When you open an online store, it becomes very obvious that there are too many eCommerce platforms out there. Since you have to choose one out of the lot, your focus shifts from asking if there is any platform available, to defining what you would want an eCommerce platform to do for you. Choosing a platform that would work best for you becomes easier if you know what features you want. To aid you in your decision process, here are the most important features of an eCommerce platform:
1. Payment Options
This is very key since the major reason for having an online store is to make sales. If an eCommerce platform does not support the payment option available in your country, it makes no sense using it. While PayPal may be a popular means of making online payments, it does not serve every country in the world. So, if a platform offers PayPal as its only means of receiving payments and your country does not allow it, that rules the platform out of reckoning in your list. The reason is that a payment gateway is needed for money to be able to be transferred from your customer’s account to yours.
2. Design Options
You should also ensure that the platform grants you lots of design options. There are typically free and paid themes. They are both used to enhance the design of your store. The platforms do not offer an equal amount of themes. Choosing one with lots of themes, free or paid, gives you more options to pick from and the opportunity to change the look of your store anytime you wish to.
Another factor to consider is how easy it is to apply the design. With some platforms, it is as easy as clicking a button in the admin settings while others may need you to have a file uploaded to your server. Themes might also be made available online for free or for a price by independent designers or community members if the platform permits it. So, a platform that permits this is a big plus especially if the community members are large.
3. Site Security
It is pretty obvious that security is important. You do not want important data to fall into the wrong hands. This is why any platform you choose should meet the PCI Security Standards which govern every website that accept and keep payment information. Your platform should also offer you SSL Certificates for the security of your sensitive transactions. If an SSL Certificate is not available, getting one on your own that offers additional security features would be great. A platform which offers extra security features would be a bonus.
4. Content Creation
A platform that allows for easy creation of content, forms, and pages should rank high in the features which you consider. You would love your store to rank high with Google, and a platform that offers rich copywriting makes it easy for shoppers to find your online store. The best way is to find out if the platform has a strong Content Management System (CMS).
There is a possibility that you may not understand everything immediately. This makes it necessary for the platform which you consider to provide adequate support in the form of Frequently asked Quetions (FAQ’s), video walkthroughs, among others.
Part of the reason why want an online store is to grow your business. It makes sense to pick a platform that can serve you when your business grows. If you pick one based on your present size, they may not be able to adequately serve you when you grow much bigger.
Any eCommerce platform which you decide to use must have these important features.