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The five must-haves of an ecommerce platform

The five must-haves of an ecommerce platform

To the German article

If you're looking for THE ecommerce platform for your business, there are countless features and a fair amount providers to navigate through. But what are the main criteria that an ecommerce platform must provide - at least in our opinion - for you to be successful? Of course, there are specific requirements for each individual business model that have to be met, and technical components also have to be in place, without a doubt. If your platform also meets the following criteria, the way to success is paved.

 1. Scalability

Your online business must be able to grow with you.

When you start your online business, you hope that your store will grow and become more and more successful. You want more customers, products, and functions. If your online store can't handle growth, you'll run into severe difficulties because making changes can be time-consuming and costly. Keep your long-term goals in mind when choosing software. 

 2. Omnichannel 

Your online business needs to be where your customers are.

Commerce should be wherever people are, regardless of time, place, or device. Omnichannel, i.e., linking all sales channels, is becoming increasingly relevant. It is a huge advantage when all channels interact seamlessly. As a consequence, you provide a better customer experience. Whether it's an online store, a brick-and-mortar shop, or Instagram, your customer can switch channels as needed without losing any information. Do you only sell on one channel? Think about the scalability of your business and keep all options open! 

 3. Expandability

Your online business needs to support new features.

Do you want to add a shipping provider, use new payment methods or integrate other functions into your online store? To do so, you need apps, plug-ins or add-ons, or simply put, extensions. Your software provider has to have the right integrations so that you can build your store according to your needs. Before buying, check whether your preferred provider has all the extensions you want to use now or possibly in the future. 

 4. Internationalisation 

Your online store has to be able to adapt to other markets.

You can ignore this part if you are 100% sure that you only want to sell in one country. For everyone else, easy internationalisation is essential. Choosing a provider that makes it easy to adjust your business to additional markets/countries would be best. This includes that your store works in several languages, with other currencies and different tax rules. Taking time zones into account can also be relevant, for example, if there are time-critical offers or to prevent misunderstandings when tracking orders. It is also helpful if product catalogues can be adapted to consider local availability or legal restrictions. 

 5. Support

Your online store must assure you of support.

Something can always go wrong. An unexpected error message, an important feature is not working, or something else. You should know how to react to these (rare) situations and get help quickly. Many providers offer a fee-based support service, often divided into different levels. These differ in communication channels and response times. We recommend using a provider who can assist you in those situations and offer a support language that you feel confident in.

 

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