How to Choose an Ecommerce platform for your Business
The eCommerce industry, currently valued at $2.3 trillion and projected to nearly double to $4.48 trillion by 2020, presents a vast opportunity for businesses. If you’re contemplating upgrading your eCommerce software to claim a larger slice of this thriving market, you’re making a savvy decision. However, the process of selecting the best eCommerce platform is nuanced and holds significant weight in the early stages of your eCommerce journey.
To assist you in navigating this crucial decision, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide that delves into the essential factors and considerations you should bear in mind.
Why Selecting the Best eCommerce Platform Matters for Your Business
Establishing an eCommerce business goes beyond simply showcasing product listings online. It involves strategic planning akin to running a physical retail store or a production facility. Strategic decision-making at this stage enables you to leverage the digital environment, automating and streamlining tasks that would otherwise require human intervention.
Selecting an eCommerce platform is a pivotal decision that influences four key aspects of your eCommerce site:
- Growth: The speed at which your business can expand.
- Running Costs: Includes the cost of building your eCommerce platform and ongoing development and maintenance costs.
- Customer Engagement: How you can control how your customers interact with your business.
- Objectives: The right eCommerce platform will enable you to deliver the service you set out to achieve.
It’s crucial to note that many eCommerce vendors often focus on superficial aspects like design, UX, branding, and content. However, the core eCommerce issues lie within business processes, customer engagement, and lead generation. Addressing these aspects helps determine the return on investment (ROI) your eCommerce platform delivers.
Why Use an eCommerce Platform?
Simply put, without an eCommerce platform, competing online becomes impossible. An eCommerce platform serves as the backbone for online retail enterprises, whether in B2B or B2C sectors. It streamlines business interactions with clients, customers, and employees.
“If you don’t have an eCommerce platform, it is impossible for you to compete online.”
“eCommerce platforms are essentially software applications that enable businesses to execute complex functions both in the front-end and back-end. This includes CRM, inventory management, mobile commerce, web design, and warehouse fulfillment.”
Before we even had specialized eCommerce solutions, businesses had to build their own platform in-house by their IT and development team. This was a laborious and costly affair. These self-built solutions were usually unscalable, difficult to manipulate, and were not able to integrate with other software solutions used by the business.
Today, the build-your-own method is used by a small minority of companies, but we now have a range of specialist solutions including “free” open source platforms that you can pay someone to build to your requirements, proprietary software that can also be customized with a team of developers, existing platforms such as Amazon or Walmart where you register to sell your products, or ready-made platform like Codx Softwares that is hosted in the cloud.
We’ll explore each of these eCommerce platform types later on in this guide.
What is the Best eCommerce Platform?
Selecting an eCommerce platform based on their popularity is not the best way. The truth is, the best eCommerce platform is the one that successfully delivers the outcomes and objectives that you have set for your business.
“The best eCommerce platform is the one that successfully delivers the outcomes and objectives that you have set; not the one that’s popular.”
These goals can be simple things like an increase in revenue, improving customer engagement, or entering or creating a new market. Or they could be complex where you have many stakeholders involved that have conflicting objectives. This is where strong leadership is required to get everyone on the same page; without it, your eCommerce project will struggle to take off.
Also, the right eCommerce platform should fit well with the current technical expertise of your team. For example, if you select an eCommerce platform that is extremely popular but has a high barrier to entry, this will not sit well with a team who has low technical expertise. In this case, you will have to draft in a technical team to assist you towards your end-goal.
Another factor that can determine your choice is your business’s competitive landscape. If you compete in a fast-paced industry, where you’re bound to encounter a plethora of technological disruptions, then you’ll need a platform that can move and adjust at the same speed as your business.
Pro tip: Understand your business goals in detail before you begin your search for a platform. Find out what is possible and what impacts that change will have on the people, clients, and vendors you deal with.
Read this detailed article by forbes: A Quick And Simple Guide To Choosing The Right E-Commerce Platform For Your Business.
What are the Different Types of eCommerce Platforms?
