The internet has become a vital space for trading in goods. As a businessperson who wants to add e-commerce capability to your website, it is essential to select an e-commerce platform that is appropriate for your needs. So, what parameters should you use to select a good global e-commerce platform and leverage it to boost your sales and beat the competition?
Before integrating e-commerce with your business website, it is important to understand what exactly your rivals are doing by conducting a thorough competitor analysis. Gaining a proper insight into the methods and operations of leading e-commerce platforms is equally crucial. Choose a platform that suits your business model and budget by carrying out in-depth research on each option.
Top global e-commerce platforms
A 2017 Statista report ranks Woocommerce as the world’s leading e-commerce platform. Woocommerce is run on 28% of all e-commerce sites on the planet. Its popularity is mainly due to the widespread use of WordPress by e-shop owners. WordPress continues to be the best CMS across the globe and WooCommerce works as a WordPress plugin.
Here’s a list of the top 10 global e-commerce platforms along with their respective market shares:
- WooCommerce: 28.06%
- Shopify: 9.67%
- Magento: 7.91%
- MonsterCommerce: 5.87%
- VirtueMart: 4.36%
- PrestaShop: 4.27%
- WixStores: 3.46%
- BigCommerce: 2.27%
- OpenCart: 2.17%
- osCommerce: 1.29%
Choosing the right option
Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your business is vital. That’s because your e-commerce arm has to rely heavily on one single variable – a third-party platform like BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce or Magento. You could also sell your products and services independently through a custom-built website, but scaling up your operations might be harder in that case.
But that is not to suggest that off-the-rack e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify do not have any drawbacks. One of the biggest challenges in e-commerce is coping with the various limitations of different platforms. So, before you make your final choice, here are four things worth considering:
1. Calculate the costs
E-commerce platforms are available for a price. So, including this cost to that of building an e-commerce site is important. Calculate your monthly, half-yearly and annual expenses by factoring in aspects like fees for platform usage, cost of the apps, bandwidth, server storage, plugins, etc. Taking these expenses into account will help you choose an e-commerce platform that fits your budget.
2. Do your own research and don’t follow the hype
Like other aspects of business, you should always do your own research and not make a purchase based on the hype surrounding a particular platform. Carrying out thorough research on each shortlisted platform will help you in making a sound decision and hone in on the correct medium to boost your e-tailing needs.
3. Choose an easy-to-use platform
Check out the user interface of these platforms to see if your team will be able to use them properly. Avoid those platforms that have clunky or confusing interfaces because it’s going to mar efficiency in the long run. Ideally, every e-commerce platform should have an easy interface for both sellers and customers. If these primary goals are not met, it’s best to rule out that particular platform.
4. Select the right hosting company
Don’t forget to carry out due diligence while choosing a hosting company for your e-commerce operations. A bad server could have a negative impact on your search engine rankings by slowing down your website’s loading speed and even cause downtime. Researching upfront on various hosting options is important because switching hosting companies is neither fast nor simple.
Remember, every platform isn’t suitable for every e-commerce business. Factor in your business requirements and always go for a platform that can cater to your needs. Make sure you do your homework before selecting a suitable e-commerce platform and venturing into the lucrative world of online business.