As the number of digital buyers increases every year, it becomes mandatory for businesses to prepare their eCommerce businesses to tackle all sorts of challenges. E-commerce platform implementation reflects the eCommerce user experience by meeting the needs of digital buyers.
At the same time, eCommerce implementation isn’t a piece of cake for many businesses. There are a few hiccups of which every business should be aware when implementing an eCommerce platform.
This article covers all the aspects that every business should know during the implementation of a digital commerce platform in detail.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
Before getting into the core topic, let’s brush up on some basics about eCommerce platforms.
The e-commerce platform is nothing but a combination of the content management system (CMS) and the commerce engine. The platform is mainly designed to manage the eCommerce operations and activities of the businesses.
In a technical sense, it is a software solution that empowers eCommerce businesses to manage their products’ digital assets, perform omnichannel marketing, and perform digital sales and operations.
Mostly, this platform is used to manage cataloged products, register all purchase activities, and maintain smooth relationships between businesses, retailers, and consumers.
More importantly, the implementation of a digital commerce platform will allow brands to meet the emerging demands of modern, new-age buyers and address the evolving market conditions.
To explore more about eCommerce platforms and their capabilities and essence, must visit Digital Commerce Platform – An Ultimate Guide. It unlocked varied hidden elements of a digital commerce platform that helps you develop a product eCommerce platform that empowers your business growth.
eCommerce Platform Implementation – A Brief
eCommerce platform implementation consists of four basic operations: launching, updating, and maintaining a virtual store. eCommerce empowers brands to sell products anywhere at any time. Also, it creates more opportunities for brands to engage with potential consumers in the virtual world.
Furthermore, the implementation of a digital commerce platform enables brands to collect all necessary customer information as well as demographic information. This enables brands to provide more personalized services and products according to the customer’s needs.
Advantages of Having an eCommerce Platform
E-commerce platforms have provided a wide range of opportunities for brands to sell their products to their target audience. Also, the platform helps businesses involved in commerce activities grow successfully.
Here are a few key advantages brands can gain through the eCommerce platform.
Digital commerce platform implementation by brands allows customers to do shopping quickly. The platform allows consumers to find their desired products easily and quickly when compared with traditional stores. Furthermore, the eCommerce platform allows you to find rare products that are not available in traditional stores online, as well as alternative product lists.
Easy to advertise and market
With the presence of eCommerce platforms, brands no longer need to spend a lot on promoting their products to audiences. The world of eCommerce is more affordable and offers several quick ways to market products online. The platform enables sellers to offer more customized deals and coupons to consumers based on their shopping history.
In eCommerce, buyers can easily compare multiple products at a time, which is not possible in the traditional way of shopping. Also, it enables buyers to compare and buy the most affordable products in terms of price or quality. This provides more comfort and confidence among shoppers.
Faster response according to demands
When compared with the traditional way of shopping, online shopping is much faster in all aspects. This includes streamlined logistics and delivery systems. More importantly, the platform empowers brands to act quickly when stocking high-demand products and restocking them quickly after predicting the current market trends in digital commerce platforms.
Multiple Payment Options
The eCommerce platform offers multiple payment options to satisfy new-generation buyers. Some of the common payment modes accepted on the eCommerce platform are UPI, COD (Cash on Delivery), Net Banking, Card Payment, EMI Mode of Payment, and Pay Later Credit Facility.
For brands looking to establish their businesses in overseas markets, opting for eCommerce platform implementation would be a wise idea. The platform allows sellers to sell their products to overseas markets without establishing any physical setup in a particular region. This can be a very profitable model for businesses looking for global expansion.
Choosing the Most Effective eCommerce Platform
You can find numerous eCommerce platforms available for sale in today’s market, and among those, picking the right one will be a daunting task. Unless you are familiar with your business goals and requirements,
In addition to that, here are a few attributes to which you need to pay attention when choosing the best eCommerce platform for your business.
Always have a steady mindset when determining the budget for an eCommerce platform and analyze the platform thoroughly to determine whether it has any hidden costs while scaling in the future before making a purchase decision.
Ensure that the chosen eCommerce platform makes it easier for your business to meet the requirements of the target market. Most of the time, omnichannel delivery would be used.
