And as it turns out, you simply can’t optimise every step of the customer journey without having a digital commerce platform that performs highly across all sales channels. So how can you tell whether or not your current platform is still the perfect fit for your business?
Here are 4 telltale signs that your ecommerce platform might not be working.
1. Your ROI isn’t what you expected
With so many solution providers on the market, what often happens is that retailers either underestimate or overestimate their predicted return on investment when choosing an ecommerce platform. Cut to a couple of months, or even years later and you’ll find that businesses have pumped hundreds of thousands of pounds into implementing an enterprise level solution that is only bringing in tens of thousands of pounds worth of sales. Or, on the flip side, lots of retailers who are just taking their first steps into the online world choose an ecommerce platform based on whatever the cheapest option available to them was at the time. Then, as their online business scales, they discover that limited functionality within their chosen platform makes it increasingly difficult to attract, convert, and retain customers. So in order to keep up, they constantly have to bolster on additional features, which all come at an extra price. Therefore, it’s imperative that your ecommerce platform yields a solid ROI over time. If that isn’t happening with your current solution - something just isn’t right.
2. You’re spending more time than necessary doing manual work
If you need to log into several different pieces of software to manage a simple sale on your online store, you may be spending far more time than is necessary on your digital commerce platform. Similarly, if you have to manually upload a substantial product catalogue to your online store, chances are you’re not working as productively as you could be.
When you have to license several different technologies to manage all of the moving parts of your online store (e.g. warehouse management, marketplaces, content management, order management) you not only open yourself up to more errors, but it also makes it very difficult to get a full 360° view of the analytics that tell the full story about how your online store is performing. Your digital commerce platform should ultimately be making life easier - efficiency is key.
3. You can’t keep up with customer demand
Do you tend to shy away from running promotions on your online store, because every time you’ve done it in the past, your website can’t handle the traffic? Unfortunately, if this is the case, you’re doing your online business a HUGE disservice. Up to 50% of online shoppers only make a purchase when an offer or promotion is involved. So if your online store can’t keep up during the busiest shopping periods of the year, you’re missing a massive opportunity to maximise sales. You need to ensure that you can deliver a consistent user experience, whether there are 5 or 500,000 on your online store at any given time! That means having a robust digital commerce solution that can handle spikes in both traffic and sales. Because from a customer’s perspective, the only thing worse than not being able to get on an online store during a promotion is having that site crash as you’re in the process of trying to buy something. Having to go down the rabbit hole of ‘Did my purchase go through or not’, checking your emails for a confirmation that may or may not appear, checking your bank account to see if your credit card has been charged - it doesn’t bode well for repeat customers really, does it?
4. Breaking into new markets seems too complicated
So you want to expand your products into a new market? Great! But where do you even begin, taking into consideration new languages, currencies, and tax rates? Yikes! Limitations within certain digital commerce platforms can often mean retailers need to set up multiple storefronts and manually input their product catalogue for every individual language and/or currency they want to sell in. They also have to make sure they’re all zipped up as far as tax rates go, and that’s before we’ve even scratched the surface on the logistics and fulfilment side of things!
However, opening up your products to new markets really shouldn’t have to be so complicated - if your digital commerce platform supports multiple languages, currencies and VAT rates, it means having one dynamic online store, rather than a dozen static ones. So if going global is on the agenda, but you are struggling to take the necessary actions to trade internationally because it all seems like too much of a hassle, it might be time to press reset on your digital commerce platform.
There’s no doubt about it - ecommerce is complex. So too is choosing a digital commerce platform for your business. So if you start to notice these red flags in your current solution, it might be time to start rethinking your future strategy.
Guest blog by Michelle, McSweeny, Kooomo.
Michelle McSweeney is a Content Marketing Specialist at Kooomo, leading European digital commerce partner. Kooomo works with clients to maximise all digital sales channels globally by combining our expertise and next-generation platform in a proven and affordable digital commerce cloud solution.