The 5 Biggest Pains of Running An Online Store – And The Best Programs to Fix Them
Picking the right e-commerce platform from the many one-stop options available can be overwhelming.
Even worse, you could read up reviews of different platforms but when it comes down to choosing the one that’s best for you, you’re still not sure how to go about it.
You’re not alone.
Like most sellers, you’re probably looking for a one-stop e-commerce solution with amazing features:
- Cloud-based or open source that allows you set up your website easily
- Excellent shopping cart
- Easy storefront customization tools
- Fluid order processing and tracking
- Simple inventory management
- In-built analytics
- Reliable customer service and much more…
Whatever you features preferences are here’s a list of the top 7 ecommerce platforms you could choose from:
However, picking the best platform for your business is beyond features and reviews. It is about choosing the solution that is a best-fit for your unique pain points.
The best way to pick the right platform is by identifying the problem you’re hoping to solve. Here are what I consider the 5 biggest pain points in running an online store and the best possible solutions.
Pain Point 1: Too many choices in finding your first e-commerce platform
Here, you want to start your e-commerce business or you already have a multi-vendor store but want to have your own website and still maintain your multi-vendor stores such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
Perhaps you’ve read reviews and you’re baffled by the multitude of options but still don’t know which is best for you.
All you want to do is sell and for it to look good. How then do you choose the best e-commerce platform for you?
You should choose a platform that gives you the following features and options:
- A website that appears professional, beautifully designed, and expensive.
- Easy store set up with drag-and-drop controls
- A readymade multi-vendor marketplace solution
- Multiple payment gateway integrations
- Excellent customer support
- Unlimited product listings/ inbuilt product catalog system
- Affordable subscription
Armed with a platform that has those options, you’re set to rake in e-commerce dollars from your own website and your multi-vendor stores.
Shopify and YoKart come highly recommended for this pain point. Yokart in particular if you’re a startup and your focus is to build multi-vendor stores.
Pain Point 2: I am not tech savvy but I need to run my own e-commerce store
At this point, you don’t care so much about features but about setting up your store and making sales.
You want to easily display your products on your site and sell with no transaction fees.
And you also want your site to have a one-page checkout and give you the option of knowing when a customer abandons their cart.
In short, all you want is an easy to use platform for you and a seamless checkout process for your customers.
This means you should choose a platform that is…
Extremely easy to use, offers 24/7 support, no transaction fees, and a relatively fair monthly pricing.
Your choice for this paint point comes down to Shopify, Volusion, and Ticktail. There are mixed reviews for these platforms but Shopify is the most popular choice.
However, if you do not want Shopify’s additional credit card transaction fees or Ticktail’s limited payment options then Volusion is your pick.
Pain Point 3: I have a WordPress Website and the big e-commerce platforms are too expensive for my small business
You’re still a small e-commerce business and the charges by the big e-commerce platforms are hurting your finances. So you’re looking for a cheap, customizable and functioning e-commerce platform on your WordPress website.
Your best choice is to look out for a platform with:
- No monthly service charge
- Little or no transaction fees
- Good customer support
- Payment gateway integration
- Fast loading cart and checkout
With the above pros and your pain point, WooCommerce will be best for you.
But it isn’t without cons.
A major downside of WooCommerce is that it is difficult to scale. As your business grows and you get more products and customers on your database, WooCommerce starts slowing down and you’d need to purchase or subscribe to multiple add-ons and plugins to improve functionality.
Pain Point 4: I need a feature-rich, cloud-based e-commerce platform with no plugin hassles
Like many sellers, you may have a laundry list of features you want in your e-commerce platform. You want a one-stop cloud-based platform but without the struggle of trying to find, install and test plugins. Plus you do not want to spend money on development, maintenance and support that an open source platform requires.
Then you should choose a platform that…
- Offers you multiple free and premium templates to give your storefront a responsive design
- Has all the features and tools you need
- Helps you grow sales by offering seamless integrations with different social channels and product comparison sites
- Gives you even more advanced features as you scale
- Has impeccable customer support
At the moment, BigCommerce is a great alternative to Shopify Plus for this pain point especially if your sales volume is below $100,000.
A major drawback is that as you scale your charges increase as well. And if you’re run a multi-vendor store like Amazon, you may find BigCommerce lacking the needed support.
Pain point 5: I Need to manage multiple B2B/B2C e-commerce stores from a single platform
So your e-commerce business has multiple websites but with your current platform, you don’t have the flexibility to create unique, differentiated brand experience.
You want to be able to pull e-commerce information from all your brands, segment data, manage your customers and products easily from one platform.
If that sounds like your current situation and you have web development experience or can afford to hire a developer for development, support, and maintenance, then you should choose:
- An e-commerce platform that is highly customizable (open source)
- Built with scale and security in mind
- User-friendly yet feature intensive
One name comes to mind for this particular pain point: Magento. It is the most trusted open source platform compared to others like OScommerce which have fewer features.
Whether you’re a super-advanced or a beginner e-commerce seller, there’s an e-commerce platform out there for you.
The most important thing is to know your pain points and how to pick the best one for your business.
It begins by bearing in mind…
- The kind of products you’re selling
- Your tech skills level
- The level of control you want (Self-hosting or cloud-based solution)
- The scalability of the platform
- How you will get paid by your customers (payment gateway)
- The possibility of multiple integrations (Omni-channels)
- Affordability and
- The availability of support when you need it
In the end, you want to build an e-commerce business that is scalable and salable when you want to exit with maximum dollars in your pocket.