5 Limitations Ecommerce Platforms are Still Trying to Improve


There are many ecommerce platforms available today for online store owners, and it can be difficult to determine the best one for your business. While these platforms generally offer various features, they still have several limitations that you want to be aware of while searching for one to integrate into your store. Do you want to attract international customers? Allow your customers to purchase items on their smartphone?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask when searching for an ecommerce platform.

Platform developers work hard to keep their software working well for online stores. Here are five limitations many ecommerce platforms face and a few ways they are improving software for their customers:

1. Poor Product Searches
Many ecommerce platforms offer their own built-in search engines, but not all engines are alike. Some platforms may not be able to handle SEO keywords or misspelled words, resulting in few or no results. Search engines should offer corrections for misspelled words or unclear word choices. Another feature that platforms are still trying to improve upon is their filtering capability within searches. For example, if a customer searches for “dresses” and want to limit it to “blue dresses,” he or she will want an easy way to do so.

2. No International Retail Options
We live in a connected, global marketplace. It’s impractical to assume that every potential customer visiting your online store will be from the same country as you. According to eMarketer, global ecommerce sales increased by 25 percent in 2015 and this growth is expected to continue. Not all platforms are ready to handle this. They may not offer different currency options, multiple language options, or the ability to offer international shipping.

3. Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
Many consumers are moving from desktops to smartphones when shopping online. According to eMarketer, mobile sales are increasing each year and sales will be $87 billion in 2016. However, some ecommerce platforms lack software designed to play nice with mobile devices. This can cause your website to load incorrectly on smartphones, or not load at all. Thankfully, some platforms are beginning to focus on software that operates smoothly for mobile shoppers.

4. Little or No Custom Options
Some platforms come with an already built website or a few basic templates to choose from, with no options for customization. While this may be great for you if you have no experience in website design, you may find that it limits you to a set number of images or words in your product descriptions, or doesn’t flow well with your online store’s design. Additionally, you may want to choose a platform that allows for personalization to help your brand stand out from the crowd.

5. Slow Loading Times
The more complicated a platform, the slower it may take to load onto your site. This is especially true if the platform uses JavaScript or has embedded many apps. Developers constantly try to reduce the load time of the platform by redesigning it to work more efficiently. If this is a concern for you, ask your desired platform provider if you can see a demonstration or free trial before you buy.

Not all ecommerce sites are the same and you shouldn’t choose the first one you find. When choosing an ecommerce platform, you need to consider the needs of your individual online store and price point. Major platforms continuously work to improve their product, but if you need one of the above options quickly, you may want to be sure the platform you choose offers it today. Conduct an enterprise ecommerce platform comparison to find companies such as Shopify before buying and you will see your online sales increase.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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