Choosing the right e-commerce solutions provider

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Introduction

The internet has become the center stage of global trade and business. E-commerce has become so popular that people prefer it over the traditional shops and markets. Now more and more companies are reaching out to the customers by setting up their e-commerce stores.
But with the increasing popularity comes increasing competition. More specifically, questions arise related to the following

  • Making an ecommerce business stand out from the competition
  • Maximizing profitability and ROI
  • Building visibility, credence and trust among customers

At first glance, an e-commerce website's functionality can seem pretty straightforward and common. All e-commerce websites have product catalogs and offer ways to search for and navigate to desired items, they all have shopping carts, they all offer special promotions like free shipping, and they all offer secure transactions.

However, beneath the common expected features there lays a complex set of capabilities required to keep the web stores appealing, responsive and performing well at high transaction volumes over the long term.

Therefore step one to setting up an ecommerce store and inarguably an important one at that, is to identify the right e-commerce platform.

The difference between the e-commerce platform's capabilities can make the difference between an e-commerce site's success and failure. Therefore, selecting the right e-commerce application for the long term can be a difficult exercise. It's not easy to base a decision on both current requirements and a vague, undetermined set of future needs that have not yet even hit the planning stages.

So here are the important considerations to help guide the selection criteria for your e-commerce platform.

 

Technical considerations for choosing E-commerce platforms

Scalability

Scalability might be one of the most overused terms. Software makers would have you believe that every application ever written was destined to be scalable from inception. But if any application has to be scalable, it is certainly a major e-commerce Website. Sluggish internal applications are annoying, but unresponsive customer-facing applications will frustrate your customers, drive them to your competitors, and kill your online business.

An e-commerce website can be regarded as good on the basis of its capability to handle its peak traffic. As the popularity of your website increases, the user traffic generated by it also simultaneously increases. Therefore, it needs to be scaled with minimal effort so that you can avoid incurring disproportionate infrastructure management costs.

So when you are evaluating e-commerce platforms, the following factors must be taken into consideration as a minimum.

  • The peak number of visits the site supports.
  • The number of orders/transactions
  • The average number of page visits per visitor
  • The size and complexity of the product catalog, the number of categories, products and stock keeping units
  • The average response time of the home page and typical detail pages
  • The hardware and software required to handle these volumes

Product Catalog

The products listed to sell are the back bone of every e-commerce website and the product catalog is the repository of every item that you sell. It has to successfully promote the items that you want the most to push and also, simultaneously help your customers find the items they are looking for. Poorly constructed product catalogs can be rigid and uncompromising, especially if the product attributes that you need to store do not naturally align with the definitions set in your e-commerce application.

It can be difficult to predict the kind of products that you will be selling in the future and the applications that you need to populate your catalogs. Therefore a combination of application flexibility and long-sighted business planning are essential to counter this unpredictability and build a successful e-commerce website. And in addition to flexibility, consider the following when evaluating e-commerce platforms

  • The different types of products with different attributes the catalog represents, and its limitations
  • The number of products and subcategories the catalog supports
  • The existence of single product or subcategory in multiple categories without data duplication
  • The existence of single product or subcategory in multiple categories without data duplication

Search

The search box is probably the first tool an e-commerce customer uses. Users expect not only just to find the products but also to guide them to the products they are looking for. The search experience of the user can really influence the traffic to your e-commerce website. However, the internal search is only one piece of the puzzle. Users need to find your products on the external searches via the search engines. Therefore, the users need to be guided to the desired products via the internal search as well as the external search. So when evaluating e-commerce platforms, look for business controls that support a compelling and personal search experience. So ensure that it fulfills the following considerations.

  • The ease to integrate a top class e-commerce search experience into your e-commerce store.
  • The product attributes the customers can search on.
  • Directing customers to the desired product, if the customers search using terms that are similar to but not exact words of your product description, even in the case if they make spelling mistakes.
  • The ability to learn your customer's preferences based on their searches.
  • The business control that you have in creating, filtering and navigation paths.

Agility

The success of an ecommerce experience significantly depends on finding the user preferences and providing them the products that they need. This can be achieved only by monitoring the customer activity on the website. So your e-commerce platform should able to easily implement business requests to an individual Web visitor's behavior. So when evaluating e-commerce platforms, look for a solution that can monitor customer activity on your site, and can then take action based on identified behavior. So it is essential to consider the following.

