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12 Factors in Choosing an Ecommerce Solution

An ecommerce solution is a software technology solution that allows businesses to build online storefronts to sell products, or services.  Many businesses have the desire to build an ecommerce website, but lack the knowledge or expertise to do so.  Knowing where to start can be all a business needs to make the jump into ecommerce. Understanding how to evaluate the pros and cons of an ecommerce platform does not have to be as intimidating as it sounds for a company considering an ecommerce presence.

In this post, I will review 12 factors to consider before choosing an ecommerce solution, or building a website in general. I will review these 12 factors: skill level, domain/webhosting, product, media, design, price and payment, integrations, mobile ready, SEO competitiveness, security, customer service, and scalability.


1. Skill Level

Your company’s ability to build a website or write code is a factor when choosing what ecommerce solution to use. Knowing how to do CSS and HTML will make it much easier for you to build your website. But if you aren’t ready for that, pick an ecommerce solution that offers pre-built website templates.

If your company does have the resources to build a robust ecommerce site from scratch, don’t feel bad because you are not alone. Many businesses prefer to use ecommerce solutions that allow you to build a store front by clicking and dropping. If you need help in deciding if templates are the right path for your business check out this detailed blog post.


2. Get a Domain/ Webhosting

Getting a domain and ecommerce webhosting should be pretty easy for you to do. Depending on your traffic level, you should decide between four different types of hosting: shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and free hosting. Remember that choosing the right hosting is vital for your website to function well and perform all the tasks you want it to for your customers. When you are choosing your domain, you should choose something that is easy to remember and is represents your brand well.


3. Product

Part of choosing the right ecommerce solution is also knowing what product you are going to be selling. The product that you are selling could need certain features that the platform can’t handle like partnering with the right shipping integrations. Choosing a product for your store is the most important decision you can make. Making sure that the drop-shipper/ manufacturer, or producer is providing you products that would do well in the online market.

When choosing your product try to aim for a niche product market that hasn’t already been so heavily saturated. Remember choosing the right product will set you apart from the rest of the ecommerce crowd. Current trends are products made in the USA, sustainable, and organic just to name a few


4. Media

When you are getting ready to build your own ecommerce website and you are picking an ecommerce solution make sure you have all your media ready to starting building your online store. Make sure you that you have high quality images, rich in content posts, excellent text, and helpful videos ready for when you want to launch your products.

Having a clear message with your media in terms of branding and making a logo and identity to your brand can make or break your website.Some experts say that marketing and branding is what will make the difference in your ecommerce website. To read up on branding in detail, check out this blog post from expert Alice Jackson, “Logos: A Brand Identity”.


5. Design

Design for your store is something that is very important to starting a successful online business. The design aspect of your store should be something that is consist with your branding style and overall look you want to have for your business.When choosing an ecommerce solution make sure that they have the templates that you want use for your store. If the solution doesn’t have something ready for you in the templates, then see if they have a designer ready to help you build the exact website you need to sell your products.


6. Price and Payment

The most important part of choosing the right eCommerce solution is understanding the pricing structure of that particular ecommerce solution. They may charge you a monthly fee or depending on the platform they may charge a transaction fee for each individual purchase that happens on the website. Depending on the functionalities you want and the overall pricing structure of the solution this where it could become costly. I’ve written this article about what cost factors you should anticipate for your ecommerce website.


7. Integrations

The ecommerce solution should have the right integrations to meet your business needs and provide the best possible shopping experience for your customers. Having those vital integrations can make your life much easier when it comes to functionality of your ecommerce website. Integrations are important when it comes to shipping your products, accounting and billing, emailing and marketing, auto populating your website, repricing your products, and many more.

Here at SearchFit, we recently made a partnership with Etail Solutions and feel that it will make our customers be able to operate their ecommerce stores with a much more competitive edge than other stores out there. Integrations are meant to make your life easier so when choosing the right ecommerce solution make this a very important factor.


8. SEO Competitiveness

Making sure that your e-commerce business is competitive in the market is not as easy as it sounds. In today’s ecommerce environment you are dealing with a very over saturated market and making sure your solution is working right for your business is what will make your ecommerce site successful. The solution should have reliable hosting, SEO friendly URLs, 301 redirects to your store, canonicalization, customer review pages, and the ability to load quickly. These are all factors that make your website not be competitive if they aren’t working properly.


9. Mobile Ready

Make sure that your ecommerce solution is able to make your ecommerce store ready for any device. Shoppers are no longer just visiting from a desktop computer, but are visiting from many different devices like their mobile phones, iPads, and laptops. They need options over many different devices to view your products in order to make a decision. According to Quora, having the perfect UI and UX increases the number of visitors and helps encourage business done over a mobile phone.


10. Security

This topic is something that is very important when comes to gaining your customers confidence in becoming a repeat customer. If you don’t have a robust security that comes standard stay clear of that ecommerce solution. Making sure that the platform that you choose supports HTTPs/SSL and provides a secure checkout for your customer is vital to growing and building your ecommerce store online.  You can read up further in detail here, with guest poster PJ Taei, for more effective ways to conduct your business cyber security.


11. Customer Service

Sometimes when you are building an ecommerce website you have been working days and night to set up your ecommerce store but something goes wrong. Make sure to have a ecommerce solution that has customer service for their clients. You want to be able to consult an expert when everything is going wrong. This can save you from some costly errors and mistakes that can happen on your website. Checking how many levels of support are offered or if customer service is 24/7 or 12/7 are important to understand when you are looking for your ecommerce solution.


12. Growing Bigger

You have your ecommerce store up and running and you are building fast and business is good. But wait you just notice that your ecommerce solution is now longer able to accommodate your online store. So what do you do? Making sure that you are building an ecommerce website with a solution that is scalable is important to allowing your business to grow and expand.


Choosing an ecommerce solution can be a hard task, but looking at these twelve factors can help make a business owner create a decision even for the most indecisive person. Just remember just because one ecommerce solution is right for your friends or competitor’s business doesn’t mean that it will be right for you and your businesses goals and needs. Don’t forget to make your ecommerce page unique and highlight all the special reasons your business is successful.

 

Wiebke Reile

Wiebke Reile

Wiebke Reile has been social media strategist for the last eight years in the Internet Industry. She has also professionally worked in the film and television industry as a documentary film editor in New York City. Currently, she is a researcher for the University of Hawaii and pursuing her doctorate degree; focusing her research towards online political social movements.

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