Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Magento, Shopify, Woo Commerce, so many choices, so much information to process… well…here’s the low down
Building your business through digital channels is more than just putting up your product listings on a web page and expecting the revenue to begin rolling in. Much like running your physical store, setting up your presence in the digital world requires the same level of strategic thinking and planning. Sure, you can sell products independently through your own home-built website or an open-source platform, but if scaling your business is in the works, then you’re going to have to choose a third-party platform like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Magento (Adobe) or the many other there are in the market.
Any retailer will tell you, that the biggest challenge with choosing the right E-commerce platform for their business depends on multiple things, some of it could be the cost of the platform, the flexibility of the platform to accommodate changes, the capability to give connected experience and the ability for the platform to grow along with the business. When you look at top analyst’s review of the popular vendors in the market, it becomes apparent that while there are a bunch of players in the market, a little bit of handholding is required while looking for the right fit.
Without further ado, here are the top 4 things you need to answer, before going shopping
- Start with your budget and evaluate all the costs
Ecommerce Platforms come in all size and shapes and cost also. You could spend a few hundred millions on the platform or go as less as a few hundred dollars.
Ecommerce could be an expensive affair if you don’t plan for it, its just not about the platform but also about the experience you want to provide and more importantly in the cost of customer acquisition.
Some of the key questions you need to ask from a Cost Perspective
- While selecting the platform, have you considered the cost of development and changes to accommodate your requirements?
- Does the product meet Industry-specific requirement of yours?
- Have you calculated the upkeeping cost for the product? What about the ongoing infrastructure cost?
- Have you done a Total cost of ownership Analysis while picking up the product?
- Mobile Friendliness
It’s a universally accepted fact that most of the traffic flows to the site from mobile devices for consumer-focused digital sites. The ability of the platform to support mobile experience as a DNA should be a vital component, especially if you are in an industry where the traffic is flowing through the mobile application.
Some key questions you need to ask from a mobile-friendliness perspective
- Does the Platform support Out of the Box Mobile First architecture?
- Is it easy to customize a mobile-friendly Storefront?
- Is it possible to extend services to accommodate a Mobile app if you decide to add that Channel?
Ecommerce is all about the experience. Starting from the ability to discover products faster and more accurately, to having category-specific filters to personalization, the experience becomes an integral part of choosing the right platform. We have seen how some platforms miss basic experiences like Cart persistence or Predictive search capabilities.
Every platform has some good experiences and misses some; this will be seen specifically if you are catering to a niche segment. Chances are, that your category will require specific experiences and that could be missing. Here’s an example: a basic segment like electronics retail, will need a gadget selection functionality and we see that this experience does not come out of the box in the site in some platforms.
Some key questions you need to ask from an experience perspective
- How close does the platform scale to accommodate features/functionalities which are required to provide basic customer experience?
- How easy is it to customize the platform to accommodate new experiences?
- What is the platform’s roadmap w.r.t. building new customer experiences?
- Integration: The key that holds it all together
It goes without saying that unless you get your integration landscape charted out to connect your E-commerce platform with other applications; the entire idea of setting up an omnichannel/unified commerce retail business goes out the window.
Some key questions you need to ask from an integration perspective
- Does the platform support integrating with all major back end systems like the ERO, OMS, CRM and so on?
- Does the platform allow you to extend the services in case you need to modify any Out of the box integration?
Armed with all this information, we’ve narrowed it down to two choices for you: Both Forrester, as well as Gartner, have claimed that Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Magento are the clear leaders in the E-commerce space. They also fare really well in the criteria we had mentioned above and could work as a great fit for most retailers. The E-commerce platform is only as good as the implementation partner you choose to work with. Their experience will go a long way in making sure all the use cases are identified and help you go-live on time. Choosing the right agency can be tricky, you will need to make sure they are at the right size, philosophy and offer meaningful application maintenance support post-installation.
Some questions you will need to answer are
- Will I get the right amount of attention from the Partner who is working with me before, during, and after I go live?
- Does the partner not just take care of my technology needs but also understand my business needs?
- Do they have wide technology skills so that I don’t have to depend on multiple partners for my commerce needs?
Toying with the idea of a Salesforce Commerce Cloud or Magento implementation?
Check out- https://www.aspiresys.com/digital-commerce
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