For an eCommerce retailer’s website to be successful, it needs to be well integrated. This means that it needs to be properly developed, designed and managed so that it functions effectively over time. Oftentimes, proper integration is easier said than done: it is a complicated process, and there are many unforeseen problems that can arise if one doesn’t consider all the right information. Here’s a look at 5 integration concerns that eCommerce retailers commonly face and how to properly prepare and plan a website project so that problems can be avoided.
Concern 1: Choosing the Right Platform
Different types of companies require different platforms. A product-heavy, conversion-focused eCommerce retailer, for example, has very different needs than a blogger or a similarly content-heavy company owner. This needs to be taken into account immediately, as choosing the wrong platform could cause big problems down the road: the website could crash, the server not robust enough, pages could take too long to load, etc. These issues could then lead to loss of conversions and customers, the need for a complete redesign, or other costly consequences. To avoid these problems, eCommerce retailers need to research platforms and consider all the factors - like budget, the nature of their business, the purpose and goals of their website, and potential for growth - choosing the platform that will best suit their needs and support their website over time.
Concern 2: Back-End Synchronization
The back-end of a website needs to be properly synchronized, meaning that it needs to be coded and created in such a way that everything works together properly, both immediately and long-term. Oftentimes, this doesn’t happen and the website cannot be built upon properly and effectively. Why? If, for example, the site is created in many stages and multiple developers are used, those developers can create conflicting codes, leading to incompatible connectors, unsupported extensions, and, in the big picture, a back-end that simply cannot function seamlessly. If this happens, the website will likely need to be redeveloped or redesigned, which means lost revenue, lost time and unnecessary expenses. To avoid this problem and create a synchronized website, eCommerce retailers must find developers that plan ahead - considering the company’s purpose, scope, and budget - and figure out exactly what needs to be automated and integrated before they start building the website.This kind of preemptive planning will allow the retailer and their developers to create a strong, synchronized back-end, avoiding problems down the road.
Concern 3: Finding Your Foundation
It is important that eCommerce retailers have a good website foundation to build upon, and that they create that foundation with their their company’s purpose, goals and demographics in mind. The concern is that, in many cases, retailers don’t even know what they need for their site in order for it to be appealing and functional - or they lose sight of this big picture over time. A B2B website, for example, might need a very developed, functional back-end, while a B2C eCommerce retailer needs a thought-out front-end with features like effective browsing, marketing, and a design that generates interest and conversions. Whatever the case may be, the central point is that the companies always need to understand these larger goals and keep them in mind as they are developing their website and focusing their efforts. Making these proper foundational decisions will both prevent immediate integration issues and ensure long-term success.
Concern 4: Reinforcement and Evolution of Goals
eCommerce retailers must have an open mind and allow their website -and their vision - to change as they receive customer feedback and their company grows. This could seem like a given, but it’s not. Such a dynamic approach requires that eCommerce retailers have a dialogue with their developers and consistently assess their website’s performance, making any necessary alterations or redesigns along the way. Why is this so important? Evolution, change and growth are always necessary for success, especially in the technological world, and a static vision could be detrimental to a website’s success. Thus, an evolutionary approach must be taken when creating all aspects of an eCommerce website in order to keep it up-to-date, interesting, and relevant.
Concern 5: Design Expertise
Design is an integral part of website’s appeal and overall success. In order for a website to succeed, its design should reflect and help the goals, tone, and purpose of the business. While this seems like a given, it is surprisingly easy for an eCommerce retailer to get lost in things like aesthetic and trends, which can lead to a website design that is simply not functional. For example, a retailer may want a persistent header - they’re on-trend and popular at the moment - losing sight of the fact that they follow the viewers down the page, getting in the way and leading to less conversions. Once again, it is extremely important that eCommerce retailers keep the big picture in mind, ignoring these counterproductive distractions and making long-lasting, functional design decisions.