So much of business is now conducted on the internet, that digital business solutions are rapidly becoming one of the central fields of focus for all companies. Ecommerce, as a digitalized business is frequently referred to as, is a field in which being ignorant and being knowledgeable aren’t all that far apart from one another. It only takes a small amount of research to understand what you’re talking about and to contribute intelligently over topics relating to good eCommerce practice. One such topic is deciding how to choose eCommerce platforms and how to analyze their distinct capabilities. As the eCommerce field becomes larger and larger, this issue becomes more complex since there are more and more different ways to go about hosting your eCommerce site. So, what ought you be thinking about when you start sizing up different Ecommerce Platform and their capabilities? Well, let’s take a look.
Understanding The 5 Different Layers Of Capability
Certain research on this topic has directed us towards an understanding of the different ‘layers’ to eCommerce platform capabilities and how by getting this closer look decision can be made. But what are the 5 different layers of capability?
1. Varied Touchpoints And Channels
For years the only channel that an online company would be thinking about would be the website, viewed through a desktop or laptop. Now we’re in a whole different world: desktop, laptop, mobile internet browser, mobile app, social media, in-car, kiosks and the list keeps expanding. This is the first thing to look at when deciding platforms. What will yours support?
2. The Digital Experience
This is a big element to how your potential customers will perceive your eCommerce company and have all to do with the platform’s ability to offer a really strong ‘customer’ experience, something which is crucially important for your eCommerce success. This can be a little more complex to analyze.
3. Going On The Journey
The eCommerce journey is the route that an average customer will take from initial discovery to final sale. How your platform goes about establishing this journey, guiding users and exploring the possibility of unorthodox journeys is a massive part of the eCommerce platform decision-making process and really ought to be looked at closely. It’s the easiest to analyze since most of us have been on the customer side of it before.
4. Supply Chain Integration
Ecommerce platforms are usually built to suit the bulk of companies that are turning to them, particularly small and medium-sized ones. The exception to this is when a business is an enterprise or has some unorthodox supply chain route that needs to be taken into account.
5. Maintaining Records
Data is a vital part of modern business and its management and storage need to be taken into account, especially in the case of eCommerce. Whatever platform you choose, its ability to cope with master data management is a really important element to your company’s future.
Mapping Functional Requirements To Component Capabilities
The next step after the detailed analysis has been completed is to connect your own company’s functional requirements to the platform’s component capabilities. The process you need to engage in is a sort of ‘mapping on’ of what the platform does to what your company needs to do. There are plenty of ways to do this, some of the most popular involves constructing models, a function model and a component capability model, to see where your platform of choice will hit and miss. The process might seem complex, and it will increase in complexity the higher the level of functionality that your eCommerce company requires, but really all you’re trying to discover is to what extent the different platforms available to you can get the jobs you want to be done, and with what degree of ease and efficiency.
Choosing Platform Architecture
Digital architecture is a flexible field that discusses the specific build of your eCommerce platform, and how its shape influences its efficiency and effectiveness. It’s an important final step in the process. The crucial thing with e-commerce architecture is knowing what you the client want ahead of worrying about what a platform may or may not offer. There is a certain architecture to your site, whether that be commerce led, API oriented or experience led, that you need to have in place.
Choosing your eCommerce platform is a difficult and potentially slow choice to make, which will require a great deal of research and self-examination. Ultimately, it will be really important for the success of your site, so putting in the work required in choosing the perfect platform will pay off in the long run. Keep in mind some of these hints at how to think about eCommerce platform capabilities.
Beatrix Potter is a content writer at Essay Writing Services. She contributes to numerous sites and publications.