How to Evaluate Your Ecommerce Technology
Is it time for a website update? Are you getting the most out of your ecommerce technology right now?
Finding the right ecommerce platform starts with identifying your company’s needs and evaluating how well your current website management capabilities fulfill those needs. Many businesses find that the best way to pinpoint their requirements and capabilities involves a website audit.
Things to keep in mind with a website audit:
How to do a Website Audit
When people hear the words “website audit,” search engine optimization immediately comes to mind. Certainly, an audit should include a close look at your SEO tactics and content marketing strategy, as well as your site’s overall organization and navigation. But online retailers should take their website audit several steps further — delving deep into their sales funnel, API integration capabilities, and scalability.
Overall, an ecommerce technology platform audit should consider three elements:
The website management team who uses the platform on a daily basis should contribute their thoughts to the audit, but you may also want to consider getting outside feedback — either from other departments within your organization or from an outside firm.
Outsiders can comment objectively on the user experience, including:
- Checkout process
- Product organization
- Opt-in forms
- Effectiveness of landing pages and homepage
Your internal team should address workflow issues and ease of use from the back end. You should consider the following:
- Does your other software integrate cleanly with the ecommerce platform?
- Are there opportunities to automate specific processes to free up time and increase productivity?
- What happens when the software needs an update? Can this be accomplished quickly and easily with no downtime?
- How easy is the software to use on the back end?
If your website management team or your objective evaluation team finds problem areas, it may be time for a website update to a more effective, more flexible ecommerce platform.
Let’s delve deeper into some of the areas where legacy ecommerce technology may fall short. Take time during your website audit to carefully consider if your current platform meets your needs today and gives you room to grow as your business expands.
|| See also — How to evaluate your technology stack and reduce IT costs ||
Evaluate the Capabilities of Your Ecommerce Platform
As you consider the capabilities of your ecommerce technology, ensure that it enables you to create a seamless, cross-platform user experience. Today’s ecommerce technology should guide consumers through the sales funnel on a journey that is consistent with your brand and also provides flexibility on the backend. If you need to make modifications on the fly due to rapidly changing current events or increasing customer expectations, can you do so simply with limited downtime?
Finally, your platform should make it easy for consumers to buy. Does your ecommerce technology offer multiple payment options, including the ability to automate monthly payments for better customer retention?
Does Your Current Ecommerce Technology Enable the Customization You Need?
Not every business has the same needs when it comes to third-party software integration. But many businesses want their ecommerce technology to work with their customer relationship management software, accounting software, and social media management apps. You may also have specialized software needs requiring integration with your ecommerce platform.
Additionally, you may want the ability to customize subscriptions and check-out flows to reflect your most popular products and provide opportunities to upsell at various stages of check-out.
It may also be important to integrate big data and analytics into your platform, so your site can deliver better product recommendations or the best calls to action at the right time. From on-site customization to third-party software integrations, a platform should meet your customization needs now and as you grow.
Can You Personalize the User Experience?
Customization refers to how well you can make your ecommerce technology work for you. Personalization, on the other hand, relates to what your customers see and how well they can relate to your site’s content. Many online retailers cite challenges with personalization that include IT department constraints, a lack of budget or a lack of knowledge or skill in how to personalize the user experience. A website update could be the solution.
During your audit, ask the hard questions about your organization’s needs for personalization. Pinpoint your ideal personalization elements, and then ask if your current website management tools enable you to deliver the experience your customers deserve.
Does your ecommerce technology platform:
- Harness big data to deliver the right product recommendations when the customer is ready to buy?
- Enable you to create individual customer dashboards for a more personalized experience?
- Offer options like wishlists, predictive pricing, and personalized promotions?
What Did Your Website Audit Reveal?
A website audit can provide great insight for future growth. Is your ecommerce technology delivering all you need right now? Or is it time for a website update to an open-source platform that can deliver the capabilities, customization, personalization and scalability you need?
If you’d like another opinion or need help evaluating your website through the eyes of professionals with broad-based industry knowledge and an in-depth understanding of ecommerce requirements, Acro Media can help. Review our consulting services and consider letting us help you embrace the website management tools you need to grow.
Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing professional specializing in technology, ecommerce, web development, personal finance, and real estate.