What should you look for when reviewing e-commerce platforms?

Establishing an online store requires choosing the right e-commerce platform. With global retail e-commerce sales projected to surpass $6 billion by 2024, understanding the key factors to consider when reviewing e-commerce platforms is crucial. Usability, security, and integration capabilities are some of the essential aspects to evaluate for online success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Usability, security, and integration capabilities are crucial when reviewing e-commerce platforms.
  • Understanding your business needs and aligning with a suitable e-commerce platform is important.
  • Consider essential features like payment gateways, shipping information processing, and specialized pricing.
  • Evaluate your budget and the total cost of ownership in selecting an e-commerce platform.
  • Take into account launch time and plan for seasonal sales when choosing a platform.

Understanding Your Business Needs and Aligning with an E-commerce Platform

Before selecting an e-commerce solution, it’s important to understand your business needs and align them with a suitable platform. To ensure success in the highly competitive online marketplace, you need an e-commerce platform that caters specifically to your organization’s unique requirements and goals.

Firstly, consider your target customers and whether your business model is primarily B2C (business-to-consumer), B2B (business-to-business), or a combination of both. This understanding will help you choose an e-commerce platform that is tailored to your target audience and their buying behavior. For example, if your focus is B2C, you would benefit from a platform that offers user-friendly features and a visually appealing interface to drive customer engagement and conversion. On the other hand, if you are primarily B2B, you would require advanced functionalities such as bulk ordering, customized pricing, and easy account management for your business customers.

Moreover, evaluating your tech stack requirements is crucial when selecting an e-commerce platform. Consider the existing technologies and systems that your business relies on and ensure compatibility and integration capabilities with the platform you choose. This includes integration with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, accounting software, inventory management tools, and any other key components of your tech stack. An efficient integration between your e-commerce platform and other tools will streamline operations and enhance productivity.

Additionally, assess the growth opportunities provided by the e-commerce platform. Look for scalability and flexibility features that will support your business’s expansion plans. A robust platform like BigCommerce offers the flexibility to build a customized solution or use native features and third-party apps to achieve your goals. This allows you to adapt and evolve your online store as your business grows, without the need for a complete platform migration.

Aligning your business needs with an appropriate e-commerce platform is crucial to drive online success. By choosing a platform that caters specifically to your target customers, aligns with your tech stack, and offers growth opportunities, you are laying a solid foundation for building a thriving online store.

An example of aligning business needs with an e-commerce platform:

Business NeedsE-commerce Platform
B2C focus, visually appealing interfaceShopify
B2B focus, advanced customizationMagento
Integration with CRM and accounting softwareWooCommerce
Scalability and flexibility for growthBigCommerce

Essential Features for E-commerce Success

When it comes to running a successful e-commerce site, certain features are crucial for seamless operations and customer satisfaction. Let’s explore some of these essential features:

1. Payment gateway

A payment gateway is the backbone of online transactions, allowing customers to securely make purchases on your e-commerce website. It is vital to choose an e-commerce platform that supports multiple payment methods and integrates smoothly with popular payment gateways to accommodate your customers’ preferred payment options. Offering a variety of payment choices enhances the shopping experience and boosts customer confidence in completing transactions.

2. Shipping information processing

Efficient order fulfillment relies on streamlined shipping information processing. Look for an e-commerce platform that offers seamless integration with shipping providers, automating shipping label generation, tracking, and order status updates. By simplifying these processes, you can ensure timely delivery and enhance customer satisfaction.

3. Specialized pricing through customer groups and price lists

If your business caters to different customer markets or offers pricing tiers, the ability to implement specialized pricing through customer groups and price lists is invaluable. With this feature, you can create custom pricing based on factors such as customer loyalty, wholesale volume, or promotional offers. Tailoring pricing to specific customer groups helps attract and retain customers, ultimately boosting sales and fostering long-term relationships.

Why these features matter

“Having a robust payment gateway ensures smooth transactions and offers convenience to customers, while efficient shipping information processing enhances order fulfillment. Specialized pricing through customer groups and price lists allows businesses to cater to different customer segments and implement targeted pricing strategies.”

By implementing these essential features, you can create a seamless shopping experience that fosters customer loyalty and drives revenue growth. Now, let’s dive deeper into other crucial considerations when selecting an e-commerce platform in the following sections.

Payment gatewayEnables secure online transactions and supports multiple payment methods.
Shipping information processingIntegrates with shipping providers, automating shipping label generation, tracking, and order status updates.
Specialized pricingOffer custom pricing through customer groups and price lists based on various factors.

