How To Spot A Good eCommerce Platform

best eCommerce platform
Not all eCommerce platforms are the same

With so many different ecommerce platforms out there it can be hard to know which direction to go in when you want to start your online business. That’s why I’ve put together everything you need to know about the best eCommerce platform out there so that you can see everything it has to offer. 

What are your eCommerce options?

There are literally dozens of different platforms out there at the moment, but the big 7 are all listed right here:
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • Weebly
  • Squarespace
  • Magneto
  • Wix
  • Shopify

We’re going to focus on Shopify,  the biggest (and best in my opinion) of them all,  and show you everything it has to offer, step by step.


What is Shopify?

Shopify is the biggest and best eCommerce platform
Shopify is the biggest and best eCommerce platform

Put simply, Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform which allows you to set up, maintain, and run your own online store. There are nearly 1,000,000 active sellers on Shopify, accounting for more than $100 billion in sales. Following the crowd isn’t always the best way to go, but in this case you can see that the masses have spotted a platform that does everything they need.

What is SaaS?

Shopify is known as a Software as a Service offering, which just means that it’s a program you pay for via a simple monthly subscription. You don’t own the software, you just subscribe to use it — just like Netflix.


Choosing the right pricing plan

Shopify Pricing Plans
Shopify Pricing Plans

There are 5 pricing plans which offer a range of functionality. If you’re unsure about which one to get, I’d suggest starting with the entry-level option, and only upgrading if and when you outgrow it. There is still far more functionality and features in the Shopify Basic Plan than the premium plans on other eCommerce platforms.


Shopify POS options work for physical stores too

Don’t assume Shopify is only for online businesses. Many physical stores use it to add online sales functionality to their offering, and with good reason. Perhaps the most attractive of these is the ease of integration of Shopify’s physical POS systems with legacy systems. By being able to see online and in-store sales data in a single tab, you can get an instant overview of the state and performance of your business. Just what you need when you want to take things in an exciting new direction. 


Building new sales channels is vital

When you want your business to really take off, you’re going to want to be selling through multiple sales channels. That’s where Shopify’s Facebook integration really comes into its own as it allows any to appear directly on a customer’s social media feed.


Uploading multiple images is straightforward

One of the big issues many platforms face is the level of duplicated effort when it comes to creating new listings. Shopify allows you to upload multiple images of the same product in large batches, greatly reducing the amount of time it takes to create a detailed listing.


Product data imports from CSV files simplify things

Along a similar theme, you also have the option of importing all the key product details by uploading a CSV file directly from Excel. This allows you to keep track of every change you make so that your inventory is always up-to-date and accurate.


Creating variants is nice and easy

If you’re running a shoe store for example, you’re going to have dozens of variants for certain products. By being able to create up to 100 variants per listing, Shopify removes a significant amount of the duplicate effort you would encounter if you tried to develop your own store from scratch.


Finding the right theme really matters

Themes are what creates the first impression your brand deserves, which means taking the time to find the right one for your purposes is absolutely vital. There are 10 free themes, each with several variants, plus a whole host of pay-to-use options that could be well worth a look. The trick is not to focus on reinventing the wheel by finding an elaborate concept style theme. Instead, focus on finding something that fits with the ethos of your brand, looks great on desktop and mobile screens, and is easy and intuitive to navigate. If you can do all of these, you’ll be heading in the right direction before you know it.


Making product categories is simple and intuitive

Product categories are essential if you want to create a simple and easy shopping experience every shopper now expects. Grouping products is as simple as clicking on them and rearranging files on your desktop, and doesn’t involve any of the complex tagging or appending you’ll encounter on other platforms.


Adding alt descriptions and meta tags will boost your SEO

SEO is easy with Shopify
SEO is easy with Shopify

You may think that these technical adjustments are beyond you, but that’s where Shopify really comes into its own. By having easily navigable tabs that talk you through everything you need to do, they make it quick and easy to bring your SEO up to speed in a single afternoon. Ideal if you want to take your products to a whole new global audience with the click of a button. 


The on-board blogging tool is great for promotion

If you’re looking to promote your business the smart way, you could look for services like WowGrade and Hemingway to help you pen a new blog post. Blogging is built into Shopify, which means you can quickly and easily put pen to paper and distribute your latest batch of content. Just what you need when you want to take a proactive approach to generate more leads and sales.


GDPR compliance is taken care of for you

GDPR is a ticking time bomb for many businesses, because they’re simply oblivious to the implications it is already having on the way they share and store customers’ data. One of the great things about Shopify is that it’s GDPR compliant from the ground up, which gives you the peace of mind that you’re not going to run into any data privacy issues down the line.


The abandoned cart options are great for retargeting

When you want to really squeeze every sale possible out of your audience, you need to be retargeting abandoned cart emails. There are a whole host of options you can use built into Shopify which allows you to automate the process. Ideal if you want to home in on the perfect approach by trialing new delay times and message styles.


The app store has loads of great plugins - both free and premium

When you’re ready to expand, the Shopify App Store is certainly the place to go. It allows you to add powerful new options and functionality to your store with a range of free-to-use and paid apps that you can integrate seamlessly with your store. And because everything is developed in a closed software ecosystem, you’re not going to run into any irritating compatibility or legacy issues that will slow down sales.


Mobile compatibility - Website & Editor

Shopify is compatible with all devices
Shopify is compatible with all devices

Many platforms fall down when it comes to their mobile apps, but you simply cannot put Shopify in that category. The app is slick, streamlined, and yet still has the power and functionality required to take care of just about anything you need. This is ideal if you want to take some well-deserved time off, but still, have the option of checking in every now and again to make sure everything is running smoothly in the background. Great peace of mind option for the entrepreneur looking to restore that all-important work-life balance. 


Seller support is fast and comprehensive

One of the best things about Shopify is the speed and integration of the seller support. You know that you’re speaking with a real human being, and not just being sent lightly edited stock responses. Most of the time you’re never going to need to get in touch, because the platform is relatively free from bugs, but when you do, you can be assured of getting the help and assistance you need.


You can personalize the point of the purchase experience

Last but not least, we come to one of the more technical elements of increasing the visibility of your store. If you want to offer your customers the personal experience many of them will only expect from a physical store, Shopify is the platform that allows you to do exactly that. You can add requests for additional information, bespoke fields, and just about anything else you need to streamline the purchasing process. To add the professional polish that will ensure your customers keep coming back for years to come, you might want to think about using services and tools such as SupremeDissertations and Grammarly, respectively. They’ll enable you to find the succinct turn of phrase that ensures nothing is left to chance.


Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve heard all about the features and benefits of Shopify, you’re equipped with everything you need to go out there and transform your online business. Keep this article nearby, and refer to each subsection, in turn, to ensure you get the most out of the tools at your disposal. No one adjustment or tweak is going to revolutionize your offering, but if you make enough improvements and optimizations, you’ll have a business you’ll be proud to call your own.


About the Author

Nicole D.Garrison is a content strategist, writer, and contributor at TrustMyPaper and a number of platforms for marketing specialists. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper. Moreover, she runs her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine.
How To Spot A Good eCommerce Platform How To Spot A Good eCommerce Platform Reviewed by Padraig Cahill on November 01, 2019 Rating: 5

Free Design Stuff Ad