By Ari Krzyzek, CEO and Head of Strategy at Chykalophia
Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, BigCommerce, Magento, Strapi…so many options! It’s so overwhelming to choose the best e-commerce platform for your business, right? The number of platforms might even give you a headache even before you kick off your e-commerce business. But we got your back.
We’re giving you the four main things to consider when choosing the best e-commerce platform that meets your needs—both in high-level and more granular scenarios. Read on!
4 high-level key points about choosing an e-commerce platform
Starting an e-commerce business is an exciting journey, but don’t get too caught up in the excitement. Pay attention to these four high-level key points when you’re choosing the best e-commerce platform for your business:
Let’s see what each key point entails and what to consider on a granular level.
Other than initial setup fees and platform subscriptions, you might also want to take into account these running costs:
• Hosting—For WordPress (and WooCommerce), we usually recommend WPEngine or Flywheel
• Domain name
• Transaction fees
• Add-on subscriptions—including plugins, extensions and apps
Compare costs between platforms, then compare them to your budget and revenue projections. By doing this, you can forecast how much monthly profit you should expect and when you will start getting a positive return on investment (ROI).
As your business expands, you’ll want to add new products, features and integrations to your e-commerce store. Therefore, it’s important to choose a scalable and flexible platform to accommodate your growth. Check out if your platform has these features:
1. Scalable, robust inventory management capabilities
So you can track stock levels, manage product variations and generate reports.
2. Customizable themes
Allowing you to create responsive UI and delightful UX for both customers and staff.
3. Personalization ready
Stand out in the crowd by providing a unique customer experience.
Without good SEO, people can’t find your e-commerce business on search engines.
The technology behind the platform is also crucial. If you want to provide your customers with a seamless online shopping experience, you may want to choose an e-commerce platform that:
• Can integrate with other solutions or SaaS
• Has built-in tools or support plugins for various purposes (add to cart, checkout, payment gateway, shipping, customer service, and more)
• Improves your customer engagement with features like email marketing, customer reviews, and others
• Can optimize for mobile
• Maintains your business’ cybersecurity
• Is PCI compliant
The level of support and services offered by the platform is also a crucial consideration point. How does the team behind the platform engage with you as their client? Do they respond to your queries quickly, give you personalized content and offer a referral or loyalty program?
Other than that, a reliable platform will also provide resources that can help you succeed such as training and education, and a support team that makes you feel comfortable and confident working with them.
In conclusion, which platform is best for e-commerce business?
Compare your budget, business goals, current team members and resources and timeline before picking the best e-commerce platform for your business.
For a small business with limited resources, Shopify or Squarespace might be a better choice. On the other hand, you might want to use WooCommerce on WordPress if you have an experienced development team. These platforms usually offer a free trial so you can utilize it before committing yourself.
And if you need in-depth guidance, help and support in choosing the best e-commerce platform and scaling up your business, schedule a free call with Ari Krzyzek and the Chykalophia team!
About the Author…
CEO and Head of Strategy at Chykalophia (read: see-ka-lo-fia), Ari Krzyzek helps FemTech, DTC and women-led brands transform their website into platforms that drive business growth. She is co-author of the Top 3 Best Sellers book in web design, Made to Sell: Creating Websites that Convert. She also serves as a branding, UX consultant and professional peer in support of fellow female entrepreneurs through the #1 ranked private business incubator in the world, 1871 Chicago, and Chicago’s global healthcare startup incubator, MATTER. She’s the co-host of Halo Femtech Podcast, a podcast that honors disruptive innovators and change-makers advancing women’s health. Furthermore, she helps women in tech and design break into the industry and succeeds in it by mentoring them for personal branding, career advancement and entrepreneurship through Interaction Design Foundation and Chicago Innovation. Ari is a member of NAWBO Chicago and certified through the NAWBO Institute’s WBE/MWBE program.