Want to start your own online store but not sure how to choose the right ecommerce platform? To start with, pick a budget friendly ecommerce platform, which suits your requirements and comes with extra features to ensure high return on investment.
However, price is one factor that can influence your decision, but it boils down to built-in features and level of security that comes along with the platform of your choice.
To help you make an educated decision, we have written few points to consider before buying an ecommerce platform. Let us get familiar with them one by one.
Most ecommerce platforms offer so many features that it becomes confusing for the buyer to understand, which pricing plan will be appropriate for them and suit their budget. Based on our research, there is a number of price constraints upon which price packages are differentiated. These constraints are:
- Annual online Sales –BigCommerce offers different packages based on the annual sales of the store. The basic plan ($29.95 / month) is for those whose online sales is up to $50k. The plus plan ($79.95 / month)is for the stores whose annual sales do not exceed 125K. The Pro plan ($199.95 / month)is for those whose online sales, whose annual sales do not exceed $1 million per year. The last plan is for enterprises and no price has been mentioned on the website.
- Number of products being sold-Volusion is one such ecommerce platform that has packages based on number of products a store will sell.The mini package ($15/month) has a limitation of 100 products. Another package ($35/month) comes with 1000 products cap limit. Upto 10,000 products can be featured in the Pro package ($75/month). In the Premium package ($135/month), there is no limit on the number of products.
- After sales support-Most ecommerce platforms try to improve the experience of the customer with good after sales support. However, in case of CS-Cart and YoKart, there is a big difference in how the two offer their after sales support. CS-Cart comes with two packages with first one being a single store version ($385) offers 50 credits and second one being a multivendor version ($1450) offering 100 credits of free technical support. However, in case of YoKart, which is also a multivendor ecommerce platform, free support is given for the first year from the day of the delivery of the project.
Type of Store
After price, the next important thing to consider is the type of store you want. At this point, you should give priority to that type of store, which will help you achieve your business objectives. The following list should be considered to get a better understanding:
- Hosted or Self-Hosted–Hosting type serves the need of startups or established stores in different ways. If you are a beginner with a unique idea, then based on your budget, a hosted plan will be good for you. However, if your requirement involves improving the brand value of your store, then self-hosted plan is what you need. Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, and YoKart (Startup plan)offers hosted solution, whereas, CS-Cart and other two plans (Go Quick and Go Custom) of YoKart offer self-hosted solution.
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- Single or Multi Store–Depending on your business model, the type of store can be determined. If you are a company and want to sell your products, then a single store would suffice. However, if you are an entrepreneur who wants to open an online marketplace, where multiple vendors can come and sell their products, then a multivendor store is the obvious choice. There are multiple options for single store such as Shopify, BigCommerce and Volution. However, for multivendor ecommerce store, there are two major players YoKart and CS-Cart.
Ecommerce platforms combine different set of features to offer something to suit every business’s need. However, some plans offer less features and charge more, while others may give away all the features for less price, but in order to choose the right ecommerce platform, it is essential to know about following features, which will come handy and help you manage it better:
- Marketing–Marketing is a broad term and there are many things covered under this segment. A good ecommerce platform will provide you with in-depth report generation tools, meta information fields in the content management system, usage of rich snipets to specify ranking of the product in the search engine results, and more. All ecommerce platforms support KPIs tuned to measure the sales effectively and detailed analytics to point out areas of improvement. The platform which offers a decent mix of features at the right cost are YoKart, Shopify and BigCommerce.
- Security–In order to protect online stores from cyber threats like malware, viruses, and more, you need to opt for aplatform that comes with high reliability and 24 x 7 technical support to fix issues as soon as they occur. Check out forums to see which ecommerce platform company addresses the issues instantaneously. While multivendor platforms like CS-Cart comes with free credits for after sales support, it is hard to ignore that YoKart gives an entire year of free support.
The above points will create the perfect knowledge base to make an intelligent decision. Although, there are many more points to consider but things like Security, Type of Store, and Price factors are the pre-eminent factors of buying an ecommerce platform.