Chapter 5

How to choose an ecommerce platform for your small business

Learn about the factors to take into account to help you find the right ecommerce tool for your small business.

There’s no single formula to find the perfect ecommerce tool for your small business. But taking these factors into account will help you make a sound decision.

Cost

Pricing varies between platforms and within platforms. Note that the initial plan prices advertised might not include essential features like themes, hosting and integrations. Look out for platforms that can scale as your business grows.

Ease of use

Is the platform user-friendly and easy for you and your team to use? Simple set up and customisation options are especially important if you don’t have a lot of technical expertise or coding skills. Look out for a platform with an intuitive interface so you can get set up quickly and start selling.

Customisation options

Being able to tailor and customise your website is essential if you want to stand out from the crowd. Look for a platform that has plenty of themes and templates that you can embellish with your branding and design. Options to tweak the code might be useful further down the line.

Payment processing

Make sure it’s easy for your customers to pay using their preferred payment method. Choose a platform with multiple payment processing options, like credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, and other popular payment gateways.

Shipping options

Shipping can get complicated, especially if you accept international orders. Look for an ecommerce platform that offers multiple shipping options and third-party integrations.

SEO features

Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps drive new traffic to your ecommerce website. Find a platform that provides SEO features or the ability to integrate with third-party SEO tools, so you can climb the search engine rankings.

Customer support

Setting up an ecommerce store can be challenging. Pick an ecommerce platform that offers plenty of customer support, so you don’t have to face the challenges alone. A robust knowledge base or forum, support documentation, and responsive customer support teams are essential features if you’re starting an online business. (Check out the guide to starting an online business.)

Security

Keeping your customers’ information secure is a must. Check the security features before deciding on an ecommerce platform. And make sure you can get the relevant security certification, known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) from your hosting provider or a third party so your website ranks as safe to use.

The ecommerce platform you choose will play a key role in your digital presence. Follow the chapters in this guide and you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to find your ideal ecommerce platform.

How to choose an ecommerce platform

Ecommerce platforms offer an incredible opportunity to take your products and services to a brand new and much larger audience.

Disclaimer

Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the content provided.

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