  • The website behaviors which can be easily monitored.
  • The monitoring is restricted to a single web visit or it can span multiple sessions.
  • The automatic actions that you can implement once you recognize a desired behavior.
  • Managing of business rules and marketing scenarios.
  • The time and resources that will be required to implement these activities and whether they can be reused

Data Analysis

Analyzing the data and understanding it, is very crucial for the success of e-commerce. An e-commerce website stores detailed information about you customers and their behavior and preferences. So a successful e-commerce business should be able to leverage the business value of this data. Since this data is coming from a wide variety of sources, configuring your website to analyze this data can be a tedious task, but also a very crucial one as well. So, while evaluating e-commerce platforms make sure that your system can measure all the important data and metrics. So go through the following considerations.

  • The insights that you can acquire from customer's searches.
  • The pre-integrated tools that you can use to extract business intelligence from this data.
  • Ability to merge your non-web data with web data to get a multichannel view of your business.

Integration

An e-commerce website is a highly integrated application that influences many other systems and processes. Just about every element of an e-commerce application will be either self-contained or driven by other systems. The easy integration of the applications with other systems is mandatory. So when evaluating e-commerce platforms, make sure that it will let you customize or tweak every individual aspects to meet your business specific requirements. So you should ensure the following in your platform.

  • The proper storage of your customer data.
  • The integration between the systems that control the different aspects like master product catalog, prices, financial reporting etc.
  • The fraud detection feature of your system.
  • The integration of the web application with in-store systems for processing.

The Importance of an e-commerce development company

The success of an e-commerce business is directly proportional to the skills and knowledge of the website developer thus in order to take maximum advantage of the e-commerce, the company should hire team of experts from an e-commerce solution provider. While there are numerous arguments exist for and against utilizing external expertise, the decision to invoke the services of ecommerce consultants brings with it its own set of benefits.

Create a website according to your goals.

E-commerce development companies will help you develop a website according to your goals. A unique and spotless interface will enable you to outshine your competitors. A well designed website can make the difference between success and failure, in e-commerce. An e-commerce solutions provider company can understand your requirements and customize your website in such a way that you can achieve your business targets at a faster pace.

Provide exposure

Creating a well-constructed website is only the first step. It is equally important to make your e-commerce website visible as many users as possible. An e-commerce development company enables you to showcase your products and services to a larger audience. As more user traffic gets directed to your website, higher will be the success of your e-commerce business.

Smooth purchasing process

Like any other business, user satisfaction is crucial to the success of your e-commerce business also. The website should be user friendly and easy. The customer should be able to find the desired products in your e-commerce website easily. Also, the purchasing process should be simple for the customers. E-commerce development companies ensure that your website is designed and functions smoothly for your customers.

Accessible Content Management System

The importance of updating and interesting content is very essential for e-commerce websites and this is well understood by e-commerce solution provider companies. They create an accessible content management system that allows you to easily update, modify and publish content.

Implementation on multiple channels

Today e-commerce is just not confined on desktop websites. People nowadays access ecommerce marketplaces through mobile browsers and apps. So it is very essential to have a flexible system that performs equally well in multiple channels and platforms. A goo e-commerce development company will have in depth experience and expertise in migrating e-commerce sites to new platforms and architecting scalable global sites deployable across multiple channels like web, mobile, POS and kiosks.

Implementation on multiple channels

Deciding to have an e-commerce website is definitely a wonderful move. However, you should choose the best e-commerce website development company in order to have a great e-commerce website. There are many ecommerce developers but they have their differences. These differences are what you need to consider before hiring an e-commerce solutions provider.

 

Tips to choose an e-commerce development company

Company's Background

Consider the duration of the time over which the company has been in existence and the services they have successfully provided. Find out whether the company has references or a portfolio of the e-commerce sites that it has developed in the past. A company that has been offering e-commerce development services for a long time is the best to contract with as they will be having highly skilled web developers with vast experience.

Credibility

The credibility of the company is very important when you choose an e-commerce solutions provider. Find out what other clients say about the e-commerce website development company before you enlist its service. Choose a reputable company because such reputable companies are always determined to satisfy their clients.

Quality of service

Right from customer service and website design to website development and implementation, the company you hire should maintain a high quality level for its services. This is extremely important as you want a service that is worth the value of every cent that you invest in it. Therefore, you should look for a company that guarantees you superior quality, flexible and comprehensive e-commerce website development services. A good e-commerce development company will also ensure that the final website that you get is fully customized. This ensures that the website serves the specific purpose for which your business needs it.Therefore, consider these factors to choose an e-commerce solutions provider that will create a quality e-commerce website for your business.

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