Here’s how to choose an e-commerce platform
For those who are starting out, knowing how to choose an e-commerce platform can be difficult.
To facilitate this stage of the creation of an online store, we will discuss the concept and existing models in the Brazilian market.
What is technically known as the e-commerce platform is the system on which an online store is built, both the part that is visible to visitors to the site, known as the front end, and the administrative part of the online store.
One of the biggest difficulties of entrepreneurs who want to start in e-commerce is to decide which e-commerce platform to choose, mainly due to the wide variety of prices and business models.
Every entrepreneur who is thinking of setting up an e-commerce should devote a lot of attention to this stage of the business, because it is vital to the success of the project.
Currently we can cite basically four main business models: use license rental, use license sale, source code sale and open source.
The walkthrough to choose an e-commerce platform
In the items below we will list main points for those who are in doubt about how to choose the platform for a successful online store.
The e-commerce platform is the heart of your online store, so it is very important when setting up an online store, knowing the various models to determine which is the best platform for your case.
1 – Rental of the use license
The rental model of the use license is the most common and also the one that requires less initial investment, and therefore even the preferred by most new entrepreneurs.
In this model, the e-commerce platform provider develops a standard system and markets the use license. They are known as leased platforms, and are ideas for those who are taking their first steps in e-commerce.
In this case you pay an installation fee, also known as a setup fee, and a monthly fee that is usually linked to the traffic received by the online store or, in some cases, a percentage on sales.
It is the ideal option for those who want to set up a small online store,because all technical issues are on behalf of the developer of the e-commerce platform.
2 – Sale of the use license
The usage license sales model is similar to the rental model, but without a monthly fee. It is a type of platform that has become increasingly rare, but there are still some suppliers working with this modality.
In the previous model as in this one, the source code is owned by the company that has developed, so any adjustment or evolution that the shopkeeper wants to make must do with that same company, which creates a dependency on that supplier.
3 – Sale of the store source code
In the source code sales model, the initial investment made will be to acquire ownership of the source codes of the proprietary developer, which will give the right to evolve or make adjustments to the platform by any company or professional skilled in the technology developed.
This is an option that gives more freedom to the entrepreneur, but in return leaves him responsible for all the technical maintenance part of the system and its evolution.
4 – Open source platforms
Finally, there are open source platforms, also known as open source platforms,which are available on the internet at zero cost and entitle you to possession of the source codes.
The great advantage of these platform is that they are yours and there are no setup fees the monthly fees, but beware of the trap of thinking that you can set up a store without spending anything. There just doesn’t exist.
In this model it will be necessary to hire a company specialized in the chosen open source platform, such as Magento,to perform the necessary customizations to your business and implement it.
Its great advantage is that it is much cheaper than Magento and simpler to work with on a daily basis.
5 – Which model to choose?
For all models there is a great variation in the initial and monthly investment, which is often directly related to the quality of the services of the developer company and the level of customization allowed on the platform.
Features such as shopping cart settings, payment methods, integration with Google Analytics, and other digital marketing toolsshould also be taken into account when choosing.
The important thing is to always evaluate how your competitors are positioning themselves, what tends to be the best model for the product that will be sold and the target audience and what budget is available.
A tip is not to invest more than 30% of the total amount available for the entire e-commerce project on the platform.
But, do not forget that regardless of the model chosen, should be made an evaluation of the developers who offer it and never fail to plan the entire operation, taking into account the other pillars: logistics, service, marketing and product.
Choosing the e-commerce platform is a fundamental step for the success of your online store, so invest as much time as you need at this stage of your e-commerce project.
To complement the information in this article, we suggest that you also see our complete roadmap to assemble your e-commerce published in our article How to Set Up a Virtual Store.