Starting an online store seems to be becoming more and more popular with entrepreneurs these days. This sort of craze brings positives and negatives. One of the negatives is that you’re going to be dealing with a lot more competition than you might have done a few years ago. (Again, though, competition is a sign of a thriving industry!) The positive is that it’s becoming easier to get into e-commerce than ever.
That doesn’t mean you should go out there and use the free-and-easy e-commerce platforms you may have seen around. You know the ones I’m talking about! The websites that allow you to set up an online store in just a few moments. They may be good for hobbyists. But if you want to do this professionally? Build a real business out of it? Then you need to use a more professional platform.
There are plenty of platforms out there that are tailored to more serious startups. What you really want to use is a content management system that functions similarly to WordPress. WordPress is a popular CMS, but it’s not exactly the best one to use if your website is a store. Magento is often considered the most equivalent to WordPress in terms of functionality and popularity. Whatever platform you pick, you must make sure it features these essential things.
Obviously! Again, the CMS you use should have built-in e-commerce features. These include product support, personalization, promotional pricing, and perhaps even newsletter management. It’s best to go with a CMS that does all this from the ground up. Picking another CMS and using e-commerce plugins might not work as well as you hope.
You want to be in this for the long haul, right? That means you have to grow your business. And that means you have to use a platform that can grow with you. Scalable allows you to manage this sort of growth. You can begin with more basic features. Once your business is growing, you can look into upgrading your CMS. The platform you use should be suitable for small or large companies.
A lot of people are doing their shopping on their mobile phones these days. And you need to be able to take advantage of this. This refers to both the back-end processing as well as what the site actually looks like on a mobile screen. The desktop version of your website won’t do. Find a platform that can be responsive to the device that’s being used to access the website.
This is incredibly important, although I’m sure you know that already. You’re going to be dealing with some sensitive information in this line of work! Home addresses, payment details, shopping habits… This is all data that customers will want you to protect. A lot of your own data is going to be poured into this thing, as well. You have to make sure that the platform you’re going to use will be as secure as possible. Check their security procedures. If you can, find customer feedback, too.