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For Your Digital Consideration

Posted on 12.31.2014

By Derek Schou, Associate Editor

Selecting a new e-commerce platform is one of the most important (and often most intimidating) decisions that any online merchant can make.

The platform that is chosen will be experienced everyday by hundreds, if not thousands, of website visitors all expecting (and increasingly, demanding) a comprehensive, functional and ultimately flawless site. Are you up to the challenge?

Every merchant has certain criteria they are looking for in an e-commerce platform, of course, but there are several features that any Internet retailer selling on the ‘Net today must pay particular attention to as they make their final decision and begin the often long rollout of a new digital presence.


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Mobile Optimization

In order to help consumers get the most out of their digital experience today, merchants must make sure they have a mobile optimized website. One of the most popular design-related approaches or strategies is, of course, to implement a responsive interface.

Websites that are created with responsive design automatically adjust for any screen size, so regardless of the device a website is being viewed upon (desktop, tablet, smartphone), consumers will always experience a familiar interface. Also, because the site will adjust to fit any screen size perfectly, there is no need to create an entirely separate dedicated site for users (which would cost merchants extra time and money to setup and manage).

Responsive is not always the best solution, of course, but it’s hard to deny the trend and some amazing websites have been built using the technique. Check out five beautiful and incredibly effective responsive retail sites at wsm.co/respretail.

Advanced Reporting

From the number of unique visitors to the average order value of purchases, online stores can provide merchants with a plethora of valuable data to help accelerate their success.

Through advanced reporting features, however, merchants can uncover hidden trends – aspects of their website that are performing better or worse than expected. Merchants can then turn around and use this information to evaluate their current marketing or design strategy and decide whether or not it needs to be adjusted.

Not all e-commerce solutions provide such granular data, of course, so many merchants turn to business intelligence solutions to fill in the gaps. Find a few of the most powerful options at wsm.co/ecomintel.

Consumer Reviews

For consumers, few things are as influential as reviews.

Whether at a brick-and-mortar store or shopping on their laptop or tablet in the comfort of their home, there is a significant chance that consumers have checked reviews before they purchase any product. In fact, according “to a 2013” survey by Dimensional Research, 90 percent of consumers indicated that reading a positive online review influenced their buying decision in the past.

With consumer reviews having such a positive effect on purchasing, it’s vital that merchants select a platform that supports the collection and publishing of reviews (Discover several powerful extensions and modules for most popular e-commerce platforms at wsm.co/reviewmods ) . Merchants that don’t put reviews front and center in the purchasing experience risk consumers searching other sites where they could end up finding a better deal.

What’s Important to You?

There are numerous e-commerce platform options available for merchants to leverage – just check out Website Magazine Master List of Solutions for Internet Retailers at wsm.co/etail2015. With today’s solutions boasting expansive arrays of features, it is important that merchants not forget which are the most fundamental to their success. With a platform offering mobile-compliance, email integrations, advanced reporting and consumer reviews, merchants can improve their profitability and deepen customer engagement with ease.

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