When it comes to running a successful e-commerce business, choosing the right platform is crucial. This is because it involves an evaluating process. Considering that there’s a wide range of e-commerce platforms offering many features, it can get confusing when going through the decision process. The truth is you’re not alone. While some people think running an e-commerce business is easier than a conventional one, they couldn’t be more wrong.
When it comes to e-commerce, if you don’t leverage the right third-party platform in building your business, you’re setting yourself up for failure. This is because there are lots of platforms out there that no longer meet modern organizational needs. To build a successful business, you need to choose the right platform. To achieve this, you need to find a reliable and innovative e-commerce solution that you can depend on, no matter the weather.
You definitely want to be part of the e-commerce growth. In 2018, e-commerce grew by 14.2% in the United States alone, to reach an astonishing $517.36 billion. One way to tap into this expanding gold mine is by running your business with top platforms such as Shopware.
1. Factors to Consider When Selecting an E-commerce Platform
2. Things to Consider When Opening Your E-commerce Business
3. Advantages of Shopware
Now, let’s go into detail!
When discussing what you need in a modern e-commerce platform, you can’t ignore Shopware, a German platform that was launched 17 years ago. It remains one of the most popular tools among German-speaking online retailers as well as other countries worldwide.
This open-source platform allows you to create your online shop from the ground up with ease. In fact, it’s becoming quite a market shaker. More retailers are now switching to Shopware and leaving other popular open-source platforms such as Magento. A growing number of companies are now launching e-commerce websites to provide smooth communication and seamless service to their customers. Organizations such as TIME Inc. — recently moved their business online — and Land Rover (a company that sells fully customizable cars) are utilizing the power of e-commerce platforms.
Here are things to consider when choosing a platform for your online business to avoid certain risks:
You need a platform that carries out regular updates and improvements and has a support system that is available 24/7. Without this, you are putting your business at great risk.
A lot of e-commerce websites fail to offer useful content features. This means that you have to depend on third-party integrations for some necessary tools when using such platforms.
Trying to implement a drop-ship functionality in your shop can be complex and expensive. This can slow down the growth of your business if you don’t choose the right platform.
Getting a reliable search tool for your shop can take a lot of time and money. If you want to provide the best search experience for your customers, you need to integrate powerful third-party solutions.
If you’re using an older version of a software and a new version is released, is it easy to upgrade to the recent update? Some platforms require significant effort to carry out this process.
Almost half of the world’s population owns a smartphone. This has led to an increase in the number of online mobile purchases. People are mostly with their phones, and this means that you have to make your e-commerce website mobile-friendly. You need a platform that offers a seamless mobile experience, or you risk losing customers.
You’re investing in an e-commerce website development because you expect to achieve high returns from this venture. However, when it comes to selecting the right platform, it’s easy to lose focus and forget what you’re aiming for. Many online retailers end up losing sight of their goals during this process. To avoid this scenario, making a list of your requirements for the e-commerce platform is crucial.
It’s important to remember that every business is unique. Therefore, avoid the temptation to follow the crowd in using the most popular platform. If you put the popularity of a platform above the peculiarities of your business needs, you might get stuck with an incompatible e-commerce solution. This means the software won’t support the changes and scaling of your business. It’ll, therefore, fail to help you grow in the long term.
Before you make any decisions, you should consider and answer the following questions:
This question is important because it concerns your business needs as well as its future. You also have to think about your strategy:
Understanding your business goals is one of the most important steps to a successful e-commerce platform. For example, open-source platforms such as Shopware are perfect if you’re running a small business. However, if you’re just looking for a simple e-commerce website to give you basic functionalities, then SaaS (Software as a Solution) is what you need. It’ll give you a functional website without the assistance of third-party developers.
If you want to build an outstanding e-commerce app or website, then an open-source e-commerce platform is the best option. It’ll give you multiple custom features to suit your every need.
Every e-commerce platform has its own paid plan that may or may not be suitable for your online business. This is why you need to have an idea of the commercial profile of your future business. It’ll help you with the platform selection process. What’s your expected number of transactions? What’s your margin and expenditure limit for the platform? At the very least, you should have rough answers to these questions.
To be successful in anything you do, you need a plan. This remains true when it comes to choosing the best e-commerce platform for your business. You need to draw up a business plan or roadmap for the next three to six years. It’ll help you to figure out what platform will support your long-term goals easily. By laying out a plan for any future improvements you need to make to your online shop, it’s easier to successfully scale your business.
This is where open-source platforms like Shopware come in; they’re great for online retailers who don’t have a digital road map yet. It allows you to make changes in the future and integrate any necessary functions and features that you might eventually need as your business scales.
To own an online shop that runs seamlessly, you need to have a reliable technical team behind you. Unexpected errors can occur on your website, and it’s important to have the right partner to help you fix them when they occur.
While you’re on the hunt for the right agency, it’s essential to look out for these qualities:
Shopware’s partner agency, Dinarys, can handle the development of your online shop as well as all future technical aspects. If you’re doubtful, you can check their competence level by getting them to give you competitor analysis for your industry. If you’re satisfied, you can then hire them full-time.
