- IBM i / AS400
Remember when shopping online was as simple as a customer adding an item to a cart, entering their payment information and clicking "buy?" Today's world demands more targeted, relevant, and interactive experience.
While many merchants start their eCommerce journey on platforms more suited for small businesses, they find themselves struggling to meet the expectations of today's digital customers with limited capabilities.
With all the changes happening in the online world, there comes a time for merchants to take a deeper look at what their eCommerce site can do and assess if it is the right platform for their business.
If your are struggling with any of the issues below, it may be time to consider a platform switch.
Generating relevant content targeted to your specific audience is the core of search engine optimization (SEO). It is important that merchants maintain their product catalog while also branching out with content and creating websites targeted to their specific customer segments.
Optimizing for more general search terms like "drills" or "tools" will generate relevant traffic but the merchant is still leaving a lot of work to the customer. Creating content to target more specific audiences giver merchants a competitive advantage.
With the example of a tool vendor in mind, your might consider having a site with content targeted at do-it-yourselfers with more general household tools. In addition, you might create a site focused on professional contractors which contains content focused on more specialized tools. Because site managers can target customers with copy and content more specifically suited to them, each of theses sites are better equipped to appear higher in internet searchers for their respective customers.
It is not enough to just sell online anymore; you need to be available on all channels; in today's market it is especially critical to be available on mobile devices.
With over 40% of eCommerce sales being mobile commerce (mCommerce) mobile optimization is no longer a should, but a must. Not only are shoppers using mobile devices more than ever to purchase goods, but 80% of shoppers have used a mobile device inside of a physical store to look up product reviews, compare prices, or find alternative store locations.
With smaller eCommerce platforms you may be sacrificing your ability to optimize your sites for mobile viewing. That is a sacrifice that can cost your business significant revenue.
It is increasingly important to set your business up as not only a provider of products and services but as an authority in your industry.
Creating rich content for your customers to consume is crucial to establishing your business as an expert. Before they make real buying decisions they are looking to be educated on every aspect of the products and services they are looking for. As a result, most customers start by shopping in largely the same way, with a Google search and queries to their social networks.
If your eCommerce platform doesn't have a strong CMS to support your content creation, goals and strategies to establish your business as expert, it is time to find one that does.
In the B2B sector eCommerce is the new normal and this sales channel is experiencing explosive growth.
"B2B eCommerce is now a mainstream sales channel. And with B2B eCommerce expecting to reach $2 trillion in sales this year, manufacturers and distributors are being forced to rethink how to conduct business with growing numbers of digital-first customers"
But can your platform handle B2B selling? The B2B eCommerce software market is littered with B2C solutions that have been repurposed for B2B. If you started your business on one of these platforms, your may find that it can't handle the complexities of your business as it grows.
This is why you need an eCommerce platform that understands the B2B space and is designed for it. Things like workflows, inventory management, multiple shipping locations, the ability to handle multiple currencies and customizable pricing are just a few of the considerations you need to take to be a B2B eCommerce leader.
Like many companies, you may want to evolve you B2B model to cover B2B2C or Direct to Consumer (D2C). Can your eCommerce platform evolve with you? If not, it is time to find a solution that can.
If your ERP, PIM, WMS, CRM, or any other business systems aren't communicating with your eCommerce platform then it's time to start looking for a new platform. Integrations is critical in today's digital market if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your eCommerce site.
Data informs the best decisions and if you can't get data, you can't make good decisions.
The right platform operates as an ecosystem with data flowing seamlessly through systems. If that isn't happening, it is definitely time for a new planform.
If you are struggling with any of these issues it is time to find a new platform.