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3 Things to Consider When Sourcing Your Next Commerce Solution

Michael Aldrich invented online shopping in 1979, a technique that later became ecommerce. Fast forward to 2020, where Amazon dominates 44% of the ecommerce industry, ecommerce no longer is a buzz word for organizations. The competition is fierce in the ecommerce industry even for big retail giants like Apple, Costco and Macy’s.

Mid-market companies cannot afford to be complacent or stagnant. Innovation is the key. From genuine customer experience, to operations and your team’s efficiency, everything needs to be well planned in your ecommerce journey. One of the primary initiatives in this process is selecting the ideal commerce solution for your business. The right fit can be achieved only when an ecommerce solution fulfils the parameters listed below. Read on.

Parameters for the Best Commerce Solution

Innovation makes you stand out in the industry but what makes you successful is management. This calls for a customized commerce solution that allows you complete control over your business. When you’re not sure what you need, you can consider the following key factors when sourcing your next commerce solution

Agility and Reliability

Agility is the ability to move quickly and easily in the ever-evolving business space. It helps businesses stay flexible and adapt when challenges arise Agility helps businesses to understand the commerce solution in smaller segments and modify accordingly to get optimized results. When your commerce solution is agile, your ecommerce development partner can create the solution while taking iterations or feedback from you. This ensures that you have scope to adjust wherever you see more harm than good.

Agility saves time, costs and effort while scaling as well. For your customers, agility means your organization's ability to deliver experiences they can rely on.

Reliability is a necessary trait that every software and technology you use must possess. The best way to ensure this is to get first-party software developed for your business. This is secure, personalized and reliable as it performs all operations as per your requirement.

Agility, when combined with reliability, is a solid foundation to open new streams of revenue and support your brick and mortar operations while building your ecommerce brand. Your business can be reliable if your customers can trust you with security, software performance and user experience. When your in-house team is not building business software, make sure to push for a commerce solution that’s agile and reliable for years to come.

Integration Capabilities

When your ecommerce software can integrate seamlessly with different tools and software, you can scale for future growth. Increased revenue, better ROI, happy customers and risk-free transactions are a few added assets. XPO Logistics, for example, needed an end-to-end integrated platform to modularize their business. Icreon saw the opportunity and helped XPO management team to migrate all existing third-party dependencies to first-party tools. We also developed a ‘universal connector’ to consolidate data from multiple data sources helping in new customer acquisition. XPO introduced independent integration on its business platform six months ago. Since then, they have experienced an increase of 80% market cap with $150MM in new contracts sold through XPO last mile. Even their delivery model was sorted out due to the solution and they were able to fulfill 30k+ daily deliveries of ecommerce goods across the US.

Intelligent Automation and Learning

Mid-markets can make experiences more personalized for their users with intelligent automation and learning. Recommendation engines, for instance, use data and artificial intelligence to analyze and process customized customer recommendations. This allows you to tailor messages and content as per different buyer personas.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence allows ecommerce businesses to manage dynamic pricing and assess KPIs. One of the best uses of AI for ecommerce stores and marketing teams in general includes automated A/B testing. Apart from automating testing, machine learning can also help the software prepare against common errors and avoid them.

AI and ML are both great to manage customer service not only as customer service auto bots but also during the whole shopping experience. These act as your eyes and ears while the customer is busy selecting their favorite products. You can predict the shopping behavior of your customers and understand preferred customer categories, purchasing highlights, customer lifetime value among other helpful metrics. So, AI and ML are assets that make people relate to your ecommerce brand with reduced effort.

Is Commerce Solution Affordable for Mid-market Companies?

Cost forms one of the most important parameters that a mid-market business needs to consider in the initial stages. Cost is also one of the biggest fears why most mid-market businesses opt not to have their own commerce solution. It should not worry you in the long run as the growth is instant and costs are reduced over time. There are mid-market companies who believe that the only alternatives to an ecommerce platform are:

  • Building an expensive first-party tool from scratch which is meant for multimillion-dollar companies
  • Using plugins or third-party software that might lower the cost but is not what a brand own

Both these cases are not true as you can get your own commerce solution without spending a lot.

While sourcing your next commerce solution, a cost-benefit analysis is required. Make sure to include intangible gains such as time and effort while estimating costs. You can also consider opportunity costs of different commerce solutions in the market for comparison. Costs may be a vital factor to influence your decision but don’t make it the most important criteria in the present scenario. You can decide the best commerce solution provider using the criteria listed below.

How to Choose the Best Commerce Solution Provider?

Once you get everything sorted and decide to get started with e-commerce, you need a verified commerce solution provider. You already know what software or technology you need to work with. In case, you don’t, a genuine software vendor would help you assess it in the beginning. Talking about the technology the ecommerce development partner will use in your project is one of the most important signs of a good software collaborator. Other vital things you need in a commerce solution provider are:

Relevant Experience and History

Check the track record of the commerce solution provider that you’re planning to collaborate with. Read case studies and know the technology and processes they used to solve issues in the past. Client portfolio and feedback are best places to estimate whether the commerce solution provider can be trusted or not.

Support Center

Nobody wants to face challenges once the commerce solution is set in motion but in case you do face challenges, you need a support team that’s available instantly. The support team is responsible to help clients understand the solutions rather than just implement them. A good support system helps clients improve their platform efficiency, be relaxed and make lesser mistakes.

Ready to Find Your Next Commerce Solution?

As more companies explore commerce solutions with headless commerce, efficiency has increased, and the cost of ownership has decreased significantly.

Getting your own monolithic platform to manage all ecommerce transactions with security, independence, innovation and top-notch customer experience is the best bargain as a mid-market company.

Questions?