How to Choose an eCommerce Platform for Your Business?

John Ahya
John Ahya

July 12, 2023

4 Mins Read

Last Updated August 08, 2023

How to Choose an eCommerce Platform for Your Business?

In this realm of digital entrepreneurship, establishing an online presence has become necessary for all kinds of businesses. The eCommerce industry is also rapidly evolving at a rate like never before. Here are some latest statistics which prove the same.

  • As per eMarketer reports, more than 218.8 million people from the United States will purchase something in 2023.
  • The eCommerce market is estimated to cross the $3.65 trillion mark in 2023. It will grow at a CAGR of 11.22% from 2023 to 2027 and reach $5.58 trillion in 2027.

So, whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner, marketer, or developer, you need to be utterly conscious in choosing an eCommerce platform, as it will be the reason behind the success or failure of your online store.

But the question is, what is an eCommerce platform? An eCommerce platform is an end-to-end technology solution allowing businesses to build, manage, and operate online stores efficiently.

To simplify your task, here will look at how to choose an eCommerce platform in 2023. We will first walk through the importance of selecting an eCommerce platform, why analyzing your business is needed, core factors for picking up an eCommerce platform, and things to avoid.

So, let’s get started.

What are the Benefits of Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform?

Do you think building an online store is putting your products on the web, and it’s over? In reality, it’s not like that. You need to strategically plan to build, run, and operate an online store without any hindrance.

Out of which, choosing the right eCommerce platform is your fundamental stone towards success. The right eCommerce platform helps you streamline various aspects of your online store and maximize your potential for growing dynamically in eCommerce. It even allows you to develop your online store cost-effectively.

However, here are some of the crucial things you should remember while choosing an eCommerce platform for your business:

Growth: What is the speed at which your business can thrive?

Operational Costs: What is the cost of building and maintaining your eCommerce store using the specific eCommerce platform?

Customer Engagement: Does the eCommerce platform offer the necessary tools to increase engagement in your online store?

Service: What service or support can you offer users with the eCommerce platform?

What to Know About Your Business Before Choosing an eCommerce Platform?

When starting an online store, you need to do a lot of things. But, if you have complete know-how about your business, you can start your online store without any obstacles.

Here are some of the things you should become familiar with about your business:

Analyze Your Business Goals & Size

First things first, you should know your business well. Start by answering some of the most common questions as follows:

  • What is your ultimate goal with the online store? Do you want to improve sales, customer base or offer an exceptional user experience?
  • What kind of features & functionalities do you want to integrate into it?
  • What will be the size & scope of your business in the near future? Will it be a small-scale, medium, or enterprise online store?

Consider the Products/Services You Want to Offer to the Audience

Research & define the nature of the products or services you want to deliver. Want to sell physical products, digital goods, or services?

You should also note that every eCommerce platform only supports a particular product or service offering. For instance, an eCommerce platform doesn’t support subscriptions. Therefore, you should define specific requirements and choose an eCommerce platform accordingly.

Know Your Target Audience & Their Preferences

To know your potential audience well, you should create a user persona. For those who don’t know, a user persona contains essential details about users like their demographics, age, interests, online behavior, etc. For instance, if your audience loves to purchase through mobile, consider targeting mobile devices.

Analyze All of Your Budget and the Resources

Know your entire budget to set up and continue running an eCommerce store. At the initial stage, you need to consider platform setup costs, personalization, and design. To maintain your store later, you need to consider monthly fees, transaction fees, and hosting. Based on your budget, you should choose an eCommerce platform.

What Are the Different Types of eCommerce Platforms?

Here is the list of different types of eCommerce platforms that you should consider for an online store.

1.Hosted eCommerce Platform

These platforms offer an all-in-one solution when we talk about hosting, software, and customer support. Even if you have little technical knowledge, you can leverage these platforms. The example consists of BigCommerce, Shopify, and Wix.

2. Self-hosted eCommerce Platform

It is a type of eCommerce store in which businesses have higher control over their eCommerce store. It includes the hosting, software setup, and, lastly, maintenance. They even offer better customization, scalability, and adaptability. Popular examples of self-hosted eCommerce platforms include Magento (Adobe Commerce) and Opencart.

3. Open-Source eCommerce Platform

It is a type of eCommerce platform that lets you customize the code whenever needed. It even offers enhanced flexibility and lets businesses build customized solutions. Some of the most well-known examples of open-source eCommerce platforms are Prestashop, Magento, etc.

4. SaaS eCommerce Platform

It is one such eCommerce platform in which everything is built on a single codebase. These platforms comprise server use, maintenance, customer support, and overall security. Examples are Squarespace, Shopify Plus, and more.

