Are you in the market for the best eCommerce platform for retail? Sometimes it’s hard to know which of the competing shopping cart software would be the best fit for your individual brand. 

When it comes time to choose between A, B, and C, what is the best eCommerce platform? Which should you actually choose and use for your online retail store?  It can take a lot of time and energy to figure that out. 

It’s likely that you don’t have the extra hours to put into weeks of research so…  let us help.  In this article, we’ll break down the key features that you should be looking for, especially if you’re in retail. The tips should save you tons of time in your decision-making process. After all, you probably have enough on your hands at the moment!

Follow these simple guidelines to choose the best eCommerce platform, based on their features, and you will never go wrong with your selection.

  1. Features Made for Retail Success  – In today’s competitive world of online retail, there’s a flood of technology that will help with everything from advertising, to product inventory, to shipping.  Don’t go with an eCommerce software that is behind the times or doesn’t offer a host of eCom tools.  Your company will grow and need things you cannot imagine so… even if there seem to be too many features and you don’t yet know what some of them are for, know that you’ll likely need them up the road.The top eCommerce platforms are all loaded with features.  Features like advanced photo options, built-in blogs, dropshipping, cart recovery tool like Drift Marketing, advanced search features, and many others, are fit for most businesses.  There is no one right fit for everyone but if you do a little research while keeping your customers needs in mind, you’ll end up with the right set. You are the best judge when it comes to matching your business needs with what is actually being offered by the software.  Trust your instinct.

  2. Source Code Access – All eCommerce Software is made up of code (or source code). When you are choosing the best eCommerce platform for your needs, be sure to go with one that offers access to the code for free. Many will claim that they are ‘fully customizable’ but when you really look into what they offer or allow, you’ll realize they won’t truly allow you into their code.  You will be restricted to what you can do by their ‘across the board’ customization options. Sure, in the beginning, you may do ok with the ‘out-of-the-box’ offerings. These are the options that eCommerce store builders offer to you and every other customer. But as time flies by and you build-up your operations, you will eventually want access to the source code. Whether it’s to add features that are unique to your market or really give your store an undeniably individual look, the ability to input custom code is the key. Trust us on this – only go with an eCommerce platform that offers code access!

  3. Ease of Use – Small businesses, especially online stores, usually don’t have a  big team behind them. We all have to start somewhere and it’s actually quite common for new online businesses to have a single mind behind all of its daily operations.

    best eCommerce platform

    High quality eCommerce software will provide ease of use that helps you save time!

    So now the question is: taking a look at your final eCommerce platform choices, how easy are they to use?  If you’re a beginner, can you navigate the system to setup a successful online retail store on your own?
    Most online business owners aren’t well-versed with coding skills and would have a hard time trying to code their websites. That’s why the best eCommerce platform will come with an easy-to-use website builder.  Advanced visual website builders will remove the most of the technical aspects of building a website and offer a “click and drag” or “WYSIWYG” system. Unless you have mad tech skills, a visual website builder is a necessity when you’re looking for the best ecommerce platform for your online retail store.  Later, you may be able to hire on tech help or a professional services team (which is why you want point #2) to help you manually edit and customize your the look and feel of your web pages but… in the beginning, it’s ok to keep it simple.  Easy-to-use customizations will work great in building your success and are important in helping online businesses stay competitive in their niche market.

  4. Uptime – Even though a 99.9% uptime is guaranteed by most online of the high-end eCommerce platforms, you should do your own research to verify the claim is true.  System downtimes are one of the most frustrating things to deal with, and may happen in your peak hours. They adversely affect your sales and your customers’ experience and opinion of your brand. Online shoppers almost never go back to websites that were not functioning properly when they tried to shop. Other things can cause downtime, such as bugs in the code that handles online payments. Anything like this is sure to give your online store a bad reputation.  Do a test run of your top eCommerce platforms and make sure they offer a free 14-day online store trial. Reputable options will, no credit card information required.

  5. Selling Anywhere – When you’re starting your online business, you know that you’ll need to be able to sell over many devices (mobile, PC, tablets, etc) but you may not be too hip on the idea of a middle man.  The unfortunate truth of today’s market, however, is that selling your products over many channels is incredibly important for the success of your online store. While your target audience will always be wow’ed by the aesthetics of your online store, you need to be able to reach a much wider audience than only a single eCommerce storefront will allow.  This is the beauty and logic behind selling in marketplaces.  When choosing the best eCommerce platform for your business, be sure to broaden your reach and choose one that allows syndication to marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, or anywhere else you feel has a relevant audience for your niche.

Remember when you’ve narrowed your platform choices down to A, B, and C that these five software features are essential.  Be sure to look for them when you’re choosing the best eCommerce platform for your online store!


What do you think the best eCommerce platforms should offer? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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