What is an ecommerce platform

Things to consider when choosing an ecommerce platform

Explanation of ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce has revolutionised shopping, as more people buy products and services online. In fact, according to Statista, ecommerce sales are expected to surpass £177 billion by 2023, up from £137 billion which is an increase of 29%. This trend is expected to continue as more and more people embrace the convenience and accessibility of online shopping.

Ecommerce platforms lets businesses sell products and services online. In the past, businesses had to buy expensive and difficult-to-manage standalone ecommerce solutions that IT people had to set up and customise. They were hard to integrate with other systems and weren’t scalable.

Today, ecommerce platforms handle the front-end of an online business, but accounting, order management, and inventory management require additional software. Putting together different software solutions can be complicated and require constant maintenance, so it can be inefficient.

SaaS ecommerce platforms simplify the process by providing all-in-one ecommerce solutions that eliminate the need to piece together multiple apps. With this ecommerce solution, businesses can manage their online stores efficiently, cost-effectively, and scalable.

Overview of the features and functionalities of ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce platforms have a lot of key features to consider, including the interface, design options, store management system, payment processing, security, support, and promotion options.

  • An ecommerce platform should make it easy to create a ecommerce store, with product pages and blog posts. It should offer a huge selection of ready-to-use themes and designs, as well as design customization options.
  • It should have a content management system which contains a product management system, order management system, and return management system.
  • The payment processing should support the payment options your customers want, and be PCI compliant.
  • Help with technical issues is crucial, and the platform should offer Search engine optimization features to help you promote your web store.
  • Finally, you’ll need to be able to collect and store data, or integrate analytics services to measure and refine results.

Types of ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce platforms are categorized into three main types: SaaS platform, PaaS, and on-premises. SaaS platforms and PaaS platforms provide ecommerce solutions through the internet. SaaS platforms, such as Shopify, offer ecommerce software without any hardware components. PaaS platforms include both ecommerce software and hardware elements.

On the other hand, on-premises platforms are managed by the IT staff of the retailer and are hosted locally instead of being accessed through the cloud.

PaaS and SaaS ecommerce platforms are ideal for small companies and those new to ecommerce. These ecommerce platforms offer professional support and setup, but they usually require a monthly fee and transaction fees per purchase.

Alternatively, an on-premises hosted ecommerce platform allows a company to have more control over its storefront solution and create a custom ecommerce platform.

Examples of the most popular ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce platforms provide retailers with the tools they need to create and manage their online stores. Their are many ecommerce platform providers available on the market, each with its own features. Listed below are some of the most popular ecommerce platforms.

  • Shopify is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that lets businesses create and manage an online store.
  • WooCommerce is an open source ecommerce platform for WordPress. Its a Free ecommerce platform
  • Magento: Magento is an open source ecommerce platform provider with tons of customization and scalability features.
  • BigCommerce is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that lets you customize, market, and sell things.
  • Volusion is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that lets you create and manage an online store.

These are just a few of the most popular ecommerce platforms. Each platform has its own unique ecommerce features and ecommerce functionality, so it’s important to choose one that works for you

How to set up an ecommerce platform

To set up an ecommerce platform, a business needs to select a suitable one and then work with a ecommerce provider to implement it. Implementation involves making sure the ecommerce platform aligns with the online business’s scenarios and looks appealing to customers. It also involves making it so users can do everything a physical store can do.

It’s essential for companies to carry out thorough research to find the right ecommerce platform and work with experts to make sure it meets their requirements. With the help of experts, businesses can customize the platform’s features according to their needs and understand its features.

Before implementing an ecommerce website, companies should define their goals. A retailer or B2C business might want to use this channel to increase revenue and complement their physical store. On the other hand, Business to business companies may need their ecommerce website to do more than just generate orders and revenue. They may want it to generate engagement within accounts and help them close more sales.

Benefits of using an ecommerce platform

An ecommerce platform is a type of ecommerce solution that enables businesses to sell their products or services online. One of the main benefits of using an ecommerce solution is that it allows businesses to reach a wider audience than they would through brick and mortar stores.

An ecommerce business can also save money on overhead costs since they don’t need to maintain a physical storefront. Additionally, ecommerce platforms often come with features such as inventory management, order tracking, and payment processing, which can make running an online store much easier.

Overall, using an ecommerce platform can be a great way for businesses to expand their customer base and streamline their operations.

Key considerations when choosing an ecommerce platform

If you’re looking for the best ecommerce platform for your ecommerce business, there are several things to consider.

  • The first thing you should consider is pricing , including monthly fees and processing fees.
  • You also need to make sure the platform has the right tools to run your business, like accounting or email marketing tools.
  • Another thing to consider is SEO friendliness, since you want your online store to rank higher in searches.
  • Make sure the platform lets you add a blog, use your own domain name, and let customers leave reviews.
  • Many customers shop from their phones, so mobile-friendliness is important.
  • The platform needs to have good customer support available 24/7, so you need to make sure it has it. Customers are becoming more security conscious, so make sure the platform supports HTTPS/SSL.
  • Look for a platform that can scale with your business and won’t charge you outrageous fees.

In summary, when choosing an ecommerce platform, consider pricing and payment, integrations, SEO friendliness, mobile-friendliness, customer service, security, and scalability.

Ecommerce Platform Definition

An ecommerce platform, also known as an online store platform, is a software solution that enables businesses to establish and operate their online stores. It provides a comprehensive set of tools and functionalities to facilitate the creation, management, and optimization of ecommerce websites.

As a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, an ecommerce platform is typically hosted in the cloud, eliminating the need for businesses to manage their own web hosting infrastructure. It offers businesses a user-friendly interface and a wide range of features, including product catalog management, shopping cart functionality, secure payment processing, and integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

By leveraging an ecommerce platform, businesses can effectively showcase their products or services, attract customers, and streamline the entire online shopping experience.

Using eCommerce software to grow your business

Starting a new business is never easy, but transitioning from a brick and mortar store to an online platform can be a daunting task, particularly with the vast array of options available.

Choosing the right ecommerce platform is crucial for success, and it’s no wonder why so many business owners struggle with this decision. It’s essential to consider your store’s current and future needs and stay abreast of the latest industry trends.

Although it may seem overwhelming, putting in the effort to create a scalable and efficient system will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. By knowing what to look for and having a clear understanding of your goals and expectations, selecting the right ecommerce platform can be a much more manageable process.

With the right tools and resources, your online store can flourish and succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

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