E-commerce Solutions: Everything you Wanted to Know
The ongoing Cyber Week is pushing up e-retail sales volumes. However, this year the beginning of the shopping season was much different. Online-only marketplaces are having hard times defending the online space they got used to making money on. Traditional retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy and the likes have managed to squeeze into the sector. Their results are already impressive and the whole week and holiday season being ahead.
As it is announced in the statement released by Walmart, this Black Friday “was their second-highest online sales day ever – topped only by Cyber Monday last year”. Other retailers admitted unparalleled sales volumes as well. So, going online and mobile has done much good to traditional retailers. It’s time to use that opportunity and enjoy high returns on investment figures. However, good ROI depends on web resource popularity which can be a hard nut to crack.
*the stats are taken here
Some people tend to underestimate the complexity of an e-commerce solution considering it as a shopping cart connected to some goods catalogue. This assumption can totally spoil the user experience which must be avoided at all costs.
There are some very important elements of any e-commerce solution, which in our experience cannot be neglected:
- Reliable integration of third-party payment gateways to support most popular payment systems around the world.
- A secure shopping cart to protect bank-holders personal information. Due to recent scandals on credit card frauds, that issue is very peculiar and no wonder, both sellers and buyers want extra security and reliability.
- A mobile app for customers to manage their orders on the go. Mobile sales have risen drastically. According to Shopify - platform which analyzed data from about 100,000 online stores - there has been more user traffic coming from mobile than from desktop this year. The margin was not that high. However, the significance of the event is evident.
- A refined store management system to filter products and categorize customers. There is nothing uglier than a long list of available products only slightly categorized. It resembles a messy pile and kills all the intentions to shop.
- Implemented marketing tricks to attract new customers. A thorough system discounts, coupon codes, gift cards and other encouragements must be an inseparable part of any company’s efforts to stimulate sales.
- Inevitable social media integration to keep to the trend and exploit marketing possibilities provided by Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Make sure the web-resource includes the necessary social features such as sharing, rating, ranking and commenting. SEO-friendly customer reviews will surely boost the sales.
- Detailed analytics which helps optimize the business processes and tweak the company strategy if necessary. The sales should be tracked as well as visits and user referrals. Understating a user’s behavior and needs might take time but will pay back in the end.
Ecommerce Web Design
A good design is meant to make a consumer life easier, especially if that’s a design for an e-commerce portal. It implies 3NX: no extra time to find the necessary product, no extra actions to buy it and no extra stress to wait for the order to be processed. Specialists like to dwell on the issue mentioning a responsive design, finger-friendly interfaces, flat design, and more rich content including video and really fab graphics. All that guarantees a great UX regardless of the device used which will make user want to return to the web-resource again and again.
All the mentioned criteria of a good and selling web-resource do not cover all the available options. However, it provides an idea what an experienced ecommerce solutions provider might offer. Though, there is no neglecting domain specifics and overlooking the industry standards.
Ecommerce Players: Present and Future
As the e-commerce market segment is on the rise, more and more players are trying to get their own share of the juicy pie. The top ten web-only retailers as well as those which promote online retailing along their traditional business models are well-known all over the globe.
However, there is a range of companies which show clear intentions to get into the list. For example, social media is eagerly indulging into ecommerce.
Pinterest unveiled its own new features which should boost sales and increase brand awareness.
Facebook has implemented a Buy button. Its users can buy items just clicking on ads and not leaving the friendly Facebook environment. Besides, a Black Friday video ad campaign for Macy’s has shown great advantages of promotion within the network.
Twitter has also experimented with a Buy button and acquired a payments infrastructure company called CardSpring this summer. It is yet unclear what will become of that, as several prior Facebook attempts have already failed. People gathered for a chat have shown no great inclination to make impulse purchases. However, the intention of the social networks to bring in an additional revenue stream is quite easy to understand. Given the social media possesses lots of personal information on users like and dislikes, favorite items and things of the kind, it might be a success in the long run.
Known market leaders are also interested in further segment growth. Google and Apple have contributed their share to the ecommerce development as well.
Of course, there is hardly a possibility to successfully compete with that big fish. However, waves generated by it can bring in much profit and speed up the success. The only thing is not to move against the tide.