The variety of e-commerce platforms can be a pain in the neck for store owners. The e-commerce platform is behind every online store success. For typical business owner, the e-commerce platform choice is a tough nut to crack. Is there a way how can you choose the best e-commerce platform for you? Sure. Let's jump into list of the must have points of each store owner checklist. In the case of the e-commerce choice, you should have an eye for the main chance and choose the best solution for you!
1. Calculate everything
It's not truth that the only costs are related with the platform. Sure, it's important, because if you choose the SaaS software, you will be charged each month for you store, what's more, many solutions will charge you for each order (yes, commissions still exist). Yes, it's a foregone conclusion, that in longer term, it won't work.
In the majority of cases, open source solutions are the solutions which will be chosed once and for all.
Open source e-commerce platforms bring cost related with the cloud or hosting. Somebody can compare this costs to SaaS subscription, but it's a time to get this straight. If you pay for hosting, cloud or similar service, you will pay for your goods. You are an owner of store, files. In SaaS subscription, you will pay for the possibility to use their software. You will never be an owner of this store.
2. Check the variety of features
It's the continuation of the previous point. If you e-commerce platform lack of features, you can be pretty sure that if you are not a developer, you will have to pay for the extensions or for premium development. Is it a correct way? For sure not. Each e-commerce platform should be a A to Z solution for everyone. Each platform will be described as out of the world. But is it true? How can you determine whether it's advanced or not? First of all you should check the website of the project. In a nutshell you will receive the most important information. If somebody says that the few features are available, but as a paid plugin, it means that they are not a features and you will have to pay for it.
That's why GrandNode holds the guns and give the widest range of features on the market. Please check how many things like return management system, push notifications, abandoned cart recovery tools, multi tenancy, CMS features are available as a paid plugins in the rest of solutions. GrandNode gives it out of the box. And trust me, created base will be enough for the majority of online stores.
3. Scalability is the clue
Scalability is one of the most modern buzzwords in our industry. Everyone says that their tools are scalable. What what does the scalable mean? On our example, if you combine GrandNode with DigitalOcean cloud, you will receive the fully scalable solution and its resource will be reduced or increased at the drop of a hat, dependently from needs. It's a must have for every bigger e-commerce, because during the important periods of time, like Black Friday, Seasonal Offers, your store will be visited with a vengeance. And trust me, you won't be pleased if your hosting will be a dead man at the eleventh hour.
GrandNode allows you to configure a multi instance solution with a traffic controlled by load balancer. With the Amazon S3 or Azure CDN usage, you can relieve the application resources and speed up its loading time in critical moments.
4. SEO & Mobile friendliness
The competition is not sleeping. The amount of online store in each industry makes it difficult to achieve only the first places. Also the speed of e-commerce development gives easy chance to miss the point. Each SEO activity is a great way to increase traffic which comes to your store. Apart of digital ads, it's the most popular digital technique to maximize the number of users coming to your store. To fully understand the importance of SEO activities, let's answer one question. What's the first thing which you do, when you want to purchase a product? Of course, it's search. The position of your store in search results depends on the SEO efforts. If your e-commerce platform isn't SEO friendly, it will have impact on your position in the search results.
Mobile e-commerce will be responsible for about 67% of e-commerce sales by 2021 (via Statista). Google saw that potential few years ago and started to reward websites and online stores which are mobile friendly. Responsive web design is something natural nowadays, but many paid themes and solutions don't meet the mobile standards. It's something unacceptable. Possibility to get native mobile app or at least Progressive Web App out of the box is a crucial. Check how can you create your own Progressive Web App in GrandNode.
5. Integrations, plugins and themes
Integrations and in general, paid extensions should be an important point on your checklist. If the needs extend to connecting store with extenal tools, it will be crucial to use paid integration. In fact, in that area the SaaS softwares may take the lead, but it doesn't have only the bright side. We really appreciate the fact that you receive many integrations out of the box, but very often, integrations are limited and your hands are tied. And what's important you have to pay for it monthly. In open source e-commerce platforms, Amazon or eBay integrations come with a bunch of functionalities, but you are able to get the source code of them and customize them easily to meet your extra requirements.
There is no chance that you will be satisifed with the default template of e-commerce platform. So it's right time to check the marketplace of extensions and themes. Each e-commerce platform which is good and trustworthy, should have at least few commercial themes, fully responsive, seo friendly and with possibility to customization.
And the last, but not least. Personalization is finally the last touch on your store. If your e-commerce platform meet all requirements, but you'll find the area which should be customized, it's a right time to check its possibilities to personalize. If you are a developer, the open source is for you. You can customize it easily with little efforts. If you aren't developer, you are able to use the premium customization service and ask for tailored solutions.
You can’t sit on the fence any longer! It's right time to stop cut corners and invest in the correct tools. Choose GrandNode and see for yourself, that it's the last change that you'll made. Let's jump into installation guide and learn how to install GrandNode.