Starting an online business can be an exciting yet daunting task. With so many ecommerce platforms to choose from, how do you know which one is the best fit for your business?
Don't worry! In this blog post, we will provide 5 awesome tips to help you pick the ideal ecommerce platform to kickstart your online business.
1. Determine Your Product Type
The first step is figuring out what type of products you want to sell.
Are they physical products that need shipping and inventory management? Popular platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce are great choices here.
Or are they digital downloads like ebooks, courses, music etc. that don't require shipping? In this case, Gumroad, Teachable and SendOwl are suitable.
You'll also want to consider product pricing and category limitations. Some platforms specialize in lower priced items while others cater more to premium brands.
Selecting a platform that aligns with your product type will make the selling process much smoother.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Once you know what you're selling, the next step is to get clear on who you're selling to.
Different ecommerce platforms attract different demographics. For example:
Etsy caters mainly to female shoppers looking for unique handmade or vintage items.
eBay attracts deal-seeking shoppers of all ages.
Shopify appeals to millenials shopping for trendy brands and products.
Make a buyer persona for your ideal customer. Consider their age, gender, interests, shopping habits and other details.
Then research which platforms your target audience uses and active participates in. Listings on the right marketplace can exposure your products to more potential buyers.
3. Compare Features and Functionalities
All ecommerce platforms offer core features like listings, carts and payment processing. But they differ significantly in their suite of tools.
Here are some key features to evaluate:
Product inventory - Bulk upload and tracking options.
Order fulfillment - Integration with shipping carriers.
Analytics and reporting - Insights on traffic, sales and conversions.
Seller accounts - Ability to create multiple stores.
Payment options - Range of payment methods available.
SEO customization - Options to optimize listings for search.
Mobile shopping - Responsiveness and app availability.
Customer service - Communication channels like live chat.
Make a checklist of must-have features based on your business needs. Avoid platforms that don't offer key functionalities you require.
4. Review Pricing and Fees
Cost is often a major factor in choosing an ecommerce platform. Thoroughly research the pricing models and transaction fees of platforms you're considering.
Monthly or annual plans - Lower priced plans have less features.
Transaction fees - Percentage charged per order.
Shipping rates - Discounted USPS, UPS and FedEx rates.
Payment processing - Gateways like Stripe or PayPal.
Add-ons - Additional fees for more features.
Some platforms offer free trial periods which let you test things out first. Avoid locking yourself into expensive long term contracts initially.
Aim for a platform that provides maximum value at a reasonable monthly cost. Also ensure fees won't eat into your profit margins.
5. Prioritize Ease of Use
At the end of the day, the easiest ecommerce platform to manage will be the best choice for your business.
Consider these factors around usability:
Onboarding process - Is it quick and straightforward to setup your store?
Customization - How flexible is it to tailor the design and branding?
User interface - Is the backend intuitive and user-friendly?
Seller support - What training resources and helpdesk assistance is offered?
Knowledge base - Is there sufficient documentation for troubleshooting?
Try signing up for free trial accounts to experience the platform as an actual user. Select the one that seems simple enough for you to learn and use comfortably.
A platform that enables you to easily manage the technical aspects will allow you to focus on sales and marketing.
Starting an ecommerce business is incredibly rewarding, especially when you choose the right platform.
Following these tips will guide you in picking one that caters to your product type, target customers, feature needs, budget and ease of use.
Take time to thoroughly evaluate multiple options. Signing up for free trials lets you test admin interfaces firsthand.
With the ideal platform in place, you'll be equipped to build a successful online store and take your ecommerce dreams to the next level!
Call to Action
If you need help determining the best ecommerce platform for your business goals and product lineup, get in touch with us.
Our ecommerce experts at Lameco can provide tailored recommendations and advice based on your specific requirements. We can even help you get up and running quickly on the platform that's the ideal fit.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you start selling online and grow your ecommerce business!