In the modern world, having a mobile-friendly online sales platform is more important than ever. One early step you’ll need to take is choosing a software platform. You want to ensure the program is right for your business needs, but with so many options available, it can be difficult to narrow down the choices.
We asked a panel of Forbes Technology Council members what criteria you should use to help you decide on a platform for your mobile store. Their best answers are below.
1. Primary Use Case
Spend time developing the use cases you can foresee your business needing upfront. Work through these and develop your criteria for whether or not the candidate platforms can support your use cases. For example, do you have the need for drop shipments in your business? As a standard requirement, you always need to think about the security of your business and your customer’s security and confidence. – Steve Cochran, ConnectWise
2. Easy Integration And Adaptability
Our data tells us that online shoppers compare prices frequently. Selecting the right software is critical because front-end data can make or break your business. Because no software platform can solve all e-commerce problems, businesses need to select software that easily integrates with multiple solutions so they can expand their mobile store capabilities quickly when consumer behaviors change. – Sanjeev Sularia, Intelligence Node
3. Brand Recognition And Reputation
Indeed, nowadays we have hundreds or even thousands of software solutions for business owners. I would recommend using two approaches. If you have money, go with a well-known, proven brand. Big logos have developed support and infrastructure, so you have a lot of samples, community, etc. If you don’t have money, look for promising and popular open-source and free community solutions. – Boris Kontsevoi, Intetics Inc.
When looking for an online sales software, focus on two aspects. One is to make the buying experience a straightforward shopping experience that is simple and to the point. The second is to make sure the software is malleable and adjustment-friendly. You want to be sure to be able to have maximum control over the software in case adjustments are needed. – Alexandro Pando, Xyrupt Technologies
5. In-Store Operational Integration
For any B2C companies looking to increase digital sales, there are numerous options for mobile stores. However, most businesses miss the fact that an online store needs to be integrated seamlessly with the operations at the store. For example, software that allows ordering items online to pick up in-store must integrate flawlessly with the retail store’s operations for a true omnichannel experience. – Tanvir Bhangoo, Freshii inc.
6. A Singular Customer Experience
E-commerce success requires dedication to omnichannel engagement. To provide a singular customer experience across multiple devices, a mobile store should consider adopting a headless architecture. By decoupling the presentation layer from back-end web services, a headless structure allows endless client-facing touchpoints and consistent product, order and inventory info to be shared via API. – Christopher Yang, Corporate Travel Management
7. Data Analytics Capabilities
Ensuring that the software platform provides competitive analysis to measure the sales is most critical for any business. The data will help build strategies that will reap ROI for the business from online sales. A data-driven online sales platform is a sustainable growth model for any company/brand. – Bhavna Juneja, Infinity, a Stamford Technology Company
8. Whether You’d Rather Be A Part Of A Marketplace
Before even choosing software (such as Shopify) to run your own online store, decide first whether you want to be part of a marketplace like Amazon. Few business owners have the bandwidth to do both their own store and to be on Amazon. There’s a tradeoff between control of the branding and experience you get with “rolling your own” versus the audience and added platform features of Amazon. – Steve Pao, Hillwork, LLC
Keep scalability in mind from the start. The past few years have seen a boost in the amount of shopping done via mobile devices, and that trend is likely to continue. As your online and mobile business grows, you’ll want a platform that can handle rapid expansion of both products and users, without slowing down or crashing. – Ron Cogburn, Exela Technologies
10. Security Features
Ensure the platform uses robust, top-shelf security when processing payments. Customers want to know that all of their data is protected when dealing with you, especially their credit card information. With so many integrations and options for processors available on most platforms, there’s no excuse for using one that offers poor security. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
11. Data Privacy Compliance
This data is critical to optimizing your marketing messaging, leveraging personalization and measuring marketing return on investment (ROI). Note that your analytics data collection needs to align with new requirements like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act. – Nelson Cicchitto, Avatier Corporation
12. Your Key Objectives For Your Mobile Store
When deciding on software for your mobile store, you must completely understand your main mission. What are you trying to sell? How big do you want to make your store? Where is your traffic generated from? Does your product have plenty of competition, or is it niche and unique? Each platform has pros and cons, and which one is best depends on your circumstances and goals. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC