There has never been a better time to get into the enterprise e-commerce game. Not only does running your own online e-commerce store allow you to have the freedom of living anywhere in the world while still earn an income, but it also gives you the flexibility of switching out products without having to purchase a large inventory or rebranding yourself.
Whether you’re looking to start your own business or scaling up your existing store, the success of your e-commerce business ultimately comes down to the ecommerce platforms you choose to use and the e-commerce consultancy you use to help you.
Not sure where to get started? Read on for more information to help you find the right platform for your e-commerce business.
What to Look for in Enterprise Ecommerce Platforms
Before diving in to which e-commerce platform might be the right fit for you, it’s important to know what to look for when shopping around.
For one, you want to be sure about how much control you actually have over your e-commerce business. For example, those using SaaS platforms will be more dependent on sticking with the specific platform than those who don’t.
This also means that you’ll be working with the same tools as your competitor, making it more difficult to get an advantage over them.
These types of providers are also more inconsistent when it comes to price changes or service policies. Which means how your business functions and what you pay is ultimately in the hands of someone else.
Even looking at customisations or additional developments will cost you a pretty penny to set your website apart from the sea of other e-commerce sites on the platform.
Finding the right e-commerce platform also means knowing how your business functions internally.
You should have an e-commerce platform that fits the organic procedures of your business not the other way around.
The software should be able to easily integrate into the current functioning of your business, which will ultimately save you time and energy on training employees in the future.
The Technical Side of Your E-commerce Platform
The good news is there are so many additional software systems that allow you to provide better service and understanding for your customers.
Today, these tools are now an essential part of any e-commerce business looking to create long-term success.
Whether it’s bookkeeping, CRM systems, or more sophisticated payment gateways, you want to find a platform that can easily be integrated with this additional software without having to add a ton of extra work for your team.
There’s also the matter of hosting to be aware of. There are countless hosting options to choose from, however, if choosing to go with a SaaS platform your hosting will already be covered by the service.
You’ll also find e-commerce platforms that give you the option of finding your own hosting service.
Each comes with its own set of pros and cons. However, you want to choose a solution that allows you to have the fastest loading speed, a clean mobile experience for your users, and a service that’s likely not to affect your current Google search ranking.
All that Data
Being able to highlight best selling products, know which products could use a good sale, and how to build out future marketing efforts all rely on one thing and that’s data.
A solid e-commerce platform will offer extensive data and analytics reports that help you make important decisions for your business without combing through endless excel sheets.
In addition to having all the information you need to properly run your business, you want to use an e-commerce platform that knows how to make shipping and restocking your inventory easier than ever.
These two areas play a very large role in the level of customer satisfaction. Your ability to check on current shipping arrangements, delays, and when you may be running out of inventory are all necessary parts of keeping your business running smoothly.
Look for e-commerce platforms that allow you to check the price and availability of products in real-time. You’ll also want a platform that automatically updates out of stock products and allow clientele to track and trace their orders.
Finding the Right Fit for You
The e-commerce platform you choose will greatly depend on the current size of your business structure. Those who are just starting out may need a more moderate platform to help them get their bearings and to fully understand what e-commerce is about.
Mid-range to larger-scale e-commerce businesses may need software that’s more sophisticated as they will have more needs to be fulfilled.
What’s important is finding an e-commerce platform that can serve as your one-stop-shop. This means that everything from branding, to design, and even content marketing can be taken care of at the push of a button.
However, if you’re new to using such platforms, it may be in your best interest to hire a professional to help you get the most out of what these platforms have to offer.
Choosing Your Platform Based on Your Model
Another method for deciding which e-commerce platform is right for you is by narrowing down the type of business model you would like to use.
Typically there are four types of business models to choose from. These include B2C (business to consumer), B2B (business to business), C2C (consumer to consumer), and C2B (consumer to business).
Those working with a B2C model are those that will typically be offering a good or service to a single customer. This is the typical e-commerce model that you’ll see around the Internet modeling a more traditional vendor and clientele role.
Business to business are those that will be selling a good or service that is most likely to benefit other businesses. This is wildly important in the event that your business will be selling something more technical such as software or an app. In this case you’ll need an e-commerce platform that’s able to easily sell and provide digital downloads.
C2C means that you’ll be working customer to customer, allowing people to sell products without it necessarily being an actual business. For example, sites like Fivver that allow their clientele to sell their services to other clientele, or even sites that allow customers to sell old furniture or used items to other customers.
In this case, you will be needing an e-commerce platform that can support marketplace websites. For example, WordPress will have additional plug-ins that can be used to make this possible, but again your platform needs to fully support whatever marketplace setting you’re trying to create.
Finally, C2B means you’re working consumer to business. This allows your clientele to market directly to businesses. This could be done in the way of a photographer offering their services to a major corporation or a site that connects influencers to brands.
Once again you’re going to need an e-commerce platform that supports this setup. In this case, you’re likely to want a platform that makes it easier for your clients to set up their own portfolios and easily communicate with potential clients.
You’ll need to get as clear as possible on what you’re trying to establish prior to finding the e-commerce platform for you.
The fact is that the majority of e-commerce platforms today are focused on a B2C setup, and may not be able to offer you additional features like inboxes or open market place market settings.
Finding the Help You Need
We get it. Navigating your way through ecommerce platforms is a lot like trying to get through the dating world. There’s a lot of disappointment, misleading first impressions, and motivating yourself to get back on the scene.
This is why we’ve created our extensive services to help both budding and established entrepreneurs find the perfect match.
Whether it’s creating a beautiful e-commerce site, learning how to market yourself, or all of the above we are here to provide you with the tools and assistance you need to help your e-commerce platform thrive.
Still not sure how to get started? Contact us today so we can begin helping you create the e-commerce website of your dreams. We will listen to the exact way you envision your eCommerce business and will create a custom game plan to get you there for free.
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