Choosing the right e-commerce platform

Carl-Johan Kihl14 Nov 2019

The e-commerce landscape is changing rapidly and being up to date with the latest trends is more important than ever. For example a few years ago, mobile e-commerce was not a priority. By 2021, mobile e-commerce sales are expected to account for 54% of total e-commerce sales.

But more importantly. Even if the purchase is made in a physical store, the majority of our influence to buy comes from information provided by mobile devices.

Choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial. It’s not about choosing another sales-channel anymore. The e-commerce platform is a foundational building block of your whole online presence as a brand.

Here I have listed some pitfalls to watch out for when choosing an e-commerce platform.

Marketing

Choosing a platform with weak or inconvenient marketing tools will put you one step behind your competitors at once. How accessible the platform is to work with from a marketeer’s perspective? Is it convenient to create campaigns, discounts-codes, and offers? Is email marketing features included? Can one send out emails and SMS to recover abandoned carts? Is it easy to add google analytics, facebook pixel or do I need custom plugins or development? Also, verify that the platform can handle A/B testing.

Product Information

If you have more than 100 SKU’s you need to consider product information management. How reliable are the import and export functionalities? Do you need 3rd party integrations to other systems? Can you work with products and variants in batches?

Personalization

Running marketing for cold traffic is expensive and will quickly eat up your marketing budget. Therefore, for a sustainable profit, at least 30%-50% of your sales should come from hot traffic and returning customers. To make your customers feel special even when you scale you need effective tools for knowing them and their behavior, and delivering them personalized offers and messages.

Search

A majority of your visitors will use the search rather than the navigation if you have 50 SKU’s or more. A bad search experience will kill your conversion rate. Make sure the search-engine delivers relevant results!

Sales channels

To “break through the noise” you need to be present in as many sales channels as possible. A good e-commerce platform should have support not only for selling through the web. but selling through marketplaces like Amazon and also through Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. If your e-commerce platform doesn´t support multiple sales channels out of the box you will hit a roadblock while expanding horizontally.

No platform is perfect.

I wish there was a platform that includes all features out of the box, but the reality is every platform has its weaknesses and strengths. The choice of platform depends on your budget, your current sales-channels, how many SKU’s you have and marketing strategy.

If you want free advisory on how to choose an e-commerce platform, contact us at Albarest and we will help you to choose a platform tailored for your needs!

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