What to look for when selecting an eCommerce Platform

What to look for when selecting an eCommerce Platform
share on
by Sanjeev Kapoor 10 Feb 2022

Ecommerce platforms are software solutions that help online merchants manage and automate critical business processes in order to properly position themselves in the eCommerce industry. Modern eCommerce platforms are sophisticated all-in-one solutions that provide the features and capabilities that every online business needs for creating and customizing its online store. For instance, eCommerce platforms offer customizable design templates, search engine optimization tools, email marketing solutions, and robust analytics on online sales.

When it comes to deploying and using an eCommerce platform, enterprises are offered a host of different options. One of these options involves the development of a custom eCommerce platform. Nevertheless, in most cases, companies opt for adopting an existing platform. This adoption can be based on a traditional licensed model, which involves payment of a licensing fee to the vendor. On the other hand, there are also open-source platforms that come with a free license. In this case companies pay for the customization and maintenance of the open-source platform, as well as for professional services like training and consulting. In recent years, many enterprises deploy and use cloud eCommerce platforms, which come with flexible pay-as-a-you models that reduce the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) of eCommerce deployments.


Ten Criteria for Selecting an eCommerce Platform

In this landscape, eCommerce enterprises need to carefully select the right platform to host their online store. In this direction, it is important to evaluate the options that are available in the market, towards choosing the platform that best fits their needs. The selection process should consider a variety of criteria such as:

eCommerce or something else.
Let's help you with your IT project.

  • The Vendor’s reputation, experience and expertise: When selecting an e-commerce platform, consider your vendor’s reputation, experience and expertise. For example, research how popular their platform is among other retailers, examine engagement levels with the technology and see if there are any case studies or stories you can learn from. A well-established vendor with a proven track record and in-depth knowledge of the latest technologies for customer experience, sales optimization and fulfillment methods will help an online retailer create the appropriate customer experience, attract new customers, and increase revenue.
  • Scalability: To build your ecommerce business for the long-term, it’s important to choose a solution that can scale with you. Digital commerce solutions that are highly scalable and support global capabilities with personalized, localized experiences must be prioritized. The chosen e-commerce platform must support the demands of an on-line retailer’s capability as well as their store’s organic growth.
  • Security: Prior to selecting an eCommerce platform, it is important to assess the security features that are offered. Most platforms offer Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates at varying levels of strength as well as a variety of payment gateways. However, in highly regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare, companies must also look for PCI-compliant solutions that allow them to guarantee the highest level of protection for their customers’ data.
  • Catalog robustness and flexibility: Whether you’re an online business, a brick-and-mortar retailer, or both, your eCommerce platform must make it easy for your customers to explore products and purchase when ready. Listing products and categories in a clear, attractive way will boost your chances of making a sale. Therefore, it is important for a company to evaluate the cataloging features of each eCommerce platform before it commits with some vendor.
  • Pricing flexibility: Pricing is one of the most important considerations for selecting an eCommerce software Software as a Service (SaaS) pricing is typically based on a recurring monthly fee, which can be a very cost-effective approach if you expect your business to grow. Some SaaS options also offer their basic plans free of charge, with additional services available starting at relatively low prices. This allows businesses with low traffic to have an online presence without incurring extra costs, while higher volume stores pay based on the volume of hardware and resources they need.
  • Website personalization: This criterion refers to a company’s capability to personalize a website design so that it highlights the unique aspects of its business and product lines. This can include customizing the look and feel of a website or integrating the website with a custom marketing program. In general, eCommerce platforms that offer advanced personalization features tend to be more appealing to retailers that have unique products and special offerings.
  • eCommerce analytics: Data analytics are key to the success of any eCommerce site. So, it is important to select an eCommerce platform that not only has the tools for many types of advanced analysis but also provides actionable recommendations about how to use the data to drive business success. For example, to maximize profits, it is important that an eCommerce site be able to provide up-to-date inventory levels across all channels so that products can be offered at the right prices, in the right places, at the right times. At the same time, advanced eCommerce analytics are powerful tools for optimizing marketing programs, such as loyalty programs, coupon campaigns, and customized programs for online customers.
  • Integration Features (e.g., Google Merchant integration and Facebook integration): Companies must select an eCommerce platform that integrates with vendor platforms, like Google Merchant or Facebook. Specifically, Google Merchant integration will help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts, and Facebook integration can help with email collection and marketing efforts.
  • Headless commerce: Commerce sales from both voice-assistant devices and smart wearables are expected to rise in the years to come. Hence, companies must select a platform that enables them to deliver eCommerce activities to various touchpoints. In this direction, companies must look for platforms with headless commerce functionalities.
  • Single customer view: Many eCommerce platforms offer advanced CRM (Customer Relationship Management) features such as the development of a 360o view of the customer based on information from multiple touchpoints. Such functionalities can enable the development of effective personalization features such as tailored offers and other individualized marketing functionalities.


The above list of ten selection criteria is non-exhaustive. Depending on the eCommerce business strategy of the retailer, features like support for mobile and social interaction, automatic finance and accounting calculations, and versatility in mobile payments based on multiple gateways, might be important. Thus, retailers had better develop a weighted scoring formula that considers the criteria that matter the most to them. This can serve as a basis for ranking different vendors and short-listing the ones to be scrutinized. The decision of selecting an eCommerce platform can be an important one, as it can have a medium- and long-term impact on a company’s revenue. This is the reason why it is worth understanding and factoring various selection criteria towards a selection that will maximize the Return on Investment (ROI) of your eCommerce platform.

Recent Posts

get in touch

We're here to help!

Terms of use
Privacy Policy
Cookie Policy
Site Map
2020 IT Exchange, Inc