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Trying to Decide on an Ecommerce Platform? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions


You’ve got a million-dollar idea for a product or service that is going to take the world by storm. However, how do you get it out there? What is the right platform for you to sell your wares? Thanks to ecommerce, just about anyone in any location can sell anything they want to anyone in the world.


Before you go jumping into the shark tank, you might want to ask yourself a few questions about your business prospects. After all, a business is an investment in yourself, your future, and your bank account.


How Much Do I Expect to Sell?

Getting a business plan together before you launch your store is extremely important. If you don’t know how much you are planning to sell, you won’t know what your initial investment will have to be. You could easily go well over or under spend on web development, hosting or even inventory. Check out competitive sites and try to get market estimates from industry inside sources, such as trade associations.


How Will I Build the Website?

Of all the reasons to start an ecommerce store, most of them fall under two main reasons: you have passion for a product, service or industry; or, you have the technical knowledge to build a website that can earn money. For those with web development skills, building a site will be relatively easy or, at the very least, a straightforward process. If you don’t know how to build a website, you are going to either have to pay someone to build you one or look into the prepackaged options that enterprise ecommerce platforms like Shopify offer.


Hiring a builder will certainly be more customized to your brand, but will also be more expensive. If being completely original doesn’t affect your business model, then you will probably find the best value with a premade ecommerce storefront.


How Will I Put Product on the Site?

If you only sell a handful of items, entering the product information and providing product pictures won’t seem too difficult. However, if you have several hundred products, it becomes a hefty data entry endeavor that will be sure to take some time to complete.


Whether you are hiring someone to fill in the data, doing it yourself, or applying some kind of “one size fits all” template, you are going to have to place your products on the site in one way or another.


How Will I Manage Inventory?

Once you’ve successfully placed all the products up on your site and they are active, how are you going to manage inventory? If you only sell from the online store, it shouldn’t be too difficult, but if you are supplementing your brick-and-mortar store with an online presence, it can get a little confusing. You will need a way to reconcile inventory from the physical store with items sold virtually.


What Kind of Payments Should I Accept?

Internet stores can’t accept cash for obvious reasons — so what are you going to accept? You can take credit, debit, PayPal, and even BitCoin. How will your option impact your website? Will it need a special checkout form or extra plugins to function properly?


The importance of making sure you have all these ducks lined up before you jump into something as big as starting your own business cannot be understated. Remember, this is an investment in your future.


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