If you are looking for an Ecommerce platform there is no question that you are spoilt for choice and have a multitude of different offerings to absorb before finally making your choice.
Working in conjunction with Red Stag Fulfillment is a move that could help you to grow your business and provide your customers with an expedient delivery experience, but you also need to ensure that you get your choice of platform right.
Beyond the usual features
The basic components that go together to create a standard eCommerce platform can be found amongst all of the providers that you are going to come across in your search, so it is a case of ticking these boxes and then adding the extra features that matter to you.
You obviously want your eCommerce platform to offer you the ability to list and display products in a presentable and efficient way, and you also want your customers to be able to browse and place orders for your products, with as much ease as possible.
All of the basic parts will provide you with the raw infrastructure that will be functional, but not much more than that.
What you need to do in order to identify the right platform is to make a list of the additional features that you specifically want. It might be that you are especially keen on ensuring that security is tight on the site to protect you and your customers, or another feature that could prove very useful, is to have the ability to be able to sync with your inventory system.
Finding the right balance
One of the drawbacks to having a platform that has plenty of “bells and whistles” and offers plenty of additional features, is that you normally have to make a series of compromises between ease of use and control.
Most software packages associated with eCommerce platforms, tend to require you to choose between a site that that is convenient and easy to navigate and update, or to trade off that convenience for a more robust set of features that will almost certainly become less convenient to operate.
If you decide to use a platform like Amazon for example, you will basically get almost zero control but a maximum level of convenience. You will obviously want to set up your own eCommerce platform as your business grows, but using a readymade trading platform like this internet giant, despite the fact that they have since mothballed their web store program, shows you exactly how how you need to define your comfort-zone between convenience and control.
Sites like Amazon and Ebay, can be a great source of customers, but if you want to enjoy a greater element of control, platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce will certainly give you more options to impose your own preferences and personality to a certain extent.
API is a key factor
When you are putting together a list of key factors that are integral to the success of your site in terms of functionality, you need to ask about the API, which are a set of computing functions and procedures that will allow you the creativity you desire.
You will probably find a fair number of existing Shopify users who will confirm that their API is very user-friendly. Even if your own app development skills are not up to task of making the most of these capabilities, it still matters that you can get someone who knows how to do what you want, to be able to accomplish these tasks with the minimum of fuss.
Good backup when you need it
Look for an eCommerce platform that delivers great customer support, as there are going to be times when you need them to deliver, if you are going to keep your customers happy.
Integration issues between platforms can sometimes occur, so you want to know that your chosen provider is able to supply the information and assistance you need in order to get the system back on track as quickly as possible, as well as being able to retrieve any customer data when it is needed.
You want to aim to give your customers excellent customer service support, and that requirement goes down the line, meaning you want your eCommerce platform provider to give you the level of backup that you will need from time to time.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is often a case of taking your evaluation process in a series of steps, ticking off your requirements as you go, so that you are left with a choice of providers who should be able to give you everything you want to trade successfully.
Author bio: Jake Rheude is the Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment company with integrations to Magento, Shopify, and Big Commerce, as well as over 50+ additional ecommerce platforms. Check them out on LinkedIn and keep up with the latest tweets on Twitter.