If you haven’t upgraded your website platform and e-commerce technology in the past few years, you could be headed for a competitive nightmare. It’s time to start evaluating options if your systems don’t allow you to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels and devices.
e-Commerce Technology Needs are Changing
It feels like technology has advanced faster in the past two or three years than in the previous ten. These changes in technology have impacted nearly every aspect of our lives and as it relates to business. There are two primary forces driving the need for companies to take a serious look at their web presence: Consumer behavior and Google, which are very interrelated.
Usability and content affect both customer satisfaction and search engine rankings. The mobile experience is becoming an increasingly important contributing factor to whether or not your website will show up in search results and more importantly whether or not the user experience is one that keeps shoppers coming back.
Third Party Integration vs Consolidation
Because so many companies need to take a serious look at whether or not their current systems can meet the demands of today, many discussions are happening around the topic of third party integration vs. consolidation. There will always be a need to integrate the systems that support different parts of the business such as finance, warehouse, and sales; however it may no longer be effective to have multiple systems supporting the front-end, customer facing, systems.
In the early days of e-commerce technology, online revenue trailed far behind other channels and shoppers had lower expectations than they do today. As we look back at how the landscape has evolved, we’ve come from the days in which e-commerce “solutions” included only the most basic functionality and everything from A/B testing to product review applications were developed as independent features and “plugged into” the e-Commerce platform.
Some of the add-ons were easy to implement and required little effort to manage, while others required extensive configuration and specialized knowledge to implement and support. In many cases, this has resulted in overly complex environments that are costly to maintain and to top it off do a poor job of delivering a seamless customer experience across channels and devices.
Today there are choices…
Many of today’s e-commerce solutions are designed specifically to help businesses deliver a personalized customer experience from call-center to desktop to mobile and come complete with features such as product reviews, robust product management, and marketing tools. There are definite advantages to having all of these features under one roof, not the least of which can be a lower overall cost of ownership and simplified environment.
There may also be disadvantages depending on the platform, they may be over-engineered and lack the flexibility needed to tailor functionality for your business. If the wrong solution is selected, it could drive up internal costs for development and ongoing maintenance and still may not serve the needs of your customers.
It’ll be interesting to see what trends emerge in e-commerce technology over the next few years. As always, there’s really no “one size fits all” answer, the best solution requires a thorough evaluation of your current environment and review of viable options. The key is to get started before it’s too late.
Contact us today and we can assist you with evaluating your current environment.