It might be challenging to determine which ecommerce platform is appropriate for your company in an increasingly competitive market. There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” solution, and what works well for one company may not be the ideal fit for yours. Here are seven things to ask yourself before choosing an ecommerce platform to help you figure it out.
1. What kind of cloud are you looking for?
Cloud-based ecommerce platforms eliminate the expenditures of hardware, updates, and maintenance that come with in-house solutions. Furthermore, by transferring your organisation to the cloud, authorised users will be able to access the same real-time customer, inventory, and business data from any location or device, allowing for a streamlined, unified operation. Embracing the cloud is, simply said, a no-brainer.
What kind of cloud, though? There are numerous solutions accessible, and not all of them will provide the same benefits. If you’re looking for a cloud solution, make sure it’s safe. In general, cloud solutions are more secure than on-premise choices because data isn’t bound to a particular desktop, laptop, or mobile device. However, storing your data remotely does not ensure that it is completely secure. You’ll need a cloud solution that uses event monitoring to alert users whenever something happens. Regular health checks should be provided by the cloud to identify any security problems, and the data itself should be protected using the most advanced encryption techniques.
The greatest ecommerce platform should be able to develop and adapt in tandem with your company. Consider using a cloud service with a multi-tenant design. Multi-tenant architecture refers to software infrastructure that is shared by all users. Maintenance and upgrades effect all users in a multi-tenant system, and all users have access to the same core set of services.
Still undecided? Our guide to picking the best cloud option is available for download.
2. What kind of assistance do you require?
Selecting an ecommerce cloud solution necessitates the selection of a vendor. However, just as different systems have distinct capabilities, different suppliers have different service and support levels. The vendor is — or should be — your finest resource when it comes to getting the most out of your ecommerce platform.
How much and what kind of assistance do you require? The most prevalent sort of support is technical support, which includes installation and integration. But what happens once it’s all up and running? Do you require assistance in optimising your system to match your specific requirements? Do you have a good understanding of what those needs are and how to effectively meet them? Would you like some guidance on new features, as well as assistance in finding new markets or channels? Consider a cloud provider that offers in-depth, continuing support and consultation alternatives, depending on how much help you believe you’ll need.
3. What kind of customer relationship do you wish to have?
Did you realise that long-term client connections yield benefits that short-term customers cannot match? For example, in the second to third year, the average repeat customer spends 67 percent more than in the first six months. If you consider the client relationship to be over once money is exchanged, the ecommerce platform you use may not be as important. However, if you want to keep that relationship going and create brand loyalty, you’ll need a platform that can encourage repeat business. This entails providing more to your customers.
The ideal ecommerce platform can help you engage with customers in new and intimate ways. You can follow and communicate with customers across social media platforms, serve them personalised content, and develop simple feedback channels to better understand their preferences with the proper solution. Sponsor the most up-to-date influencers, provide exclusive services and loyalty programmes, and participate in special events and community outreach. Above all, you must comprehend each customer and their behaviour across the full shopping journey, from online to in-store. To do so, you’ll need an ecommerce platform that unifies all interactions and touchpoints, giving you a holistic perspective of your consumers that shows them as individuals rather than numbers.
4. Do you intend to expand your business internationally?
Every company wants to expand, but how much expansion do you anticipate? If you want to expand your business outside your native country’s borders, you’ll need a robust ecommerce platform.
Platforms with international capabilities allow you to manage several sites adapted to different areas, cultures, and languages. These ecommerce systems are designed to be simple to set up and operate, so as your business grows, you’ll be able to swiftly and easily introduce new purchasing alternatives to new audiences all around the world. Growth should not stifle your progress, and your ecommerce platform should be able to scale and react quickly.
5. Do you want the customer experience to be highly personalised?
Shoppers prefer to be treated as individuals rather than numbers, as we’ve already mentioned. You’ll need an intelligent system that can absorb real-time consumer data and adapt to shopper behaviour on an individual level to truly understand each customer. To put it another way, artificial intelligence is required (AI). Personalised shopping enabled by artificial intelligence is the way of the future, and you must jump on board or risk being left behind. In reality, AI is currently being used by 28% of businesses, with 41% planning to implement it over the next two years.
AI enables the collection and analysis of enormous amounts of client data without the heavy lifting that comes with big data. AI may then use this data to generate actionable insights, such as personalised suggestions, content, and search results for each consumer. What’s the end result? Individualized one-to-one shopping experiences that change in real time with each click.
Artificial intelligence, while daunting at first, does not have to be. Look for an ecommerce platform with AI built right in that has simple-to-implement features.