5. Cloud eCommerce Platform

Cloud eCommerce platform is one such software solution that enables businesses of any size to evolve & grow in the digital landscape. Using this eCommerce platform, you get a powerful system to manage your catalog and AI-based personalization, real-time analytics, and more to offer next-gen experiences to the customers and grow your business.

Need help choosing the right eCommerce platform?

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We can help you find the right eCommerce platform.

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13 Factors to Consider for Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform

Here is the list of factors that you should remember while choosing an eCommerce platform for your business:

1. Hosting & Platform Ownership

Hosting & Platform Ownership

When discussing hosting, you have two options: self-hosted and hosted platforms.

In the self-hosted platform, you are the sole owner. Hence, you have to look after hosting, installation, and any kind of updates. This platform offers higher control, better flexibility, and more security.

Talking about the hosted platform, you get a built-in hosting service. The platform is quick to set up and easy to maintain. Hence it’s an excellent choice for anyone with less technical experience. In addition, this platform is cost-effective and offers better support. However, you have limited control over the servers.

In the platform ownership, you have three options: open-source, SaaS, and Headless Commerce. Let’s look at all of these options in detail.

In the open-source platform, you have complete control over the source code. Hence, you can change the code and modify your online store. Some popular examples of open-source platforms include WooCommerce and Magento.

These platforms come with extensive support from online communities and various built-in integrations & extensions.

The open-source platforms are ideal for IT software solutions providers, as they require technical knowledge and regular maintenance. Lastly, with this platform, businesses of any size can offer a tailored experience to the audience.

SaaS eCommerce platform provides a convenient and user-friendly approach when considering platform ownership. The SaaS provider looks after the security, hosting, updates, and other essential management tasks, thus enabling you to focus on your business.

The platform has a built-in subscription-based model, offering you a pre-built system that you can leverage to customize the store up to a certain level. The only drawback with the SaaS platform is that it has limitations when it comes to flexibility and level of customization.

Nowadays, people love shopping online from different devices like smart wearables, laptops, smartphones, etc. Hence, providing a flawless experience for you to users across different devices is essential. That’s where the need for headless commerce comes in.

In headless commerce, the front-end layer is decoupled from the back-end. The developers can transfer information from the front-end to the back-end with an API (Application programming interface) and offer a personalized experience to users on voice assistance, websites, and progressive web apps.

The only concern is that the platform requires proper technical expertise to build and maintain. Some of the best headless Commerce platforms are commercetools, Shopify Plus, BigCommerce.

2. Theme Options & Overall User Experience

Theme Options & Overall User Experience

When choosing an eCommerce platform, the theme and the user experience are two of the most critical factors as they not only help you attract potential customers but ensure that they come back for more.

Let’s start with themes. Imagine you walk into an offline store, and the overall atmosphere urges you to buy something due to its attractive and unique layout.

The same applies to an online store; people like to purchase things from a store that offers an immersive experience. On the other hand, 38% of people leave a website if the layout is not up-to-the-mark.

Therefore, you need to choose an eCommerce platform that offers a range of beautiful free & paid themes. Then, you will find a theme that aligns well with your business & industry.

In this modern age, people don’t look at the product or the price but the experience they get from a store. According to statistics, 88% of users are less likely to return to a website if they have a terrible user experience.

To avoid this, you should look for a platform that helps you deliver a smooth user experience. To offer a great experience, check whether the platform provides features like quick checkout, robust search, and effective product management.

3. Inventory & Order Management

Inventory & Order Management

Inventory and order management directly impact the operational efficiency and satisfaction of the customers. Therefore, you should give importance to this factor. Here are some crucial things to consider regarding an eCommerce store’s inventory and order management systems.

Robust Inventory Tracking: A standard eCommerce platform should provide extensive inventory management with features like real-time stock tracking, automatic stock updates, and low stock levels. By having all these things, you can ensure that the store has the right amount of inventory, protecting you from situations like overselling or out-of-the-stock.

Demand Forecasting: A modern inventory management system lets you forecast demand, which means you know in advance the total stock you need to fulfill the needs of the customers.

Streamline Order Processing: It should enable you to process the orders without any hindrance. It helps you satisfy your customers’ needs and minimize any order-related orders.

Backorder Management: At times, products might go out of stock. A powerful order management platform comes with backorder management; it lets customers place orders even when the product is out of stock. The customers also get the estimated delivery date of the selected product.

Integration with ERP systems: ERP is one of the essential eCommerce integrations. If you use an ERP system to handle your business, choosing an eCommerce platform that integrates well with the ERP system would be beneficial. This integration would properly synchronize customer, order, and stock data.

By choosing an eCommerce platform with such capabilities, you will deliver a better customer experience and drive business growth.

