Over the last 12 months, we have heard a lot about the need for replatforming, owing to game changers and paradigm shifts in the online retail industry. The chiefest of these is the increasing consumer shift to mobile devices and the need to provide a seamless high-level customer experience across all channels of involvement. Responsive Design will of course be essential, but there are several other key criteria which will need to be seriously considered too.
Here follows a quick checklist vs your current platform as to whether you need to change-up to a more powerful engine to grow your business effectively in 2014:
According to IMRG, in 2013 it was mobile devices that were responsible for the net growth in eCommerce - you need Responsive Design to be able to provide your customers with a seamless experience across all their chosen touchpoints.
Can you update content. structure. layout, design and campaigns without agency assistance? Speed of reaction is critical of course to maintaining a healthy competitive advantage, and if you can do more yourself you save on overheads...
Are your customers actively engaged on your sites - by means of social and participative functionalities? Customers need a platform for communication and participation, they want a voice, and are no longer content to just pass silently through checkout.
It is essential for marketing effectiveness to be able to target each customer demographic with their perfect experience on a dedicated and relevant domain. Failure to provide a high-level dedicated experience will mean customers look elsewhere for satisfaction.
It is inevitable that the website front-end will need to be integrated with key back-office technologies, for many platforms this can be a very high-level overhead experience. Indeed, for many platforms this can be the chief bugbear and often means the web team spends more time managing the system than developing and evolving the customer experience.
A successful retail platform requires ongoing customer incentivisation and activity triggers, relatively few platforms have this functionality fully integral within the core solution - allowing for instant customer satisfaction. Incentivisation is key to triggering customers’ returning to the site to make further purchases.
For best in class SEO, Topics and Keywords need to be continually reinforced from top to bottom of site structure / site map and driven through all site indexes and site searches. Far too many platforms have SEO applied superficially, which does not result in good long-term organic SEO, and makes for more work for fewer gains.
Personalisation here is the ability to give a single customer a uniquely relevant experience to their preferences and activities - for instance resulting in personalised newsletters, notifications and recommendations, and even personalised journeys through your site. Giving a customer a more personal experience usually results in a much higher conversion rate.
To be on top of your business you need to know everything that happens, exactly when and how it happens - this means keeping tabs on every single activity and interaction your customers carry out on your site. Far too many platforms rely on 3rd party solutions which give inconsistent and expensive results.
The ongoing monthly and annual cost of running your current platform is eating into your profitability. Lots of platforms have flat % of revenue fees which take too large a chunk of revenues once the business really gets going. Here you need to really figure out what your Platform’s total ROI is and what percentage that is of the overall cost of running the business.
Of course if you are looking for an affordable platform that answers all of the above concerns contact our Business Development Director Marcus Svensson on firstname.lastname@example.org for a 20 minute discovery call.