Blog Post - Craig Harper-Ashton, Nov 9 2018

Tips for choosing the best fit eCommerce platform

Tips for choosing the best fit eCommerce platform

Whether you’re looking to launch an eCommerce store for the first time and trying to find the right platform – or you’re keen to move on from another option – there is plenty to consider when it comes to identifying the right eCommerce fit. A good eCommerce platform will be supportive, scalable and provide options for development and effective budget management that can help your business to grow. At the same time, it is vital that your choice of platform aligns with your business vision and strategy for maximum effectiveness.

Define your budget and business objectives

What are your key business objectives and how does an eCommerce presence fit into those, now and over the next five years? Your business vision means you can also determine how much of your budget you can allocate to building to a new eCommerce platform – for most organisations this is around 5% of the “realistic cost” for the platform itself, with 20% of cost being implementing the platform. The right eCommerce platform will support your business objectives within your set budget.

Identify any issues with your current platform

If you’re already using an eCommerce platform, it can be very useful to begin by identifying the ways in which it is limiting your business. Look at both technical and strategic issues that may have caused setbacks – this will provide a basis when looking for a new provider.

Establish a timescale

It can take time to create a new eCommerce presence and different platforms will accommodate this in different ways. If you’re pressed for time and keen to launch as soon as possible then you may want to opt for a platform that provides packages that can deliver in short timescales.

What problems are you trying to solve for your customer?

Many businesses completely overlook this question and yet it’s one of the most important to answer. Ecommerce platforms are built for your customers and used most frequently by them so it makes sense that they are created by tailoring the capabilities of an available platform and ecommerce store to the expectations and needs of customer. By analysing which platform would provide the best experience for your customers you’ll get a good idea of which option is going to be the best fit.

What problems are you trying to solve for your customer?

Many businesses completely overlook this question and yet it’s one of the most important to answer. Ecommerce platforms are built for your customers and used most frequently by them, so it makes sense that they are created by tailoring the capabilities of an available platform and eCommerce store to the expectations and needs of the customer. By analysing which platform would provide the best experience for your customers you’ll get a good idea of which option is going to be the best fit.

Scalability and integration

As your website grows you need to be sure that the platform you choose can handle it – and that you can scale up the site quickly and easily to cope with change. It’s also worth evaluating which of your internal or existing systems you need an eCommerce platform to integrate with and how easy is it to do. Integration can save time when it comes to operations and ensure greater accuracy too.

Functionality should be based on customer value

Your website should add genuine value for customers and it’s with this in mind that you should begin defining the functionality that it needs. There are a number of ways to help shape functionality including:

  • Look at competitor websites and see what features they use
  • Ask yourself whether those features would add value for your customers
  • Review an existing website (if you have one) to identify key value adding features and those that are wasted space
  • Try to identify the features you need to drive growth

The right fit eCommerce platform will be the one that provides all of the above, as well as the flexibility for the business to develop and grow. We implement best-in-class eCommerce platforms for the world’s leading brands every day. Find out how we can help you choose a platform that aligns with your business vision and strategy and that will also help future-proof your multichannel proposition.

how we can help with platform selection