E-Commerce is booming. During the pandemic the global retail sales increased to approximately USD 4.2 trillion. As of 2021, eCommerce has a share of 21% in the total retail sales, globally.
This is advantageous for sellers and retail businesses as now is the perfect time to take the business online if it isn’t there already. With a smart, eCommerce platform, you can do product listing, handle inventory, manage orders, and provide an exceptional experience to your customers. An eCommerce platform for your business will also allow you to reach more customers geographically.
Such cloud-based eCommerce platforms will help you with not only website creation, but also online retail chains as well. It will also assist your business in brand awareness and marketing. A lot of other related functions of your business will get the perks of your custom eCommerce platform hand-in-hand.
What is a Cloud based E-Commerce Platform?
A cloud-based platform helps businesses to create their very own, customized, eCommerce marketplace along with features such as complete, customization, cloud-native infrastructure, order, product and vendor management, and flexibility for future-proofing the business.
It empowers the marketers and the merchants to personalize and customize their businesses fully. Starting from the shopping experience of their customers to the end-to-end transaction, everything customized with a unique user experience. Such a platform provides a solution with all the tools needed for creating, launching and managing such a business.
What to look for in a Cloud-based E-commerce Platform?
Choosing the best cloud-based platform for your eCommerce business can be a tedious job. Your business requirements should be fulfilled by the features, benefits and offerings. When your business needs are met by the platform, that is when it is perfectly suitable and ideal for your business.
Here are certain criteria, features or benefits to look for when selecting a cloud-based platform for your eCommerce business:
Inventory Management Tools
The platform you choose must have the tools to manage inventory and products. The most important aspect of an eCommerce business is product and inventory management. Operations such as stocking, tagging, and categorizing the products on a day-to-day basis need to be performed through your platform. You must choose a platform that allows you to build or integrate these features in your offerings.
A business always has pre-defined goals and targets. There are certain time constraints and even deadlines involved when building a platform from scratch. You want to make sure that the platform you choose for your eCommerce business is simple, straightforward and easy to use. It must allow you to create a unique, customized platform without taking away all of your time and must not hinder your business growth. Your business goals should be fulfilled without any obstacles coming from the tech side of the platform building.
An eCommerce platform requires integration with multiple payment modes. Today’s tech savvy consumers are all divided among different payment modes such as UPIs, wallets, credit and debit cards, etc. Your platform should offer multiple payment gateways during the checkout process to make it easier for your customers to complete their purchases.
You have to make sure that your platform accepts both popular options such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Stripe, but also local payment gateways of the region your business is targeting. Both international and local payment gateway options will allow your wide-customer base to purchase from your eCommerce platform.
Insights & Analytics
Your site is up and about but how will you track the performance? This is why you need in-built analytics. It will make analyzing performance and the footfalls on the platform easier. You will be able to track metrics that are important for your business.
Some of the things that you must have in your in-built, third-party analytics tool are sales conversion rates, average order value, daily average footfalls on the platform, customer lifetime value, churn rate, etc.
When it comes to eCommerce platforms, SEO-friendliness is important for your brand name. Your e-retail store should come up in search results for increasing your business. Which is why you need a platform that is SEO-friendly. It must let you use your domain and allow you to manage content for pulling organic traffic on the platform.
The number of smartphone users is increasing day by day. This means online purchases through M-commerce are booming. It is important that the platform which you create is mobile friendly for your customer base as they prefer shopping through applications on their smartphones rather than using a desktop and shopping on the web.
When you are trying to find the right eCommerce platform, integrations are an important feature to look for. Integrations help in extending the functionality of your business. It can be chat plug in for support, it can be third-party payment gateways, the possibilities are endless but your chosen platform should allow you such integrations.
Support & Maintenance
Every online business need support. Even if it is the best, most easy-to-use platform, you require accessible and swift support. If your site is down or if there is a technical mishap, you require quick solutions, even for the customers. This is why your eCommerce platform should have multiple options of support such as live chat, email, self-help options as a knowledge base for your customers.
Top 5 Cloud-based Platforms for your E-Commerce Business
Sitecore OrderCloud is an API-first, headless cloud platform which helps you build an eCommerce platform. It allows you to streamline your marketplace business operations such as order management, product management, vendor management and creates seamless processes for giving your customers a smooth purchasing experience.
For any and every business model, be it B2B, B2C or B2X, Sitecore OrderCloud empowers businesses to build custom eCommerce platforms. They have enabled some of the world’s most well-known brands, processing over 25 million transactions with $ 5 billion in revenue.
Sitecore OrderCloud has a cloud-native architecture with a developer friendly interface that allows them to bring powerful applications to life. The open-source resources allow them to create progressive web applications.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a SaaS-based commerce platform provider. This is often preferred by fashion e-retailers. It allows businesses to integrate sales channels that are both digital and physical. It is a comprehensive platform that one can use to launch their eCommerce business.
Salesforce as the name suggests contains tools relating to sales, customer service, marketing, community development, order fulfillment among others. It offers 4000 pre-integrated apps in its app store.
Shopify is one of the most commonly used eCommerce platforms. Again, Shopify is also a SaaS-based commerce platform provider. It is a comprehensive, feature-rich platform with over 600,000 online stores and one million active users worldwide.
Shopify helps developers quickly and easily deploy back-end for businesses who do not have the resources to do it. Its most prominent feature is the easy-to-use platform. Shopify offers over 100 payment gateways to choose from.
Adobe Commerce (Powered by Magento)
Adobe Commerce is another highly popular eCommerce solution. It has two options, Powered by Magento and Open Source. Magento is preferred by brands who have heavily invested in IT or development teams as its expansive back-end interface could be a bit daunting for beginners.
Magento is available for free. It helps you expand and customize your platform however you want. It is generally used by medium to large eCommerce businesses that can afford an entire department for web development.
Oracle Commerce Cloud
Oracle has a very comprehensive B2C and B2B enterprise eCommerce system. It includes a variety of features also such as accounting, inventory management, shipping, etc. It derives data from the CRM to deliver customer-specific shopping experiences and also helps in creating end-to-end business environments.
It provides API-based architecture, a scalable business environment and also AI-based analytics. There is an option for unlimited customization as well as omnichannel sales.
Why is Sitecore Order Cloud best for your eCommerce business?
Sitecore OrderCloud is a headless, API-first, cloud native platform that offers a variety of features and benefits which makes it one of the perfect, most ideal, and suitable choices for your eCommerce platform. Building your platform using OrderCloud will not only ensure a customizable, creative platform, but also allow you to streamline your business operations.
All the features that we have to look for in an eCommerce platform are available and more when it comes to Sitecore OrderCloud. This is why Sitecore OrderCloud is one of the best platforms for launching your eCommerce business.