Deciding on the right ecommerce platform for your brand’s needs can be a very daunting process. Making the wrong choice can have a negative impact on your business, and switching platforms can be very long-winded and costly.
Let’s take a look, then, at five of the questions you ought to ask yourself when deciding on an ecommerce platform for use by your organisation.
- What are your business’s requirements?
Before making any decisions or researching any platforms, you first need to sit down and consider what it is exactly that your business needs.
You will likely come across many platforms, with claims made for them that give the impression they are the right match for every requirement your business could possibly have. The reality, though, is that a merely impressive list of features doesn’t necessarily mean the given platform will be the optimal solution for your brand’s particular circumstances and needs.
So, it is crucial to be sure in advance about what your business needs in an ecommerce platform, so that you can make the most informed choice at the first attempt.
- Will you be able to manage the platform yourself?
It’s one thing to know a given platform offers the right features for your brand’s needs… and it’s quite another thing to know whether that platform is one your organisation is well set-up to manage.
Ultimately, you aren’t going to get the best out of even a seemingly well-matched ecommerce platform, if your organisation lacks the staff, time and other resources required in order to properly use, maintain and scale it.
- What resources does your firm need?
Building on the previous point, it is important to ask yourself about the resources that you are likely to need – both now and in the future – if you are to make the most of whatever platform you choose.
Possibly you’ll want to consider software development services in Gibraltar to help give an extra boost to your business, or you might wish to build your own online store with a ‘freemium’, open-source ecommerce solution like PrestaShop.
Take some time to visualise exactly what resources you will need for a possible platform, and understand how those needs might change once you’re live on that platform.
- How scalable is the platform you’re considering?
Essentially, you won’t want to compromise your brand’s prospects by choosing a platform that is unable to support a growing business. While a smaller-scale and relatively inflexible ecommerce platform might work perfectly for you at this stage in your organisation’s development, it might not be the same story another three or four years down the line.
The number of orders your brand generates in a given space of time might go up quicker than you anticipate – in which case, you may regret having chosen an ecommerce platform that was never designed to accommodate such rapid growth, and that leaves you suffering a lot of downtime as a consequence.
- What is the extent of my budget?
Don’t be misled by the fact that we have left this point until last – it is one of the most crucial ones for any organisation to consider when it is deciding on an ecommerce platform.
There’s no point choosing an elite platform with the power to handle infinite operations if it’s simply not viable for you to pay for, given the state of your business right now. The most expensive software isn’t always necessary or even preferrable – it’s a case of your store’s specific circumstances. Affordable solutions can also be effective and innovative – like PrestaShop, which allows you to create and customise your online store without breaking the bank.
Our best advice to you is to determine a budget at an early stage, and stick with it. Don’t overestimate your ability to go beyond a pre-agreed budget, as doing so could leave you in a worrying situation at a delicate stage of your brand’s growth online. Not to mention, it’s very easy to end up paying for functionality that might sound good, but which you don’t end up needing or using until a later point in your ecommerce business’s development.
There you have it – five pointers that could greatly help your brand’s efforts to make the right decision on its ecommerce platform at the first try. For a more in-depth discussion of your needs as an organisation seeking to optimise your online presence, why not contact the Piranha Designs team in Gibraltar, London, Edinburgh or Spain today?