How to Choose the Right E-commerce Platform

The E-commerce industry has been growing steadily for the last 10 years. According to Statista, the e-commerce industry is projected to be a $4.8 trillion business by 2021, thus contributing 17.5% to total global retail sales. This global business trend has been successfully adopted by many and is continuously attracting more businesses. In addition, Statista also states that India will be the country with the highest e-commerce CAGR from 2019 to 2023.

E-commerce software is the best platform for businesses to get the maximum amount of customer engagement with a boost in sales. But, choosing the right e-commerce platform is not as easy as it may sound.

Choosing the right platform is a crucial element in going digital. So, before you finalize your path, consider these to get a clear picture of what you need:

1. Available e-commerce platforms:

The most important thing that should be considered first is the platform and its pricing policy. A well-established platform with optimized features that suit your business requirements must be considered. The following are the most popular e-commerce platforms that you should look at.

Among all these, Magento 2 is one core platform that fits well to all types of websites and provides the followng advantages over others

Improved performance and scalability.

Mobile friendly.

Easy to upgrade.

Easy checkout process.

Automated e mail marketing.

Advanced reporting.

Moreover, Magento e-commerce web development is benefitting businesses with more satisfied customers and higher customer retention rates.

Apart from this, you should check the pricing policy as most e-commerce platforms have a monthly fee system, but this may vary on the type of system (hosted or self-hosted) you choose. Apart from the monthly fees, ask if any other payment for plug-ins, server storage, apps, bandwidth or transactions is not included.

2. Usability:

An e-commerce platform might be very popular and attractive, but what if it is difficult for your team to use and manage. Before your final sign up for the platform, do a rigorous analysis while considering your team. Ask your team for their feedback, ease of access and time requirements. Spending a lot of time in managing the platform for business will lead to inefficiencies. The ease of access for both business owners and users is an important aspect that helps in fostering customer engagement with better e-commerce features and services.

3. Get the appropriate hosting service:

Getting the right platform is half of the task and getting the right hosting service is the other. A bad hosting service will greatly impact your rankings due to slow loading time and downtimes. Some important things to consider for a good hosting company include:

a. 24/7 support

b. Backup schedule

c. Managing shared server

d. Security protocols

It is important to understand that all the effort of getting an e-commerce platform will only yield results if a good hosting server is in place and thus helps in increasing the incoming traffic into sales.

4. SEO and Mobile friendliness:

SEO is an integral part of online business and existence. A platform that is SEO friendly will give you an advantage of higher search engine rankings. While looking for an SEO friendly platform, consider the following features to:

a. Add a blog

b. Use your domain name

c. Get customer reviews

Another aspect of mobile-friendliness means that you need your website to be mobile optimized to give an amazing experience to mobile users. This is an important feature to work on as almost 60% of searches today are made using mobile phones.

Conclusion:

Starting an e-commerce business is a challenging task that needs proper analysis and research to fetch good results. The changing consumer trends and demands ask for a robust e-commerce platform that not only satisfies you as a business but also gives your users an amazing shopping experience.

What’s Trending in the eCommerce Industry in 2018?

Trends are something that keep evolving and changing.For business to strive in the industry on a global front, it is important for them to stay on top of such trends. All these trends that pop up during the life cycle of a business helps them survive the battle of intense competition as well as in shaping the organization’s future. When trends occur, some might stay afloat for short term, while some stay and find a permanent place in defining the way a business is done. For customers, trends often become expectations and when it is not fulfilled, they move to next, ultimately causing business loss to you.

Global ecommerce sales are expected to increase 246.15% by 2021, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021 – according to Statista. This means that the ecommerce industry is booming and there are no signs of it slowing down any time soon. Every year, we observe trends in the eCommerce industry that continue to evolve over time. Moving from 2017 to 2018, we witnessed some revolutionary trends and eCommerce companies continue to embrace the upcoming foreseeable ones with open arms. Some of them are:

Shipping and Delivery

eCommerce businesses thrive when the customer is happy and to make it possible, one of the key elements is faster shipping and free delivery. Most market players are continually coming up with innovative ways to ship and deliver items as quick as possible. Same-day delivery and preferred delivery is now a customer-friendly standard that companies like Amazon strive to beat out competition.

