here is a plethora of options available when it comes to choosing an ecommerce platform. Open source ecommerce platforms such as Magento are quite popular because of it’s vast ecosystem and primarily free software. However, most business owners fail to choose their right ecommerce software/platform and waste an inordinate amount of time in trying to launch an ecommerce website.
There are several criteria, which need to be considered before choosing an ecommerce platform. Here are a few questions you need to ask before choosing ecommerce software:
There are plenty of free ecommerce shopping cart software available in the market. Most ecommerce providers use these freely available open source shopping cart software to deliver ecommerce sites. One of the popular ones is Magento which has proved to be a boon for developers and a nightmare for business owners.Using an Open Source Shopping Cart Software Such as Magento is Free But Extremely Expensive
Gwalia Sweets tried to launch their commerce website two times. First time the developer just disappears after making the site. The company was shut down.
Second time, the developers could not fix the automated email notification issue. Though the site was working, they or their customers were not receiving emails. I will share that case study with you. It is a very interesting case study.There are lots of Snake oil Salesman in the market and you need to be extremely careful while choosing the technology.
There are lots of Snake oil Salesman in the market and you need to be extremely careful while choosing the technology. It is the thing on the basis of which your business run and you cannot afford to go wrong here.
90% of the time ecommerce providers use pre-designed templates and make small graphics change to deliver your ecommerce website. Because they are smart enough to know that you don’t know about it. As a result, you get a mediocre ecommerce site that looks nice but doesn’t function well.“Design isn’t just how it looks, It’s about how it works” ~ Steve Jobs
The hidden story nobody tells you is - people don’t buy because from a poorly designed, template based site because at a subconscious level, they don’t trust it. The reason why most ecommerce providers offer services at cheap prices is this. However, the cheap turns out to be extremely expensive in the long-term.
The truth is - if your website design and shopping experiences are crafted well, it pays for itself. People are smart enough to sense it. The just feel it at a sub-conscious level.
Well Organized Product Catalogue Means Visitors can Find What They are Looking for in 3 Clicks or Less
The professional product cataloguing is one of the biggest challenge we have seen in ecommerce. A good benchmark for a clean and well-organized product catalogue is - “any product should be accessible in 3 clicks or less”.
Most service providers do not pay much attention to building a product catalogue. They leave it to the website owners who has to struggle endlessly with filters, tags, keywords and categories. Ultimately, customer leaves the product catalogue at the mercy of developer who doesn’t know how to actually organized products. Result, a sub-par product catalogue that leaves your website visitor unhappy and dissatisfied.
The truth is, building ecommerce catalogue is a skill of it’s own. It requires proper planning, oversight and implementation.
Speed is one of the main factors which makes or breaks your ecommerce website. Here are some important statistics:
Luckily, there are plenty of Free tools available which can tell you if your ecommerce store is loading in less than 4 seconds. Once such tool is Google Page speed. You can visit the Google Page speed site at:https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Once you visit this page, you will be asked to enter the website address which you need to analyze. Enter the url and hit submit button.If the Google Page speed score is less than 70, you have a reason to worry.
When you choose an ecommerce provider, randomly pick up their existing site and enter their URL on Google Page Speed. The Google Page speed will show the page load time. If it exceeds 5 seconds, there is a big chance that it will be the case with your website too.
There is a big difference between Mobile Friendly and Mobile Responsive In India, 41% of sales happen through mobile. However, when someone says “mobile friendly” you need to carefully inspect how it works. Most of the time, what we have seen is that people will use the word “mobile friendly” casually and the usability is so poor that it is hardly usable on mobile.
Any easy way to check if your website is mobile friendly or not is by going to Google Mobile Friendly test page located below:https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Once you visit that page, simply enter the url of the site which needs to be tested. If the website is mobile friendly, Google will immediately show a message “Congratulations, the website is m mobile friendly”. If not, it will throw an error message.
Another critical aspect most business owners miss out while evaluating a service provider is the checkout.
In this regard, let me tell you the story of Mr. Srikant, the owner of www.chocolatemantra.com . Prior to eComNation, his checkout page used to crash often and it was extremely unreliable.
He got so frustrated with his ecommerce providers that he was almost read to give up on ecommerce. He switched FOUR ecommerce platforms before migrating to eComNation. Since then, he has zero shopping failure rate and high conversion rate on his checkout.
Software interface is meant to bridge the gap between the user and the underlying technology
The biggest barrier in ecommerce for an ordinary person has been technology adoption. Unfortunately, most ecommerce software is made keeping technology at the center and user has to do all the grunt work of learning it.
Most ecommerce softwares are extremely difficult to use for an average person because they are not designed keeping a non-tech person in mind. You need to carefully evaluate user interface of your admin panel. Go through at least these two things:
Choose the ecommerce software you can live with for the rest of your life because whatever it is, it will be hard to change and there are costs involved.
Mr. Rajan Patel came to one of our ecommerce success seminars and incidentally, he was launching an ecommerce store using Magento the next day. He had already invested Rs. 1 lacs in development cost. He got so frustrated with the entire process and switched to eComNation at the last moment.
You just don’t need ecommerce software or a technology. You must look for a long-term ecommerce partner. As a business owner, you need to find a specialized ecommerce company who believes in your vision and let’s you move forward with momentum. Because they take care of all grunt work and the technology behind it.Your ecommerce success will then be not a coincidence, it will be a certainty because nothing is left to chance.
Hrishikesh Jobanputra is an author and marketing advisor to forward thinking entrepreneurs. He has 16+ years of experience in marketing, strategy and consulting. Hrishikesh helps businesses of all sizes gain an unfair competitive advantage using the power of inbound marketing.
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