What to Know Before Choosing eCommerce Technology

With e-commerce sales doubling in the past five years and markets expected to almost double again by 2026, companies are making sizable investments in their eCommerce capabilities. 

But before you choose a new eCommerce technology it is critical to prepare for what's to come. Formulating vision, strategy and asking the right questions will help ensure you choose one built for your company's future and make the most of your investment.

Time and again, we see companies trying to optimize existing products, services, or processes, thinking along the lines of “How can we improve our widget?” instead of “How can we better serve our customers?” To become indispensable to customers, companies incorporate a radically deeper and broader understanding of what their customers really want and how to provide it within their strategy.

Technology alone isn’t all that's part of the modern commerce success story, watch the video below to learn more and keep reading for important questions to narrow down your eCommerce technology search and the #1 thing you should do to make the most of your eCommerce investment.

Accelerate eCommerce Impact

For companies looking to migrate to a modern commerce platform, a well-defined strategy will ensure the customer is at the epicenter of the business. Successful companies are becoming indispensable to their customers by using digital commerce to provide experiences that solve their customers’ problems, moving beyond a basic transaction. However many are being left in the dust because they are struggling to move forward, scared off by the cost, or concerned about channel-conflict.

That is why strategy planning is key. Being able to clarify and communicate your vision for the future not only helps work through these concerns, but allows you to choose an eCommerce technology that aligns with the vision. This will empower the company to shift from simply selling products to offering complete solutions for buyers and truly gaining market share. Ultimately, the strategy is an important benchmark to measure your success so make sure you have clear, preset goals and targets every step of the way.

Having a crystal clear vision and strategy is place will enable you to assemble best-in-class architectures and implement only what’s needed.

Being able to move beyond transactional and become truly customer-centric requires a strategy focused on creating a unified front. Often eCommerce and technology capabilities in general are fragmented across various teams, lacking integration solutions to provide a holistic view of the customer and the product. Being able to deliver on the vision as a team is that much harder because of it.  When considering your strategy and your “why” look to break down silos through the whole process.

A good example of this focus is AirBorn Manufacturing, a company that manufactures specialized connectors & electronic components for Original Equipment Manufacturers. For over 60 years the company has been servicing customers, but realized the need to provide a unified, modern commerce solution. Helping AirBorn Manufacturing navigate this transformative journey, Echidna was able to advise, define, and design the future they envisioned. By learning about their business, Echidna’s team designed and implemented a modern commerce experience that not only meets current needs with seamless integration of key technologies and removing silos in the checkout experience, but has the ability to scale.

Read AirBorn’s Modern Commerce Story

Is Your eCommerce Technology Fit-for-Purpose?

Designing a fit-for-purpose eCommerce experience requires modern technology and being comfortable testing your way to an answer. But with the technology landscape ever changing, how can you possibly ensure your eCommerce platform will support your company (and its customers) evolving needs? 

Several important questions can help you narrow down your eCommerce technology search

  • Will your merchandising team be able to increase speed to market and scale, plus offer easy (business-user approved) cross and up-sell support?
  • Does the technology boost your team's operational productivity and performance, therefore increase profitability?
  • Is the eCommerce technology 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 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?

Keep Your Goals Around The Customer

One reason that focusing on the customer accelerates a business’s pace is that it helps to provide clarity and focus about what is needed and cuts down on doing things that don’t add value. Starting with defining and building a minimum viable product (MVP) with this mindset is a preferred choice that allows you to quickly launch within your set budget and scale over time.

MVPs also provide an excellent way to test core assumptions and ensure investments makes sense. Once your MVP is built you can monitor it over the course of eight to twelve weeks to ensure market demand and scalability potential exist. Keep a watchful eye on customer friction points, being able to mitigate them should be a primary business goal. If your assumptions are accurate, your MVP can continue to grow in phased approaches that make sense for your business.

For example, take Jessup Manufacturing, a global manufacturer specializing in adhesive coated and laminated materials and photoluminescent films and sheets. The company felt constrained by their eCommerce technology and knew a modern commerce solution was required. Their updated platform allowed Echidna to quickly build an MVP aligned with their requirements and when COVID-19 hit they were able to easily adapt to meet changing customer needs and expectations. Thereafter, the company has scaled their business with the modern commerce solution being a catalyst. Jessup Manufacturing has since seen a 150% increase in conversion, with online sales growing upwards of 300%.

Read Jessup’s Modern Commerce Story

Ready to make a change?

At most companies, becoming fast-moving when it comes to eCommerce requires a lot of things to happen and align. And while eCommerce technology on its own won't fix strategic organizational and operational issues, it can serve as a powerful accelerator and open up opportunities. The team at Echidna is focused on walking with our clients every step of the way from conceptualization to implementation, and beyond to make sure the investment is well worth it.

Contact us to start a conversation about your modern commerce goals.

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