Education Ecommerce: Knowing platforms and their limits: Part 2
Posted by Matt Kinne on 29 August 2016 04:02 PM
Last month, we wrote the first part of Education Ecommerce, which went over four of the biggest platforms we use and briefly compared them. The big message we wanted to get across is that there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to ecommerce. Choosing a platform is a very important decision because it is a big investment when it comes to your business. The last thing you want to do is regret the cart platform your business choose, that's why we want you to help get it right the first try. We can make suggestions on which platform to pick, but it ultimately your choice as the customer.
What to look for when picking an ecommerce platform
One of the most important factors when choosing an ecommerce platform is making sure you a comfortable with the dashboard and how the platform functions. You can always change the appearance (front-end) of a platform, but the dashboard and back-end areas are not customizable. This is one of the easiest ways to narrow down your choice when picking between BigCommerce, Ecwid, OpenCart, and Shopify. You will be in the back-end of your online store quite a bit, fulfilling orders, adding products, etc., you don't want one you do not like.
There is a reason why every platform offers an easily accessible free trial, even they want you to pick the platform that is right for you. Like we stated in our last article about ecommerce, BigCommerce offers a 15 day trial, Shopify offers a 14 day free trial, and both OpenCart and Ecwid are free to use, so there is no excuse not trying out different platforms. It will make everything easier on both the development team as well as your team if you know what you’re picking before you get into it.
Ecommerce add-ons cover missing features
Not every platform ships with everything you need out of the box, but that’s what add-ons are for. BigCommerce, Ecwid, and Shopify have apps whereas OpenCart has modules. It is just another way to add dynamic functionality to your web store. Do you want to add the ability for customers to give reviews on your product? There’s an add-on for that.
It is good to make a list of which features you want for your online store and go through each platform’s respective app and modules library to see what is available. Some will be free, but be prepared to pay for additional functionality. Just remember, the necessities to open an online store are always included in each platform - the trick is uncover your needs and wants in your testing and explore the limits of your choices.
We are always here to help
At Evolve Systems, we want to help you as much as we can, that’s why this decision isn’t something you have to make on your own. That is far from it. We are here to help you choose which platform is best for your business, but we want to make sure you are comfortable with your choice and plans for the near future. We are here to provide as much guidance as possible.