Before you select an eCommerce platform, there are several factors to consider:
Hosted vs Self-Hosted
Typically, hosted platforms are intuitive; simply pay a monthly fee and your store is ready for you to add products, however, your customization options are limited since you will not have access to the source code. When using a self-hosted platforms, you must have a website host and then install the eCommerce software. Many hosts offer one-click installs of open source platforms, which you modify as you please. Self-hosted stores offer far more customization options, however, there is a learning curve.
Industry - Goods
If you'll sell digital goods, ensure that the eCommerce software that you select will enable you to do so, while wholesalers should find an online store that allow them to offer quantity discounts.
Some hosted eCommerce options only allow you to sell a specific number of goods with their lowest-priced option. If you will have a large catalogue of goods for sale, consider self-hosted software with no limitations on the number of products that you can sell.
Determine if eCommerce option offers enough shipping options to meet your needs. If you plan on using a fulfillment center, ensure your order and shipping information conveys to the shipper.
While self-hosted eCommerce options are considerably more affordable, however, if you are not technically proficient, you may need to pay a developer to setup your store and install security updates as needed. Hosted store charge more per month, however, they are easier to use, which will save you time.
With a hosted store, it is vital to check page load times before signing up for service, as slow-loading pages annoy customers, especially those on mobile devices. View existing stores that are using the platform to determine if they load quickly and function properly.
Since there are numerous facets to consider before selecting an eCommerce platform, including which payment gateways you will use, it is essential that you plan your store before selecting an eCommerce platform.
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