How to choose the right eCommerce platform for your business in 2024

Choose Right Ecommerce Platform for Your Business


As we discussed in the earlier blog on starting an online business, one of the most important factors to consider while taking your business online is the eCommerce platform. The eCommerce platform is the backbone of an online retail business. In this blog, we will discuss how to choose the right eCommerce platform for your business and will also share a checklist at the end, to help you choose the right eCommerce solution provider. Let’s get started!

The general perception among business owners when thinking about eCommerce is a website that lets their customers order items. A website or a mobile app is the face of a business. There are several other important parts to an eCommerce business. At a high level, we can imagine an eCommerce solution to have 3 components as below:

User Interface

User Interface

As we can see, the User interface, the part that end-users see either through their mobile, desktop or tablet devices, is the face of the solution. The central piece where the complex business logic like price calculations, inventory management and payment processing are taken care of. The Database is where all the data related to the business, like customer details, last order details, products sold etc. are stored for future use.

Now that we have clarity on the components of an eCommerce solution, let us dive deeper into the various aspects of choosing the right eCommerce platform for you.

1. What do I need from the eCommerce platform?

It is a good practice to write down your expectations from the eCommerce solution before starting the analysis. You can arrive at features needed based on the goals of your online business. Some of the common goals would be:

  • Acquire / widen the customer base
  • Increase revenue
  • Enhancing brand value
  • Staying competitive

Following are some of the features commonly available in any eCommerce solution:

  • White labelling
    The most important asset of any retail store is its loyal customer base. Starting an online store should build on this loyal base and spread out to new customers. One way to retain your brand loyalty is to opt for a white-labelled solution wherein the name and branding of your online store retain your name and brand elements. This helps customers easily associate themselves with the known brand.
  • Product Catalog creation
    It is like the arrangement of products in a physical store. Every store will have a certain layout in which products and categories of products will be arranged. This would be based on multiple factors like preferred brands and premiumness of the product. Similarly, it is important to have flexibility in creating and displaying products in the online solution as well. The more time-consuming task to set up the online store is catalogue creation. The sooner it can be done, the sooner can the store go online and start generating revenue.
  • Customizable UI themes for website & mobile app
    Like a physical store would rearrange products and even the aisles based on customer buying behavior, online stores should also have provisions to change the look and feel to drive customer behavior and experience. A nice-looking screen design along with the capability to move the various sections around will provide a rich experience to customers and draw them back to the app.
  • Search
    The single most widely used feature of an eCommerce solution would be the product search. The search should be powerful enough to not just work based on the right keywords, but also for misspelt ones. Users tend to type product names in their own language using English words. So, it is important to have phonetic based search and search suggestions based on the first few letters typed.
  • Integrations with other systems
Ecommerce System Interface

An eCommerce solution by itself is not complete enough to run your business online. It should be easily connectible with various other systems like ERP, Payment Gateway, Delivery partner, Referral/Loyalty providers, social media, data analytics and Marketing. It is better to have API (Application Programming Interface — these are what allow software solutions to communicate with each other) based integrations to connect with any custom solutions as well. Customers look for comprehensive solutions and a wholesome experience. It would please them if all their expectations including implicit ones are met. Various necessary, integrated systems will ensure such an experience to customers improving stickiness.

Apart from these, customers need to check the Time to Market capabilities of the solution. It is the speed at which a business can go online. It can range from a matter of few hours to a few months depending on the choice of the solution. But there are certain finer points to note to better understand these claims of speedy time to market.

Some solutions let the users create the online store by themselves. But the catch is that the business owner must create the product catalogue, which can be very time-consuming. Some Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions providers may include catalogue creation, assigning product images and descriptions as part of the offering. This will be of immense help to businesses.

Depending on the type of the business, customers can decide which of these features are critical to them and any other features that they would need. For example, if you only sell a limited number of products like artwork, a robust cataloguing feature may not be necessary for you. Rather, the option to display images of varying sizes and multiple angles of the same art may be more important to you.

2. What's my budget?

Having listed down the expectations and requirements, it’s important to decide on a budget that is affordable to you. The budget can be in line with the ROI you are expecting. Depending on the type of eCommerce solution you choose, (about which we will see in the next section), the following types of costs are common:

  • Cost of the solution
    this will be a one-time fee that the solution provider will charge for setting up your eCommerce store online.
  • Hosting and Infrastructure cost
    Depending on the type of eCommerce solution, you may have to pay for hosting the application (a data centre or in the cloud) & taking care of the infrastructure
  • Subscription cost
    This will be a periodically recurring cost that you will have to pay for the maintenance, upgrades & support. Some solution providers may charge support costs separately.
  • Customization cost
    If your business needs new features to be implemented or changes to be done to existing features, the software provider may charge for it.
  • Transaction cost
    Depending on the online payment gateway provider, this cost will vary

3. Type of eCommerce solutions

Once the requirements and budget are decided, the next decision should be made on the type of eCommerce solution. They are broadly 3 types of solutions as discussed in detail in the previous blog:

  • 1. Open-source platforms
  • 2. Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • 3. Headless commerce

The most opted approach these days is the Software as a service model, where the software & hardware upkeep is taken care of by the solution provider along with constant upgrades to them.

“There is a common misconception that a solution hosted cloud is a SaaS solution. It is not so. A solution can either be hosted in a data centre (a large group of networked servers used by organizations for the remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data) or on the cloud.”

4. Selecting the eCommerce solution provider

There are several ways of identifying the eCommerce solution for your business. The usual approach is to talk to your peers about the solutions they are using. This will give firsthand information about what’s worked well and what did not. Another option is to search for solution providers online through search engines like Google, Microsoft Bing. There are also user reviews and software recommendation sites like Software Suggest and G2 that can help you with identifying the available solutions.

Once you have narrowed down the list of options, reach out to them for a demo of their solution. Insist on a working solution for the demo rather than just static screens. Evaluate their front end (user interface of the website & Mobile App) and the back end (the admin part of the solution).

You can also make use of the checklist at the end of this blog, for ensuring all the important aspects are covered during the evaluation process.

Choose Right

A methodical approach to choosing the right eCommerce solution that is aligned to your online business needs ensures you start your business on the right note. The selection of the software solution is like a marriage of business and technology. Hence, a lot of care needs to go into the process to ensure that the relationship is for the long term. It is always better to spend time and effort upfront in identifying the right solution partner than ending up spending far more later when it will be more difficult to fix.

Once the right choice is made, you can then focus on the core, i.e., growing your business and leave the technology part to your solutions partner.


Here is the 16 points eCommerce partner evaluation checklist:

1. Company Details:

  • Name
  • Website URL
  • Contact Details (Email, Phone, WhatsApp)
  • Number of years in operation
  1. 2. Products / Services they provide

  2. 3. Solution variants they offer and the difference between them

  3. 4. Cost of each variant

  4. 5. Product roadmap details

  5. 6. Eligibility for product upgrades

  6. 7. Any additional (AMC, Hardware, infra, support, training, maintenance) costs

  7. 8. Scope of solution provider, Business in solution implementation

  8. 9. Performance metrics of the software solution

  9. 10. Security provisions in the solution

  10. 11. Hosting method used

  11. 12. Compliance with applicable government regulations

  12. 13. Support mechanisms & cost

  13. 14. Training plan

  14. 15. Go live plan

  15. 16. Reference to their existing clients