Considering Budget and Total Cost of Ownership

When selecting an e-commerce platform, budget plays a crucial role in decision-making. It’s essential to evaluate the total cost of ownership (TCO), which includes not only the platform’s cost but also additional expenses. Let’s explore the key factors to consider when assessing your budget and TCO:

  1. Platform Cost: Start by comparing the pricing plans of different e-commerce platforms. Some platforms offer both annual and monthly payment options, allowing you to choose what works best for your budget. Take into account the features and functionalities included in each plan. Keep in mind that opting for a cheaper plan may mean sacrificing certain features that are important for your business.
  2. Additional Expenses: Apart from the platform cost, there are other expenses to consider. Premium design themes and security licenses often come at an extra cost. Additionally, hosting and registering a domain name are essential for your online store. Research and compare different hosting providers and domain registrars to find the most cost-effective options.
  3. Transaction Fees: Some e-commerce platforms charge transaction fees or payment surcharges for each sale made. These fees can significantly impact your overall costs, especially if you anticipate a high volume of transactions. Consider the transaction fees associated with each platform and balance them against other factors like platform features and customer support.
  4. TCO and ROI: Assessing the total cost of ownership (TCO) is crucial in determining the return on investment (ROI) of your e-commerce platform. Calculate not only the upfront costs but also the ongoing expenses, such as monthly subscription fees and transaction fees. Additionally, factor in the time and resources required to build, customize, and maintain your online store. Understanding the TCO helps you make an informed decision and ensures that your chosen platform aligns with your long-term business goals.

By carefully considering your budget and evaluating the total cost of ownership, you can choose an e-commerce platform that meets your financial requirements while providing the necessary features and functionalities for your online store’s success.

E-commerce PlatformPlatform CostAdditional ExpensesTransaction FeesEstimated TCO
Platform A$XX/month$XXX/year3% per transaction$XXXXX
Platform B$XXX/month$X,XXX/year2.5% per transaction$XXXXX
Platform C$XXXX/year$XX/monthNo transaction fees$XXXXX

Launch Time and Planning for Seasonal Sales

When it comes to launching your online store, timing is everything. The success of your business can be greatly influenced by the launch time and how well you plan for seasonal shopping periods, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Launch time: The timing of your online store launch depends on various factors, including the complexity of your product inventory and the integration of desired features. It’s essential to give yourself enough time to develop and fine-tune your website before going live. This allows for potential complications during the site’s build and ensures that everything is in place for a seamless launch.

Planning for seasonal shopping: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most significant shopping events of the year. They present lucrative opportunities for online businesses to boost sales and attract new customers. To make the most of these seasonal periods, it’s crucial to plan well in advance. Consider factors such as inventory preparation, marketing campaigns, and website optimization to maximize your online store’s visibility and customer engagement during these busy shopping periods.

seasonal shopping

“By strategically timing your online store launch and planning for seasonal shopping events, you can capitalize on the increased consumer demand and drive significant sales for your business.”

Factors to Consider When Choosing an E-commerce Platform

When it comes to selecting the right e-commerce platform for your business, there are several important factors to consider. By evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision that suits your budget, aligns with your business needs, and promotes online success.

1. Pricing and Payment Options

One of the primary considerations when reviewing e-commerce platforms is the pricing model. Look for platforms that offer flexible pricing options, including monthly fees and transaction processing fees. Evaluate whether the platform’s pricing structure aligns with your budget and long-term growth strategy.

2. Integrations and Extensions

An e-commerce platform with extensive integration capabilities can enhance your website’s functionality and streamline your business operations. Ensure that the platform supports essential integrations such as accounting tools, email marketing software, and shipping assistance. This way, you can seamlessly connect your various business processes and tools.

3. SEO Friendliness

SEO friendliness is critical for driving organic traffic to your e-commerce website. Look for platform features that contribute to higher search rankings, such as customizable URLs, meta tags, and a built-in blogging functionality. Incorporating SEO best practices into your website will improve visibility and attract more potential customers.

4. Mobile Friendliness

In today’s mobile-driven market, it’s essential to choose an e-commerce platform that offers a seamless mobile shopping experience. Opt for a platform with responsive design templates and mobile-optimized features to ensure that your website looks and functions flawlessly across different devices. Mobile friendliness directly correlates to improved customer satisfaction and higher conversion rates.

5. Customer Support and Resources

When running an online store, it’s crucial to have reliable customer support and access to helpful resources. Look for e-commerce platforms that provide responsive customer support channels like email, live chat, or phone. Additionally, check if they offer training materials, documentation, and a supportive community to assist you in navigating the platform effectively.

By considering these key factors, you can find an e-commerce platform that meets your business requirements, enables seamless transactions, enhances your online visibility, and ensures a positive user experience for your customers.

