In this guide, you'll learn about everything you should know when you choose the best eCommerce platforms for small businesses. Starting an eCommerce website is certainly a good decision for any business owner. If you're selling online on social media, you need to surely have your own online store on a reliable eCommerce platform.
eCommerce is expanding exponentially, with the market value of the e-commerce industry being about 469 crore rupees in 2020. This number was forecast to triple by 2027. Nowadays, owning a website for your online business has become less difficult than ever before. In 2022, there are various platforms to choose from to begin and own eCommerce stores. However, you'll need to spend your time choosing which one is best for your business. Never choose a platform simply because it’s in demand and popular currently.
Why You Must Use An eCommerce Platform For Your Business?
Choosing the best eCommerce store is one of the most crucial decisions you'll be making for your online business. An online store builder will help you are taking your business to the next level — a much broader customer base, better brand awareness, and more revenue. Imagine a physical store. You will need to consider many factors before setting one up— location, space of the building, rent expense, maintenance cost, equipment, posters and boards, and so on.
Similarly, there are a few technical elements to consider if you want to create an online store on an eCommerce platform. Now, selling on eCommerce platforms is the future of online businesses. This means that if you don’t have right platform, it's going to get more difficult to compete online. When an increasing number of businesses come up online, the only way to stand out and grow as a brand is through your very own online store.
To help you decide and select the best, we've compiled this guide which has everything you need to understand while selecting a platform to build your online store.
How To Choose The Best Ecommerce Platforms For Small Businesses
Here are some of the important things you need to know:
- The different types of eCommerce platforms
- 7 Most important factors when choosing an eCommerce platform
- Additional features for eCommerce stores that matter
- How Typof can help you
If you're a small business selling on social media and making a sufficient profit, it is still best to start an online website. Also, you don’t need your business to be at the mercy of the ever-changing social media algorithms. Moreover, it's going to give your business a more professional and genuine appearance when you have an eCommerce website.
Different Types Of Best Ecommerce Platforms For Small Businesses
There are distinctive types of eCommerce platforms. Before exploring features, it is better to know what categories are available and the way they differ. Here are the 3 foremost types you need to know about:
- Open source platforms
On such platforms, you need to build and customise the website and host it and set it up in the cloud. For this, you will need a team of developers. You will need to pay for preliminary development, implementation, and upgrades. An instance of this is Magento.
- Cloud platforms
Open source platform features in conjunction with a hosting system are cloud platforms. Basically, it’s a platform to develop your website and deploy it. Thus, you'll get little support.
- SaaS eCommerce platforms
Imagine a physical store that's already built, has sufficient space and additionally helps make things easy. The only issue you need to do is add the goods and decide on the theme. That is how a SaaS platform for eCommerce is. You can have a totally ready-to-go online store. You don’t need to deploy the site (this means that no developers or tech experts are required). SaaS is the future of eCommerce. More agencies are utilising such platforms.
In case you don’t have the technical expertise and need dedicated help, this is the platform you need to choose. Examples of SaaS eCommerce platforms are Typof, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix site.
If you don’t have the technical expertise and need dedicated help, this is the platform you need to choose. Examples of SaaS eCommerce platforms are Typof, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix site.
7 Most crucial things to consider while choosing an eCommerce platform
After that, you know which type of platform you want; it’s time to undergo different platforms and test the features. The only way to test if an eCommerce platform is suitable for you is to check their features by visiting their website, going through their free resources, and seeing if they have a community of small business proprietors who trust them.
1. User experience
Customers are indeed the most vital aspect and assets of any business. Therefore, an eCommerce website needs to be able to make your customers’ buying experience as easy as possible. The various features that enhance the user experience will be mentioned further in this blog.
Consider the pricing plans for utilizing the platform. Take the yearly/monthly subscription plans initially. Is there a free trial? If yes, then which features can be explored before purchasing?
This thing could be very essential to ensure the safety of you and your customers. See what functionalities the platform gives to maximise security. Also, check if they have PCI compliance and multi-layered security.
Another main characteristic it must have is a mobile-friendly UX. Check if the platform helps with mobile-friendly themes or templates. The check-out system needs to additionally be mobile-friendly.
5. Checkout and payments
A payment gateway should be incorporated within your eCommerce store to collect payments. It is best in case your site has more than one payment option so that your customers can select their preferred mode.
- Does the gateway provide single-page checkouts?
- In approximately how many days will you receive money in your bank account?
- How much is the transaction fee?
- Is it secure and easy to use?
Consider these while deciding on payment gateways. Also, keep in mind how long they have been in the field. When you use Typof, you get an in-built payment gateway on your eCommerce website with all of the above features. You don’t need to fear payments, and they will reach you at the right time.
6. Product Catalogue
If you're a product-based business, it's far better to select a platform that gives no limit to the number of products that may be added. Check if the platform permits you to add multiple product images. Adding your products to your online store needs to be easy.
7. Order management
Collecting orders and dealing with them is a difficult task. A good eCommerce platform makes this task less difficult for you. You need to have the ability to view, edit, and fulfil orders from a single dashboard. Also, research if the platform has the ability to send email notifications to customers.
With Typof, one of the best eCommerce platforms for small businesses, you'll be able to fulfil all of your tasks that too from a single dashboard without going anywhere else, for that reason making your tasks smooth. You will also need a customer relationship supervisor in your online store to collect leads successfully and manage abandoned carts.
Additional features of eCommerce stores that matter
To select your platform, you need to look out for features apart from fundamental ones. These features will assist you in growing and scale your business online. Here are a few extra features that are good to have for your online store.
It is possible that sometimes things may go wrong. So, you'll need a strong support team to aid you. Every platform can have a support team; however, the question is how fast they will reply to your queries. Do they provide 24/7 help?
Apart from payment gateways, you could need other applications depending on your business requirements. You may also need a chat app, email marketing integration, trademark registration, etc. Check what third-party platforms the platform can combine with.
Shipping orders and dealing with them is one of the most difficult elements of online business. Although, the best eCommerce platforms for small businesses will provide flexible shipping partners. It needs to either support in-built shipping or have shipping plugins. You have the choice to pick out the shipping partner of your choice.
Don’t overlook to check in case your platform has features to help in marketing your business. One way is to look if coupon codes can be run on your store. This may be beneficial in the course of festive discount sales.
To get discovered by customers, your website has to be SEO-friendly. Consider the following questions to choose the right platform to create your online store:
- Do they help sitemaps for Google?
- Do they permit search-friendly URLs?
- Can we add meta details for product pages and other pages?
- Do they help Google content APIs for shopping?
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
This very feature will help you convert more prospects into customers faster. Being capable of seizing customer details and tracking and sending them marketing communication emails will help grow your sales. This can be carried out if your eCommerce store has a system to manage your customers. This feature is available on Typof.
Start your online business with Typof!
Typof has features that make it one of the best eCommerce platforms for small businesses. An eCommerce platform that is familiar to your needs and facilitates you to scale your business is the best to choose. Trusted by small businesses and has all of the features that allow you to grow your online business at the most affordable prices. So, start today and discover your dream online store with Typof. Take the first step to business success!