Most successful businesses have set up websites enabling the promotion and selling of products. An online business or e-commerce requires a lot of detailed framework and functions. There are several e-commerce platforms that enable entrepreneurs to establish their presence online. These platforms range from simple to highly sophisticated and functional. Some platforms may take just a few days to set up shop while other high-end platforms require a lot more detailing and may take months. E-commerce is not free of cost, no matter how cheap it might sound, it is an additional expenditure to the business.
E-commerce platforms may be open access platforms or enterprise platforms. Whatever be the case it would save a lot of time if web developers like Bing Digital who specialize in working with e-commerce platforms like Magento are employed. E-commerce platforms can be tricky in their own ways. It would require a tech savvy person to get it done on his own. Working on an e-commerce platform especially for beginners would be too time consuming and a distraction from the main business. Open access platforms are ideal for small to medium businesses which can develop their platforms further as the business succeeds. Enterprise platforms are much more expensive than open access platforms and deliver high functionality.
It would be best to evaluate and estimate the capability of the business to invest in an e-commerce platform. Apart from the platform fees, there are several other expenditures like hosting fees, transfer charges, shipping charges and a lot more to consider.
The platform may have a basic design, but it must be customized to suit the business needs and the shop front must look very attractive. This means that the platform must be chosen according to the range of products sold and customizability to suit the display of these products. Similar products will require lesser functions while products in different categories will need different specifications.
The loading speed of pages and their effect on e-commerce has been widely studied. It has been very interesting to note that even if the loading speed be slowed by a second, it can have a devastating effect on the business. Similarly, if the loading time taken be shortened by a second or more influences the business rate immensely.
The platform must enable catalog listing, product browsing, site management, product management, buying, selling, shipping and tracking of orders. Several platforms also offer market analysis and product reviews along with most viewed products and keeping track of stock. E-commerce platforms also offer search engine optimization for maximum promotion and visibility of the products online. E-commerce has developed so much so that these platforms offer specialized training with software and designing. They even offer to host the website and maintain the site for the clients. They also offer customer service and interface.
The platform must be easy to link to forums, blogs, product reviews and social media. A platform that enables customers to register themselves and receive timely newsletters about products and discounts and other offers would greatly promote business.