14 Must-Have Features To Consider During eCommerce Platform Selection

Avantika Shergil By Avantika Shergil  |  Nov 7, 2022  |  E-Commerce
Features To Consider During eCommerce Platform Selection

Global retail eCommerce sales is growing consistently with no low tides in the last decade. In 2021, online sales which is $5.2 trillion worldwide is expected to increase to $8.1 trillion by 2026 at a CAGR of 56%. Similar positive growth is experienced in revenue that online stores are generating.

The eye-catchy figures indicate why is eCommerce important and compelling retailers to accelerate the shift to eCommerce store development and avail of the financial gains that online venture brings by multiple folds. The gains are attractive but starting an eCommerce store is not an apple pie. There is a lot more that goes into a successful e-commerce business from getting fundamentals right to paving the road to success. You will get extensive details related to eCommerce store development with an eCommerce app development guide.

This guide suggests everything is done seamlessly if you embrace a robust eCommerce platform that brings winning results to the table. With multiple choices available for an eCommerce platform, it’s tricky to choose the best fit as the excellent features of the eCommerce platform can either make or break your e-commerce dream.

Still, not persuaded by how eCommerce platform leverage brings marginal differences in investment and profits it brings in return. Here’s the answer:

Why Use an E-commerce Platform?

An online store is the backbone of successful businesses today. If you do not have an e-commerce platform, you are losing a big chunk of business to your competitors. Back in the day, businesses had to develop their platforms. The affair was time-consuming, and costly and require development teams. Scalability and integration with other software used by the business were an issue.

The onset of e-commerce platforms has revolutionized the digital landscape and has made running an e-commerce business accessible to all for a fraction of the cost it was before. It eliminates the need to hire a team of eCommerce pros to get build an eCommerce store from scratch that’s a time-expensive process. Also, taking care of maintenance services, building infrastructure, and others are add-ons, which do not allow retailers to focus on core business activities.

eCommerce platforms allow retailers to live with peace of mind as everything is handled by the eCommerce platform vendor. It enables retailers to get build an eCommerce marketplace and focus on how to fuel up business growth. If you want to dig deeper into how to build a multi-million marketplace business model, the guide will help. Again, the importance of the best e-commerce platform selection to successfully deliver solutions suited to your business requirements cannot be ignored.

14 Features to consider while selecting an eCommerce Platform

At this point, you know how to start a retail online store but are unaware of the features that make the store live on the top of the customers’ minds. With multiple choices for eCommerce platforms, it’s confusing to choose the best e-commerce platform out of the thousands that are out there. What are the metrics you use to make intelligent comparisons between different eCommerce platforms? What are the features to consider? Is the pricing, right? Here’s the biggest question on every e-tailer’s mind. Which is the best eCommerce platform available today?

For example, a value-added IT reseller will need features that a fashion eCommerce website may not. However, some features are an absolute must-have to run a successful eCommerce business. Ensure that the e-commerce software you choose does not skimp on these 11 features. Compare these features before choosing an eCommerce platform.

#1 Order Tracking

The best catalog, price, multiple shipping options, and multitude of payment gateways have made checkout a breeze. Once, the order is placed, the customers wait eagerly for their product ordered. When there’s a delay in the order delivery, the customers get impatient for the same. The solution to all these problems is- enabling an order tracking feature that allows customers to track the order right from the moment order is confirmed by the seller.

The link to track the order at every step of the way is sent to the customers in the order shipment email from where they can keep tabs on the order. Also, the reason for unexpected delays is mentioned that keeps the customers hold their breath for the most awaited order. eCommerce development companies never forget to integrate the feature.

#2 Push Notifications

Push notification is a powerful weapon that gains an upper hand over a general message sent to customers which is most often ignored or left unread. The push notifications are tailored to every individual customer’s demographic, browsing pattern, and buying history. It increases the chances of reading the push notifications and taking an action.

When they are sent at the right time after tracking the users’ specific eCommerce activity, the conversion rate and ROI get increased by a large margin. For instance, sending discount-related or about-to-last-in-stock push notification to the users for the product they are browsing, stimulates them to shop and enable impulse buying.

Select the eCommerce platform that enables push notification API integration to increase sales and profits of the store.

#3 Chatbots

Chatbots are AI-powered assistants that are trained in tracking user activities, connecting the dots, and then providing a tailored response. Mostly, eCommerce stores are implementing them to enhance customer support services that improve response rates and customer satisfaction.

Taking a step ahead, they resolve the queries 24/7, 365 days beyond office hours. They work wonderfully in resolving 80% of customer queries related to order tracking, refund, payment issues, and more. Chatbots deployed in messaging platforms involve the customers at scale as their open rate is 98%. The bots send offers or reminders for abandoned shopping cart which enhances sales.

Check the eCommerce platform feature’s checklist to know if the chatbot integration facility which has become a need of the hour is provided or not.

#4 Mobile Friendliness

More than 40% of traffic coming to the eCommerce store is from mobile devices, which makes perfect sense to optimize the store for mobile. It helps the store to gain user traction that prefers browsing and buying from mobile devices. Also, making the eCommerce store mobile-responsive eliminates the need to manage the marketing campaign, product information, catalog, listing, and others for different screen sizes. It reduces time, cost, and resource investment.

The responsive design ensures store looks everywhere consistently the same and delivers a great experience to the users regardless of the device they are using. Move ahead with the platform that supports responsive themes and templates which are customized according to eCommerce design needs.

#5 Security

Customers already show reluctance while buying from online stores due to perceived cases of financial data stolen or lost. Making the customers assures that sensitive data is safe when they transact with the store is important. The platform must enable end-to-end encryption, integrate SSL certificates, take data backups, ensure PCI DSS compliance, and implement all the fraud prevention techniques followed by security audits after regular intervals that ensure eCommerce transactions and stored data are safe.

Consider the platform that provides two-factor authentication and security plugin integration facility so that no one can put a dent in the website’s security.

#6 eCommerce Platform Speed & Scalability

No business in a specific amount of time can guarantee a degree of growth. When it grows, the eCommerce store requires additional support from the platform based on the evolving users’ preferences, market trends, and latest technologies. It requires the eCommerce platform support expansion that includes customizing APIs, extending storage needs, and automating things as per the changing business needs.

The platform that facilitates customization and scalability ensures that the store performs in as-is condition with no downtime. Also, be clear about the fees that the vendor will charge upon increasing storage and integrating more features.

#7 Powerful Catalog

The product catalog is the Holy Grail of your e-commerce business. Today’s consumer demand a consistent and rich online buying experience and a robust catalog will offer them that and ensure they return to your store. Your product catalog should complement the requirement of your sector. For example, if you sell IT products, your catalog should enable you to bundle products, up-sell and cross-sell. For fashion products, your catalog should offer customers different sizes and colors.

Another important feature of a powerful product catalog is its rich content. The product images, description and attributes should be consistent. This allows you to easily offer an omnichannel experience to your customers.

#8 Flexible Pricing

In today’s dynamic and competitive e-commerce market, prices are never set in stone. Customers are ALWAYS looking for deals and bargains. Running promotions is a great way of attracting customers. You will definitely run promotions, sales and promo codes, so it’s better to choose an e-commerce platform that allows you to do so easily and automates the calculations.

#9 Flexible Shipping

Customers usually have shipping carrier preferences depending on delivery time, packaging and handling etc. A lot of cart abandonments occur because customers don’t find their preferred carrier.

While it may not be possible to offer every shipping carrier under the sun, it is advisable to offer at least a couple of major carriers, so customers feel in control of their orders.

#10 Multiple payment gateways

Another reason for cart abandonment at checkout is the unavailability of familiar payment gateways. Online shoppers usually prefer one specific payment type. Some have loyalty rewards programs; some may trust only locally popular payment options. If you are a global entity, you MUST offer local payment options that consumers trust and know. Do not lose out a confirmed sale because of a lack of payment options. E-commerce software that offers you multiple payment gateways according to your geographical location will be a big asset to your e-commerce business.

#11 Automatic tax and account calculation

Not paying taxes is a legal offense and if you are a global entity it is best if your e-commerce platform can automate tax calculations for you. Failure to do so will lead to numerous legal repercussions in different countries, and we’re guessing you do not want that! The best e-commerce platforms out there offer automated tax and account calculations.

#12 Customer Review System

Millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than any other. We live in the millennial world and well, we need to adapt. Consumers today check for online reviews before making any decision, be it buying a product, choosing a restaurant or planning a holiday. You will heavily lose out if your e-commerce platform does not allow users to rate you, leave testimonials, reviews or comments.

#13 Social Media Integration

Facebook and Instagram are where the world’s biggest audience is. A good e-commerce platform will allow seamless social media integrations to give your customers a truly omnichannel buying experience. This is again where a solid and consistent product catalog is of immense importance.

14 Google Merchant Integration

Google Merchant allows your products to list in the Google Shopping results. Google Shopping generates high traffic and as an e-commerce business, you want that! More and more consumers use Google to search for products, and you want your products to show up in those results. Choose an e-commerce platform that integrates well with Google Merchant.

Conclusion

eCommerce is all about how it appeals to your visitors and how it interacts. It applies to your wise decision by evaluating all your business needs and the customers’ expectations. It is better to choose the right platform out of a committed analysis and the right decisions will always guide businesses to achieve and succeed.

In case, you are a little unsure with eCommerce platform selection, get connected with eCommerce development companies that have a team of business consultants and technical analysts that brainstorm your eCommerce project needs and then suggest the best eCommerce platform that meets Ecommerce needs.

You can also consider the aforementioned tips to pave the way for e-commerce success. Choose wisely and compare all the e-commerce platforms before deciding.

Avantika Shergil Avantika Shergil   |  Nov 7, 2022

An enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co, coordinating and managing the technical and functional areas. She is an adventure lover, passionate traveler, an admirer of nature, who believes that a cup of coffee is the prime source to feel rejuvenated. Researching and writing about technology keeps her boosted and enhances her professional journeying.

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