At DMi Partners, we often encounter situations where a client or prospect is facing the decision of what ecommerce platform to choose. Whether they are looking at their first ever platform, a migration to a new version, or an upgrade to a newer version of their current platform, there are always unique circumstances that can make it a tricky decision. We’ve put together the following six considerations that ecommerce companies and their agencies must consider when picking an ecommerce platform:
- Product Catalog: Is your inventory physical or digital? How many SKUs do you have? How are your products organized? These are all questions you need to consider in your decision-making process. Some platforms like Sellfy are made specifically for a catalog of digital products, whereas others are more tailored to physical goods. When it comes to the size and organizational structure of your catalog, some platforms, like BigCartel and Wix, are more tailored to fewer products that don’t need a robust structure of parent and child categories, while other platforms, like Magento and BigCommerce, allow more flexibility with creating products and organizing them into categories.
- Hosting: Will you be hosting the site on your own, or do you need your ecommerce platform to handle that? Some platforms, like Shopify, include hosting services in their monthly fees. Other open-source platforms like, Magento and PrestaShop, will require you to select and set up your hosting environment outside of your ecom platform. This can offer more scalability and flexibility with your hosting, but requires some more technical know-how than hosted platforms.
- Cost: What is your budget for your ecommerce platform? There is a wide cost range among platforms, from under $10 per month for a small business-oriented platform like Shopify Lite, while other platforms aimed at enterprise-level businesses can run you $10,000+ per month.
- Extensions, Plugins, and Integrations Are you interested in adding in a robust set of “bells and whistles” to your site? Do you have developers on your team that can build these add-ons, or do you want to shop from a marketplace of add-ons that can be installed by your non-technical team? Shopify and Magento are well-known for their app and extension marketplaces, both of which offer hundreds of free and paid add-ons for ecommerce sites.
- Database migration: Will you be migrating a database of products, orders, and customers into your new platform, or are you starting from scratch? If you’re starting your store from scratch, you’ll have no data migration concerns, but if you’re coming from another platform, you’ll want to bring over your product catalog and customer databases at the very least. Some platforms will point you in the direction of 3rd parties that will charge you to assist with your data migration, while others, like BigCommerce, include free data transfer services.
- Content Management System: Do you care about having input into the design and layout of your site? Do you have a team of creative developers to code new pages, or do you need a content management system which allows someone with no web coding experience to build pages with a drag-and-drop interface? If you are very interested in a platform in which you can quickly generate good-looking pages on your site, CMS-driven platforms like Squarespace are a great option. If you have talented web designers and coders internally, you don’t need to feel as bound by ecommerce platforms with user-friendly content management systems.
While there are several other factors that could be considered when picking a platform, these are the initial items we weigh with a client that is in the market for an ecommerce platform. If your company is feeling paralyzed by this decision, don’t hesitate to reach out to DMi Partners’ agency services team today.
DMi Partners is a full-service digital marketing agency headquartered in Philadelphia. DMi has excelled in managing award-winning campaigns for recognized consumer, B2B and ecommerce brands since 2003. Its innovative email and affiliate management accompany an arsenal of digital services including SEO, paid search, ecommerce, branding and interactive, social media marketing and advanced marketing analytics designed to engage target audiences to drive revenue.
Staffed by big agency talent and offering the personal attention and agility of a boutique, DMi has a proven track record of delivering the highest quality marketing strategy, execution and results. Learn more by visiting dmipartners.com or contact email@example.com.
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