Three things you should give a thought before developing an e-commerce platform

Online Business

Entrepreneurs believe setting up ecommerce business may not require rigorous efforts and it is not as complicated as a brick-and-mortar store. Most of them fail to acknowledge the importance of planning during the pre-launch stage. Perhaps, this is the reason online businesses score alarmingly high 90-percent failure rate. Here’re three aspects that every company should give serious thought to before launching an ecommerce portal.

  1. Uniqueness of the products

According to the data from research firm CB Insights published by the Forbes magazine, 42 percent of the startups fail because there is no market requirement for the products that they launch. Thus, businesses need to consider conducting a proper market study to analyze the need for their products in the market.

If the products are unique and not readily available with other retailers, the next factors that the business needs to be concerned are the capital infusion plans, inventory management, and the cash flow requirements.

 

  1. Online only D2C business model or a mix of everything

Small brands often find it difficult even to reach the shelves of shopping malls located in their home city. Thus, the direct to customer (D2C) web business model has become everyone’s hot favorite.

Not just startups, but even relatively popular brands like Calvin Klein, Clinique, and Nike have benefited due to the D2C model in recent years. Online sales figures are better for some brands compared to the overall business that they get from retailers like Nordstrom and Macys in the United States. Websites have become their most crucial channel for retail distribution.

According to the Forbes Magazine report, roughly, around 62 percent of individuals with access to the internet prefer to buy something online instead of visiting brick and mortar stores. Mobile ecommerce is also catching up, studies have pointed out that 20 percent of the smartphone users shop using their smartphone. Buyers have access to YouTube product description videos, vlogs, and of course, hundreds of genuine reviews for each product. So, they feel comfortable buying online.  So, some startups put their emphasis on developing only D2C business using their website and mobile app, making them online-only brands. Such products can just be purchased online and not at any bricks and mortar stores. An entrepreneur should carefully craft a strategy during the pre-launch stage and opt for a reputed ecommerce development company to develop custom ecommerce solution in case if the company plans to sell products only via its shopping portal and mobile app.

 

  1. Customized ecommerce portal or ready to use solutions?

Some of the renowned ready to use solutions are Shopify, Big Commerce, Volusion, Wix, Big Cartel, Squarespace, 3DCart, and Core Commerce. The ready to use templates offer all the essential ecommerce portal functions. They provide a set of themes that hundreds of ecommerce companies use around the world.

On the other hand, custom designed website allows you to establish your business identity with themes consisting of colors that reflect your brand values. The portal remains in your absolute control, right from the developing stage. Unique website theme and content would ensure your portal gets the best out of search engine optimization campaigns in the form of better rankings.

 

Implementing advanced Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools also remains easy in case of custom made ecommerce solutions.

 

Off-the-shelf platforms can be deployed quickly as they have already been developed tested for bugs. But, as far as security is concerned, open source off the shelf themes are often the favorite targets for the hacking community.

 

Overall, the custom option always remains ahead as it gives the business owners the ability to integrate all the business software solutions, including ERP, CRM, mobile application, etc. System integration ensures the smooth functioning of day-to-day activities.  Firms that offer ecommerce development services can provide expertise in system integration.

 

Some off-the-shelf solutions can be adjusted as per the client’s requirements with the help of plug-ins. However, there are limitations for customization, and roles for users in the pre-built system cannot be altered much.  Making customizations in ready-to-use solutions can cost time as well as additional charges. Besides, using too many plugins can slow the site down at times. Plus, it may not integrate with other systems seamlessly. Thus, for companies that require a detailed workflow process and wish to stand apart from the crowd, custom ecommerce could prove to be a better option.

 

Getting the customer’s feedback with a host of options also becomes comfortable with customized solutions. Questionnaires and polls can prove to be the best when it comes to finding unsatisfied customers. Surveys can also help in understanding consumers’ habits. It can help your organization to plan long-term strategies. In case of a customized website, you can add the quick poll or questionnaire on any page with the help of your ecommerce development firm.

 

Last but not least; customers can easily understand the difference between a custom designed website and the one that uses ready-to-use options.