As a major resource enabling you to operate your online business, e-commerce software is a critical investment. You know that you need to put careful consideration into selecting the right product and vendor for the job.
Of course this means finding the software features that help you automate and run your online shop efficiently. However, beyond these capabilities, there are additional factors you will want to consider when determining the costs vs. benefits of the available solutions.
Your partnership with an e-commerce software vendor will support not only your current operations but also your growth. So to make sure you secure a consistent return on investment over the long-term, here are a few areas you should add to your evaluation.
5 considerations in determining the cost/benefit of e-commerce software:
- Customization and tailoring
Your business is unique. And part of your growth as an online seller is to continually refine your differentiators and deliver a great shopping experience to your customers. You want to give them something that they don’t get with other online retailers.
To best support this, your e-commerce solution needs to be flexible and allow you the ability to tailor your service. You will want to make sure that the platform you use makes it easy to build in promotions and discounts, put across the right “look and feel” for your store, gain insight into your market, etc. These advantages require some customization based on your unique store, so a one-size-fits-all product will not drive the results you are looking for. Make sure your e-commerce software provider has the ability to work with you and configure your software specifically for your business operations.
- Designated vs. pooled account management
Part of aligning your e-commerce software solution with your business’ strategy and goals is having the right people to support you. And while most vendors offer account support resources, not all account support is created equal.
With an experienced, designated customer success manager, you have access to a professional who understands your specific business and can act as an advisor to help find solutions to your pressing e-commerce business challenges. This individual acts as your liaison, helping you customize the software, thoroughly understand the tools that will help you achieve your goals, and even make changes to certain features so they will better support you.
Rather than designating an account resource to your business, many e-commerce software vendors offer a pooled account management model. And while this may be sufficient for helping you with your basic needs on the software, it will not give you the personalization you need to get the most from your investment. An expert from the industry who knows your business, it’s history and can work with you to build efficiencies.
Make sure you have designated customer success manager with your solution.
- Marketing and design support
We all know that the e-commerce can be a very noisy space. Your competition is global, and the breadth of options for a shopper are vast. You need to be able to stand out and be heard.
Since your listings are going to be distributed through an e-commerce software system, you need to make sure that system will get you results in search rankings, help you create compelling design and navigation features, and offer complete, robust listings that deliver the information shoppers need in order to make a buying decision.
Again, beyond standard features that will aid you in the area of marketing, you will be best served by a vendor who will work with you to tailor and customize your approach to make sure you are getting results.
- Time = Money
Now, you might consider some of the capabilities described here as outside of the purview of a software provider. You may be thinking, instead, that you should simply limit the cost for software as much as possible, get what you can for the cost, and rely on your own efforts for everything else.
You might want to consider that this approach can be significantly more expensive, for several reasons. First, it requires a much greater time commitment on your part. And second, it will likely limit the potential for return on investment far beyond a customized approach.
A personalized e-commerce software vendor makes it their business to support you efficiently in your needs, and they have the experience to get results. Automation can save you time and money. Putting the investment in up front can bring you a return that’s far greater than your alternatives.
- An eye toward growth
You don’t want to end up switching or adding e-commerce software vendors regularly. With implementation and other costs, this can easily eat into profits. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that the vendor you choose can support your growth into new lines of business and on to new channels.
This means you want to have not only the software capabilities to handle new modes of operation, but also the support from your vendor to make the changes simple, efficient, and effective.
Kyozou offers our clients a customized and automated e-commerce software solution fully supported by a designated customer success manager and the Kyozou team. As your vendor, we will work with your budget to implement a boutique solution designed to drive outstanding return on investment. Take a look at our product features today.