Not all ecommerce platforms are going to fit the needs of a specific business.
Whether it’s BigCommerce, Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, or Shopify (or any of the other platforms that form part of the broad ecommerce landscape), each comes with its strengths that can be better suited to certain businesses.
The benefits of integrating a business with the right platform are plentiful, and include better shopper engagement, higher conversions, and improved efficiencies.
The selection of an ecommerce platform is also important because migrating platforms can prove difficult and complex.
This puts added pressure on the decision-making process when it comes to researching ecommerce platforms and choosing which one to utilize.
With this in mind, today we want to provoke your decision by prodding you with some key questions that can uncrack the impasse.
Let’s take a look at these questions.
What exactly does your business need?
Platform builders tend to announce to the world that they have the perfect solution for businesses. They will highlight certain features and stats around the platform – and some will raise their head in your inbox on the regular.
Businesses don’t need to be showered with solutions. In fact, it’s the opposite. Before discussing solutions, platform builders should be asking the company, “what do you need a platform to do?”
In the initial stage, before anything else, ensure you solidify what your problems are, and what your needs are.
Are you able to manage the platform?
Let’s say that you select a specific ecommerce platform. It has all of the right features for your business. However, are you able to manage the platform and get the most out of it? And do you have the right resources to not only maintain the platform but capable of scaling up?
The perfect platform on paper is only the perfect platform in practice if the business can manage and maintain it – or else it’s going to cause a lot of pain, frustration, and lost money and potential.
What are the resources that you need?
Think about both the onsite resources and offsite resources that are going to be needed in the present and in the future moving forward. Will you have to hire a third-party development company? Would staff augmentation be the best fit to come in and manage the platform?
Envision what resources that you expect that you’re going to need when it comes to a potential ecommerce platform and how they’re going to be utilized in practice.
Is the platform capable of scaling?
Consider whether the platform can support businesses that are growing and on the up. Some ecommerce platforms have API-led structures that are surrounded by a universe of third-party apps. Will you need this? Are you looking to scale in the future?
What is the budget?
The budget is the most important question and sets the limits on what your business can do. How much money can you afford to spend on an ecommerce platform? And pay attention to the cost scales that are often inherent in platform costs. Would you be content with the initial tier, or do you go all in on a premier layer?