Today's e-commerce platforms are much more than just a simple "shopping cart" - they've evolved into all-in-one platforms for retail enterpries to manage not just the customer shopping experience, but also the experience of those within the business itself (from customer service agents to the C-Suite).
Retailers in the process of selecting a platform are therefore faced with very important digital decisions when it comes to the platform that will power their e-commerce initiatives. Platform choices must address content management, product information management, customer services, analytics, fulfillment, promotions and a whole lot more. E-commerce merchants are looking for unified solutions which enables them to be more agile, and thus, obtain greater profits. Yet, time and again, it's the front-end features that likely keep most shoppers coming back.
Often, however, the most innovative features are glossed over by members of the Internet retail community - choosing to follow rather than lead. E-Commerce platform Miva Merchant hopes to change that, with a new award program, The Blades. The awards are meant to showcase Miva Merchant retailers that have achieved a "level of excellence" in e-commerce - from the best use of social media and best web design, to the most unique marketing promotion and (of course), the best new feature. It's those "innovative" features that merit your attention as an e-commerce merchant.
The winners will be announced at The Blades awards banquet during its annual conference MivaCon on Thursday, March 7th, 2013, but why not take a closer look at the nominees - particuarly those within the Best new feature category?
- Oliver + S has been nominated for two features: their responsive design framework, which provides shoppers with a seamless, cross-device shopping experience, and their paper doll “play” feature.
- ScotteVest.com has been nominated for its X-ray mode feature, an effective and visually engaging method of showcasing the functionality of its products. See image below.
- TheMountieShop.ca has been nominated for its multi-language feature, which allows The Mountie Shop to cater to both French and English-speaking shoppers in a single site, with just one click of the mouse.
- RoyalShave has been nominated for their multi-site checkout feature, which allows shoppers to browse RoyalShave.com, as well as their other two sites - Pomades.com and TheStache.com - and check out in a single transaction.
- ScanMyPhotos.com has been nominated for its add-to-cart upsell feature. With a few simple clicks, shoppers can easily order a myriad of photo scanning services and other featured products.