e-commerce platforms

8 Tips for Evaluating E-Commerce Platforms

Running an e-commerce business can be a challenging task. That is especially true if you don’t have the tools and tech to help your processes.

When choosing the right e-commerce platform, there are many factors you must consider before making a choice. Although you can switch e-commerce platforms down the line, it can be costly and limit your operations.

How to Choose the Right E-commerce Platform

Consider Analytics and Reporting

When choosing a platform, robust analytics and reporting software will make it easier to grow your online store. A good e-commerce platform should offer data on revenue, shipping locations, and inventory. Analytics lets you monitor your performance. Additionally, you can learn how to engage with your audience.

Ideally, the best e-commerce platform will allow you to view a range of metrics on a single dashboard. The metrics dashboard should be easy to understand. It should also separate data points in a logical manner. This is key for e-commerce companies to know how they are performing and where to improve.

Choose a Platform with Dropshipping Features

Speedy shipping is a necessity for any e-commerce business. Typically, consumers choose the online retailer with the fastest shipping options. And if you’re a small business, every customer counts. Quality e-commerce platforms should allow you to enter your products and keep your inventory organized easily.

Choosing an e-commerce solution that lets you track your inventory in real-time. Which, in turn, makes it easier to answer your customers’ shipping questions. The platform should enable vendors to print labels and bill freight costs to your business, reducing paperwork on your end.

Warehouse Capabilities Are Necessary E-Commerce Features

Oftentimes, a successful e-commerce store usually outsources their products’ storage to third-party warehouses. Choosing an e-commerce tool that integrates with your warehouse’s infrastructure will make it easier to manage. Ideally, the platform should train your warehouse partners on using their software; otherwise, you’ll spend valuable time training them yourself.

Some e-commerce platforms have warehouses of their own, allowing you to store inventory with them if you don’t have warehouse partners. Using a platform with its own warehouses removes more managerial burdens from you, although the services aren’t likely free.

In some cases, an e-commerce solution can arrange for inventory orders to be sent from the manufacturer to their warehouse. They can track the number of items you’ve sold and update the data automatically on your metrics dashboard. Additionally, they handle the packing and shipping process after an order is placed.

Choose a Platform with Robust Order Management Software

A quality e-commerce platform should be able to handle your orders with ease. If your business sells goods from multiple marketplaces, the e-commerce software should be able to integrate with multiple websites seamlessly. Because quickly shipping products is essential, the platform should match your orders with optimal fulfillment centers.

Avoiding customer returns is an excellent way to maximize profit, but returns will be necessary from time to time. In the event of a return, the platform should let you handle returns effectively and easily. This will help better your customer service and hopefully lead to more repeat customers.

Scalability is Important

A scalable platform makes it easier for your business to grow. Choose a platform that can handle a variety of SKUs and integrate with multiple websites. You’ll want the platform to support the additional volume as you begin accepting more orders or selling more products.

Many of the most prominent players in the e-commerce system allow third-party sellers to conduct business on their sites. Using a platform that works seamlessly with sites like Amazon, Kohl’s, and Groupon will help your business scale quickly.

The Platform Should Help and Support You Through Your Journey

Using an e-commerce platform for the first time can be confusing, regardless of how user-friendly the platform is. A quality platform should offer around-the-clock customer service. Additionally, It should help you integrate their software with your business. Assuming you use third-party warehouses or marketplaces, the platform should provide educational resources on connecting their software with your partners.

Protecting Your Customers’ Data is Essential

Choosing a trustworthy platform that doesn’t have a history of mismanaging customer data is important. When integrating with an e-commerce platform, you trust that platform with important information about your customers. This information may include names, addresses, emails, and more.

The Platform Should Reduce Your Business Expenses

There are many ways an e-commerce platform can reduce your business expenses. The platform’s pricing structure is the first consideration. Many platforms may charge you upfront, regardless of whether you make sales. Selecting one that only charges fees on transactions ensures you never pay more than you can afford.

Platforms that provide logistics services remove the need for warehouse space, shipping materials, and employees who pack and ship items. Although these services typically come with an added cost, the savings often outweigh the price of the services. Additionally, using a platform that includes logistics services makes it easier to forecast your expenses and earnings.

Picking E-Commerce Platforms

Choosing an e-commerce platform can feel overwhelming. Still, many platforms make it easier to focus on running your business by providing analytics, logistics services, and customer support. For an e-commerce business to scale, it must outsource some of the requirements for running its business. The truth is, it may be time to find an e-commerce solution provider. If it is, Tradefull is there to help. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Eric Kasper
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