Choosing an eCommerce supplier: what you need to consider

From development ability, integrations, reliability and costs; eCommerce platform Kooomo advises on the top elements you need to consider when choosing an eCommerce supplier.

In today’s competitive marketplace, with many options on offer, comparing eCommerce platforms is very challenging. Every organisation has different requirements and will need to consider many technical aspects - especially if one’s goal is the implementation of Omnichannel solutions or Click & Collect, according to digital eCommerce solutions specialist, Kooomo.

Ciaran Bollard, CEO of Kooomo says: “For a lot of businesses, online is an extension to bricks and mortar and if this is the case for you, you need to ensure unification and that all the information speaks to each other internally to make sure the user experience is as good as can be. key features such as: hardware and connectivity specifications, capability, development potential, integrations, maintenance & reliability, multichannel and omnichannel capabilities and pricing all must be considered and compared.”

With this in mind, Kooomo outlines the following key areas that businesses - whether a small business start-up or a medium to large business looking to scale – must consider when choosing their eCommerce supplier: 

Development ability

It’s key to not only think about the requirements you have for your platform today but what you’ll likely require in the future too. With this in mind, you should choose a platform that offers out-of-the-box features that are easily manageable through the back-end development. Different providers will supply these out-of-the-box features aimed at their target audience, so it’ll be clear whether the supplier is suited to what you need either as a small business or a larger business looking for scale. However, you’ll also want your supplier to be able to create customised developments too via their IT teams, so you should assess this ability. 

eCommerce integrations

Interoperability is key in any business today, and especially in retail, customers want to be able to shop in the way they are used to and prefer, using integrated partners. This includes the best-in-class technologies across sales, marketing, project management, payment gateways, and courier companies. You should, therefore, look for a supplier that includes integrations with the key partners you need for your eCommerce business and does so via fast API connectors that can be turned on from the backend. It should also be considered that different countries are used to different things. What is the norm in the UK could be alien to customers in Germany. A platform that specialises in globalisation and breaking down geo-blocking obstacles such as these can be a massive help to global expansion. 

Maintenance and reliability

It goes without saying that any form of downtime is detrimental to eCommerce businesses. You should, therefore, search for a reliable supplier, built on cloud technology. Software as a service platforms provide the possibility of updating software on their own and all updates are bestowed to all eCommerce clients so that there are no problems with different versions. This means that maintenance costs are diminished massively. For any eCommerce business, this should be a key consideration. 

Multichannel capabilities and omnichannel integrations

Different suppliers offer very different options with regards to multichannel capabilities and omnichannel integrations. For example, some suppliers will have technology partners to assure connection to marketplaces while others have core options for this topic. Through the latter, you can reduce costs and have access to a more competitive solution for broadening successful marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.

In addition, as omnichannel service becomes more important to consumers and therefore to eCommerce businesses, it’s important to look for a supplier that provides you with a full omnichannel integration at its core. For example, you may want to integrate physical stores, marketplaces, and online stores into a unique organisation managed from a single place. Some suppliers offer thisintegration of complex systems into one single platform/place to be managed very easily.

Costs

Possibly one of the most important considerations is the cost associated with your eCommerce platform, from initial setup to the continued fixed rates or revenue share. The cost will always play an important part in your decision. Understanding the best and most cost-effective solution for your business should go hand in hand. A revenue share model for example means the platform provider is directly invested in your success and this should be considered.

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