So you already know you are going into online retail, but you are still scratching your head on what e-commerce platform to use. This can be a daunting decision. If you select the wrong platform, you might end up losing valuable time, effort, and money. But how can you go about choosing the right one?
What might work for someone else’s business might not necessarily work for yours. Every business has different needs. The best approach for you would be to determine what business model you are working with.
Ask yourself some crucial questions including: Do you intend to be a multi-vendor or focus on selling a specific category of merchandise? Do you intend to have one store or multiple stores? Are you selling locally or cross borders?
These fundamental questions can help you narrow the field into a few possible and pertinent e-commerce platforms.
Open source e-commerce platforms
Magento and WooCommerce share one thing in common. They are both open source e-commerce platforms. This means they are highly adaptable and customizable in addition to being scalable.
Also, they can be tweaked to meet the needs of unique online business setups and have better upload speeds for your online store.
The downside is that you need to be proficient in programming which most people are not. The alternative is to hire a team of programmers to maintain the back end. Naturally, this comes at a cost.
How many programmers you need is dependent on the scope of your online store(s). Magento powers burger King and Huawei. This goes to show that these two platforms can work with small businesses as well as huge ones with complex administrative and management needs.
So if you have assessed the nature of your business module, you will know whether you need an open source e-commerce platform or it might work better and cheaper with a more user-friendly e-commerce platform.
Platforms such as Shopify Plus, Volusion, Yokart V8 and BigCommerce to name a few, are easier to handle. This is because the idea behind them is to make creating your online store easy and fast as possible.
No programming knowledge is required, and hosting is included. The only thing you have to worry about is customizing your store, loading your products and selling.
Most e-commerce platforms will offer a no-obligation free trial period, usually 14 days. This will allow you to see whether a given platform meets your business needs before proceeding. At least you’ll have narrowed the field and hopefully not lost too much time.