We know it seems easy enough to pick a platform and well, it kind of is. At the same time though, how do you know that’s the right one? Wouldn’t it be better to choose something that you’re sure is effective from the get go? This lets you utilize the money you spend for all of this and let you know you’re getting your money’s worth.
Through the last couple of years, the digital commerce platform underwent a lot of notable changes. From acquisitions, technology development and customer options, these have changed up the entire landscape of the commerce platform. Most brands have been left to ponder how long it will take for their investment to have an ROI. There’s also the constant worry if their platform provider will still exist a few years from now.
You can easily prevent these worries by asking the right and powerful questions. These platforms are continually pursuing your brand as they know your need to go digital. At the same time, they should be able to show their capabilities well and provide you comfort in investing.
Without further ado, here are three essential questions you need answers to:
1 / Where is the product going?
Your brand has to have a clear vision of how and what you want it to grow into. This requirement extends to the platform you choose. If it’s not available, you can ask these platforms for an overview of their plans. This goes beyond the basic features. There has to be a good connection and alignment on their offers that you value for you business.
As technology is super fast paced, every platform has to be quick in embracing these shifts in order to give your brand the opportunity to grow. You can keep your self updated on the latest technology trends so you can get a good representation on how it will mature. As of the moment, there are so much happening in commerce. There’s virtual reality commerce, API-based digital commerce that will shape the future in all industries. This is why it’s vital to keep in mind if these platforms are supporting you with tools to boost your brand’s future.
By knowing their roadmap, you are also able to learn about things you can integrate with your brand so that it doesn’t get left behind. It may be as simple as graphic design trends to how to make your brand look luxurious. You can also check into how other brands are utilizing the use of their platform via digital marketing to see if it’s working for them and how you can make it work for you.
2 / Can the platform provide measurable results?
We all know that sales area good way of knowing whether your platform is working or not but if the sales are low, it may not only be due to the product. This is why it’s important to choose a platform that can show you these kinds of data. The architecture of the platform has a vital role in validating the types of business are planning on doing.
There are important questions you need to ask. Is there a certain time that searches for a certain product peaked? Is the visits and number of searches for the brand growing through time? When do you receive the most transactions per week or per month?
You have to take all these peaks into account and converse with your provider if they can provide this data to see if their platform can handle these peaks. If you want to make absolute sure, you can have them prove this through a Proof of Concept which will help validate the platform’s scalability. Remember to also factor in the deployment models because a cloud deployment may work for your business or they may be reasons for you to need an on-premise solution. You have to be sure that the platform is able to consider both these models while also evaluating them individually.
You also have to consider how to market your brand, if they provide options to make this easier for you. WordPress has plug-ins like Yoast that help you utilize the SEO of every post you make. These are significant as it is able to save you time and effort in improving the likelihood of your products getting discovered.
Always remember, success is measurable therefore, a successful brand is a measurable one.
3 / Are the price models sustainable without restrictions?
We’re sure that you considered the prices among the platforms of your choice. Each platform gradually hinges on their prices but you have to think beyond these standard price agreements. There’s so much consideration as well on how it will eventually impact your brand in the future.
There are vendors who make use of pricing plans that end up limiting your growth. It may still be far off but you may eventually plan to sell internationally or expand towards a new line. There’s a lot of options you may have to expand. Think of whether the pricing model of these various platforms will cost you in pursuing these possibilities. There are also free alternatives you can go into if you are truly invested in everything else the platform has to offer.
The vendor has to be willing in providing you more flexible models with the business value they are giving and how it helps your business. At the same time, always make sure that you will be able to experience other lines of business with as little licensing cost. They should be supporting your growth and success rather than limiting it.
Something people usually overlook is the importance of a good long-term business relationship. This means that you have to ask: Is my platform simply a provider or a partner?
If they are a true partner, they will give feedback on how they think you can improve the future success of the brand and understand you business. They want to take part in the realization of your goals and help you address issues that keep you from transacting. Communication between both parties are often and effective, not to the point wherein you converse everyday but generally, a partner will be on board with your business vision and help you actualize it by treating you with importance.
Ready to choose?
We hope these questions have at least help you minimize your list of possible platforms and at best, have helped you choose what fits your business the most. There are a plethora of platforms seemingly offering everything on the surface so it’s good to look into the specifics. This isn’t something to take lightly as this is a heavy part in helping your brand reach the success it deserves.