E-commerce is growing with an enormous speed. In the most prolific month of the year (so far, July) e-retail sales went up to 17% and m-Retail recorded a 313% growth that is still soaring up. However, with such a growth come also huge expectations. The e-shops operating on older technologies seem to start feeling fatigue with their performance being on the verge of possibilities. According to Forrester research up to 56% of e-commerce businesses are planning to increase their expenditures on technology in the near time.
One thing not keeping up the pace of a growing number of clients is customer experience in its broad sense. It seems that the problem lays in e-shop management across the sales channels, which are clearly multiplying. What a consumer expects is challenging: to browse an e-shop by a mobile device, make a purchase using the desktop version, use recommendations available through a social network and collect in-store. That’s only an exemplary scenario, since it can go exactly the other way round.
Most of the e-commerce platforms are not ready for such a management combo. Thus, it requires a platform integrated with your CRM solution and with a manger supporting shoppers groups managed on a variety of levels (starting with basic, such as age or gender and finishing on more complex, such as shopping preferences) under one enterprise. This is all needed to be able to join all channels into one.
To give the best shopping experience you need a great managing experience yourself! Wouldn't it be great to have a place for all the data starting with shoppers' orders, pick-up points and delivery status of each purchase manged form one back-end?
The speed demands for scalability
The potential of e-commerce market has already been discovered by a multitude of retailers. There are those well-known brands selling their products via the Internet and there are their substitutes. A shopper able to buy the same product, in sometimes even, a thousand of e-shops will not wait for the site to load. Thus, another thing to improve is general performance of your e-commerce site. Have you ever heard of Cloud solutions? Our 21webmerce solution is one of those operating on Microsoft's Cloud platform Windows Azure, the market leader in the field.
To exemplify, let’s look at the chart. Once analyzing your traffic through the year you may conclude that your e-shop is able to support a decent amount of shoppers at once. However, a decent amount might not be good enough to handle peak traffic for example after a successful marketing campaign or during the Holiday Season!
Are you willing to give up the Christmas income to save on bigger server space? No, you’re not, but what next? The e-shop doesn’t need that much of server space during the rest of the year. Well then, use as much as you need at a particular time, and pay only for what you actually used up. That's the flexibility and scalability a cloud based solution has to offer. You get the extra bandwidth and the computing power when you need it and you don't pay for it when your traffic returns to the "normal" level.
To conduct a trade expansion
Markets such as the United Kingdom, Germany or the United States seem to be full of a variety of e-commerce initiatives. No wonder that retailers are looking for a new trade space. Sometimes this export of your goods is easy, the same language, same currency and culture. Nevertheless, there are e-retailers taking more risk by setting up their business in a far away land. Such an attempt requires, not only a translated version of your e-shop. It demands an e-shop adjusted to all the cultural and economic aspects of a new market. That may mean a new version of your e-shop, with different promotions, layout and of course the basics, such as language and currency. Difficult? Not when you can easily manage and compare the sales from all the e-shops versions in one system.
Need a helping hand?
The Forrester Research Inc. report results showing that 77% of e-retailers are not satisfied with their current e-commerce solution and are considering its replacement in up-coming time were no surprise. Thus, most of e-shops run on old systems, built even up to 10 years ago. In case of such systems it's hard to talk about an update. In the face of current demands of retailer's multi-presence, multi-culture and multi-management, only a total system rebuilt would make any sense.
If so, then maybe a solution built entirely using new technologies is the answer. From my experience, I can tell that in IT especially, there's nothing permanent. Thus, a well-considered change may turn out less time and money consuming.