Check how easily the chosen eCommerce platform can be scaled according to your business’s growth in the future. Pick the one that is more affordable to scale along with your business growth.
At last, pick highly reputable vendors and offer exceptional customer service and maintenance options. By doing so, you can easily manage things and act quickly if a problem arises by contacting the vendor’s customer service team.
There are a lot of platforms available in the market so I can completely understand your dilemma on choosing which one that first into your specific business needs. Don’t miss reading Expert’s Guide on Choosing Finest eCommerce Platform for Your Business to select the right eCommerce platform for your business.
Essential Features of an eCommerce Platform
When it comes to eCommerce businesses, there are a few essential features that every business should look for when selecting the best eCommerce platform. It doesn’t matter whether it’s small, medium, or enterprise-level eCommerce businesses; there are a few vital features that are important for brands to focus on with consumers.
Here are a few key eCommerce features that every business should be looking for in 2023.
Easy inventory management
This eCommerce feature allows business leaders and project managers to easily track the product stock levels in your inventory in real time. With the help of this feature, brands can avoid displaying an “OUT OF STOCK” message to their customers.
Easy to customize
Every business is unique, and it will have its own set of operations. On top of that, this eCommerce platform offers flexibility and allows store owners to customize the platform. With that, businesses can alter the platform according to their business needs.
Since security is considered the biggest issue in the eCommerce industry, this exceptional eCommerce platform feature offers an SSL certificate or authentic encryption at the payment gateway to earn the customer’s trust.
Modern, new-age consumers prefer engaging with brands through various devices. Among those phones, the smartphone is the primary one. This eCommerce platform feature optimizes your store for mobile phone users and increases mobile phone visitors.
The reputation of new-age businesses is largely determined by their customer service. Before the digital commerce platform implementation, brands should ensure which vendors offer the best and most timely support service for their products. So, you don’t have to be concerned about prolonged or frequent site downtime.
Steps to Follow for Successful eCommerce Platform Implementation
Businesses around the world are now aware of the importance of eCommerce platform implementation. However, the sustainability and success of the eCommerce business truly depend on how the platform is implemented. Many businesses fail to implement proper strategies during the digital commerce platform implementation process and suffer the consequences.
This section covers the seven key steps that every business should adopt while implementing an eCommerce platform.
Step 1: Proper business planning and roadmaps
For successful digital commerce platform implementation, it is mandatory to have a clear-cut vision of your business requirements and the processes involved in your business operation. The term “strategy” is about planning things to reach and succeed in the business objective. Planning the eCommerce journey with a solid strategy and a desired technology roadmap will help to complete the implementation process successfully.
Here are a few things that every business owner should be aware of in order to have a successful business plan and business roadmap.
- Your eCommerce platform should be implemented in such a way that it achieves your business objectives.
- You should know the exact timeline and cost for achieving your business goal.
- Knowledge of the possible challenges you may face during the eCommerce platform implementation.
- How to identify the right resources and technology stacks to sort out the challenges and carry out a smooth eCommerce implementation
- Narrating the perfect omnichannel digital experience strategy for creating a better customer experience
Step 2: Audit and Analysis
To deliver maximum benefits to your virtual consumers, your eCommerce platform should have the ability to scale and customize according to need. In addition to that, the eCommerce platform should adapt to your business model and support and enhance existing business practices followed in offline retail as well.
To ensure all those abilities and capabilities of the eCommerce platform, you should have razor-sharp clarity on the features and functionalities of the platform. In addition, the platform should allow you to completely audit and analyze your online store if your company is struggling to increase profits online.
With such functions, you can easily examine all your store operations, including customer flow, and identify and solve the gaps in customer engagement.
Step 3: Customer Acquisition
The cost of customer acquisition varies according to the business and its products. Brands should be aware of the latest tools to create proper engagement with the new generation of consumers. Modern consumers actively engage with brands through multiple devices, so your eCommerce platform should support various digital marketing campaigns.
Before digital commerce platform implementation, make sure your platform is capable of doing email campaigns, displaying advertisements through various networks, conducting referral programs, and having the ability to do re-targeting campaigns. All these kinds of activities will entice your consumers to make purchases with your brand.