When it comes to selecting an eCommerce platform, you have 5 different types to choose from, as shown below.
- Build your own eCommerce platform While this is more of a method than a type of eCommerce platform, it requires you to contract someone either internally or externally to develop it. As mentioned earlier, this is less common nowadays. But if your business is very niche and has a specific set of needs and requirements that none of the commercial eCommerce platforms can offer, then this might be your only option.
- Traditional eCommerce platform With this type of platform, you purchase a license fee upfront, which you renew annually. Your IT team and team of developers will then build and customize on top of the platform and then install it either on-premise or into the cloud. Examples of traditional platforms include Kentico, Hybris, Oracle Commerce and IBM Digital Commerce.
- Vue.js, WordPress, and Angular: A Glimpse into Different Development Approaches
Diving into the realm of web development, we encounter various approaches, each with its nuances. Let’s draw a parallel between Vue.js, WordPress, and Angular, shedding light on their distinctive features.
- Vue.js – Open Source Brilliance: When considering open-source options, Vue.js stands out. Similar to traditional platforms, it follows a development procedure. The key difference lies in the absence of an upfront licensing cost. However, there are associated expenses for initial development, implementation, ongoing development, upgrades, and migration. Vue.js offers a progressive framework, empowering developers to adopt it incrementally into their projects.
- WordPress, Vue.js, and Angular in the Cloud: As we explore cloud platforms, it’s essential to differentiate between various solutions. While some traditional and open-source platforms have embraced cloud hosting, the distinction becomes crucial. Now, let’s pivot to a comparison between Vue.js, WordPress, and Angular.
- WordPress – The Versatile CMS: WordPress, a widely adopted content management system, shares a semblance with cloud platforms. It has seamlessly integrated with hosting systems, sometimes masquerading as a cloud-based solution. WordPress’s adaptability makes it a go-to choice for bloggers and businesses seeking a user-friendly interface.
- Angular – Google’s Robust Framework: Angular, developed by Google, takes a more structured approach. Unlike some traditional platforms that adopt cloud hosting, Angular itself is a robust front-end framework. It facilitates the development of dynamic, single-page web applications. Angular’s architecture sets it apart in terms of scalability and maintainability.
- SaaS Platforms and the Unity of Technology: Shifting gears to Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms, a different landscape unfolds. Unlike the diversity in the open-source realm, SaaS platforms often share a unified codebase, ensuring a consistent experience for all users.
- Angular – A Cohesive SaaS Solution: Angular, despite being primarily a front-end framework, aligns with the SaaS model when considering its role in single-page applications. Developers utilizing Angular experience a uniform technology stack, fostering collaboration and streamlined development.
Case study- Luxury eCommerce platform in Dubai
After exploring the nuances of Vue.js, WordPress, and Angular, it’s worth checking out Codx Softwares’ latest Vue.js eCommerce platform. This platform powers an exciting new luxury brand in Dubai, dedicated to raising awareness about the rare and distinctive Hubara bird. This brand’s mission extends to highlighting the bird’s remarkable characteristics, its habitat, and the importance of honoring heritage, culture, and the natural environment for future generations.
The Hubara brand story is deeply rooted in the inspiring and caring gesture of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum towards the cultural heritage of the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai and UAE: A Digital Frontier for eCommerce
Dubai and the UAE present a digital frontier for eCommerce businesses. The region’s tech-savvy population, coupled with a robust infrastructure, makes it an ideal landscape for online ventures. When starting a small business in Dubai, leverage the digital opportunities available.
Understand the local market dynamics, preferences, and legal considerations. Tailor your eCommerce platform and digital marketing strategies to align with the unique characteristics of Dubai and the broader UAE market.
In conclusion, the success of your eCommerce platform hinges on a holistic approach that encompasses platform development, digital marketing strategies, and a keen understanding of your target audience. By incorporating the discussed keywords seamlessly into your digital strategy, you can position your eCommerce business for growth and success in the dynamic online landscape.
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