As the founder of IBM, Sir Thomas Watson once famously said, “Nothing happens without a sale”. Even if your product is a goose that lays golden eggs, you’re going to have to figure out a way to sell it or else your goose is cooked. Fortunately, there are a ton of options available. Unfortunately, sifting through this sea of options can be a headache. This leads many people to choose an ecommerce platform at random and most often end up using one that isn’t best suited for their needs. To aid you in Ecommerce platform comparison and to help you learn how to sell online, we’ve compiled a list of the top features you’ll want to look for and factors you’ll want to consider when shopping around for an ecommerce platform.
Easy to Use Interface
Unless you’re a computer programmer, having an ecommerce platform with an easy-to-use UI is going to be high on the list of priorities. For most of us, the less coding and other such complex design tasks the better.
Thankfully, most of the best ecommerce platforms come equipped with helpful, simple design features such as drag-and-drop design blocks that make building and customizing your online store a cinch. Pick a platform with features such as these and skip the hours of frustrating design work.
Great Customer Service
What happens when you’re having technical difficulties and your entire business is suddenly put on hold? Hopefully, the answer is that your ecommerce platform’s top-notch customer service kicks in and helps you figure out whatever you’re having trouble with. For this reason, choosing an ecommerce platform with great customer service is essential.
Figuring out how to sell online can be a learning curve and can sometimes seem like an endless chain of problems to solve (though trust us, it’s still a blast!). When this happens, it’s nice to know that you’ve got a friendly, responsive customer service team in your corner to give you a little help figuring things out.
Seamless Experience for Your Customer
Learning how to sell online is all about creating an exceptional sales process for your customers. You want the sales process on your online store to be so simple and seamless that your customers could complete their checkout in their sleep. Jumping through hoops is fun for trained seals and dolphins – not so much for potential customers.
When considering an ecommerce platform, be sure to pick one that has the checkout process down to a science. It should be able to accept all major credit cards as well as online payment methods such as PayPal. In addition to this, choose a platform that allows you to put together an effective sales funnel that seamlessly guides your customer through the sales process without any frustration or resistance along the way. In short, choose a platform that doesn’t suck for the customer to use, and you’ll be sure to make far more sales.
Bells and Whistles
Will you use every single tool and feature that an ecommerce platform offers? Probably not. Is it nice to have them, though? Definitely. Having these tools at your disposal gives you options, and having options allows you to test which features perform the best and drive the most conversions.
A/B split testing is kind of hard to do if A is the only option you have. Instead, choose an ecommerce platform that has all the bells and whistles and then narrow down which ones are worth using for your particular business.
What kind of bells and whistles are you looking for? We’re talking about stuff like social selling, where you can sell on your Facebook or Instagram. Or if you’re selling digital products, you want to see how many files the platform will host for you. You may think you only need a few files right now, but when you expand, you may need more, and when you’re at critical mass the last thing you want is to switch ecommerce platforms halfway through.
There are other great things you can be looking for like license keys, SKUs, abandon cart emails, buy buttons, app integrations, etc. The more features available to you, the better off you’ll be in the long run. There’s a reason those features exist in ecommerce platforms, and you’ll eventually want to use them.
The Digital Era has brought with it an entirely new breed of threats, and cyber-criminals love preying on business owners. If one of them was ever able to hack into your online store, the amount of ways they can figure out to steal money from you is staggering. From literally holding your business hostage until a ransom is paid to simply stealing all of your important data, these threats are real and they must be taken seriously.
The good news is that a high-quality ecommerce platform is going to have security software and protocols in place that make attacks such these highly unlikely verging on impossible. So long as you do your part by doing things like choosing a strong password and maintaining safe browsing habits, your ecommerce store will be bulletproof. Just make sure to choose a platform with a top-of-the-line security system in place.
Your online store needs to look pretty, because if it doesn’t, sales will suffer. Customers want to order from a store that looks great, and for reasons that aren’t entirely superficial. Having an online store that looks great communicates professionalism and gives your customers some degree of assurance that they are handing their money over to a pro who took the time to build a great-looking online store rather than one that looks like it was designed a six year old in Microsoft Paint.
To ensure you are able to build an online store that looks professional and is pleasing to the eye, be sure to choose an ecommerce platform that offers you some great looking templates as well as the tools you need to make them look even better.
Fees and Pricing
Ecommerce platforms can’t offer all of these great features for free. To earn their cut, most ecommerce platforms either charge you a flat-rate prescription fee, a per-sale fee, or both. Before choosing an ecommerce platform, though, be sure to thoroughly analyze its pricing model. Whip out your calculator and start figuring up just how much each option is going to affect your bottom line.
Keep in mind, though, that cheaper isn’t always better, and pricing shouldn’t necessarily outweigh all of the other factors listed above. With that said, you will definitely want to choose an ecommerce platform that charges a comparable, affordable rate.
How to Sell Online with Selz
At Selz, we know just how important each of the factors on this list is when choosing an online platform. That’s why we designed Selz from the ground up to knock each of these details out of the park. We invite you to explore Selz further to see for yourself, then when you’re ready to get started selling online be sure to let us know. We look forward to helping make your business a smashing success!