As a retailer, you want to gain a competitive advantage by offering great prices for your products without compromising quality. Because of the continuous increase in competition among online stores around the world, the benefits of upgrading to a new e-commerce platform to meet your needs are essential to the success of your business.
E-commerce websites should offer the flexibility that allows customers advanced options when it comes to searching for products and payment methods. While some e-commerce platforms only offer limited features, it is crucial that you find the best e-commerce platform with add-ons or extensions designed to help your business grow.
Some of the most common modules in an e-commerce platform include:
• Sales and Marketing
• Shipping / Fulfillment/Logistics
• Inventory / Order Management
• Customer Care
• Accounting Integration
• Reporting and Analytics
Starting out as a small business means that you often have a tight budget. However, over time, you will be able to decide what is best for your company in the long-run, and using free, open-source e-commerce platforms are a great start. Many of the free options allow you to create SEO-friendly URLs and email templates. Thousands of online stores have found success with such software.
However, depending on how large your e-commerce site grows, eventually, your organization will want to upgrade to enterprise e-commerce platforms, which offer more features and increased customizability and personalization. Enterprise e-commerce platforms are often more user-friendly and can help shoppers save time and benefit from greater convenience. The best e-commerce platforms will offer technology that assists users in recommending products based on their search patterns, buying habits, hobbies, or interests.
According to Miva, one of the leaders in e-commerce design, “Online consumers’ expectations are now measured against the Amazon experience. And if you’re an online retailer, it means your online store must deliver a similar experience, or risk losing business. The company says that competing with a giant like Amazon may sound intimidating, but by offering the kind of customer experience that online consumers are now conditioned to expect, you can find success alongside Emperor Bezos, founder of Amazon.”
Experts suggest the following must-haves for building a successful online store:
A highly advanced search feature that resembles Google’s algorithms.
Using a predictive search algorithm to generate results as the user types helps consumers find exactly the products they are looking for, quickly and efficiently. And likewise, a suggestive type of search will speculate the user’s intent as they attempt to type, for example, a misspelled word.
Create a more filtered search.
This type of navigation allows the user to filter results to exact matches for their desired categories. Online shoppers are usually on a mission to purchase exactly what they are looking for. However, suggestions will help increase sales potential. The shopping experience should be simple and quick, without the customer having to search through large inventories to find the right item.
Include offers such as free shipping for orders over a certain amount as well as two-day free shipping in your shopping cart as an incentive.
Stored online payments.
Offering secure stored payments allow frequent buyers the convenience of shopping without having to enter their payment details every time.