7 Factors That Need To Be Considered While Looking Out For An E- Commerce PlatformPosted by Joe / October 15th, 2015 / No responses
With the expansion of the online business environment, business organizations are giving added thrust to the various e- commerce platforms so as to ramp up their website development infrastructure. Although, you can choose any of the available e- commerce platforms like Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart or any other such platform. But, there are certain things which needs to be considered by you while selecting the appropriate e- commerce website development services for your business organization. Let us take a look about these points that can help you in taking an effective decision for your e- commerce organization.
Cost of the development services-
Every online business organization is not lavish in terms of the budget and has limited capital that can be invested during the website development services. You need to choose an e- commerce platform that has adequate monthly fee for providing development services so as to avoid burning a huge hole into your pocket. There are various free website development platforms like Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart, WP eCommerce and such others with various functionalities and features for start- up organizations.
Time taken for the development of a full functional website-
There are various software- as- a- service (Saas) e- commerce platforms that are ready to be used by your business organization within no time whereas there are others that need months of time to become functional. Depending upon the urgency of the operation of your business organization, you can select the desired platform so as to remain in competition with your other business rivals. Few popular platforms are: Shopify, 3DCart, BigCommerce, Volusion. Do remember that SAAS based systems may prove to be costly if you are looking for custom changes. Till the time everything works via plugins n all, SAAS based systems are good enough.
Functioning and visual appeal of your platform-
Before making a decision about your e- commerce platforms, you need to make a quick list about the services, functionalities and aesthetic appeal of your platform so as to get an effective e- commerce development services for your business organization. A visually appealing website makes visitors attracted to your e- commerce store and also helps in understanding the customization facilities offered by your development platform. You can have a look at the two images of the above e- commerce site and can analyze the difference between the design and appeal of the two. While, the former one is more navigation friendly and easy to shop, there is latter one which is cluttered and not much navigation friendly to purchase the online product.
Easy management of the product catalog-
Regular maintenance and management of the product catalog is an important part of every e- commerce store. It is important to have an e- commerce platform that provides an easy and faster customization facilities regarding the management of the product catalog so as to keep your product categories always upto date. A flexible product catalog management services will make it easier for site owners to make desired changes in their product categories based on the requirements of their business organization. Remember, a website no matter how good if makes it difficult to manage the products and categories for the admin has high probability of failure. Your work is to sell products and process orders and not struggle with difficult to use interface for managing the website.
Faster loading of the website pages-
Loading time of an e- commerce site play an important role in driving customers towards your business organization. A site that is taking more than 2- 3 seconds to load will definitely make visitor frustrated and the customers will look out for alternative sites so as to enjoy a more seamless and comfortable online shopping experience. Make proper enquiry about the software architecture of your e- commerce platform and other sites that are running on that platform so as to get a better idea about whether that e- commerce platform can serve your customers in a faster and effective manner or not. You may use webpagetest.org, Google Pagespeed, GTMetrix, Pingdom.com.
Effective integration of the platform with other software, plugins and themes-
In order to boost the online growth of your e- commerce site, you need to have an e- commerce development platform that has the functionality to integrate with other softwares and plugins. With the gradual increase of your business, it is normal that you may require other third party functionalities and plugins that can aid in improving your online shopping environment. In these circumstances, it is important to have a platform that can work uninterruptedly with other third party plugins, extensions and themes. Your platform should integrate with Amazon and ebay and if possible with other Marketplaces. You need to have as much reach as possible and as many channels to sell as possible to make sure that you are safe even if one of the channels closes, and at the same time you makes more money when you sell more stuff.
Hosting and marketing services provided by the platform-
You also need to know the approximate cost behind hosting your site by platform site servers or any third party servers so as to understand the actual cost behind running your fully operational e- commerce site. Apart from this, it is important to understand the various marketing facilities provided by your e- commerce platforms like integration of an email service provider, blogging features, social media connectivity and other such services so as to promote your featured products on your e- commerce store effectively among your targeted customers. Do remember, quality does not come cheap. Always go for the best server and take server with Technical Support if you are not having capability to handle your website. Shared hosting should be avoided, instead you should go for Virtual Private Servers or Virtual Machines in Cloud. Do not forget to check the cost associated with the Bandwidth usage and Port Speed. These things become significant cost in long run. Always have backup setup on your server. No matter whether you are small or big, have backup of your code and database setup. Keep checking the same periodically to make sure that its working properly. You may use Free service of NewRelic.com, one of the best tools available to monitor the server.
Once, you have made a detailed study about all these important parameters, you can be sure of getting an appropriate e- commerce platform for your e- commerce site. Thus, by having convincing answers to the above factors, you can go for your e- commerce website development on any platform be it Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart or any other such platforms. With an effective development services, your e- commerce store can easily make significant increase in its conversion rates and product sales.