Have you been scouring through information, trying to decide how to choose an eCommerce platform for your luxury brand? Not only do you have amazing products, but you want to make sure your customers are having a great experience that feels cohesive and seamless.
Well, there are a ton of options out there as you know and my goal is to help you figure out what you need to know before deciding on which eCommerce platform is the best.
“In 2022 eCommerce sales are projected to grow to 5.4 trillion US dollars.” – Source
As a luxury brand owner, your needs are going to be more intricate as your customers will often have more needs than a simple online store. From personalization and Omni-shopping, making sure you are using the right systems will go a long way in maintaining great relationships with your customers.
To begin, it’s important to know your goals.
Have Clear Website Goals
Have you ever started doing something as a business owner without a clear goal in mind? For example, maybe you tried a marketing tactic because you saw other people get amazing results and you wanted to achieve the same.
Then, with the information you had gained so far, you went and just implemented what you learned. But there was a problem, you didn’t take the time to understand the impact that marketing tactic would have on your business. Possibly resulting in less than stellar results.
Your website is no different. Before deciding on what eCommerce platform to sell your luxury products on, you need to be clear about your goals. Not just for right now, but also for the long-term as your business grows and expands.
Here are some things to consider:
- What type of functionality will you need to run your business? Think about any subscriptions, curbside pickup, and other integrations you may need.
- Will you need an easy way to manage access for your team?
- What about managing technical concerns and issues? What level of support will you need?
- Can the platform support the volume of business you do? Are you generating high-volume sales?
- How easy will it be to migrate? (In case you need to move your online store)
Knowing this information will go a long way in helping you to determine which platform will best suit your needs.
Once you have identified your website goals. Then it’s time to take the list of needs you have and research some platforms that will support your business.
Research eCommerce Platforms
Most websites platforms today support eCommerce in some form or fashion. Making it overwhelming to decide which eCommerce platform to choose. As a luxury brand, you’ll need to not only prioritize your needs but also the needs of your customers.
Luxury consumers want a fabulous shopping experience, whether that is in-store or online. If you also have a brick-and-mortar location. It will be important that your online store connects to your in-store system. So that your customers can go from online to in-store or vice versa. In the eCommerce space, we call this call an Omni-channel experience.
Omni-channel experiences reduce the friction in the sales process so that customers have a smoother transition between computer devices and in-store shopping.
Modern consumers have the expectation that elements of your business should be fluid and have a seamless connection. Otherwise, you, as the business owner, risk losing a potential customer.
Knowing this means that you should look at what platforms can help you create a seamless experience.
Just because a platform has eCommerce capabilities doesn’t mean that it will be a great fit.
Things to Look For In An eCommerce Platform
When researching an eCommerce platform, examine how much support they provide to their eCommerce business customers.
Some things to look for are:
- Do they only focus on eCommerce businesses?
- How do they handle support for eCommerce businesses?
- How easily can you access your customer data?
- Do they support the type of products you sell?
- Do they offer payment processors that your business and origin country supports?
- Does the platform support international customers?
Dive into any specific features and functionality you may need. Especially if you sell regulated products, so you can make the best choice for your business.
Why I Recommend Shopify For Product-based Luxury Brands
Shopify is a great tool to help you run your business if you focus on products. Mainly direct to consumer or DTC brands. Shopify is dedicated to helping eCommerce businesses run more operationally efficient and is constantly improving how online store owners run their business.
When you work with a company that focuses on eCommerce, they can adjust their tools to fit your business. It also means you get exclusive benefits that help you to further enhance your customer experience and overall business. Plus, they can take your feedback and make improvements because when you win, they win.
Personally, I love supporting businesses that help entrepreneurs create their dream businesses. We live in a time where we have access to all this technology to make our ideas come to life. Shopify supports visionary leaders in helping them get their products into the hands of their customers.
Now sometimes I don’t recommend Shopify for your business. So let’s dive into those situations.
Why I Don’t Recommend Shopify
Just because you have products doesn’t mean you automatically need to be on Shopify. Going back to your goals, it’s important to look at your entire business.
For example, does your business primarily offer other solutions like services but only have a small component of your business dedicated to products?
Or does your business heavily rely on features of certain platforms like WordPress for content creation and you only sell a few products a month?
Another reason Shopify may not be for you right now is that you are still testing out your product idea. Maybe you are trying to find the right product-market fit for your business and you don’t have a steady stream of customers and a consistent marketing strategy to implement.
I say this because some small startups end up setting up their business on Shopify when they haven’t created a solid marketing strategy and feel like they are actually losing money. Because of paying for their Shopify subscription, any apps they add on and other operational expenses they may have.
So really look at if you are in the right place in your business journey to go all-in on Shopify, as other solutions may be a better fit until you have a solid plan and strategy.
Or make a plan to ensure you have the proper funding to help bring your ideas to fruition.
Consult with an eCommerce Strategist and/or Consultant
My next tip is to consult with an eCommerce strategist or consultant to help you make an important decision on what eCommerce platform to choose. Why? Because it can help you save time and money in the long run.
Especially if you are considering moving platforms and you’ve been on your existing platform for a while. When you already have an established business, there is important data that you must keep for your customers and other business data.
You can also work with an eCommerce consultant to help you early in your journey so that you aren’t investing in tools that won’t serve you. That way, you can allocate your investment toward other areas of your business that will make the most impact.
I offer this to business owners who need to clarify their business ideas and vision. So that they can make the next best step. You can learn more about how to book an eCommerce consulting session to save you from the overwhelm of figuring it out alone.
Final Thoughts On How to Choose An eCommerce Platform
Overall, look at your business goals holistically and decide what are the important elements you need to make your business run smoother and elevate your customer’s experience.
When evaluating tools, make sure that they will support you and your business. eCommerce can be very intricate with a lot of moving parts, so having support when things happen is important. Otherwise, you’ll risk your customers not having a great experience.
Use this complimentary resource, called The Elevated Shopify Website Planning Guide, to help you better plan and understand your Shopify website needs. Inside, you’ll find questions to think about to make the most of your online presence and other information, such as how to plan for investing in your eCommerce website and more.