Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform for Your Business
Over the past few years an ever increasing number of business owners have decided to take the plunge and expand their businesses into the global marketplace that is the Internet. Once you have made the decision to set up a digital store, the next step is choosing the right Ecommerce Platform you want to represent your business. With the widespread migration from physical locations to digital marketplaces, more and more affordable e-commerce solutions have been made available to the masses. With so many options to choose from, one can easily become overwhelmed, it’s important to consider the following questions in order to pick the right platfprm.
The first and most important thing to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform are your company’s own needs. This may sound fairly straight forward to some, but you’d be surprised how many individuals start with one platform and then migrate their store a few short years later because they didn’t take the time to look at each of the platforms in detail. A prime example of this is subscription billing, any subscription based service needs a specific e-commerce platform to accommodate that. Bigcommerce is a great platform, but it does not support subscription billing. While a platform like BigCommerce may meet most of your needs, a subscription billing service would be more suited to a platform like PrestaShop or Shopify. It’s important to sit down and really consider what features you will need to take advantage off before deciding on a platform.
Now that you’ve determined what your company needs from an e-commerce platform. It’s important to consider what extra features you would like. Every platform has their own unique set of features that sets them apart from one another. Some platforms like Shopify, have incredibly easy to use back end interfaces. It is organized in such a way that any user can find what tool they are looking for with as little trouble as possible. Platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, and PrestaShop have entire stores dedicated to creating Apps and other integrations for almost anything you can think of. These can range from all in one marketing solutions to live shipping rate calculators for different shippers.
Some of the features that can be included with e-commerce platforms are incredibly helpful to growing your business. These features are usually ones that relate to improving SEO performance. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your websites rankings on search engines like Google or Bing. One of the major ways to improve SEO performance is by continually adding fresh content to your site. Websites that are updated with new content regularly are ranked higher on search engines. Platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and PrestaShop all have features that allow users to blog built in to the actual platform. Another feature that is common in platforms that improves SEO is adding Alt Image Tags to your site. These Tags create a set of keywords which when searched will bring up your page, if you were to tag an image with “tiger print, cat purse, jungle theme bag” you would be able to search those words on google and it would bring you to your sites image.
If all of this sounds a little complicated, fear not, platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, and PrestaShop all have excellent customer support. Most of the platform’s customer support feature both text articles and video tutorials on topics ranging from setting up your store to growing your business through SEO. They also have active community forums that provide help from real people who are going through or have been through the same situation you are.
In conclusion, picking the right e-commerce platform is a process that involves analyzing both your own company and the platforms available. It’s also important to consider both your current needs, and the future needs of your company in order to prevent migrating to another platform in a few years. Improving SEO should be on the To Do List of every online company so having the tools necessary to take advantage of this built in should be a major factor when choosing a platform. Finally, a platform must have adequate support to deal with any questions you may have after setting up your new platform.
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