Starting an online store is no easy task. If you’ve known digital a short time ago, you’ve certainly come across countless challenges, after all, selling online requires completely different processes of a physical sale. However, the good news is that with e-commerce growing in Brazil, more and more solutions and tools are emerging to lead you through this process.
The first step in building a successful online store is to choose a responsive platform that meets the needs of your business, with easy access for you and your team.
When choosing any tool to start your e-commerce, carefully analyze your conditions to avoid investing too much in the beginning and receive little return. In this content we will explain step by step how to choose a platform for virtual store that fits your business.
How to choose a platform for your online store
First, you need to understand that the success of an e-commerce depends on several factors, the platform is only one of them and even then, it is not responsible for solving all problems.
The important thing is to study which platform fits the moment your business is. Many companies that start from scratch, for example, deposit a lot of investment in large platforms and tools for the online store, already targeting short-term profits. How to choose a platform for online store
It is not wrong to create goals for the future, but depending on the stage in which the company is, investing a lot in very expensive platforms, can hurt other points. If you’re starting an absolute zero online store, understand that there’s the period of structuring and testing until your sales start to pick up. Remember: with one step at a time, you will consolidate your e-commerce and establish your brand in the market!
What types of platform are there?
Currently, there are four types of platforms for virtual store. Each has unique characteristics. To choose the ideal model for your online store, it is necessary to pay for customization, security and usability factors. Check:
This platform requires a license for source use and is developed by third parties, in other words, it is necessary to hire an IT professional to work on the processes. Therefore, it may not be the best option for those who want to start from scratch an online store.
Characterized mainly by being free and possessing open source. However, in any case, it can generate expenses in the implementation and maintenance process. One of the biggest problems of this model, is the security that can be compromised, since open source can be accessed and modified by any person or company with qualified professionals in the area.
In this model, the source code is developed by third parties and thus, it is necessary to have a license for the construction of the virtual store. This platform also requires an IT team to manage and maintain your site.
SaaS is the acronym for Software as a Service. In summary, it is a software that includes several types of services in one place in order to facilitate the management and maintenance of the online store. In this model, you can issue invoices, manage cash flow, control inventory, among several other features, all through a single platform.
In addition, they have periodic updates, shorter deployment time, low cost and high performance. Currently, several well-known companies in the middle use SaaS platforms, such as Digital Results (RD Station), Netflix or Google Drive itself, for example.
Why use a SaaS platform?
SaaS platforms already have a technology infrastructure that offers short- and long-term solutions and resources. They are more intuitive and easy to use. With just a few trainings you will already have enough skill to understand the operation of the platform and execute important processes.
In addition, they have the development team behind the entire structure, who constantly work to offer new solutions and functionalities to grow their business. In the market, there are several platforms for your online store and you can choose the one that fits best at the time of your business.
What are the best SaaS platforms?
If you are starting an online business and want to open your online store, there are several platform options on the market. We list the top five most popular ones that are ideal for companies of any size. Check:
Tray has been on the market for 15 years and serves small and large shopkeepers. An important feature is that this platform offers pre-established plans, with different features and values for each. In addition, it also has direct integration with 18 marketplaces, among them, the Free Market. Therefore, all product, inventory, sales, fiscal data is integrated and consolidated into a single dashboard.
Tray also has specialized support, management and sales via mobile, sales conversion, open source to customize your site, among other features.
The Integrated Store is a simple platform that proposes the creation of your online store and four steps:
- Creation of the free online store in 5 minutes;
- Domain configuration, means of payment and etc;
- Customization of the site by the shopkeeper himself without the need for a designer or programmer;
- Insertion of products, photos, descriptions, inventory, among other information, and your store will be ready to sell.
The Integrated Shop is ideal as an entry platform. It offers features exclusively for small businesses, since in it, you find suppliers and can analyze which is best for your business, in addition to developing values for your products competitively and creating your marketing strategy. You can also manage your store’s cash flow.
In addition to the free plan, it also has paid packages that offer more benefits. But be careful: the simplicity of this platform is precisely the reason for a possible exchange in the future. When your sales start flowing consistently, it may not be the ideal tool to supply the number of purchases and visits.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, a platform for hosting websites and blogs. This plugin is free and allows the creation of an online store from open codes. Like other platforms, it offers enough solutions and tools to start a virtual store from scratch, such as: inventory management, product registration and various payment options.
As well as the Integrated Store, it is a short-term solution, outside that for some configurations, it will still need assistance from an IT professional.
Nuvemshop has several features, such as product management in a simple and fast way, automation of sales with security, integration with marketplaces and social networks and in addition, has its own marketing tool, assisting the performance analysis of your online store.
This platform is very suitable for small businesses because it has a simple and intuitive interface, since it has a customizable layout.
One of the advantages of wBuy is the integration of the online store with a blog. If your store tracking is from a specific niche, the blog is the ideal tool to leverage SEO and generate brand authority with qualified content.
Two important points are the multitude of methods of payment and shipping of products. With this range of possibilities, the shopkeeper can choose the most advantageous options for your business.
WBuy’s biggest bottleneck, however, is its interface, which is less intuitive than other platforms. Precisely because you have many options, the settings are more complex, which may not be ideal if you are starting your online store now and do not have much contact with digital tools.
In the general scenario, we list and evaluate the platforms mentioned in the table below, so it will facilitate the understanding of the benefits of each for your online store!
Advantages of choosing a SaaS platform for your online store
For your e-commerce to work perfectly and sales flow, it is vital that the platform has a responsive, intuitive system that sustains the flow of visits and sales. The SaaS model offers several advantages, from usability to security. See:
With the possibility of purchasing plans separated by amounts of visits and registration of products, for example, you can invest in smaller plans and as your business grows, reevaluate the values and check the possibility of investing more.
Because they have a pre-established infrastructure, SaaS platforms earn upgrades and upgrades to constantly optimize their e-commerce. All configuration failure and bugs are corrected by the platform’s management and programming team, enabling continuous improvement and easy access of the shopkeeper to new sales and marketing tools.
Marketplace is like a large digital shopping mall, a place to expand your sales potential and the visibility of your products. SaaS platforms enable the integration of the online store with a wide variety of marketplaces such as Mercado Livre and Magazine Luíza and Americanas, for example.
Virtual stores built with SaaS platforms have a shorter deployment time. Because they already have a pre-ready interface, the necessary adjustments will be for internal e-commerce processes, product registration and customization of the online store.
In addition, because they are more intuitive, the learning curve in a SaaS is larger. In other words, even a shopkeeper with little digital experience will already be able to use the platform with little training.
SaaS platforms are developed by technology companies, so there is a team of professionals to manage and support the entire operation. In case of system failures or instabilities, for example, you can directly use company support to resolve any issues.
Similarly, by exchanging experience with support throughout the process, your e-commerce team will be able to acquire new knowledge about the online store and its functionalities.
The platform is just the first step in a major process
In summary, the SaaS model is the most suitable for retailers who are entering the digital market. They have better usability, great cost benefit and meet the demands of an online store. When choosing a platform for virtual store, you should pay mainly pay to the benefits that it will provide to the internal processes of e-commerce.
In the end, regardless of your choice, the important thing is to be committed to your business. Keep in mind that the online store alone will not make your sales, but rather the set of elements and processes. You can acquire the best and most expensive platform on the market, but if you don’t have good images or product description, for example, your sales will stagnate.
Ecommerce requires the same dedication as the physical store. Always be aware of your stock products and market trends. Study new tools and strategies to leverage your brand’s authority. Only in this way, your e-commerce will walk the right path to success!