With figures from Adobe showing that eCommerce grew by a staggering 76.2 percent year-on-year in June 2020, now is the perfect time to grow your online sales and set your business up for future success.
The trouble is, this huge surge in demand also means the competition is fiercer than ever as more businesses start selling online. What’s more, rising traffic and transaction volumes brings its own set of challenges, like constantly updating website content and making sure your site is properly equipped to cope with the demand.
To flourish and get ahead of your competitors, you’ll need to craft a truly unique and engaging shopping experience. It should deliver everything modern buyers have come to expect, while also being easy to manage on a day-to-day basis.
How can you do that?
It all starts with having a robust, reliable and feature-rich eCommerce platform to power your online sales.
Here are five must-have features to look out for:
1. Rapid content updates
Research by Salsify found that 87 percent of consumers rate product content very highly when deciding to buy. A steady flow of high-quality and personalised content can boost both conversions and search engine performance.
But the truth is that updating content can be time-consuming and costly if it has to be done by a third-party developer or agency.
For this reason, it’s important to choose an eCommerce platform that allows you to quickly and easily make changes in-house. Magento Commerce, for example, comes with a powerful Page Builder that empowers you to update content and create page/product layouts in real-time. It supports a wide variety of content types, including images and videos – and you won’t need any code.
2. Fast, simple checkout
Did you know that almost 70% of shoppers abandon their cart without completing their purchase? Often this is because the checkout process is long and complicated (21%), or the site requires them to create an account before purchasing (28%).
Thankfully, you can massively reduce card abandonment by choosing an eCommerce platform that has a fast and simple checkout process. Look out for features like guest checkout, which allows shoppers to complete a purchase without needing to register. It’s a small thing, but it can really boost your success.
3. Personalised product recommendations
Product recommendations make up more than 30% of eCommerce revenue. Creating the personalised shopping experienced favoured by consumers, they are hugely important for boosting both sales and conversions.
But not all product recommendations are created equally. To be effective, they should be continually updated to reflect changing seasons, buyer preferences and behaviours.
As you can imagine, this would be hugely challenging and time-consuming if done manually. Thankfully, you can automate the process by choosing an eCommerce platform that makes personalised product recommendations based on machine learning. By making sense of shoppers’ web behaviour, recommendations also get more accurate over time – with no extra effort required on your part!
4. Support for omnichannel capabilities
If you have both an online presence and brick-and-mortar stores, your business can benefit greatly from omnichannel capabilities. Services like click-and-collect and in-store returns (BOPIS, BORIS, etc) are increasingly popular with customers.
To offer these services, you’ll need to choose an eCommerce platform that supports omnichannel workflows and communicates with your ERP, POS and other platforms.
Magento, for example, includes powerful Order Management capabilities to support omnichannel operations. It provides real-time access to global inventory and order information, flexible omnichannel fulfilment options, and much more.
5. Scalable cloud infrastructure
Web store downtime can be hugely damaging to your business, with retail giant Amazon reportedly losing as much as $220k per minute during a site crash.
If you want to avoid potential problems, it is critical to ensure your eCommerce platform and web infrastructure is capable of scaling with your business as it grows. Look for a solution that comes with managed cloud services and “surge protection” SLAs, ensuring first-rate performance, reliability and security.
Choosing an eCommerce platform with the above features will put you in the best possible position to capitalise on the huge opportunities that lie ahead.
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