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What to consider when choosing a platform for your e-Commerce business

by on July 22, 2014 in Apps, Apps & Software, Digital Marketing, Ecommerce, FaceBook, Google, iPhone, Lead Article, LinkedIn, Metrics, Mobile Marketing, Pinterest, Research, Retail, Retail News, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter

When setting up a business online, it’s vital that you choose the right e-Commerce platform from which to sell your goods.

One of the key factors to take into account when establishing an online business is whether you’re going to trade via a third party site such as eBay, or through your own website.

Most online business owners will start selling via third party sites and then create their own website at a later date.

If you decide to use a hosted e-Commerce solution for your own website, there are plenty of options to choose from. Webstore and online retail experts Veeqo have created a useful overview of the biggest and best e-commerce platforms out there.

When deciding which e-Commerce platform to use, there are a number of key things you will need to consider. Below are some of the main factors to take into account when choosing an e-Commerce platform for your business….

  • Your budget – Your budget will certainly play a role in determining what type of platform you decide to use when selling online. The key advantage to third party sites such as Amazon and eBay is that they are completely free to use. Creating an eBay seller account or an Amazon merchant account is a straightforward process that enables you to get your products online in a matter of minutes.

  • Key features – The key features of an e-Commerce platform are obviously important. Each e-Commerce platform is going to have certain attributes, some of which may be vital to the success of your business. Some key features to take into account when assessing different e-Commerce platforms are the number of themes available, maximum hosting capacity, mobile access, support and SEO features.

  • The size of your business – This is another factor to take into account when deciding on an e-Commerce platform. If you’re just starting out as an online merchant it is usually advisable to begin by testing the waters on eBay or Amazon in order to gauge the level of success you’re going to have. In time, you can then expand your business’s presence across other platforms such as your own website.

e-Commerce software vs plug ins

When choosing an e-Commerce platform for your own website, you have two main options: using e-Commerce software in the form of a shopping cart, or using an e-Commerce plug in.

Shopify is one of the biggest names in e-Commerce software and offers a comprehensive service that includes a wide variety of store fronts, mobile access and SEO features. Some of the main benefits of using e-Commerce software are as follows:

  • The upfront costs are minimal
  • There are usually a lot more features
  • Customers enjoy a good level of support

The alternative to shopping cart software is to set up a WordPress site and use an e-Commerce plug in to sell products directly to your visitors. Some advantages to using this option are:

  • There are thousands of great WordPress themes to choose from
  • It is an extremely cost effective long-term option

At the end of the day, the best thing to do is gain a thorough understanding of what is available and choose the platform that best suits the unique needs of your business.

 

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