In the world of sales and marketing, cost often represents the bottom line. Businesses of all sizes are all trying to cut in-house expenditures in the hopes that their return on investment will be higher. Although this might appear to make perfect sense from a purely financial point of view, let us always remember that you get what you pay for. This is even more relevant when discussing e-commerce platforms. How can you balance cost-effective solutions with an application that will produce viable long-term results? What if your enterprise is on a budget? Will you be able to encounter more fiscally reasonable alternatives to Magento Enterprise and similar third-party hosts? Each of these questions deserves to be briefly placed into the digital spotlight so that you can possess the knowledge to make an informed decision.
Why price is no longer the bottom line: long-term return on investment
Some business owners will focus entirely on the up-front costs associated with an e-commerce provider. This tends to be a slight mistake, as they fail to take into account the long-term ROI that can be expected. In many instances, any initial financial outlay will be dramatically offset by profits that may result in the future.
However, it is just as important to balance the price of a package with its innate sense of functionality. This is even more relevant when we consider the fact that software as a service (SaaS) has taken the online business community by storm. Here are a handful of questions which should always be asked before committing to any type of contract:
- What type of uptime can you expect from the provider?
- Can this software be integrated into your legacy systems?
- Are you provided with a user-friendly edge or will you be required to learn a great deal of complicated coding?
This last question is particularly relevant, as some providers such as Magento have been engineered for developers as opposed to the average business owner or digital marketing specialist.
Obtaining a clear perspective
You should also place a great deal of effort into obtaining an objective perspective with regards to the service provider in question. Do not rely solely upon their claims (never forget that they are trying to sell a product). Scour the online community for reviews. Take a look at any testimonials that the e-commerce solution may offer. Has the firm received a fair amount of negative feedback and if so, does it appear to be justified? Making a sound decision should always take into account what others have had to say about their personal experiences.
It should now be abundantly clear that cost is not the only factor to address when choosing the best e-commerce provider for your business. Although you will still have to meet certain budgetary constraints, moderately priced packages tend to deliver the most sustainable results. So, be sure to compare and contrast the largest names in the industry so that you can make the appropriate decision.
For more business stories from Awards International, click here.