Why Should You Choose an E-commerce Platform?
Cross-border and international purchases are on the rise as seamless payments become commonplace. With the ease of online and mobile shopping, one in two consumers say they bought something online from an overseas retailer in the last six months.
Well that sounds good, but what does that mean for my business?
Well, in short it means more opportunity. If you are only selling your products through a brick-and-mortar store, your local target audience is capped. It can only get so big. Moving online allows your to expand your audience by reaching similar customers in different regions.
With the marketplace flooded with businesses like yours, you need a way to stand out from the rest.
The first step, open up an online store
To begin selling online, you need access to an online store builder. Unless your a graphic design and coding expert, the store builder will provide you with all the functions you need to get started. You can add some pictures and descriptions of your products, connect to a shopping cart, and you’re up and running!
Hold up; aren’t shopping carts the same as an e-commerce platform?
That assumption is not far off.
A shopping cart is simply a basket that holds products and can process a transaction. It has a framework that can create a functional e-commerce website but at its most basic level. A shopping cart is a software that can be integrated into your existing website application to avoid additional development work.
An e-commerce platform takes the shopping cart to the next level.
So, how can I benefit from an e-commerce platform?
When you start to realize you are spending more time managing your online store than you are running your business. It is time to look into an e-commerce platform.
Things like managing sales channels, marketing efforts, inventory, sales reports, and even taxes start to become a burden when all you want to be doing is focus on growing your online store.
You need a way to simplify things. This is where platforms shine.
An e-commerce platform is a one-stop-shop for all the tools you need for success, as well as the necessary payment integrations. It facilitates online transactions of goods and services and securely captures customer information using an SSL certificate. Purchases are made using a safe payment gateway.
You can also automate time-consuming processes like recurring payments, inventory, or order management using an e-commerce platform. As you might expect, no two platforms are the same. You will want to find the one that meets your specific needs.
How do I know what e-commerce platform is right for me?
When deciding on a platform to help run your business, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The type of support available from the platform: The quality of support you receive from a platform is crucial, especially in times of need. Support should be available through email, but most importantly, a real person should be available to help when needed.
- The platform should be able to grow with you: Scalability is critical when choosing a platform. What happens when you experience rapid growth and have more incoming traffic? Will their tools be able to keep up? A true partner should want to see you succeed not just right now but long-term as well.
- Mobile and desktop friendly: With more than half of website traffic now coming from mobile, you’re going to want to ensure that your store is accessible across devices. Each touchpoint should be optimized for different screens, especially your checkout!
- Payment processing options: The backbone of any e-commerce store is payments. A platform should be able to provide a wide range of payment options, from cards to digital wallets.
- Plug-ins and extensions: Having a full arsenal of apps at your disposal means you can automate some of those troublesome tasks and spend more time running your business. A comprehensive marketplace of different plug-ins and extensions can give you access to the tools you need, when you need them.
No matter what your business is, there is a platform tailored to your market. Looking to start a food order-ahead website? There is a platform that can help with that. Are you wanting to accept donations for your charity online? There is a platform that can help you with that.
Curious to learn more? Our team would be happy to find the right platform for you.
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