Your existing eCommerce solution has reached the end of its lifecycle, and it’s time to upgrade to a new one that includes modern features can help grow your business. But choosing the right platform is not easy and requires a lot of time and effort. Here are 9 sets of questions to ask yourself while assessing a new eCommerce Platform.
1. Outlining your business direction:
The first set of questions are around whether you have clearly outlined your business goals for the short and long term. To choose the best eCommerce Platform for your business, you need to have a clear idea on what the future of your business looks like. Without this clarity it can be difficult to choose an eCommerce Platform that best fits your business. Ask yourself whether you want to focus on just a single region or whether you plan to expand globally? Will you focus on a smaller range of merchandise or should you expand your range?
After you have these answers, you can figure out which level of functionality your new platform should provide.
2. Changing market condition and growth:
Second, you need to make sure your eCommerce Platform is agile enough to keep up with changing market conditions and growth. Customers’ expectations are not static, instead they are everchanging and your eCommerce Platform should also have a marketplace of add-on functionalities to ensure you can keep up with the ever-changing demand and which can enhance your virtual stores functionalities further. For example, Magento Commerce Marketplace has 1000’s of built in add-ons.
3. Multi – Channel Management:
The third question you should ask is whether your eCommerce platform can handle multiple sites efficiently and aid in the expansion into new Sales channels. As your business grows you will likely need to venture into new markets, and this will require you to maintain and manage multiple standalone sites in order to tap into these new revenue opportunities. Therefore, your eCommerce platform should be able to efficiently serve as a centralized hub to avoid jumping from one site to another. Magento Commerce 2 has these features and the added option of direct integration with Amazon Marketplace allowing your Sales to expand through various channels and various marketplaces.
4. Customer Experience:
Does it help to enrich the customer experience during and after sale? The Customer is king and ensuring their continued loyalty is a must for any successful business. A positive experience shopping at your online store is the key to gaining their loyalty. An eCommerce platform that allows you to customize every aspect of the sales experience ensures that the customer is satisfied and is willing to come again. An eCommerce Platform like Magento 2 can make the buying experience memorable and ensures that even the after-sale transactions including delivery can be done efficiently and swiftly for maximum customer loyalty.
5. Analysis and Business Strategy:
Does your eCommerce Platform have tools to help you analyze data and come up with digital strategies? A more personalized shopping experience for your customers means you need to know what makes them tick. An eCommerce Platform that has the tools to help you analyze this customer data and come up with business strategies can help you find, convert, and better retain customers. Magento Business Intelligence Pro is one such tool that consolidates all the merchants source information—whether it is from Facebook or Salesforce—in a single platform to help you make better business decisions.
6. Global Expansion:
Does your eCommerce Platform allow you to expand internationally? If you are expanding internationally you will need a cloud-based platform which gives you peak uptime and scalability like Magento 2. If your customers can’t access your website, then you will lose customers who aren’t happy with your service. Un-interrupted access ensures happier customers and more conversions.
7. Old and New:
Can your new eCommerce Platform play nice with your old systems to give better customer service? This is a very important, but sometimes underappreciated question. Is it compatible? Discovering that your new eCommerce Platform is not compatible with your existing technology stack can be a huge loss. Many highly-rated eCommerce Platforms have a demo version you can use to test the user interface and features such as inventory edition, processing orders, etc.
Also, asking your IT team to do a systems audit before you commit to a new eCommerce Platform will ensure that you don’t suffer unnecessary losses. Connecting with experienced solutions partners to get a second opinion will also help prevent any loss.
8. Community Ecosystem:
A platform that has a network of developers that you can gain access to will ensure that innovation is kept alive and new capabilities for your platform will be created on an ongoing basis. This will ensure you can continue to deliver great customer experiences, and therefore a critical question to keep in mind.
The last and final question you should consider is the question of costs. Licensing costs are important, but there are also ownership costs as well as the return on investment. The costs of an eCommerce platform vary depending on the level of functionality you require as well as the complexity of the platform. If the platform is very complex, you might need to investigate getting the help of a developer which might incur additional costs. Even after the installation, you need to invest some amount into the platform regularly in order to ensure greater functionality and better customer experience. It is sometimes best to get the help of a solutions partner who can advise you on a course of action based on your operating budget.
Korcomptenz is one such partner. Korcomptenz is a US-based web and marketing technology services provider headquartered in New Jersey. We specialize in a variety of web and marketing solutions such as Magento, Sitecore, Kentico, Drupal, Mautic, etc. Contact us for a complimentary assessment on how to best leverage your eCommerce platform.