Politics and Business
What to Look for in a Solid E-Commerce Platform
“E-commerce” is one of the terms which has come to dominate the B2B sales industry in recent years. While some might be rather new to this concept, it is interesting to note that the first commercially available platforms can trace their roots as far back as 1995 with the introduction of the Amazon marketplace. Since the early days of the Internet, the concept of e-commerce has continued to evolve.
Although this is great news for industry experts, what about those who possess little experience or who have just begun their venture into the digital domain? While we all know that e-commerce bundles are great ways to remain one step ahead of the competition, coming across the right software package can still be tricky. Let’s therefore examine some of the most important traits that should be present if you hope to make an informed decision.
Many will argue that flexibility is the most important attribute of any e-commerce service. After all, the needs of a fledgling B2B firm are likely to be quite different when compared to one which has been established for over a decade. So, it is clear to see that scalability is crucial.
Will it be possible (and simple) to upgrade the platform when needed? Can additional B2B sales channels be added at a moment’s notice? Will the software work in synergy with multiple operating systems and does it offer a mobile-friendly design? These are some of the questions which should be asked before committing to a specific product or service.
Robust Levels of Security
B2B transactions now take place over the Internet and naturally, security is a very real concern. This is even more relevant when we consider that a staggering 15 per cent of all small businesses have experienced some type of cybersecurity threat in the past year (1). Robust cloud-based firewalls, the use of advanced SSL encryption and secure point-of-sale systems are all essential attributes to look out for when examining an e-commerce platform designed for the B2B sector.
A “Headless” Design
How does the term “headless” relate to the e-commerce sector? Headless refers to how the software itself is designed. Headless e-commerce platform offers both front- and back-end communications within a single interface. For instance, the actions of a website developer can be integrated with existing servers and databases. Why is this important?
A headless system allows businesses to quickly analyze, interpret and update any B2B-related channels when needed. As this will take place through a centralized framework, it is also much easier to keep track of any modifications as they are made. The goal is to enhance client satisfaction and ultimately, to allow your business to generate more revenue.
Superior Levels of Customer Support
Even those who are familiar with B2B e-commerce will still have questions from time to time. This is why the provider should be able to offer ample solutions, and we are not simply referring to a page devoted to frequently asked questions in this sense. Modern services should also be equipped with numerous support channels including:
- A telephone number
- An email address
- An automated chat widget
It is also wise to choose a platform that will provide you with a dedicated account specialist. As he or she is more likely to be familiar with the needs of your organization over time, the right solutions can be offered.
Proven Case Studies
Word of mouth is very important in this day and age. We need to remember that e-commerce firms also tend to be marketing specialists. In other words, they are always looking to display their products and services in the best light. Be sure to obtain an objective opinion. One signal associated with superior levels of transparency is an e-commerce company that is willing to provide previous case studies; especially if they have dealt with well-known organizations in the past.
A User-Friendly Configuration
How easy is it to update the e-commerce software in question? Will you always need technical assistance or can your in-house staff perform the majority of tasks? How long will employee orientation take? The user-friendly nature of any B2B e-commerce bundle is a final consideration which should never be taken lightly. You might otherwise experience frustrating levels of downtime when performing even the simplest of modifications.
These are some of the most important hallmarks to look out for when selecting the best e-commerce platform for your B2B requirements. Not only have these systems come a long way in recent years, but they are often the most cost-effective options at your disposal. If you are hoping to reach lofty goals within such a competitive community, the suggestions outlined above will prove to be invaluable.