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5 Technology Considerations for New Online Retailers

August 26th, 2014 by Marcel Munoz

E commerce design

The online retail competitive landscape has changed tremendously in the past fifteen years and especially in the past five. New online retailers are facing challenges that are much different than in the past.

It used to be fairly easy to start an online presence and in many cases young start-ups had a big advantage over old legacy brands. Unlike companies that already had an established technology and systems eco-system to consider, those new to the space were able to be nimble and develop a platform that specifically met the needs of the online consumer.

There were few barriers and the challenges associated with starting a new online business centered mostly around creating a website that was easy to use and worked well in a few different browser versions. As long as shoppers could find the product on your website and receive it in a reasonable amount of time, the chances were good that a business would succeed. Website usability is still the cornerstone, but building an online business has become more complex.

Consumers are more sophisticated than ever before. They’re no longer afraid of technology and most of them own multiple devices. Whether you’re an established online retailer or new to the space, it’s important to consider the key challenges in today’s online shopping world.

Key Challenges Facing Online Retailers

  • The rise of omni-channel – customer’s expect a single consistent shopping experience across devices and channels.
  • The mobile revolution – mobile is part of omni-channel, but worth mentioning separately because it’s driving so many of the changes in shopping behavior.
  • Competitors are just a click away – Google search results have improved tremendously over the past 10 years and consumers no longer bookmark their favorite sites. They search and compare options before making a decision.
  • Shoppers have a short attention span – if they don’t find what they’re looking for in 15 seconds or less, they’re gone.
  • The best offer wins – we’ve trained consumers to wait for the best deal from a retailer and they’ll go to great lengths to make sure they get the most for their money.

Given these challenges, there’s a lot more to consider if you’re new to the online retail space and the costs and complexities may make it seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be.

5 Technology Considerations for New Online Retailers

  1. Consider the Cloudhosted software solutions can greatly simplify your environment. Most hosted solutions bring you a load balanced architecture, redundancy, and an up-time guarantee for a monthly fee. This can reduce your up-front investment and mitigate risks. You can always move the solution in-house when you’re ready.
  2. Extensible Platformselect an e-commerce platform that will scale and grow with your business. Look for a solution that can be implemented as a framework that you can build on.
  3. Mobile enabled – we can’t emphasize mobile enough. It’s part of the shopping process and the use of mobile devices is only going to grow.
  4. Robust Site Search – next to mobile, the site search solution may be one of the most important features for your website. If shoppers can’t find what they’re looking for quickly you’ll lose them.
  5. Managed services – increase your bandwidth and take advantage of the expertise and experience that a professional services team has to offer.

With the right technology platform and partner, new online retailers can build a solution that will position them for growth and success.

Download our free eBook: A Guide to Evaluating Site Search Solutions


Marcel Munoz

Marcel Munoz

Greetings! My name is Marcel. I've been heavily involved in ecommerce tools and data automation and curation.

You can learn more about me on our Thanx Media management page.
Let's link up to share great content & ideas: @thanxmedia | G+  

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