Tools for Scaling eCommerce Business
Here is an overview of some of the tools we use to help scale eCommerce businesses.
eCommerce Platform / Shopping Baskets
In considering a shopping platform the following should be assessed:
Ease of Use
Setting up and managing your store needs to be easy and straight forward. Is there a demo you can use to see how the eCommerce platform works and if it satisfies your needs and requirements. What support documentation is there. What support is there.
What features are included with the base version of the software. How easy is it to use those features. What restrictions are there in place which limit the use of features. Do they offer the flexibility you need.
Expandable FeaturesWhat additional features can be added. Is there a cost either initially or ongoing to utilise these features. Are they through one provider or will you need to manage through a number of providers. Where these are through a number of providers does this increase the risk when something does not work correctly or your site breaks.
SpeedThe template for the site, the additional features, hosting all have an impact on the speed of your site. What tools are available to monitor and identify slow parts of your eCommerce platform. How can you optimise the site speed. What support is there for identifying and optimising speed issues.
ScalabilityHow scalable is the eCommerce solution. Can it handle 100s or 1000s of visitors are one time. Does having a lot of active users impact on the performance of the site. How can you manage, monitor and optimise the impact of large numbers of users on the site.
HostingWhat is the hosting platform for your eCommerce website. Is that scalable. What costs are involved. Is downtime monitored. Are notifications sent in the event the site or hosting is down.
SEOWhat inbuilt SEO functionality is there with your site. Can additional SEO features be implemented. How can you monitor the progress of your site in sites like Google. What is your keyword strategy; is this at the website level, product level, category level, brand level or all four.
User ExperienceHow is the site laid out. From a customer perspective and an admin perspective. If you have staff managing and processing orders – how easy is this for them. For customers what are the paths through the website. For customer is adding a product to basket, going to basket, checking out etc – all good experiences. How are you able to monitor this on a per customer basis.
SupportWhat is offered in terms of support from the software developers. When are they available, How quickly do they respond. Do you have someone who can assist you with the day to day running of the site – from a technical perspective.
Cost StructureWhat is the cost of running your site. What are the hosting costs. What are the costs of the software. What are the support costs. Are there any ongoing costs and if so what are they.
Website OwnershipWho owns your website. If you have chosen a SAAS solution what happens if the software provider goes out of business. What happens if the company hosting your website goes out of business. Do you have access to the DNS for your website. Who handles the Email for your domain.
Payment Gateway SupportWhat payment gateways are supported. How easy are these to set up. How do you apply to the individual gateway providers. What fraud protection / monitoring is in place. How are chargeback and disputes handled.
Shipping Gateway SupportWhat shipping gateways are supported. How easy are these to set up. Are these flexible enough for what you need.
If you do not have dedicated support – what support is offered by the relevant eCommerce software company, how easy are they to get hold of, how quickly do they respond.
We specialise in the following 2 eCommerce platforms:
WooCommerce is a flexible, open-source commerce solution built on WordPress.
A very popular solution, WooCommerce is highly scalable. We can testify to this having it taking hundreds of orders a day for some of our clients.
A host of plugins available to expand the functionality of your site and the open-source nature allowing the building of custom plugins and functionality.
It integrates with a host of shopping channels, payment gateways and shipping providers. Can also be setup to integrate with PIMMs, inventory management software and EDI / dropshipper integrations.
Shopify is a paid eCommerce platform offering various levels depending on your needs. From Basic up to Advanced and Shopify Plus.
Again very flexible and has a host of inbuilt tools and Shopify marketplace Apps. Alongside the ability to modify and build custom Apps and requirements to match your business workflow and customer journeys.
Shopify integrates with a host of shopping channels, payment gateways and shipping providers. And like WooCommerce can also be setup to integrate with PIMMs, inventory management software and EDI / dropshipper integrations.
We utilise additional tools for implementation and delivery of marketing, advertising and promotion for our eCommerce clients.