file is a faster approach to adding them to the catalogue. Keeping an eye on the limitless goods or SKU count is also important.
• One-click App Marketplace
To help the business expand without hiring developers, it requires a multitude of one-click applications or existing built-in integrations. Browse or integrate the required tools using the platform’s app store. It is essential to confirm whether these tools are connected and updated in real time.
• Centralized Channel Management
Omnichannel strategies are the lifeblood of today’s e-commerce. Customers purchase from anywhere and everywhere including Instagram, Etsy, Facebook, and Amazon. It is vital that the product be exposed to the targeted audience across multiple channels.
Keep in mind the above-mentioned factors which are essential to select the perfect e-commerce platform for your business. Opt for a platform having a large community of people both operating it and utilizing it to testify their success on the solution.