Now that you have got all your wares aligned and thinking of launching your online business, it’s time to start finalizing the most suitable platform for yourself. Online retail sales in the UK reached £52.25 billion, which shows the immensity of the online market.
Below are some of the considerations you need to make before settling on the finest platform to sell your products/services online:
What is the stock size you’re looking at? When you’re looking for a store platform to use, be sure to see that you’re paying the smallest possible amount of money required. Conduct thorough research to make sure you aren’t being ripped off.
Security, Hardware, and Monitoring
Ideally, you should have a say in the hardware as well as the operating and security solutions being chosen by the web hosting service. Choose advanced and reliable server line operating systems like IBM iSeries to ensure that your money doesn’t go down the drain.
The hardware also needs to be sturdy to bear the brunt of thousands of visitors monthly. Make sure to see the essential RAM and CPU components.
Physical vs. Digital?
This is one of the most crucial questions worth asking. Are the goods you sell are physical or digital? This will vastly impact your shipping costs. Did you know that eight out of ten customers would choose an online retailer just because of free shipping? That’s why it’s wise to hunt for a platform that fits your product needs – just like a glove.
See if the different deals offered fit your budget. If possible, go for the opportunity to pay monthly installments rather than promising to share a small percentage of your sale with the company.
Self-Hosted or Cloud Platforms?
If you’re sure you can modify the look of the online store, then by all means, you should look for platforms enabling you to go for self-hosted stores. Many e-commerce platforms allow you to alter your store as per your needs.
Some popular cloud platforms include Bluepark, Volusion, Shopify, and Magento Small Business. Cloud platforms are all the rage but you need to know the pros and cons before deciding if it is your thing!
Pros and Cons of Cloud Platforms
You don’t need to have any capital expenditure or pay any maintenance charges. That’s because these platforms come with their own set of technical support so you can sit back and let them take care of the technical nitty-gritty details.
But here’s the con: You might not be able to get your hands on highly customized websites with exclusive website branding. Also, you might not find the scalability for websites to grow along with your business needs.
Pros and Cons of Self-Hosted Platforms
Supposing you opt for the self-hosted e-commerce, you have the flexibility of creating a web store with customized branding. The solutions are scalable, with the potential to grow along with your business.
However, with these platforms, the costs can go upward to thousands of Euros a year. You’re also exposing yourselves to security issues when using a free shopping cart.
The Bottom Line
Coming up with your online shop just requires one thing: research! So, conduct ample research based on the product/service you sell so that you’ll be able to round up some of the best platforms out there to make your online shop functional. You can have the right information at your disposal by comparing the major e-commerce players to get the best deal.
Rebecca O’Brien has worked on the tech support team for a web services provider for several years. She likes helping people, especially small business owners, and has the ability to word things in an easy to understand way.