Whether at the moment of the decision to open an eCommerce, or that you notice that your website does not work, that your platform is not easy to use and that you need an update, how do you eliminate the uncertainty and what are the most important features on which to focus your attention?
Here are ten things to consider when evaluating your next eCommerce platform, whether it is a low-cost open source platform, As a Service Software, or a solution rich in many features.
1 – Understand your customers
You need to know how your customers buy and which features make them more likely to buy.
- Do you need an important loyalty program?
- Do you need a special interface for wholesale customers?
- Does your site need to be optimized for tablets and smartphones?
2 – Define your needs
You have to define the list of functionality and make sure to choose a supplier able to provide all the functions necessary to close the project well. Evaluate all the features presented to you in a project.
3 – Consider all integrations
In addition to defining your needs for functionality, you must also define your integration needs.
- What management do you use?
- Do you need a CRM?
- Do you have to publish your products on different marketplaces?
- How do you plan to do it?
- Also consider that the data must be updated. How often does the update start? Every hour, every day, in real time?
4 – Evaluate the shopping experience
Try to use easy merchandising tools, different and variable forms to manage discounts, especially easy to use. You need to make sure that your eCommerce platform has everything you need to sell more. You need an intuitive navigation structure, an easy process of loading products and you need to support the creation of product information, reviews, rich media, comparisons, image zoom and a good and accurate visualization of the color variations, if provided by the sale.
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5 – Consider scalability
Your site is your business and you cannot afford downtime.
Choose you’re hosting with care and awareness, you have needs in terms of efficiency and functionality. Maybe today you do not need to have a site in different languages, with different currencies, or you do not need any particular third level. And if it is difficult to predict the future and the next few minutes, be sure, however, from the beginning that your platform is able to grow with you.
6 – Check that it is easy to manage
It is easy to show you that the platform you are evaluating is able to do many things.
Your goal is that it must also be easy to use.
- Once the site is built and who are given the car keys that training and use is planned?
- Is there a staging environment where you can try out new features to see them at work before they are put into production?
7 – Evaluate flexibility
Those who work with you must be flexible and must customize a standard platform for your needs.
You must also understand what it means to take control of your site, beyond a design or a personalized template. Imagine that many functions can be performed by third parties built for the purpose.
In this case check that these implementations are possible and ask what experience there is with a custom integration.
8 – Check the search functions
When switching from one platform to another, it is all too easy to lose positions in the search if you do not pay attention to the SEO.
- Do you have complete control over URLs, metadata and all the significant elements for SEO purposes?
- Does your platform produce an optimized sitemap?
- Does your platform generate product feeds according to your needs?
- How does the internal search engine work?
9 – Are there similar companies in your industry or in your business model?
Who is using the platform you are evaluating?
Look at the type and size of businesses – small businesses, medium-sized businesses, local businesses, organizations or networks of companies, large companies. Make sure the service is actually done and measured for your needs.
10 – Evaluate all services
An online sales project, the construction of an eCommerce, is a complex project.
You may need a platform manager who simply builds the machine to sell, to contact others for marketing services and for everything you may need. There are many things you need, SEO, merchandising, adv campaigns, social campaigns, content …
You need to act and invest well to build your business beyond the initial construction of the sales space.