A look at e-commerce platforms Part I
In today's busy e-commerce market vendors continue to look for new ways to increase their sales and to get their products out to the public. There has been various tactics used to market products and services to gain more of the global e-commerce customers. Sales over the internet have grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years and vendors worldwide are looking for their share. Bringing products to potential customer's attention is tricky enough but completing the sale is another story. So here is an inside look of one e-commerce platform and methods used in obtaining the conversions that will increase the bottom line. To help from falling into the black hole of the internet, the vendor has to bring their e-commerce business into the light and receive the conversion rates that they deserve. Many of the vendors online today feel the most important part of e-commerce is the traffic to a website. In fact just because a site receives a lot of traffic and the end user starts the purchase process does not mean that they'll complete it. This is only half of the battle.
This series of articles analyzes the standard features a good e-commerce platform should offer, that are paramount for e-commerce vendors today. Most major platform providers offer solutions for various business models and some specialize in particular areas such as the software and digital goods industries. As part of the service, providers pride themselves on innovative products and delivering the solutions that vendors need to be successful.
The leading service providers offer a comprehensive and well balanced e-commerce solution that will provide the tools that vendors need to increase their business. The following is a brief overview of some of the features a new online vendor should look for when comparing e-commerce platforms in today's market. These features or solutions, as they are referred to, help increase a vendor's conversion rates and add a higher level of success to their business models. A few of these that are offered today:
-Maximizing Payment Alternatives – Offer targeted sellers as many payment options as possible, by giving the potential customers many different payment options the ecommerce solution will attract more and more customers. Additional payment methods for global and localized markets have proven to increase sales and attract more interested potential customers. Today's successful online businesses need to be able to offer both global and localized options, by adding these options customers have the choice at their finger tips.
-Offering Multiple Currencies – With all of the various components that are included into a comprehensive e-commerce platform, the smart provider continues to offer more option that will allow the vendor conduct business in global treaties. As part of the service vendors have the opportunity to expand their market and to accept transactions in more of the major world treaties and they are usually offered at no extra charge to the vendor.
-Promotion Features – This Feature is added to the payment page control panel, allow the vendor to design and promote their individual sales promotion and manage the usage of coupons for the marketing of their products or services. By using the promotional coupons the vendor can increase their up-selling or cross-selling of merchandise simply by offering additional products or services at a reduced rate within a certain time frame.
-One Click Up-Sale – This feature allows sellers to substantially increase their sales revenues by presenting a unique opportunity to the shopper. This feature allows the vendor to up-grade products and to promote other products or services and to increase sales.
-Cross-Selling – By adding the cross-sell feature the vendor can bundle products that will be of benefit and cost savings to the end-user, therefore increasing sales and the bottom line. This technique allows the vendor to increase the sales of their products and importantly, vendors that sell more services to a client are harder for a competitor to displace or sometimes even compete with.
-Customization and Optimization of the Payment Page – This service offers the vendor the option to utilize a standard payment page or to receive a customized payment page that is specifically designed for their website and business model. The versatility of well designed payment page is only limited to the imagination of the vendor and a whole team of highly skilled developers. Many service providers offer the option for an iframe design that builds the payment page right into the vendor's site, thus making the process transparent to the end user.
-Personalized Account Service – A proactive solution offers each and every vendor a personal professional account manager. This service provides the vendor with a professional that is dedicated to the vendor's account keeping them up to date and aware of how their service is working.
-Customizable Reporting – Together with the standard reporting options that vendors have available to them, it allows the merchants to become involved in the reports that their online payment services provide. Coupling a customizable payment page together with fully customizable reports gives them the freedom of choosing their data.
– Flash Payment Solutions – With the expanding interest in the social networks and online gambling, solutions were needed to resolve monetizing systems so that the entities involved can recuperate their investments and earn a profit from this fast growing phenomenon. This allows the end users to quickly and conveniently pay for their requested service without the need of being redirected to the processors payment page. This feature is attractive for any vendor that wishes to optimize their conversion rate and benefit from elevated customer retention.
-Customer Service – One of the challenges in operating a successful business globally in today's economy is the ability to provide a high quality level of customer support. In order to compete in the e-commerce market successfully the vendor should offer a customer service support that is diverse and the vendor's clients. A successful business takes pride in the ability to claim that they have one of the most efficient and well rounded customer support teams in the business.
Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of any serious business today so together with features from the standard e-commerce platform, a well rounded and well experience team of customer service specialists are utilized to support any inquiries that may come.
Although individually these few features may be commonly offered by many competitive companies, as a part of a comprehensive platform all should be included in one package. The features listed above are only but a small part of the total "e-commerce solution" but they represent the core of benefits a vendor needs to specifically target an increase in their conversion rate.