The right B2B eCommerce management platform can help streamline your workflow and take some of the expensive and time-consuming legwork out of running your business. However, not all B2B enterprise eCommerce solutions are created equal, and investing in one that doesn’t serve your needs, or suit the size of your business can end up costing you even more time and money in the long run. So what should you look for in an eCommerce software solution? Here are a few tips on how to go about selecting the right platform for your business:
Today’s Savings Could Cost You Tomorrow
All too often companies try to cut corners with a cheaper software solution and then piece together their e-commerce site. Sure, it might save you a few bucks now, but this method can be risky for a number of reasons.
When your e-commerce solution is made up of multiple disparate patches and pieces, you run the risk of losing your ability to integrate all your content with e-commerce. And depending on the specific software you go for, you could also lose, or at least limit, your ability to customize your platform to fit your particular business model. This means that the cheaper option can end up costing you a fortune down the road.
Define Your Requirements
In order to avoid the pitfalls mentioned above, it’s important that you go into the platform shopping experience with a crystal-clear picture of exactly what you need in an e-commerce platform. Try to get every member of your team on board, from IT to e-commerce merchandising, and examine every aspect of your business and then see which platform might be best suited to your unique needs.
Define Your Growth Plans
Just because a certain e-commerce solution might be perfect for you now, it doesn’t mean it will be a good fit once your business begins to grow and branch out, so scalability should definitely be on your radar when shopping for a solution. Make sure to evaluate your growth potential before investing in a platform that might leave you needing more down the road
Consider User Experience
People used to expect that B2B commerce sites would be somewhat clunky, barebones, and not all that nice to look at. As long as it got the job done, it was fine. That’s not so much the case these days. Today, even the B2B customer expects a user-friendly e-commerce experience. So do some research and find sites that you like, ones that are easy to use and not too hard on the eyes, and see if their platforms would work for your business.
Choose a Hosting Model
When it comes to hosting, compatibility is absolutely critical, so your hosting choice should be based on your desired platform requirements. Depending on the unique circumstances and requirements of your business, you’ll either go for a Cloud, On-Premises, or Hybrid model, each of which has their pluses and minuses. No single option is best for every business. So when weighing your options, make sure to chat with your IT team about requirements and implementation to find the best hosting solution for your new platform.
What it all comes down to is knowing what you need. It’s tempting to go for the biggest flashiest platform out there or to go for a cost-effective money-saving option, but if these platforms aren’t right for your business, you’ll be paying for it later. So do your homework, get your team together and find the option that’s right for your particular B2B enterprise’s needs.