12 Features to Consider When Choosing an Ecommerce Platform
The eCommerce industry is booming and global e-commerce sales are likely to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021. Not many industries are eyeing towards such a bright future. Starting an eCommerce business is one of the most profitable ideas of recent times. While managing an eCommerce marketplace was not quite easy earlier, now with technology and plenty of resources, it is easy to manage an online marketplace by choosing the right eCommerce platform.
12 best eCommerce platform features to consider
Choosing an eCommerce platform is the most crucial decisions you make in your eCommerce journey and that has to be chosen wisely. To help you with choosing a platform that suits your business, we have put together 12 features to find the best eCommerce platform.
The product catalog is the online repository of products you want to sell. The catalog has to be intuitive and easy to update to promote the products. It must also be able to meet the requirements of your niche and should help your buyers find what they are looking for. While choosing an eCommerce platform, make sure that the catalog can represent an item with different attributes and see whether it can support several product categories and subcategories.
Easy customer interface
Another essential feature you must pay attention to when you create an eCommerce website is a comprehensive and user-friendly customer interface. If you want to engage and retain customers in your eCommerce website, you must make the user interface the most simplistic so that customers can enjoy fast and convenient shopping experience. While choosing an eCommerce platform, ensure it allows you to create a clear navigation system between website windows, product catalogs, etc allowing visitors to return to previous pages without having to start again from the beginning.
Customers are constantly looking for a personalized experience while shopping online. When choosing an eCommerce platform, look for platforms that come with a recommendation engine that provides personalized suggestions to purchase items based on their previous purchase. Online stores must also be able to keep their customers engaged in new and unexpected ways to attract and retain customers. Loyalty is no longer a single points program, it is all about offering holistic products with a distinct business strategy that transforms a product into an experience.
Multiple payment gateways
Shopping sites with multiple payment gateways is a great way to boost conversions. You also need to figure out whether you just need a payment gateway or a payment service provider as well. Getting an account with a full-service provider has multiple benefits in terms of set up and monthly fee. Additionally, if you plan to grow your online store globally, you will have to use both local and international payment gateways to gain the trust of the global market.
Mobile optimized shopping cart
In the era of fast-growing mobile technologies, customers prefer to make purchases on the go through smartphones. A scalable eCommerce website design and mobile-optimized shopping cart save you from spending money on a mobile version of your eCommerce store. Long forms, distracting checkout pages, etc are big turn-offs. Tailored experiences improve customer experience, increase conversions and establishes brand loyalty.
Some enterprise eCommerce platforms offer the option to add new features through plugin store, whereas some offer the addition of features through custom development only. Choose eCommerce solutions that offer automatic integrations of plugins so that you can implement those features based on your specific requirements. It must make your eCommerce store look great on any device with no design tweaks or extra coding.
Shipping demands have changed drastically in recent years and customers expect fast delivery. Your eCommerce platform features must support different shipping methods and allow calculating the shipping cost based on cart total or based on weight. While many brands begin by taking a simplistic approach to shipping like offering free shipping, the most successful merchant’s leverage strategic shipping options to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Tax and account calculation Integration
If you are an eCommerce store targeting a global audience, it is significant to abide by the tax laws of different countries along with their currency requirements. You must also make sure your tax platform integrates smoothly with your accounting platform. With an inbuilt tax management system, you can segment sales tax by country, state, and postal code, which works regardless of what product you are selling. The best eCommerce platform for small business not only makes tax calculation a breeze, but it also allows you to spend more time growing your business and less time on compliance.
Built-in Customer review systems
Customers today want to be sure that they can trust your business before making a purchase. That is exactly why you must have a built-in customer review system to build up trust among customers. A customer review system is an essential eCommerce platform feature that creates widgets for the site to collect reviews and additionally, the system can also measure social traffic to see how does this affect sales and conversions.
When you run a retail store, you can ask the people coming in to understand how your business is doing. But with an online store, you can’t have access to the customer in the same way. That is why eCommerce analytics become critical. There are some metrics and key performance indicators for eCommerce that you must monitor and an integrated eCommerce analytics system can help you with that. Most of the eCommerce software comes with its own analytics platform.
Google merchant integration
Google merchant is the tool that helps you upload your product listings and add product information so that it can be showed up in related google shopping results. This allows driving significant traffic to your product pages. Having google merchant integration is useful to reach out to customers across the globe. Google shopping integrations give your eCommerce business a boost to reach out to customers across the globe.
When it comes to the eCommerce checkout process, simplicity is the real deal. Implement one easy step for your customers to complete a purchase instead of a 5-page checkout. Condensing the checkout process in your eCommerce website to a few steps will not only make the checkout page aesthetically pleasing, but it also increases the convenience of users. To improve the user experience, you can also include optional registration during the checkout process, single sign-in option or social media login.
To wrap it up
To choose the best platform, start by defining the eCommerce objectives and long term goals of your business. It is important to know how the platform supports the business you can evaluate the ability of each platform to deliver core functionality to support your business needs. Online buyers are not just looking for competitive prices anymore. They expect full service from an eCommerce business. It is this expectation you should mirror while choosing an eCommerce platform.
By following the points discussed above, you must be able to evaluate each and every major dimension of an eCommerce platform. However, as we move into a modern digital age dominated by IoT devices, it is extremely important to choose the best eCommerce solutions that would help you grow today as well as tomorrow.