Lockdown is back again! While we’ve been here before, it still takes some time to readjust back to doing business 100% online. What this means is that eCommerce is centre stage once again. We sat down (via zoom, of course) with our Solution Architect, Paul Bowen, to talk about all things eCommerce and see what insights he has to offer.
The Starting Stages – What to Consider
What makes an effective eCommerce store?
The first thing you need to consider when launching an eCommerce store is how you get your products out the door, as that will inform what eCommerce solution you need. It’s much easier and cost-effective to find solutions that fit your business processes, rather than find processes that fit your eCommerce solution. If you don’t have clear business processes, then you need to spend the time working out what works for you before you start your eCommerce journey.
What are the biggest challenges of eCommerce?
One of the biggest challenges when running an eCommerce store is establishing what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re setting your store up online for the first time, you need to understand how your business is going to run online. We’ve helped numerous businesses tackle online stores, including helping them understand what’s needed behind the scenes as well as on the digital front to get products selling in the most efficient and lasting way. Online stores need a simple and easy path to purchase as that’s what they’re there for. To achieve this, you need to create an effective experience that your customers enjoy.
What should eCommerce stores consider in a partner?
When undertaking an eCommerce project, it’s important to choose a partner that will be able to take you through the whole journey, not just set up a store and leave you to it. We have development, marketing, and project management teams so you’re in safe hands for your digital journey. If you want a partner who will learn your business, understand how you measure, convert, and optimise your store, Terabyte can help!
How can B2B sites harness the traditional shopper journey?
If you’re a B2B company, your online shopping experience is just as important. B2B sites should still have an amazing UX that captures and converts their customers. At Terabyte, we put a lot of energy into delivering that for our B2B clients and setting them up with an eCommerce solution that’s just as powerful as a traditional shopper journey.
What is your top tip for small businesses starting their eCommerce journey?
Start small. Don’t try to engineer a store that has every product and integrates every backend system. Just get your store up and running, get some sales, and start generating some ROI. You can always evolve over time.
Configure, Customise, and Optimise
How can I configure and customise my eCommerce platform?
Choosing your eCommerce provider is only a small part of the challenge. As a business, you need to configure and customise the out-of-the-box product and make sure that it works for you. Terabyte are experts in this and we can help you get the most out of your clicks and conversions.
I’ve chosen BigCommerce, now what?
Once you’ve chosen the best eCommerce platform for your business, the next step is integration into backend systems such as product, stock, inventory, etc. That’s where Terabyte’s expertise can help deliver your business seamless solutions.
What are some common misconceptions of eCommerce?
Modern cloud eCommerce solutions are relatively easy to set up, but a common misconception is that they’re finished at that point. People underestimate how much time it takes to make sure your stock is right, your imagery and content is right, and all of this is critical if you want to get conversions on your site and attract people, especially through organic and direct traffic.
My site is live, what are the next steps?
Once your eCommerce store is live, the journey isn’t over – in fact, it’s just begun! You need to measure and optimise your website to ensure you’re constantly responding to customer behaviour and improving your conversion rates. We use information from Google Analytics and Hotjar to see which pages on the site are doing well. The team here analyse that data and inform you on how you can continue to optimise your site.
Another way to optimise your eCommerce platform is by making sure the customer experience is as seamless as possible – things such as inventory and stock. There’s nothing more frustrating than looking to find an item on an online store and it not being available. We regularly help clients integrate their backend systems to provide information to customers such as stock levels or restock information. This means that users can make informed decisions about their purchases and get the customer service that they’re looking for.
Looking to the Future
What is the best new eCommerce trend you’ve seen recently?
Recently I saw a promotion where, when you buy products and they’re in your cart, you then get remarketed on the back of that cart with some promotions or related products which encourages more purchasing. When this happened to me, I ended up picking up a few extra products that I hadn’t initially planned on buying so this was an effective way to increase store revenue.
What is the future of eCommerce?
I believe something that will become more prevalent with eCommerce is integration with virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. This could look like being able to ask where your order is, reorder and perform other voice integrated commands to an online store.
What is a tech development that’s changed eCommerce?
People used to develop their own eCommerce solutions but now we’ve discovered it’s better to use the great eCommerce products we have access to. Focus your efforts on how you’re going to run your business rather than building standard functionality that you’ll find comes out-the-box with many products. The time and money spent building a functional shopping cart, for example, could be spent on exceptional UX design or content marketing once the site is live, which will really drive people to your store.