There are lots of things to be put into consideration when making business decisions. It is no different when it pertains to the best eCommerce Platform for your business. Online sales have come to stay, and every sales-driven business would do its best to make their presence felt online. For you to make a success out of online selling, there are basic things which you need to know, and some of them are:
1. Choosing Between Saas or On-Premise
How you host your software is a big deal. Each option has its pros and cons. With on-premise, you are guaranteed the fact of being in total control of your system’s security. You know where it is housed, who has access to what, and where your data is at all times. In a nutshell, with the on-premise option, you have your eCommerce option tailored to fit your specifications.
The downside to it though is the large upfront license required. There is also the challenge of the extensive configuration required to get your eCommerce solution up and running. Even in some cases, deployments can take as much as weeks and months.
On the other hand, lies Software as a System (Saas). This option discards the worry of installation and maintenance of expensive hardware because it is hosted in the cloud. You just pay the subscription fee and not have to deal with unexpected costs that on-premise face if there is a need to do maintenance. When it comes to deployments, it is very fast. Business is ready as soon as the SaaS Provider supplies the business with its login details. Upgrades are also the responsibility of the SaaS Provider.
Choosing SaaS means you cannot customize your Software and have no control over a third party being able to see the sensitive data of your business. You may also have to deal with downtime sometimes since the internet availability of your store is not in your hands.
Before choosing between on-premise and Saas, decide where your business is at the moment and the option that would work best for you.
2. Business Applications Integration
The best business system is the one that is well integrated to allow for data to seamlessly flow between the frontend and the backend systems of the business. You can make use of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to form the required foundation. What matters most is for the customers to have information that is accurate and up to date. So whichever eCommerce solution you decide to go for, emphasis must be placed on its ability to integrate with your CRM and ERP systems properly.
Your eCommerce platform simply has to be responsive to the demands of your customers. Whether they access it on a tablet, a smartphone, or a PC, your eCommerce platform should be able to adjust to the device being used to serve your customers.
The goal of every business is to expand. When deciding on an eCommerce solution, emphasis should not be placed only on the present. An eCommerce platform that would work best is one that can scale with the business as it grows.
5. Product Display
With online sales, you do not have a second chance. Make sure that your eCommerce platform allows you to display your products attractively to make it easy for your visitors to make a choice. They may not have the time to visit your shop physically and would make their decision to buy based on what they see online.
6. Ease of Administration
It is not all about the customer. A Merchant should also find it easy to use the eCommerce solution. It must not be so challenging that only those with a good knowledge of IT can operate.
It needs to be designed for customers to make payments easily. There is no point in attracting a visitor to your website if the visitor cannot be converted into a paying customer.
Apart from the sales you make based on the choice of a customer, a good eCommerce solution would be used to good effect in marketing by allowing for cross-selling and upselling.
No business goes forward if it does not step back occasionally to access if progress is made. Your eCommerce solution should provide robust reporting tools which can be used to access the performance of an online store. You do not just know how much sales you made, for instance, you have an insight on what product sold the most.
The importance of an eCommerce platform can be seen in the experience a customer get. The main focus of your online store is to satisfy your customers and a good eCommerce solution would provide your business with the tools to achieve it.