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by Michelle McSweeney
January 18, 2019
Hardly efficient, is it?
This is the single greatest barrier to digital commerce success for businesses and retailers alike. Take Black Friday as an example – there are so many moving components involved in launching a promotion on the biggest shopping day of the calendar year. All of these have to be stacked up like dominoes, ready to set off a chain reaction. All it takes is for one of those dominoes to fall the wrong way to throw your online (and offline) stores into disarray. So you may be selling your products across multiple sales channels (online, offline, social media, marketplaces, etc.) but if those sales channels aren’t connected, there’s simply no way that your business is optimised to maximise sales.
Decisions, decisions…There’s no doubt about it – digital commerce is tricky business. There are so many solution providers on the market, and competition is fierce – understandable considering the fact that online sales are due to hit $4.5 trillion a year by 2021, according to Statista. And because digital commerce is notoriously complex, what often happens is that retailers often either underestimate or overestimate their predicted return on investment when choosing a platform to power their online store. Then, over time, what transpires is that the enterprise-level solution that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to implement, is only bringing in tens of thousands of pounds of revenue.
On the flip side, plenty of retailers initially choose a digital commerce platform based on the cheapest option available, but as their business starts to scale, they discover that limited functionality makes it increasingly difficult to attract, convert, and retail customers. So, in order to keep up with the industry (not to mention growing customer demand) they constantly have to bolster on additional features, all of which come with a hefty price tag.
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So how can businesses choose a digital commerce solution that’s just right?Here are six key considerations when determining what digital commerce platform is the right fit:
1. Time to market/time to migrate from one digital commerce platform to another
How long will it take to launch or relaunch your online store? Will the onboarding process have an effect on your day to day business?
2. Ability to scale
Does the platform support multiple languages, currencies, and VAT rates so you can expand into new markets?
3. Core stack of technology
Is technology integrated into the platform to enable users to manage the entire customer journey under one roof?
4. Synchronised sales channels
Does the platform have the functionality support all sales channels B2B, B2C, Marketplaces? Can it enable omnichannel experiences for your customers?
5. Expertise and services
What level of support and services can you expect to get from your provider? Do they have they proven experience in the market?
Apart from set-up fees, what’s the overall investment cost going to be? Will a system integrator be required? Are there additional third-party development or consulting fees?
All of these questions need to be answered to ensure that you’re choosing a digital commerce platform that will tick all of the boxes (and ship them in a timely fashion too!)
More to explore
In the next few years, we are foreseeing an impressive increase for the global retail industry. While this can be beneficial for the global eCommerce industry, it also means that there will be more competition, as well.
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