AI and Machine Learning

No one can deny that the eCommerce industry will continue to integrate and empower offerings with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology in 2018. eCommerce businesses have already embedded these intelligent technologies into their systems to provide product recommendations to their customers based on searches and purchase histories. This has allowed eCommerce retailers to provide exactly what a customer is looking for, thus saving them time and effort. With more innovations lined up, the future of online shopping will be influenced by machine learning. The AIs and customers are shown only the products or services they’re most interested in. As a customer, an individual come across machine learning and AI every day, he just might not know it.

AR and VR

How about viewing and experiencing a product in real-time while browsing the store before you make a purchase? If that sounds exciting, all the credit goes to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (AR) technologies. This has gained people’s attention over the last couple of years.This tech has been getting some serious traction in 2018 and companies are going to eventually make it standard to offer products and services with AR and VR options. In the times ahead, customers will be more likely to make a purchase from eCommerce companies that allow them the option of visually testing out products before purchase.

Payments on the Go

This revolutionary technology of mobile payments has changed to the way people shop and pay bills on eCommerce portals. Since 2015, the growth of the mobile payment market has increased steadily and now there are at least 10 different mobile payment platforms available today, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. Today, 62% of Smartphone users make an online purchase at least once in six months. As a result, eCommerce sites are being optimized for smaller devices like mobile and tablets. In addition, fingerprint and facial recognition tech is facilitating one-click payments. Soon, it will become the most preferred payment method for all online transactions.

Voice-based Search

In the eCommerce space, voice-based searches will be surpassing manual and typed search methods for users using smart devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and other voice-activated devices. As of now, 40% are already using voice search before making an online purchase. Thus, it is imperative for eCommerce businesses to integrate voice search capability to ensure consumers stick to their portal because of its ease of use. Plus, a sale completed via Amazon Echo units also provided retailers with numerous upsell opportunities, with upsell rates of more than 60% observed among some product lines.

ROPO – The New Fad

Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO) has now been developed as an intelligent tool with advanced and reliable features to help eCommerce businesses evaluate how well their digital ads are contributing to in-store sales. Leveraging the information from social networks, mobile tracking/geo-location, mobile payments, in-store inventory, analytics tools, and CRM systems, eCommerce retailers are at complete control. Eventually, they witness the benefits like create higher-conversions and more targeted campaigns of shoppers who conduct online research before making offline purchases.

We have listed the trends that are highly perceived in the eCommerce industry, which means there are even more that could equally affect the ways eCommerce business is conducted. According to you, what trends we will see in the eCommerce space in the year ahead? Share what we missed in the comments section below. In addition, if you are interested in implementing the latest trends on your eCommerce store, we are just a call away.

3 Warning Signs You Might Need an Ecommerce Platform Upgrade

Unfortunately, warning signs to upgrade an eCommerce platform will not wave a bright red flag over the roof of your online store, with a say, “Upgrade me!” This is where a merchant needs to keep a hawkeye on all major things that communally contribute to the success or failure of their eCommerce site. Here we have compiled a list of 3 warning signs that you should seriously consider as the necessary fixes:

Multichannel Integration Issues

Nowadays customers prefer an eCommerce store which offers a smooth experience across all touch points like online, offline, mobile, etc. If you are running an older eCommerce platform based website, you may face multichannel integration issues when trying to implement multichannel integration. Since your older eCommerce platform will not comply with newer applications or systems, so it would be better to switch to a newer eCommerce platform to better serve your customers.

Your eCommerce Store’s Ranking is Not Increasing

Your eCommerce store’s ranking is lacking or not increasing, the eCommerce platform upgrade would be beneficial.

eCommerce platforms like Magento is a quite easy bet for most small to medium–sized eCommerce businesses to optimize their websites, offering a more organized URLs structure, enhancing your website’s loading speed and resulting in improved store ranking in search engines.

Chunky Checkout Procedure

Always keep in mind that your consumers have less patience when it comes to your site’s checkout process. They don’t know much about your site’s functionality. Thus, you need to cope up with their expectations, shopping method preferences, patience, and device of choice. If your eCommerce store’s checkout procedure is chunky and non-standard or is not easy to understand by your consumers, you need to look for an upgrade.

Is upgrading a Pain for You?

While upgrading your eCommerce website, there are many puzzle pieces which make this upgrading a pain for you. These puzzle pieces include your current theme, extensions and even your eCommerce platform itself. Upgrading each of these parts will help you in avoiding downtimes and customer frustration. We at Envision Ecommerce have a chunk of certified developers and eCommerce Solution Specialists who can make this upgrading a pretty straight forward for you.

Looking for an eCommerce upgrading support? Contact us for more information.