The journey to build and grow your eCommerce business requires Continuous Innovation. Your online storefront supported by eCommerce operations lays the foundation for innovation, and your journey ahead requires a diligent and practiced commitment to disciplined innovation. Finding an eCommerce platform to support your evolving needs can be easier said than done, as no one has a glass ball to look into the future. Ultimately, the biggest challenge in choosing an eCommerce technology platform is assessing current state and taking stock of what’s working well and what needs to be improved in order to advance growth long term and achieve leadership’s vision. eCommerce platforms that will offer future-readiness will ultimately fix gap areas and stand strong in three key pillars:
The greatest competitive differentiator in the digital age is the experience you create for your customers both on and offline. Your eCommerce platform should continually offer new features to improve user experience and customer retention through increased engagement, personalization, and loyalty. The very least your eCommerce platform should offer is the ability to track, recognize and segment your personas, allowing you to offer a unique user experience based on this information. Also, having a unified commerce has become second-nature to many brands and for good reason. Customers demand a seamless experience across all channels, so even if you aren’t working off all channels today- think for your future. Staying ahead of your customers will save you time and money in the long run.
What to look for: Conversational Commerce, Immersive Commerce, and Unified Commerce
Before you choose your eCommerce platform, formulating your vision and strategy will help ensure you choose one built for your future. Strategy planning is key to clarifying and communicating your vision for the future and choosing an eCommerce platform that aligns with that vision. Understand that your strategy is not a static document, but should be a collaborative process that aligns leadership vision with tactical execution. Ultimately, your strategy is an important benchmark to measure your success so make sure you have clear, preset goals and targets every step of the way.
Ensure your eCommerce platform has the capability to tap into new markets to boost sales by delivering exceptional experiences in a variety of areas including, but not limited to: Subscription Commerce, Thing Commerce (IoT enabled), and Enterprise Marketplace
The technology landscape is ever changing, so how can you possible ensure your eCommerce platform will support your evolving needs? Several questions to consider when reviewing the technology include:
-Is it driving your merchandising team to be able to increase speed to market and scale, plus offering easy cross and up-sell support?
-Does it offer the ability to boost your teams operational productivity and performance, therefore increase profitability?
-Is it enabled to handle large volumes of products, facilitate complex checkout processes with ease for the user and back-end office, as well as handle a sophisticated content strategy?
-Does the eCommerce technology offer flexibility to easily integrate with third party best-in-class applications and align with the changing demands of the customer and your back office?
-Is the solution cloud-based or easily put into the cloud to scale as needed?
-Can you unify back-end operations if and when multiple websites need to be run?
What to look for: API-Oriented Architecture, Artificial Intelligence, Personalization, and Visual Configuration
It is a constant challenge to offer the engaging experiences customers demand on all touch points while also scaling for large volume and transactions. Ensuring the eCommerce platform you choose is lean and agile to deliver on all customer facing fronts while offering the ability to manage a complex back-end operation is imperative. By choosing the right eCommerce platform and partner it will help drive growth through the opportunity to sell new services, new supplies, and new value to your clients.