Plenty of entrepreneurs have found significant success selling products online. Yet running a thriving e-commerce business takes more than just offering appealing items. In fact, one of the strategies to becoming a leading e-merchant involves choosing the right technologies.
Of course, not all technologies are alike. That’s why it’s essential to be thoughtful when selecting tech tools. So where should you start? Begin by making sure your e-commerce company is leveraging the advantages of the following types of technology.
1. An all-inclusive e-store management platform
Too often, e-commerce employees are forced to work on several different platforms to get work done, like a product inventory management system, a warehouse management system, and more. Not only is this inefficient but it can eat up valuable time going between the systems. The answer to this problem is to invest in an all-in-one platform that can store your information in one place.
Not sure if you need a comprehensive platform to serve as a central clearinghouse for customer data, shipping information, logistics, and more? Tradefull, an e-commerce solution provider, suggests checking your current processes for any red flags that you need a platform change. These include not meeting shipping quality requirements, missing desired delivery windows, or difficulty in seeing real-time dashboards and data. Really, just about any internal friction point where technology cannot meet your demands could be an indicator that you would benefit from a management platform upgrade.
2. Versatile payment processing solutions
Customers like to be able to pay in a variety of ways. Some use credit cards to order items online. Others like to go through PayPal or another third-party app. And digital currencies are becoming so popular that Gartner predicts one-fifth of larger businesses will accept crypto by 2024.
Your best bet isn’t to try to create a payment portal from scratch. Instead, seek out payment processing software that’s on the market already. Yes, you’ll have to pay for a subscription and processing fees. However, you don’t have to worry about coding, encryption, or security if you choose a trusted partner. Do your research to find a payment solution that’s fast and simple. Customers don’t appreciate a clunky checkout experience.
3. AI-enhanced marketing programs
Consumers have changed the way they want to interact with e-commerce stores. Now, 80% of shoppers expect to have more personalized exchanges with brands, according to McKinsey’s reporting. But what if you don’t have the time or staff to customize all your touchpoints? No problem: AI-based marketing and communications programs can help you achieve higher levels of individualization than ever.
AI software can learn to anticipate the needs of your leads and buyers based on past data. For instance, let’s say a customer ordered a certain type of jacket. Your AI software can see that other customers who bought the jacket also bought a specific hat. Accordingly, the software can send a recommendation to the customer to purchase the hat to go with the jacket. Your marketing team doesn’t have to do anything to prompt this interaction, either. It just happens smoothly in the background.
4. Digital photography equipment
Not all e-commerce stores rely on in-house photography to make their merchandise look great. Some choose to outsource this responsibility. But if your e-commerce company shoots and uploads images or videos, you need to consider paying for photography tools.
The good news is that prices are fairly decent for powerful digital cameras and studio-grade items like backdrops and lights. Plus, once you own your equipment, you can use it as much as you like. Don’t forget that online buyers like to have as accurate a reflection of the merchandise they’re getting as possible. Giving them a good idea of what they’re considering could bump up your sales.
5. A fresh, clean website
Part of your e-commerce technology audit should include looking at your website. If it hasn’t been upgraded in more than a year or two, it’s probably due for a second look. Even if you sell on common e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon or Facebook, your website serves as a digital storefront. In essence, it takes the place of a brick-and-mortar establishment.
From a technological perspective, your website should perform well. Check your page loading speeds. Correct any 404 errors. And pay attention to broken or bad internal and external links. While you’re at it, spruce up your SEO efforts to get the most mileage out of all your content. Updating your target keywords will make your copy more relevant and potentially increase your organic search results.
6. A chatbot
It can be hard to find a business that doesn’t have an AI chatbot. That’s because chatbots provide a simple way for consumers to get assistance without speaking with a human representative. The best chatbots can fetch information, interpret questions, and give basic answers.
Though a chatbot can’t do it all, it can lower the number of calls and emails your support team receives. This allows team members to spend more time solving complex or tricky situations. At the end of the day, your customers will view your e-commerce site as leading-edge. Plus, your customer support team members will be able to do more during every shift.
7. A mobile app
You don’t have to be a globally recognized e-commerce player to have a branded app. Lots of smaller companies offer mobile apps to their customers. A mobile app allows you to have access to interested buyers. At the same time, it enables you to collect more data to learn about your fans.
Unless you have someone on staff, you’ll have to pay for your app. For optimal results, choose a development team or agency that can show a portfolio of other e-commerce apps. Expertise makes a big difference, especially if you want people to both download and use your app. A non-intuitive app with a poor user interface won’t impress your audience.
There’s no lack of technological tools, systems, platforms, and solutions on the market to help you grow your e-commerce business. Make sure you put the most reliable ones in place so you can achieve your sales, revenue, and scaling goals.
Image: Envato Elements
I’d also try to add following eCommerce technologies, in addition to mentioned technologies
A. Social Commerce like Facebook Shop / Instagram Shop
B. Abandoned Cart Emails