Step 4: Customer engagement
The modern consumer is more concerned with maintaining their engagement with their brands as long as they get what they truly desire. In addition, there are a few customers who love to engage with brands and understand the core values, discounts, special offers, and benefits provided to them by the brands.
To satisfy such customers, the preferred digital eCommerce platform should offer a solid support mechanism through which brands can address all customer inquiries and clarifications.
In addition, the eCommerce platform should enable marketers and the sales team to engage with the target audience through social media channels. A team that engages with customers via social media platforms can deliver more accurate and context-specific information to consumers through proper engagement.
Step 5: Customer Retention
The emergence of sophisticated eCommerce technologies allows business stakeholders to make the most of the customer experience. Also, the modern eCommerce platform enables brands to maintain customer loyalty by offering various programs and specialized campaigns.
With the presence of a good eCommerce platform, business leaders can implement loyalty programs and personalize the customer experience according to the customer journey.
During the eCommerce platform implementation, as a business leader, you need to make sure that the platform supports automated email marketing. Because email marketing is considered the number 1 tool for getting eCommerce experience by delivering tailored promotions by analyzing their previous buying behaviors.
Step 6: Optimization
The health of the eCommerce business largely depends upon the following metrics:
- Total ROI
- Customer acquisition cost
- Customer conversion percentage
- Amount of visitors visiting the store through various channels
However, the above-mentioned metrics vary according to the business’s objectives. So it is essential for every business to list its key metrics and analyze them to create a better-customized approach.
Once key metrics are defined, the next step is to optimize the platform according to the business’s needs. Most of the optimization would be needed in two aspects: technology and business.
Step 7: Analyzing customer insights
The final step for performing a successful digital commerce platform implementation would be fine-tuning the platform according to the product categories.
Product categorization should be done after understanding the customer segments, demographics, channel source, and so on. Based on the collected customer metrics or customer insights, the eCommerce platform needs to be optimized further.
However, the customer metrics vary from business to business and also require a customized approach to monitor them.
In today’s evolving market conditions, having a holistic eCommerce strategy becomes essential for executing an eCommerce platform implementation successfully.
If the implementation process is executed according to plan, it will create more brand awareness, provide best-in-class support to the customers, create an enormous shopping experience, and bolster revenues by attracting a high volume of new-generation customers.
Increasing Customer Loyalty Through Cutting-edge eCommerce Technologies
To turn your online store visitors into customers and your customers into repeat customers, you need to leverage the latest eCommerce technology at the time of digital commerce platform implementation.
In general, integrating the right technology with your eCommerce platform will allow your online store to offer an easy browsing experience, a smooth checkout, secure payment processing, a convenient shipping option, and tracking features.
However, if you manage to implement the leading cutting-edge eCommerce technologies on your eCommerce platform, then you can easily build customer loyalty and increase your customer repeat percentage.
To provide such an excellent customer experience, brands can implement these cutting-edge technologies in their online stores during the eCommerce platform implementation process.
The inclusion of AI technology in eCommerce will pave the way for several innovative methods to increase customer experience and overall revenue. AI technology enhances marketing campaigns and introduces a chatbot that plays a huge role in providing seamless customer support.
Machine learning (ML) is a vital and core aspect of offering intelligent search options to consumers. The presence of ML empowers brands with far better search capabilities that will turn your online store web pages into something very attractive.
More importantly, ML enables stores to offer smart, predictive searching options through optimized algorithms. This will create more attractions for the visitors and draw them to your online store.
Modern eCommerce businesses suffer a lot from a lack of security measures. However, this can be easily avoided with the implementation of cutting-edge eCommerce technology and two-factor authentication.
This will level up the security measures for all the online transactions that happen in your business. Moreover, implementing this two-factor authentication will eliminate more than 80% of the data breaches during the transaction process.
Today’s digital era forces businesses to own more than just an online store that looks good and performs well for online customers to do their shopping. Evolving market conditions and emerging demands of the new age generation have triggered the alarm for eCommerce businesses to innovate things to meet modern needs.
With several eCommerce platforms available in today’s market, picking the one that comes with a user-friendly interface and a compelling design template is highly recommended.
Also, you need to ensure the platform is easy to configure and fully customizable according to business needs. In addition, the digital eCommerce platform implementation process should be done with a perfectly planned strategy to leverage its benefits fully.