Opening an online store can be an exciting opportunity. Who knows where it will take your business? Reaching new customers and entering international markets are all within reach with the right approach.
But most companies only consider the front end, customer-facing side of an online store. Plenty of focus and energy goes into the creation of a product catalog with great imagery and video, product descriptions and reviews, and other helpful information. Site search, faceted navigation and social media elements are also common on today's ecommerce sites. Then, to capture the sale, the site would have a shopping cart and a checkout process.
Most ecommerce software that powers these sites stops there. Then it's up to you to figure out what else you need to extend and enhance the functionality of your site with other, compatible solutions. Your ecommerce platform should instead offer much more to support a successful online business.
Order and Inventory Management
Meet customer expectations to buy, fulfill and return anywhere while maximizing profitability.
- Order management – Manage orders from multiple channels all in one place and automate the end-to-end order lifecycle to ensure that you fulfill your commitments, including: order capture and validation, order release, shipment confirmation, customer communications and settlement.
- Inventory visibility – Efficient fulfillment is impossible without real-time, enterprise-wide inventory visibility across all channels and your supply chain to maximize available stock and prevent selling product that isn't available.
Provide consistent and personalized cross-channel experiences, targeted marketing and superior customer service with a single view of all customer interactions and transactions across all touchpoints and channels.
- Commerce marketing – Use data, such as carts, orders and product details to create automated and personalized post-purchase campaigns, abandoned cart campaigns, loyalty programs and cross—and up-sell offers.
- Mobile – Responsive web design allows you to build device-optimized, online shopping experiences on one platform that display elegantly across smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops without maintaining multiple, fragmented sites and user experiences.
Continue customer engagement post sales with robust, online, customer self-service capabilities for common queries:
- Returns – Enable self-service returns so shoppers can initiate an online return authorization.
- Case management – Allow customers to submit questions or support queries direct to your support desk or call center.
- Orders – Provide full access into online order history as well as order status with tracking links.
Growth and Expansion
An ecommerce platform must evolve and expand with your company. Adding a new ecommerce system for every new brand or country you want to launch is not the answer. Make sure your ecommerce software can support:
- Multiple business models – B2C and B2B on the same platform.
- International – You may not go global tomorrow but the platform you use for your US site should support multiple countries, currencies and tax rates.
Cloud vs on-premise software is a choice that dictates capital and operating budgets and determines a company's ability to grow, and respond to market opportunities. With your ecommerce software hosted in the cloud, you can bypass steep, internal IT investments and focus on satisfying customers and growing your business.
An Ecommerce Site is Much More than Shopping
If your ecommerce solution only provides a catalog and purchase functionality, and relies on integrations with multiple solutions to support the business, it's time to consider a unified ecommerce platform that natively unifies your ecommerce site with your back end business systems—order and inventory management, CRM, marketing and financials. Only with a unified commerce solution can you deliver a complete customer experience and streamline your operations. To learn more about SuiteCommerce and deploying a unified, cloud-based ecommerce platform, visit suitecommerce.com.