4. Store Functionality & Usage

Store Functionality & Usage

You should ensure that the eCommerce store offers some of the best functionalities to operate your online store without any hindrance. Here are some of the functionality & usage features to check out:

Product Management: The store should have advanced product management, allowing the admin to create, manage, and update the product catalog. It even lets you offer a better experience to the customers.

Customer Management: The eCommerce platform should help you track all the orders, look after various customer accounts, and offer valuable support.

Checkout: There should be a safe & secure checkout process for the audience.

Shipping Options: The eCommerce platform should let you iterate shipping partners and instantly check shopping rates and print labels.

Dynamic Filters: It should allow you to integrate dynamic filters such as price, color, size, and more.

Payment Processing: It should enable you to include different payment gateways so that users can make payments using their desired method.

Customization Options: The eCommerce platform should offer various design tools, editing features, and more.

Reporting: The eCommerce platform should provide you with necessary reports related to traffic, sales, conversion rates, etc. This lets you know where your store is heading and make essential shifts to achieve your business goals.

Have queries about eCommerce platform features and functionality?

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5. Scalability

With time, you will aim to scale your online store and take your business to the next level. Hence, the eCommerce platform you choose should also scale with your online store. In simple words, the eCommerce platform should have the capability to handle additional traffic, product catalog, etc., without any reduction in performance. Here are some points to look after to analyze the store’s scalability.

Infrastructure: Do research and find a platform that can handle higher traffic. A progressive eCommerce platform would possess necessary resources like processing power and memory to provide desired output to users without any crashes.

Adaptable Architecture: The architecture of the eCommerce platform should be versatile. The platform should let you include new and essential eCommerce features, integrate various services, and grow your business efficiently.

Load Balancing & Caching: Load balancing will bifurcate the requests into different servers, thus preventing overload on a single server. Caching mechanisms save the relevant user data and instantly offer it to users whenever needed.

6. Security


Security is one of the most crucial factors when choosing an eCommerce platform. As you are running an eCommerce store, it is prevalent for you to protect the customer’s personal as well as financial data securely.

Therefore, you should choose an eCommerce platform with built-in security measures to keep the user’s data secure. Here are some of the things you should consider in an eCommerce store.

Effective Encryption: The eCommerce platform should have additional security protocols like the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security). Due to these technologies, consumer data during any payment remains secure.

PCI Compliance: Look out for a platform that is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It prevents any kind of fraud related to credit cards, plus other data security breaches.

Fraud Prevention Measures: The eCommerce platform should consist of an enhanced detection & prevention system. It includes address verification, CSS check, and more.

7. SEO-Friendliness

Search engine optimization is crucial to bring organic traffic to the website, increase site visibility in search engines, and get more sales.

The eCommerce platform you choose should have some primary SEO features. Firstly, it should let you optimize the structure, content, and keywords. It should also allow you to include meta desc, add a blog, use your domain name, enable customers to leave reviews, optimize URLs, include sitemaps, and more. In addition, it should integrate with SEO plugins.

Page load speed is also essential when we consider SEO. Therefore, you should always choose a platform that emphasizes more on page speed optimization. By this, your online store will load without any hindrance.

8. Mobile-Friendliness


Nowadays, many people purchase most things, like groceries, food, clothes, etc., from different devices like tablets, smartphones, laptops, and more. In short, mobile commerce has become a need of the hour. Therefore, you should focus on mobile-friendliness to provide a smooth shopping experience to users on any device.

At the initial stage, consider a platform that has built-in responsive design templates. The main benefit of these templates is that they are flexible and ensure your online store looks great on most devices and screen sizes.

Other than this, you should check whether the platform has mobile wallets or one-click payments. It allows customers to purchase the products efficiently and decrease the cart abandonment rate.

9. Cross-Platform Selling Support

People worldwide now use different social media channels not only to connect with friends but also to check out the latest products the brand is releasing. According to statistics, 29% of users purchase something from social media once per week.Therefore, you should choose a platform enabling cross-selling products or services on Facebook, Instagram, and more.

Some leading eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and Prestashop have built-in multi-channel selling support.

10. Payment Gateways Support

Payment Gateways Support

While choosing an eCommerce platform, you should consider a platform that provides multiple payment gateways. In general, a payment gateway is a technology that offers secure & reliable transactions between the customer’s bank and your online store. Here are some of the most crucial things you should consider in an eCommerce platform.

Initially, you should ensure that the eCommerce platform is compatible with some leading payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc. Another thing you should check is that the eCommerce platform supports local payment gateways that fulfill the needs of the potential audience.

Ultimately, you should ensure that the eCommerce platform offers better flexibility when considering payment gateways. In other words, it should let you integrate eWallets, credit cards, debit cards, Bank transfers, etc.

