It all starts with selecting the right e-commerce platform
Taking your business online is much easier these days than ever before. Today, any decision making on a purchase is incomplete without an online research. With more users transforming from loyal store shoppers to online shoppers, it is essential for every business to go online.
Go Online! It is far easier said than done. But once you have decided, the first question that pops into your mind will be which platform should I go with?. Let me try and put before you few points to decide on what is the right platform for your business.
1. Understand the cost involved:
All platforms have a cost associated with it. The cost of the platform has to be considered as an investment and it is always better to understand the cost involved and have it padded to make sure you are also covered for the near future as well. So what are the costs you need to be aware of:
Depending on the platform there is going to be a licensing cost or you can also select open source platforms that do not have licensing cost. The cost will be flat or size or transaction based depending on the platform you select. Make sure you consider all the scenarios while accounting for this cost.
Cost needed to put together the platform to work for your business, which will lead to your own business process. This process is key to have your organization adapt to this new technology.
Ongoing maintenance and support cost:
This will be part of your ongoing cost to cover for basic maintenance and also to make any changes on the go to your system. Again, depending on the platform, the provider will take care of the maintenance or you will have to spend additional amount for that.
Depending on the platform you will see hosting cost is accommodated in the license or maintenance cost, if you are going to host, you will have to cover for hosting as well.
Ask for all the cost to your vendor before planning your budget. This will help you from averting any surprises in the future after you have taken the plunge.
2. Do not go with what you hear, do your own research
Just with any business decision, do not solely decide on what is being marketed to you. It is very important to understand the e-commerce landscape and what best suits you. Most often what we have seen is businesses selecting an easy to launch platform and outgrowing it within months, only to start with the whole selection process again. Few may go in for a higher technology, not using all that it offers and would want to roll back to what best suit their needs.
The key is to first list what you are looking for in the system to start with and what will be your expansion plan for the next three years. With the rate of change in technology, 3 years would be a good time period to revisit the technology part until which you should not have to worry about it if you had made the right choice the first time. Once you have your expectations captured, it will be easy for you to identify the technology by talking to the right vendor who can guide you considering all the platforms that are on your list.
Major e-commerce companies have a planned marketing strategy make it convincing to scoop them. If it is too good to be true, you need to look into it a little closer. Try talking to their customers, hear both the positive and negative experiences (Social media will be your dear friend here) and make your choice.
3. Make sure your team can use it
Any technology is only as good as it can be used. Depending on your internal capabilities or ability to hire resources, assess which technology works for you. When the e-commerce platform is built the right way, you would no longer need a technical resource to manage the application. You will need them only to enhance and take care of maintenance. Make sure the application can be easily trained to your team. If it comes with all the training documents. If they offer online training etc. If you see, the application will need a technical person to do your day to day activities, it is better to stay away from them as it will drain all your efforts to keep the system running.
E-commerce websites need to be PCI compliant as you are dealing with your customers' confidential credit card information. PCI covers the application and also the set-up. Make sure your application provides PCI and also be able to continuously support you in maintaining the same level of security going forward. You also need to understand how frequent you would need to keep updating your system to be secure. Specific industries will also need the additional level of security which also needs to be verified before you select the platform.
While they are multiple other factors with respect to choosing the right commerce platform for your business, answering these pointers should give you a good head-start. Feel free to talk to our expert solutions consultant to discuss more on choosing the right CMS platform