When it comes to choosing ecommerce software for your online business, there are several options you could consider. If you are just starting out and have a small store, you could go for a basic shopping cart or any other open source solution. However, if your shop is large, it would be advisable to go for an enterprise system, a hosted platform or even build your own customized system.
Why People Prefer Hosted eCommerce Platforms?
A hosted eCommerce platform is one which offers eCommerce functionality as well as web hosting. Some of the most popular hosted platforms in the market include Highwire, Magento, Shopify and Bigcommerce. Here are some of the reasons why most businesses prefer such platforms:
1. Ease Of Use
The user-friendliness of hosted eCommerce platforms begins from the point of setting up your website. Hosted platforms come with the software already installed, which saves you the trouble of doing it yourself or hiring an expert. This means that you can you can literally have your shop up and running within minutes. Furthermore, having everything in one location makes hosted platforms very convenient. For instance, instead of paying separately for eCommerce functionality and hosting, you will only be billed once for both services.
2. Single Point Of Contact
Having an eCommerce platform that is separate from the web host can be very stressful. For instance, when facing a problem with functionality on your site, you might have to seek help from customer support representatives from both companies. If neither side is willing to take responsibility, getting the problem resolved can be a very long and frustrating process. However, using a hosted platform means that there is only one point of contact for handling eCommerce or hosting related queries. This is likely to result in faster fixes and solutions.
3. Ready-made Templates
Hosted e-commerce platforms usually come with a wide range of themes and templates which you can choose from. While some are free to use, you will need to purchase others. However, buying a pre-made template is still much cheaper compared to hiring someone to build a customized design.
4. Inbuilt Payment Gateway
Most hosted platforms come with an inbuilt payment gateway which can handle payments without involving a third party. This saves you the trouble of having to choose between the numerous payment gateways available in the market. However, if you have other preferences, you can integrate them with the hosted platform.
5. CMS Included
Besides eCommerce functionality and hosting, hosted platforms also come with an in-built content management system (CMS). This system makes it easy for you to manage the content of your site’s pages without any need for coding. Creating relevant and optimized content for your site is a very effective strategy for generating traffic to your site.
6. Ease Of Updates
In case you are using an open source eCommerce solution, you might be required to upgrade the software anytime a newer version is released. If you don’t have the technical knowledge, you will need to hire an expert to do it for you. However, hosted platforms automatically upgrade your software thus saving you the cost and time of having to do it yourself.
When it comes to e-commerce, the protection of personal customer information is very important. With hosted platforms, you will not have to worry about the security of your eCommerce site. Such platforms usually come with elaborate security features which ensure that your data is kept safe, especially during the checkout process.
These are some of the main reasons why people prefer hosted eCommerce platforms, do kindly let us know in the comments below if you think of any other valuable point.
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