11. Integrations & Plugins

Even though the eCommerce platform offers a range of features & functionalities for running an online store, you would need to integrate something different to meet your business needs. That’s where the need for integrations & plugins comes in. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind while choosing an eCommerce store based on functionality & scalability.

Initially, you should look for a platform offering well-known integrations with payment gateways, shipping providers, and marketing tools. Next, you should consider that the eCommerce platform supports various plugins & integrations to enhance the store’s functionality.

In addition to this, you should also identify whether the platform allows custom integrations.

Considering all these things, you will find an eCommerce platform that offers better flexibility.

12. Customer Support & Documentation

Customer Support & Documentation

The majority of businesses forget or avoid one crucial aspect while choosing an eCommerce platform, and that is customer support and documentation. Here are some reasons why you should give importance to this factor.

Instant Support: Customer support is required whenever you get stuck in accessing an eCommerce platform or want any assistance for your online store. Here, consider an eCommerce platform that offers support via different mediums like phone, email, and live chat.

Comprehensive Documentation: Extensive documentation offers many resources to resolve any problem. These resources include blogs, how-to guides, tutorials, and frequently asked questions.

Online Learning: Consider an eCommerce platform that offers enough resources to educate its users. It should inform users via videos, webinars, and community forums. These resources help you understand an eCommerce store well and remain updated with the latest things revolving in the eCommerce world.

13. Price

Being a new-age business owner, you want an eCommerce platform that offers you all the necessary functionalities for your business, plus its cost fits well with your budget. The pricing of an eCommerce platform varies depending on its type, development, maintenance, and more.

Here, we will walk you through some of the most crucial aspects while choosing an eCommerce platform based on price.

Cost Structure: Different eCommerce platforms have diverse pricing structures. Several come with a subscription-based model, while others have a transaction model. Choose an eCommerce platform depending on your current business operations and future growth.

Additional Fees: Consider all the additional fees associated with an eCommerce platform. These would be payment gateway charges, add-on charges, or transaction fees.

Maintenance & Upgradation Costs: These costs vary based on the type of eCommerce platform you choose. If you go with an open-source platform, you will need assistance with maintenance and upgradation. For the same, you should hire an eCommerce developer.Talking about the SaaS platform, you don’t require additional maintenance, plus you don’t have to worry about any updates as the platform does itself.

Things to Avoid While Choosing an eCommerce Platform

Here are some of the most crucial things you should avoid while selecting an eCommerce platform for your business.

Investing in an Outdated Platform

Investing in an outdated eCommerce platform with a rigid monolithic infrastructure reduces your online store performance and leads to slow growth. It even lacks the required features, updates, and compatibility a modern store needs. In addition, it results in a poor user experience.

Other than this, it is really challenging to update a thing in such an eCommerce platform as you need to deploy the entire system, which leads to a huge downtime.

Rather than this, you should focus on an eCommerce platform with a microservices architecture that is quick to upgrade, update and manage.

Going for a Platform that is Challenging to Scale

An eCommerce platform that is challenging to scale affects the long-term scalability of your business. In general, such eCommerce platforms are unstable as they do not offer support for multi-tenancy and multi-site and depend heavily on local servers or poor infrastructure.

These eCommerce platforms have low performance, slow loading times, and bad user experience.

Choosing a Platform with Too Many Features

While having too many features refers to scalability, choosing an eCommerce platform with many features can be counterproductive. Firstly, this makes the platform complex and leads to a clustered UI. It even affects the site’s performance. In addition, you are paying more bucks and not utilizing the features of the platform.

Instead, you should go with a platform with a minimal set of features that lets you integrate more features & functionality as your business grows.

Ready to build a successful online store?

WebDesk Solution can help you build a user-friendly eCommerce store that exceeds your expectations!

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Final Thoughts

We hope that you have understood how to choose an eCommerce platform. By defining your business needs & and budget, carefully considering all the factors mentioned above, and avoiding unnecessary things, you can choose an eCommerce platform that aligns well with your business. Choosing the right platform will help you grow efficiently in the digital landscape.

If you face any challenges in choosing the right eCommerce platform, feel free to reach out to us.

WebDesk Solution is an eCommerce development company. We have delivered some of the best online stores to businesses using the leading eCommerce platforms. Hence, we can help you choose the right platform and provide you with a modern and customized online store for your business.

John Ahya
John Ahya

John is the President and Co-Founder of WebDesk Solution, LLC. Living the digital agency life for over 10 years, he explores an extensive eCommerce world. He has immense experience in all major e-commerce platforms. Being a nature lover, he likes to breathe the fresh air on the hill stations during vacations.

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