Must-Have Features to Look for in an e-Commerce Platform
Our world has undergone a massive digital transformation. Nearly 70% customers prefer clicking a button to find their goods delivered right at their doorstep. Furthermore, worldwide online retail sales accounted for 8.7% of all retail sales in 2016, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years to a total of 15% of global retail sales.
Online shopping is growing in popularity and retailers need to be nimble. With a myriad of eCommerce platforms available to choose from, it might seem hard to know where to start and what functionalities to look for. Below we list 5 must-have features to look for in an e-Commer platform for retailers to consider:
1. Design Flexibility
Your unique brand identity must be able to reflect on the eCommerce platform you choose. Remember, approximately 94% users decide whether or not to explore your website based on its design alone. With a high degree of developer customization available, you can create a memorable web presence reflecting your brand.
2. Mobile Friendly and Responsive Design
As of 2016 and 2017, computers still accounted for the majority of the purchases online, but it is through the mobile phones and tablets that customers do the search for items to buy. Especifically, by the end of last year, smartphones accounted for 58% of retail site visits worldwide, but generated only 38% of online purchases.
This is in part due to poor mobile responsiveness. Retailers must cater to mobile users, therefore easy customization and ability to adjust the website layout and design is another must have.
Features like 'built-in drag and drop,' 'one pinch zoom-in and out' etc. help provide a classy and hassle-free shopping experience to your customers on mobile and other devices.
From a business administrator point of view, this is also an imperative feature to consider, as it will save you time and headaches when trying to update your content or adding new products or campaigns.
3. Ease of Use
Any value for money platform supports built-in SEO and Google tools, such as, Google Checkout and Analytics. Also, look for easy integration with third-party services like payment gateways, transportation services, database applications, shipment tracking etc.
It must allow you to easily change/upgrade your plan or add new extensions as per you changing needs. "Scalability" might have different meanings for different retailers: are you planning to move into new markets? Or is it expanding to new countries? Additionally, depending on the amount of users you expect to have, you will need to look at the options the selected e-Commerce platform offers. Squarespace for example offers an upgrade version for "when your business grows", priced higher than the standard plan.
Lastly, whatever platform you choose must meet the 12 PCI security standards and be SSL certified in order to accept, store, and process sensitive customer data and transaction information securely.
Since online shopping is all about the experience, the best platform to settle for is the one that provides you flexibility on-the-go.