Ecommerce cloud solutions to look for in 2022
Whether your business is a start-up company or an already established one, today having an eCommerce cloud solution is almost non-negotiable. While you can easily find hundreds with a quick Google search, finding the right for your particular business is the difficult part.
To put this into perspective, below are several popular cloud-based eCommerce solutions.
As you can see, they are all reputable organizations. So, the big question is: exactly how do you know the best one suitable for your business?
Although this may sound so terrifying, the right knowledge can help prepare you and quicken your decision making process. Below are the key six factors you need to consider when evaluating an ecommerce platform.
Security features for your customer’s data protection
Your customer’s data protection should be one of your top priorities when choosing an eCommerce platform. A breach in data can cost your company so much money, loss of trust, and lowers your reputation. It can even result in penalties, fines, or legal action in some extreme cases. Statistics show that the eCommerce industry is the 5th most targeted industry when it comes to phishing attacks:
To minimize your risk when considering an ecommerce platform, look for the following features:
- Encrypted, single-tenant hosting for better security
- Web application firewalls to block malicious web traffic before it gets to your website
- Backup solutions to allow your data to be restored
- Several payment methods that see to it that a customer’s card data is not saved on your eCommerce website
- 2-factor authentication
- Strong password support
Integration for third-party apps and programs
In eCommerce, integrating third-party apps and programs is a must. That means you need an eCommerce platform that can integrate well with the architecture you already have and accommodate the third-party apps or programs using APIs, native integrations or extensions. You need to thoroughly check out the ecosystem of APIs, themes, plug-ins and add-ons to avoid having to recreate integrations that already exist.
Your eCommerce platform should allow data to freely flow to your CMS, ERP, WMS or chatbot you already have in existence. And in return, the data must be able to flow back to the eCommerce platform without any hassles. If it cannot do this, you better think twice before investing in it.
User-friendly front and back-end
When checking out your cloud-based eCommerce solutions, choose one that ensures that both front- and back-end can fully respond to mobile apps, and can work well on any platform or browser. The content management system should also have dynamic content widgets suitable for your business. These should make it is easy for you to create call to action buttons, text blocks, and product snippets among ma
Most importantly, make sure that the creation of these pages is a great experience for your employees. It’s not worth having a dreamy design with a clunky backend. The goal is to have an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. Last but not least, make sure that your web pages and landing pages are aesthetically pleasing and have a friendly user experience for the customer.
Data analytics & reporting features
A good cloud-based eCommerce platform must have analytics and reporting features to help you collect data and see vital business metrics. You can collect data on things like average order value, conversion rates, and any other important metrics that are crucial for enhancing your website and improving the user experience.
It would also be beneficial if the system can monitor the overall performance and give you some insights on how you can better reach your audience more effectively.
A Cloud-based eCommerce platform is either based on open source code or proprietary code. Where the code is proprietary (SaaS), your ability to customize may be narrowed down, and this can be a problem when your business starts to grow and you want to expand your reach. However, if the platform offers close to 80% or even more of the functionality you want, it might not be much of a problem. If you like to customize, search for features like workflow engines and modular design and to support the process of customization.
For full customization capabilities, it’s better to go with open-source code. This is the only option that allows you to view and modify the source code whichever way you like.
Even better, today with multiple forums you can easily find out if someone else has already developed the customization you need. This will significantly save you time at the same time allowing you to get exactly the cloud-based eCommerce platform you want.
A flexible and scalable eCommerce platform is definitely a must-have. One day you might want to shift your cloud solution to an ecommerce platform in-house, so make sure your platform choice supports that from the get-go. When your business starts to grow, you need to continue reaching your customers without experiencing performance issues.
Depending on the type of items you sell, you may want a platform with multi-site support using the same back-end. If your business goal is to operate globally, you will need an eCommerce platform with multi-country and multi-currency support. This can help you handle shipping tasks in different countries easily. Overall, make sure that control and flexibility are offered in your platform choice.
Cloud services included
Of course, you must evaluate the Cloud services included. Take a look at the support services and make sure they are beneficial to your ecommerce business. All Cloud platforms have basic functionality and hosting, but you definitely need more than that. Your cloud solution is supposed to take away some tasks such as incident reporting and site monitoring.
A few questions you might want to ask are: Is all maintenance included? How will routine maintenance problems be handled? How often and fast can backup be restored? And more!
The total cost of ownership
While it’s equally important to get an eCommerce platform that meets your business needs, there is no need to put the price on top of your factors-to-consider list.
Take this example, you purchase an eCommerce platform for $300 because it enables you to sell, however, it doesn’t have all the extra features your business needs. When the website goes down, you don’t get any customer support because it wasn’t part of the package.
That means, you will have to spend so much time trying to get it fixed, and meanwhile, you are losing sales during the downtime. Sometimes the cheap platforms can actually cost you more in the long run.
However, this doesn’t mean you should go above your budget for the best platform. When planning it out, consider the consulting fees, developer costs, licensing and other additional fees. Make sure you identify all the costs in advance and consider them when finalising your decision.
Over to you
Pinning down the cloud-based ecommerce platform that fits your business needs is no easy task. First, you need to narrow down the list, until you get the best solution. This will save you from a lot of unnecessary headaches arising from platforms that don’t meet your specific requirements, and if it comes to the worst, having to go through a difficult, laborious process of changing your eCommerce platforms.
Before choosing your eCommerce cloud solution, evaluate as many platforms as possible, see their pros and cons, and find one that best suits your business needs today and in the long run.
Ready to get your eCommerce platform? Contact us today about how we can help you make your business grow.