Chapter 2: How do you choose the best ecommerce platform?

The benefits of a cloud-based platform.

Cloud-based ecommerce platforms free businesses from the complicated process of building, maintaining, and updating an in-house ecommerce solution. For both B2C and B2B sellers, purchasing a cloud-based platform typically means greater ease of use, more dedicated maintenance, and fewer administrative headaches across the board.


Cloud is the new normal.

Learn the key differences between types of cloud solutions.
When businesses move all of their ecommerce operations to the cloud, all authorized users are able to freely access the same customer, inventory, and business data from any location or device — making for a unified operation that functions seamlessly in real time. Additionally, cloud-based ecommerce is more lightweight and flexible, allowing businesses to adapt more quickly to evolving consumer demands, tastes, and interests.

How to choose between in-house and cloud-based.

Cloud-based ecommerce platforms are generally more secure than in-house platforms, since data isn’t tied to any single server. Reputable and secure cloud-based ecommerce platforms are equipped with advanced, modern security features, including layered security, SSL certificates, VPNs, and more. They also feature event monitoring to notify administrators when actions take place, digital health checks to identify security flaws, and advanced encryption options to help protect business data.


What kind of ecommerce platform does your business need?

Read our guide to find out.
In-house ecommerce platforms are less flexible than cloud-based platforms, which are able to grow and change with businesses. A good cloud-based ecommerce platform is one that’s adaptable and scalable — able to accommodate growth that encompasses new products, services, currencies, and languages, while continuing to deliver significant ROI. For this kind of flexibility, businesses should seek an ecommerce platform built on multitenant architecture, which allows every user to work from the same infrastructure — sharing the same core set of services, and benefiting from the same maintenance and updates.
Choosing the best ecommerce platform is vital to delivering online shopping experiences that leave customers wanting more. Customer relationships don’t end after a single purchase, after all. A good ecommerce platform should give businesses a 360-degree view of each customer journey as it progresses. 


Forrester names Salesforce a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2018.

To understand each customer in detail, brands need to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to generate insights from consumer behavior in real time. B2C companies can use those insights to deliver the innovative, personalized experiences that customers demand, empowering shoppers with self-service tools that make each purchase a breeze — on desktop and mobile alike. AI-powered automated tasks also help brands engage audiences on social media, carry on relationships with influencers, manage loyalty programs, and launch special events.

How to choose the best ecommerce platform for B2B.

The global B2B market is worth $1 trillion, which is four times the size of the overall B2C market. What B2B buyers want from their ecommerce experiences is simple: They want B2B online shopping to feel just as connected and streamlined as the best of B2C online shopping. 

As such, brands should seek out a B2B ecommerce platform that mirrors B2C functionality, but also addresses the unique complexities of B2B transactions and long-term customer relationships.



The winning formula for ecommerce growth.

Explore insights from over 2,500 leading retailers and more than half a billion ecommerce shoppers.

To create the best B2B ecommerce experiences, brands need to ask what customers want and how they can deliver it while generating strong ROI.

To learn what customers really want, 360-degree views of customer journeys are vital, as they allow brands to gather insights on the fly and use them to make better decisions. To deliver products and services with the greatest value, B2B sellers must invest in an ecommerce platform that scales with its audience and shows clear ROI over time. You can use this tool to calculate the ROI of using a B2B ecommerce platform, based on your industry, revenue, average order size, and sales channels. 




Getting Started with Ecommerce


Chapter 2

How do you choose the best ecommerce platform?