E-commerce has seen exponential growth over the last 10 years and there is no sign of it slowing down. If you are planning on starting a business that sells goods or services, it’s crucial to have an e-commerce site in order to capitalize on the online sales growth. When it comes to e-commerce websites, you can either hire a web developer to create your website or utilize a pre-developed e-commerce platform, which will save you a lot of time and money. There are numerous platforms to choose from so it’s important to keep in mind your needs when choosing one, along with the following items:
Pricing & Payment
Whether you opt for hosted or self-hosted, there will monthly (or yearly) fees that you will have to pay in order to use a given platform. Most of the e-commerce platforms will have different packages to choose from so be sure to look those over and don’t sacrifice things you need for a cheaper price – you’ll regret it in the future!
Be sure to also consider how your customers will be paying. Not all e-commerce platforms offer third party vendors (i.e.) which can cause an inconvenience for both your customers and your sales. Make sure you know what forms of payment you will be accepting once you open your doors (or website) to the public and go from there!
Like any other industry, it’s important to utilize SEO best practices on your e-commerce site to help your site rank higher in search results.
When looking for an SEO compatible platform, make sure you can:
- Add titles & meta descriptions
- Add a blog to your website
- Add customer reviews
- Add alt text to your images
- Have your own domain name
An increasing amount of people are using their mobile devices to complete everyday activities, including searches on search engines (i.e. Google & Bing). Having a website that is fully optimized and responsive on mobile devices is crucial no matter what industry you are in, but even more so for e-commerce sites.
If customers are going to be submitting their credit card information, address, or other sensitive information through your website, it is extremely important to ensure that your website is as secure as possible. No one is going to want to make a purchase through a sketchy website. Make sure your platform supports SSL Certificates for a safe and secure checkout process.
Things are going to come up and you’re going to have questions. Google isn’t always going to be helpful so it’s critical to choose a platform that has good customer service to help you with issues that might come up. When your website goes down or there’s an issue with the server, you want to minimize website downtime as much as possible.