How to find the correct e-commerce platform for your business

The rise of the internet has revolutionised the face of consumer behaviour, with recent figures from the IMRG-Capgemini eRetail Sales Index revealing that in 2013 alone, UK shoppers spent a huge £91 billion on online purchases. And with IMRG forecasting an additional 17% growth surge in 2014, the trend does not look set to slow down any time soon. This means that to tap into the colossal value of online consumer spending, businesses must adopt an effective e-commerce strategy in order to convert clicks into cash.

Whether you operate a local enterprise or a multi-national corporation, choosing an e-commerce platform that suits the needs of your business is crucial. To help you find the right provider, we’ve come up with these useful pointers that every business should consider when choosing an e-commerce platform.

 High performance

 With recent research from KISSmetrics indicating that 40% of online shoppers abandon purchases due to slow load times and 79% are unlikely to return after experiencing an unsatisfactory transaction experience, optimising the performance of your e-commerce platform should be at the top of your priority list. At the very basics, the transaction process should be fast, efficient and easy to navigate.

 Reliability

 Choosing an e-commerce platform that is reliable and accessible could have an unprecedented effect on your bottom line. The attention spans of online consumers are notoriously short which means that if your site goes down, rather than wait for it to come back online, they simply take their business elsewhere. It is therefore of the utmost importance to use an e-commerce provider that is not only reliable but is also capable of managing traffic spikes while keeping the site running smoothly.  For a comprehensive overview of some of the most dependable e-commerce platforms currently available, check out this market leader breakdown from webstore and online retail experts Veeqo.

 Data security and compliance

 Having effective security measures in place is an essential part of running any business, particularly those that deal with confidential customer details.  Under globally recognisedPaymentCardIndustry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) regulations, sensitive consumer information such as names and credit card information must be adequately protected. If you are not outsourcing your carddata to an accredited Payment Service Provider, your e-commerce platform must have an unwavering security solution in place. Breaches of security can not only cost your business financially but can also have a hugely damaging effect on its reputation.

 Mobile compatibility

 With an estimated 30% of UK consumers making purchases via their smartphones, choosing an e-commerce platform that is mobile friendly is a pivotal part of online business. A fast, user friendly and mobile optimised site with compatible e-commerce infrastructure can have a huge impact on maximising revenue.

Whether your business processes tens, hundreds or even thousands of daily transactions, offering your customers an e-commerce platform that is functional, reliable, secure and mobile compatible should be a key part of your online strategy. Keeping these four considerations in mind will help your business harness the enormous potential of e-commerce and tap into the billions of pounds of annual online expenditure.