E-commerce

What is an e-Commerce Platform and How Does It Work?

Nov 17, 2021

An e-commerce platform can be the game-changer that takes your online retail business to the next level, but only if you’re choosing the right one to work with.

Simply put, an e-commerce platform is the software application where both buyers and sellers play their parts in transactions. It can be B2B, B2C, C2C, etc. . Basically any kind of online buying and selling transaction can take place on an e-commerce platform. 

Essentially, the platform is what you’re going to use to build your digital commerce space. It gives you all the tools you need to design, create, and run your e-commerce store as efficiently (hopefully) as possible. 

Because your choice of platform is so crucial to the performance of your store and your ability to create it, it’s imperative that you put maximum care and effort into learning about and testing a variety of platforms before choosing one on which to establish your online store. 

Let’s take a look at what makes an e-commerce platform tick.

   

The Features of an E-Commerce Platform

Every e-commerce platform should have certain features that define it as a platform. These features are as follows:

  • An interface - Find one that has an interface that meshes with your capabilities. For instance, some platforms may require technical skills such as HTML, while others are more intuitive for users of all skill levels. 
  • Design options - Many platforms offer a variety of ready-made templates and themes, but you always want to be aware of the possibilities offered in terms of customization and design. 
  • Store management system - Management systems are at the core of any functioning online store. They should include a product management system, an order management system, and a return management system. If these systems aren’t a part of the standard platform package, the platform should allow integration with other services that provide them. 
  • Payment processing - e-commerce can’t function without a way to receive payments. Any platform should define the payment options it supports out of the box, along with any third-party services that can be integrated to expand payment opportunities. Be aware of your target customer base’s preferred method of payment and align that to your platform choice.
  • Security - Data breaches can absolutely crush smaller online marketplaces, so it’s of the utmost importance to select an e-commerce platform that meets the PCI security standards at the minimum. 
  • Support - It’s inevitable that you will face technical issues while operating your e-commerce, so it’s important that your platform comes with accessible channels of support.
  • Data consolidation - Your e-commerce platform allows you to collect and store data and supports integration with analytics services or provides its own. A business of any type lives and dies by the strength of its data, and that’s doubly true for online retail.
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The short answer is “yes.” The longer answer is “definitely yes.”

Should You Use an E-Commerce Platform?

The short answer is “yes.” The longer answer is “definitely yes.” 

Online retail involves a lot of moving parts that need to be operating in tandem for there to be any kind of large-scale ROI. You need a user interface that’s easy to use and pleasing to your customers. You need scalability for when your business hopefully grows. You need a way to manage all that precious customer, product, and sales data. You need payment processing capabilities. The list goes on and on. 

Utilizing an e-commerce platform gives you access to these things in a way that’s painless, accessible, and centralized. A good platform will work like a central control room from which you can shape, control, and monitor everything that happens on your online store. 

Of course, choosing the right e-commerce platform, and other specialized commerce software, is going to make all the difference, and there are a lot of choices to sort through. It’s definitely a challenge to find one that has the right amount of features and the right price to fit within your budget. It’s a daunting task, for sure. 

Or, you can leave it to us.

We’ll Help Establish Your Online Storefront

At Avensia, we have teams of commerce strategists, experienced modern commerce developers and design experts who are ready to turn your online store into the e-commerce powerhouse it has the potential to become. 

If you’re already using an e-commerce platform, we’ll work with you to use the tools of that platform to completely revamp your site using data-driven strategy that’s based on real numbers and focused on providing your customers with the best shopping experience. 

If you’re new to e-commerce and don’t know where to start, we have two digital storefront packages that will give you everything you need, including fully functional online retail stores built on two of the most powerful e-commerce platforms out there. 

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Optimizely and Avensia Nitro

We’re partnered with Optimizely because their platform provides all of the tools that make a great e-commerce platform without any of the headache. 

Using the Optimizely platform, we offer a feature-complete package to build your online store from scratch. Avensia Nitro is an all-in-one solution that will take you from an idea to a fully-functional online store faster than you can say “open for business.” Better still, we do it in a way that prioritizes establishing a great customer experience and business value first, and then worrying about the technology later. 

The idea behind this starter site is that you get to market faster and avoid bottlenecks caused by technological hiccups through a streamlined approach that focuses on what matters: your bottom line. 

commercetools and Avensia Excite

We’ve also partnered with commercetools. We are using their headless cloud commerce platform to create our newest composable commerce framework Avensia Excite ,

Avensia Excite is  a package that focuses on scalability and removing limits from the possibilities of your online store. 

While Excite still provides an incredibly fast time-to-market and a focus on customer experience, the site is completely modular. This allows you to add, edit, and remove features, designs, and pages with zero hassle and maximum scalability.

Both packages come with the support of our in-house technical, commerce, and design experts who will be there to help you along every step of your journey to creating the next big thing in e-commerce. 

If you’re ready to bring your dream of running a powerful and well-designed online marketplace of your very own, contact us and get a free consultation. The first step to a successful online business is yours for the taking.