Factors to Consider When Choosing an eCommerce Solution

A building is only as strong as the materials with which it’s built. The same goes for your website. It is only as good as the code base on which it is built. When dealing with tight deadlines and disappearing budgets, code quality is commonly one of the first things that gets sacrificed. This is often the biggest loss leader for websites and can cause security, support, and customer service issues. While you shouldn’t punish progress for perfection, there are ways to position your website with good code which we’ll discuss in this post.

Find and Build a Team of eCommerce Experts

No matter what you choose to build your website with, finding an expert is key. If you are going to build your website on an existing solution like WordPress/WooCommerce or Shopify, it is important to partner with experienced developers. Often these platforms will have partner programs that can help you find developers who are not only experts, but may have experience working with other companies that had to overcome similar issues.

If you are going to build a more custom solution, you will want to look at all shipping, tax, and payment gateway services you plan to use and find experts with experience in those platforms. Having a professional team of developers that can deliver quality code will save you time, money, and allow you to scale in the future.

eCommerce Solutions and Where to Find Them

Most problems you are trying to solve on your website other businesses have already encountered, and solutions may already exist. You can lean on your team of experts to help guide you, but do your own research to find out what is available.

Review competitor sites or ones with similar challenges. Look at what they used and see if it would work for you. When you find one of these solutions you should always ask yourself, can we do it better?

When you find a solution, look at any or all alternatives you can find. Unless you custom-build a solution that exactly fits your needs, it will never be perfect. You may end up needing to make some concessions, alterations, or customizations to a solution, but having options and picking a good starting point will make it easier.

Think in the long term—the quickest solution may not be the best. You will want to make sure you pick something long-lasting that you can support in the future. If you do use a short-term solution, make sure you have an exit strategy. There is nothing worse than trying to keep a bad codebase alive.

Vetting Your Options

Once you have found a set of solutions, review and vet them. As we just mentioned, every solution has its pros and cons. Look at the following key items to ensure you are making the right decisions.

Documentation

The more documentation there is, the better your team can get up to speed. As your site gets older, having this knowledge is key to keeping it up and running. This documentation doesn’t all need to be technical either. Knowing why something works or why it was built a certain way can help with decision making in the future.

Popularity/Ubiquity

The popularity of a solution doesn’t make it the best, but the more people who use it, the more resources it will have. WordPress/WooCommerce and Shopify are great examples of this, as you can usually find support threads and tutorials along with the official documentation. You may need to weigh the information to find what you need, but it is better to have too much information than not enough.

Source

The greater the popularity of a platform, the more solutions it will have. In the case of both WordPress/WooCommerce and Shopify, they have extensive sources, plugins, and apps to add features to your site. Making sure you are getting these from a reputable source is key. Both platforms have official marketplaces that offer reviews and ratings. As mentioned above, looking at the documentation and popularity of a plugin or app can help to give you a sense of its quality.

Conclusion

Hopefully you have found these tips for finding eCommerce solutions helpful. The more you invest, not only your resources but also your time into researching, the better fit you will find. Having the items mentioned above can stack the deck in your favor when it comes to picking a solution. Remember that there are always more options available, and improvements that can be made. With a good foundation, you can be better prepared for the future. If you need help choosing the best eCommerce solution for your site, contact the experts at Hall.

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