If you’ve stumbled on this post, perhaps you too also have some sort of interest in what enhanced eCommerce might be. Now, call me a cynic (we do have an enhanced eCommerce platform) but I believe there are clear examples of enhanced eCommerce, and there are washed up eCommerce experiences that don’t actually live up to the demand. What defines an enhanced eCommerce experience goes a long way to defining the brand which it represents. The more refined, simplified, quick and exciting your online experience, the more your customers will come back for more. But, of course, you need the right tools to do this. It is at the intersection of ease, automation, omni-channel, A.I. and communication that a truly enhanced eCommerce presence becomes quality. In this write-up, I’m going to grab some of the criteria used by some of the top brands in the industry, supplemented with what a few of the top brands (including some customers of ours) are doing to help win their share of eCommerce sales.
When you go onto a website which has some sort of enhanced eCommerce being utilized, you instantly get the feeling they want to know you. It may start out as a simple email signup, but it can quickly recognize a few key attributes, from which to start personalizing each product for you as the consumer. Enhanced eCommerce understands that the customer has an item in her cart, and is within 2 miles of a store with that product available. Enhanced eCommerce, like Epic Commerce, utilized the information already available from the customer, to deliver the most relevant products to show them, how they might like to buy, or what additions you should be adding to your cart. The idea is that the place your customer interacts with you becomes entirely sorted to what things they might like, based entirely on them as a person and the preferences in their everyday life.
When you really need to get things done, it’s imperative you have the right methods for automation in place. This means combining all the most effective elements of communication with the best elements of technology to deliver software, artificial intelligence, logic-based interfaces and messaging in one. Enhanced eCommerce makes it easy to segment out your customers and deliver the right products, at the right time, on the right medium. By medium, I am talking about leveraging your website, email, social, text, and push in order to have clear communication. There are three times to communicate with your audience. This gives relevance to your content strategy but includes pre-customer (when they’ve taken an action but have not purchased), transaction (which includes the order confirmation, shipping etc.), post-purchase (includes the follow-up recommendations, referral, relevant events etc.). Keeping this in mind, enhanced eCommerce makes it all easy, based on customer data and the events taken within your website by the customer. When setting up properly, this will make your life a whole lot easier, eventually leading to large-scale improvements on your core KPIs (key performance indicators) and improving customer lifetime value.
When you’re running a high impact eCommerce business, you don’t have the time to deal with excessive shipping costs and longer time frames. The best thing about enhanced eCommerce like Epic Commerce is that through the shipping integration, you have the option to choose from over 30 carriers and lines to transport your cargo from one end of the earth to the other at the cheapest rates. Using this same network enables you to coordinate 2-hour local deliveries and connect with Uber delivery services, all at the same time. Enhanced eCommerce makes the best decision in real-time, based on where your customer is shipping to. Enhanced eCommerce makes it easy for the customer to know what it will cost, or treats this individual customer according to their status. No matter the situation, you can make automatic decisions based on logic (only available in Epic Commerce) to deliver the right shipping incentive for the right shopper.
When you’ve already got business systems in place, you’ve got to consider how easily you can integrate everything together. Where will you be able to integrate, what can you cut from your existing “stack” that your commerce system can handle etc. Taking a critical look at this, and realizing that you can easily integrate with any modern back-office makes it easy to handle upgrades, or simply getting rid of unnecessary software will make your life a lot easier. This is the whole point of enhanced eCommerce, that the pieces come together in a very smooth fashion. Enhanced eCommerce does not mean running with a stock eCommerce platform that leaves you running to the app store each time you need something. Instead, everything you need will already be included naturally, or it becomes a part of the platform from which everyone can benefit. If you are hoping to have an advanced eCommerce site on a platform like Wix, Weebly, Shopify, WooCommerce or most of the other “eCommerce builders” there’s a good chance you will be set up for failure as these are mainstream platforms, not enhanced eCommerce platforms. For instance, with Epic Commerce, we work with you directly to handle the ERP integrations, your CRM integrations, and your back-office warehouse system to make sure all pieces are coordinated efficiently.
One of the big things with enhanced eCommerce systems is that they are always becoming better. Often times, you may find new things that make old tasks virtually effortless. This is the approach we take with Epic Commerce, and it helps provide everyone with the right tools, the right automations, and the right technology to get you ahead. This is one main advantage of the approach to SaaS (software as a service) which is allowing you to focus on your core business, while letting the technology always advance, probably even ahead of where you might need it. By combining this with experts to craft your website from the ground up, you can be sure everything is setup and running properly, and that you are ahead of the game with enhanced eCommerce. The benefits of joining with an enhanced eCommerce platform comes from the collective effort of all businesses running it, to reveal the best solutions to improve the business. When you have an issue, there is most likely someone who has also had the issue. This makes it easy to solve your problem, in a quick and efficient manner. This also means you will have the right “swiss army knife” to make the entire experience better off for the customer.
Customers come to your website or storefront because they feel you have something they might want or need. Realizing this, it is our job as the provider of one such experience to provide something customers will enjoy. No one likes the result when something doesn’t work properly, or going through excessively long forms to get their item, or jumping through hoops and leaving the site to join etc. So, here again, we rely on the technology to deliver a smooth experience. Suggesting relevant products that will add to their satisfaction of a single product, understanding their checkout preferences such as payment and shipping, will go a long way toward providing something which keeps them coming back. A quick note on the checkout experience. As simple as you can make it, is how it should be done. Keeping the customer entwined in a simple “on-boarding” which may only start with an email to save their cart, but advances simply through gathering the shipping location, choosing the best shipping options, gathering billing details and payment. Thi process, as a first time customer, needs to get easier and easier. Once it is done once, this needs to be radically simplified to a 1-click checkout (now that Amazons patent is up). When you keep it simple, your chances for checkout go up. Enhanced eCommerce makes this happen naturally, so you don’t have to worry about it.
As you can see, enhanced eCommerce is the way to build a successful eCommerce business. It may not be right for every business starting out, but when you get to a point where processes are not smooth, you have reached limits in your ability to convert, or you plan to move into another area of commerce, enhanced eCommerce is what you need. In another way, you can think of enhanced eCommerce as an enabler for your team. After all, they are the ones who will be utilizing this system to make their job easier. Combining the insight of a team, with the right interface and functionality enables a whole new level of benefits. Inquire about your own enhanced eCommerce experience at Orkiv.com where a specialist will work to understand and come up with the right solution given your own particular business needs, suggesting the right additions where and when applicable.
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