The Importance of Online Reviews for E-commerce Success

When it comes to e-commerce success, online reviews play a crucial role. They are more than just comments left by customers; they have the power to drive sales, establish trust, and impact SEO rankings. Positive reviews provide social proof, assuring potential customers of the reliability and quality of your products or services. This, in turn, boosts sales and encourages more people to choose your brand over competitors.

But it doesn’t stop there. Online reviews also contribute to your website’s SEO efforts. Search engines recognize the value of user-generated content and take note of positive reviews. When potential customers search for products or services similar to what you offer, having positive reviews can improve your brand visibility and increase your chances of appearing higher in search rankings.

Customer decision-making is heavily influenced by online reviews. Today’s consumers are savvy and rely on the experiences of others to make informed choices. By providing valuable insights into product details and user experiences, online reviews help potential customers feel confident in their decision to purchase from your store.

While positive reviews are highly valuable, negative reviews should not be ignored. They present an opportunity for growth and improvement. Paying attention to negative feedback can help you identify areas that require attention and develop strategies to address customer concerns. A prompt and thoughtful response to negative reviews can also demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction, further building trust.

Ultimately, online reviews have a significant impact on the success of your e-commerce business. They drive sales, establish trust, improve SEO rankings, and aid customer decision-making. By actively encouraging and leveraging positive reviews while addressing negative feedback, you can enhance your brand reputation and create a positive online shopping experience for your customers.

The Power of Trust and Social Proof

Customers value the opinions and experiences of others. Through online reviews, potential buyers gain insights into the quality and reliability of your products or services. Positive reviews provide social proof, assuring potential customers that they can trust your brand. This trust encourages them to make a purchase and increases their confidence in the decision they have made.

SEO Boost and Improved Visibility

Search engines consider user-generated content, including online reviews, when determining search rankings. Positive reviews can contribute to improving your website’s visibility in search results. Higher visibility means more potential customers discovering your brand and products. By actively encouraging customers to leave reviews, you can leverage this SEO advantage to increase organic traffic to your e-commerce site.

Insights for Informed Decision-Making

Online reviews provide valuable insights into product details, usability, and user experiences. Potential customers rely on these insights to make informed decisions. By displaying honest and informative reviews, you empower your customers to make confident purchasing choices. This transparency fosters trust, loyalty, and long-term customer relationships.


Online reviews are crucial for the success of e-commerce platforms. They have a significant impact on sales, helping businesses to build trust, improve SEO, aid customer decision-making, and enable effective problem-solving. By leveraging the power of online reviews, businesses can enhance their online store’s success and maintain a positive brand reputation.

Customer feedback, expressed through online reviews, plays a vital role in driving sales. Positive reviews provide social proof, convincing potential customers to trust the brand and make a purchase. Additionally, online reviews contribute to improving the business’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, leading to enhanced brand visibility and higher search rankings.

Furthermore, customer feedback obtained from online reviews helps businesses understand customer needs and preferences. These insights can guide decision-making processes and drive improvements in product offerings and customer experiences. By actively listening to and addressing customer feedback, businesses can strengthen their online store’s success and create long-lasting relationships with their target audience.

In conclusion, online reviews are a valuable resource for e-commerce platforms. By embracing and optimizing customer feedback, businesses can achieve e-commerce success, establish a strong brand reputation, and stay ahead in today’s competitive online marketplace.


What factors should I consider when reviewing e-commerce platforms?

When reviewing e-commerce platforms, it’s important to consider factors such as usability, security, and integration capabilities to ensure online success.

How do I align my business needs with an e-commerce platform?

To align your business needs with an e-commerce platform, consider your target customers (B2C, B2B, or both) and evaluate your tech stack requirements and growth opportunities.

What essential features should I look for in an e-commerce platform?

Essential features for e-commerce success include a payment gateway for online transactions, integration options for shipping providers, and the ability to offer specialized pricing through customer groups and price lists.

What should I consider in terms of budget when choosing an e-commerce platform?

When choosing an e-commerce platform, evaluate the cost of the platform itself, additional expenses such as premium design themes and hosting, and assess the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to determine the return on investment (ROI).

How can I plan my launch time for an online store?

Plan your launch time by considering factors such as the complexity of your product inventory and desired features. It’s important to plan well in advance, especially if you aim to launch before peak seasonal shopping periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What factors should I consider when choosing an e-commerce platform?

When choosing an e-commerce platform, consider pricing models, integrations and plugins, SEO friendliness, and mobile friendliness.

Why are online reviews important for e-commerce success?

Online reviews are important for e-commerce success as they drive sales, build trust, improve SEO, aid customer decision-making, and enable problem-solving.

How can I leverage online reviews to enhance my e-commerce store’s success?

Maximize the benefits of online reviews by increasing brand awareness, identifying keywords, and utilizing customer feedback to enhance your online store’s success and maintain a positive brand reputation.