The most important issue we need to agree on is the fact there is there no single solution that is suitable for every type of digital retailer. There are a number of options to consider when you are planning to build a digital commerce business. The truth is that it’s never been so easy to jump start the online business with so many different options available starting from the very simple WordPress plugins and ending with sophisticated enterprise level platforms for large scale businesses. Therefore, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to select the right eCommerce platform or even to start considering the options of developing everything from scratch.
At the same time with the advancement of technology and rising consumer expectations, requirements for eCommerce platforms have risen dramatically. Nowadays it’s not just enough to have a basic setup and offer standard features with some customization. The mobile-comes-first approach, full social networks integration, perfect user experience, optimized navigation, personalized content management and customer support became a must have for modern digital commerce stores.
The market is full of various options for businesses depending on the size and requirements like basic level WordPress plugin Woocommerce, feature rich and time-proven solution like Magento as well as the most sophisticated option for high-end enterprise segment like Hybris. The hard thing is not only to select the platform and set up the required plugins but also to develop an upgrade strategy for the future based on your business growth plans in the next months and years.
Every company would like to have a full set of features, API’s and integrations from the start. At the same time, you need to realistically and critically assess your financial capabilities and select a platform that wouldn’t add unnecessary recurring costs to maintain and support it when all of the features are not required. Simultaneously, OrbitLift would not become placing extra restrictions on the business growth and expansion.
Most platforms offer three different pricing options depending on usage type, features supported and business scale: basic, recommended and unlimited (or enterprise level). Based on this, the best practice is to make a comparison table to determine features, bandwidth and other criteria which are valuable specifically for your company and choose accordingly to your requirements, industry and growth plans.
Modern eCommerce platform needs to be fully equipped with a full set of required integrations with payments systems, product information management, inventory management systems, social media, marketing and analytical tools. OrbitLift can help you choose which add-ons are needed in your industry and how this particular platform enables complete integration.
Flexibility and amount of available features and add-ons varies greatly between platforms. Having an estimation of man-hours allocated for creating an online store will allow understanding which platform would be the best fit precisely for your business. Startups, for instance, usually don’t have much time to spare and should select a platform with simple and predefined templates. On the contrary, for companies that possess extensive resources choosing a more complex solution would bring in more benefits in terms of customer engagement. A more feature-rich offer would allow them to stand out in the market is vital.
Simply put, knowledge is power. Without having a clear picture of your acquisition costs, predicted customer lifetime value and attributed ROI by means of acquisition channels it is impossible to drive eCommerce business to success. With OrbitLift comprehensive reporting, tracking of every key issue and measuring activity in terms of acquisition funnels is of the highest importance to support modern digital commerce.
With the rising popularity of mobile devices not being “mobile first” in 2016 means you’re outdated by default. More and more people constantly interact with their smartphones and tablets every single day in search of products and services, comparing options and making online orders. Therefore you’ll need your eCommerce platform to support various mobile platforms, and make sure that is responsive and the pages load quickly enough for users to stay engaged.
Many startup companies tend to neglect this issue focusing instead on other things, but platform security should be one of the most important considerations. If your platform leaks data, your brand reputation will be virtually destroyed. With many users processing their credit cards, personal and other sensitive information, OrbitLift can ensure that the platform meets required security standards. Many of the platforms have security features installed by default, so it’s worth digging into the details and inquire about threat response time, for instance, as the increased reporting time leads to increased risk levels.
Different industries and businesses deal with various amounts of products on sale at any given time. For example, an online book store website is totally different from an online fashion store that offers clothes which need to be packaged, shipped and delivered. Moreover, having 1,000 products in stock is totally different from having 10,000 or even 100,000 products: different levels of systems are required to process such high volumes. Having an understanding of your business type will largely influence the platform choice and specific features selection.
Every company’s natural goal is driving growth. The tricky question here is in the planning of growth velocity: specifically how many new customers will be acquired, how many new products will appear online and how many daily transactions will be processed. Selected back end solution should not limit operations and business scaling. At the same time, OrbitLift will help you avoid unnecessary increasing of operational costs.