After the successful launch of your e-commerce website, you need to take time and evaluate your progress. This way, you can decide whether your project requires additional custom development regarding third-party modules and multiple payment gateways. These improvements can help to increase your sales. By monitoring every improvement you make to your online shop, you can analyze the results for each of them to decide what works and what doesn’t. This way, you can understand which improvement is a good investment and which isn’t.
The Shopware team’s focus when developing a project from scratch is to give the best solutions to customer business needs. In addition, they also aim to provide innovation and efficient solutions to problems. Even if you already have an existing online business, they have the expertise in e-commerce development to give additional improvements to your website.
Let’s look at Shopware’s advantages that make it stand out from the rest:
The founders of Shopware are two brothers, Stefan and Sebastian Hamann. Sebastian has a passion for design, while Stefan finds joy in the IT field. This union formed the basis for creating a successful online shop system that excels in both design and technology. It remains one top reason why Shopware places great importance on an intuitive and clean structured front-end aimed at optimizing the customer experience.
In addition, as a user, you get access to more than 1,500 free and paid themes and templates. The great thing about them is that they’re adapted to be mobile-friendly. The tool also has an easy-to-use back-end that even beginners will appreciate.
This German e-commerce solution has a lot of advantages. One of them is how easy it is to use in setting up an online store. Whether you’re a shop operator with zero experience or a webmaster with years of experience under your belt, you’ll find the simplicity of this platform refreshing. Besides, there are numerous easy-to-follow tutorials and instructions to learn from.
In addition, there are no fees for setup and installation! You can also integrate different payment methods because Shopware supports multiple payment gateways. This means that you can get your customers to pay, no matter their preferred payment option.
Also, third-party tool integration is seamless with this software. You can incorporate any third-party provider of your choosing. Shopware’s ease-of-use allows you to manage your time efficiently while successfully setting up and operating your webshop.
Shopware recently announced a transition of the software architecture to a structure that places importance on a headless and API approach. Online retailers who are just starting out will find this particularly useful because this method further reduces the complexity of various projects.
If you’re running the older version, it’ll be easy to switch to the new system without difficulties. As Sebastian Hamann, Shopware CEO, announced, a cloud-based solution makes it easier for users to get started at relatively low cost and within a short time frame. The on-premise and cloud-based systems will both be maintained, allowing you to switch between them according to what suits you best.
This cloud-based solution puts Shopware on the map as a top contender to a similar offer from Shopify and its Shopify Plus software.
Another top advantage of Shopware is its flexibility. Whether you’re running a startup company, a medium-sized business, or an international enterprise, this shop system offers you different plans. Each of these plans caters to the different sizes and needs of any online shop. This explains why the platform continues to gain popularity.
Startups benefit the most from the new Starter Edition and Open Source Edition plans. These two plans are focused on individuals with no prior technical expertise. These packages will enable them to achieve a fast and cost-effective market entry. The Professional and Professional Plus Editions, on the other hand, are best suited for medium and large-sized online companies. Then, there’s the Enterprise plan, which caters to the needs of large international online businesses.
It doesn’t matter the size and need of your business; Shopware has the advantage of flexibility, which allows it to cater to it all.
No matter how good your online shop is, if it doesn’t have adequate internet visibility, you won’t make enough sales to scale. People need to be aware of your e-commerce business before they can make purchases. Shopware is aware of this fact. This is why the company has created above-average opportunities for online merchants on their platform to boost their web shops’ visibility. In essence, the system offers Shopware users simple and effective tools for search engine optimization.
For example, it’s possible to add meta-titles and meta-descriptions for your main page. You can also add individual descriptions for each of your products. You can even implement the comments and product ratings feature to increase your search ranking.
To achieve success, most businesses need to follow a multi-channel strategy. This means not only increasing your internet visibility but also employing e-mail marketing strategies, among many other techniques. Shopware places this idea at the very heart of its design. With this German shop system, you can integrate with popular email-marketing providers like Mailchimp to reach out to potential customers.
The platform gives you access to numerous extensions and modules, which connects you to additional sales channels and allows you to automate order processing.
Another great advantage of Shopware is its active and supportive community. Users and developers share information and help each other by answering questions and sharing their first-hand experiences. The community boasts of extensively covering almost every relevant topic you might need. Users have created thousands of discussions in different forums; these have in turn accumulated hundreds of thousands of helpful answers, tips, and tricks.
In addition to the user forums, there are many blog posts and wiki articles available to assist e-commerce merchants. There’s also the Community Day, an annual tradition, where the Shopware community gets together.
There’s no straight-forward answer to whether Shopware is the best shop system for your e-commerce website. Your final decision should be based on your goals and business needs. However, the advantages of this platform make it clear that it’s a tool worth considering.
Grace Morris is a tech and digital marketing enthusiast who loves to travel and is passionate about learning new emerging trends in digital media and the internet. Her interest in helping businesses leverage their digital authority has led her a career as a Digital Content Specialist in Traqq. Her next goals include writing a book and becoming an event speaker.
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