So you decided to Sell online. You have a very respectable website with a good content and good traffic. Active social channels, listing in the local directories for businesses and have a strong word of mouth promotion going on for you offline. Now it’s time to find the ROI in the scheme of things and create an online store. Your search will lead you to more than 50 such eCommerce platforms like Zepo, Shopify, BuildaBazaar, Kartrocket, PowerStores etc. that offer a wide variety of options.
Choosing the right eCommerce Store builder is tricky business. One small mistake and the customer might just never come back.
Typically for online businesses, Traffic is high on their eCommerce platforms (Thanks to SEO/Paid Ads) but Attrition even higher. It is important to keep in mind a checklist before you begin your journey no matter what your business category or revenue model is. Here are the 10 commandments to follow before you know your perfect match
- To Open Source or Not to Open Source
Yes, that’s the buzzword in the Tech Industry. Open source this and make it free and what not. But remember, before diving into open source or SaaS based eCommerce platforms, make sure there is a strong back end team that can execute whatever you wish to do with it. No point going with a free open source that will be dud just because no one knew what to do with it. Tie-up with Partners not with Vendors.
- Make sure that it’s compatible with your existing Web server Technologies
Next in, is the compatibility. Your Ecommerce platform should sync well with your server OS and should be able to handle the required bandwidth speed along with all protocols specially security, since, that is the most exploited feature by far on all ecommerce supporting websites.
- Payment Methods support
What is not a good customer experience?
When Arvind logs in from Kanpur and finds that his preferred mode of COD is not available or when Stephen from Goa is unable to find his bank’s name as an option for Netbanking or when Pratham can’t buy things on EMI. Make sure your eCommerce platform has all bases covered including a reliable payment gateway. It builds trust. The most important value for your online store.
- Process Management
This is one of the most overlooked points by many.
- Detailed reporting
- Inventory management tools
- Data management
The 3 reasons why you decided to sell online in the 1st place. Your website builder must be deliver the above factors that will decide whether you remain just an online store or become the destination for online purchases. Remember, in the Internet Economy, Data is Gold.
- Integration with Digital marketing suite
An eCommerce store is only as good as the RoI it brings. Which will happen only when it gets a suitable traffic. And that in turn will happen only when it is fully inline with your marketing efforts on all platforms. Make sure SEO, Social plugins, API’s, WebApps and all other Advertising and Affliate programs are fully integrated with your platform. It will reduce your pain in the long run.
- Easy to use Interface
Not only should your store front end look clean and easy to use but also the backend must not be cluttered and should be easy to handle for your team. Concentrate on UX both in front and behind the screen. Trust me. No one likes to handle morbid backends that seem like look like from the 60’s.
- Remote Administration
One of the top reasons for choosing to go online for most businesses is the Speed and accessibility. No point being on Holiday in GoKarna and still having to spend half a day asking your team to add products on a weekend. A good ecommerce store makes life easy.
- Good technical support
When in doubt, go for Technical support. One of the 1st things that smart entrepreneurs do when searching for an online solution is to call the customer care. If it takes you 2 hours just to make it to the support executive, I guess, you know the answer. And yeah, make sure, they follow up. Avoid being stuck in an endless loop of calls to unknown executives who take 5 mins of your time to verify your identity.
- Price and Scaling Plans
Feemium is the way. All good portals have well defined solutions that are suited your needs. Go for one that is not only tailor made according to your business size and features but also is scalable and works with you without having to have board meetings just to decide whether to upgrade or not.
Last but not the least, make sure that you track, manage and evaluate your eCommerce purchases regularly. Setting up an eCommerce store is just the 1st step to success. The rest of the road is guided by your own acumen, strategies and robust reporting and evaluations. A magic wand is only as useful as the skill of it’s master and spell that he casts.