Important features and characteristics for all stakeholders
If you are a large enterprise business looking to launch an online store, finding the right eCommerce platform can be a challenge. Not only does the platform need to be able to support the complex requirements of your business as it exists today, but the platform should also be designed to scale along with your business as you grow into the future.
In this article, we will help you choose the eCommerce platform that is right for your business by determining the needs and integrations that are specific to your operations.
Choosing the Right eCommerce Business Solution
Before you can begin exploring eCommerce platforms, collect input from stakeholders across your organization. Identify departments that would be impacted by your platform — from IT and logistics to marketing and customer service — and solicit feedback from them. The information and insights they provide can be used to develop a list of key platform requirements.
You will also want to outline clear business goals and objectives that this platform would be expected to support. By doing this, you will be better equipped in your evaluation of each eCommerce platform. The ideal platform should accommodate most, if not all of your needs.
Critical Components of an Enterprise eCommerce Platform
When evaluating an eCommerce platform, there are standard integrations you will want to check for. Chief among these would be the ability to:
- Push orders to your fulfillment system
- Pull order status from your fulfillment system
- Pull shipping status from your shipping system
There are other integrations that may not come standard, but instead are optional. Depending on the nature of your operations, it could be worth considering a platform with the ability to:
- Push or pull inventory from the inventory management system
- Pull or push product product updates, including pricing
- Pull or push customer order history from your CRM
It is also essential that the platform has an integrated Content Delivery Network (CDN) for storing images and documents hosted on the site. Being able to pull these from a CDN rather than a web server improves your site’s performance, specifically the page speed.
Custom Integrations for an eCommerce Online Shop
If you think of the aforementioned standard and optional integrations as a baseline, there are custom integrations outside of those that could be invaluable to your business. Advanced search, for example, is one of the most popular. Basic out-of-the-box search integrations pull from a database, whereas advanced search functions are similar to a search engine. They can capture fuzzy terms and provide spelling corrections or alternative spellings. Advanced search integrations can also enable you to map certain products to show up for certain search terms.
From a user experience standpoint, the benefits of advanced search are myriad.
Today’s online shoppers also require immediate care and support, which is why live chat and help desk integrations are also commonplace among eCommerce websites. Live chat software provides an on-site channel for your support team to communicate with customers, and a help desk resolves customer queries via email, logging internal tickets for each communication.
Social media integrations also create another channel through which you can communicate with your customers. You can allow customers to share your products on social media without leaving your site, and even sell your products directly on your social media platforms.
Additionally, two-factor authentication is a custom integration that provides an extra layer of security for user’s online accounts beyond a simple username and password.
Assessing the Costs of eCommerce Software Integrations
Once you have identified which eCommerce platform integrations are critical to your business, you may be wondering about incurring additional costs. As far as standard integrations are concerned, the only cost to you is development time. The integrations are already in place within the platform, so all that is needed is data validation and data translation.
Custom integrations are a different story. Advanced search integrations require a third-party search engine, so you will have to cover the cost for an advanced search engine service. If a third-party plugin is required, those can be purchased from a marketplace.
Identifying the Ideal Enterprise eCommerce Solution
You have your checklist of platform requirements and key business goals and objectives, in addition to an understanding of the integrations essential to an eCommerce platform that would best support your business. Now the process of finding the right solution begins.
nopCommerce should be at the top of your list. A secure and open source eCommerce platform, nopCommerce is also scalable and highly-customizable. As an enterprise eCommerce business, you are going to need a great deal of customization. You need a platform that can be tailored to your needs. nopCommerce can provide the standard and custom integrations your business requires.
Download nopCommerce and start using the eCommerce platform best suited to your business.
The post was written by Spinutech (formerly Bayshore Solutions), an experienced nopCommerce partner. Company delivers custom eCommerce solutions across all industries. Its certified developers build secure, scalable, and supported solutions tailored to the unique business needs utilizing the power of nopCommerce.