Revamp the online shopping experience by investing in an e-commerce enterprise platform

Web-based shopping portals are invaluable because they maximize customer experience and, consequently, encourage repeat purchases, being centered around the basics – in other words, the love for the brand, value for money, and word of mouth marketing. If you haven’t yet evaluated your customer touchpoints, there’s no better time than now to do it. Aim at creating a consistent and enjoyable shopping experience. Here’s what you can do: Invest in a fast, secure, scalable e-commerce enterprise platform. It’s the perfect strategy for businesses that have several stores for specific audience groups.

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Basically, e-commerce enterprise is software that enables large organizations to sell online. It can handle countless tasks from rendering product catalogs to connecting orders to third-party systems. If you’re looking for your first e-commerce enterprise platform, there’s a lot to consider. There’s no shortage of solutions, which is why you must remain very organized and systematic in your research and decision-making. If you wish to elevate your business easily and bring in more customers, keep in mind the following considerations.

Determine your functional and non-functional requirements

If you’re not happy with your current system, it’s well worth going through the trouble of re-platforming. To select the most suitable solution, it’s imperative to work out your functional and non-functional requirements. This will help you eliminate financial risks and meet deadlines. Perhaps you don’t know the difference between the two. Functional requirements make reference to technical details data manipulation and processing, as well as other specific functionality. Non-functional requirements, on the other hand, refer to quality attributes, more precisely, the specific expectations from the product.

Before starting to compare e-commerce enterprise solutions, get a good understanding of your functional and non-functional requirements. In this sense, it’s a good idea to take into consideration your current business model and your plans for scaling, not to mention the target audience. Since you’re making an important transition, make sure to choose a solution that ensures optimization when it comes down to customer experience and the aesthetics of the website. Shopify’s enterprise platform is ideal for big and expanding online businesses. It’s one of the most user-friendly solutions out there, so you don’t have to worry about tedious administrative tasks. Plus, it’s capable of carrying out numerous transactions.

Cloud hosting allows you to build an e-commerce presence

Needless to say, software needs an infrastructure to run on. Don’t skip this part to focus solely on the application. It may be necessary to replace legacy infrastructure technologies with web-scale architectures. Basically, you may need to transform your office into a genuine data center. E-commerce is made up of HTML, PHP, JavaScript, database, and, last but not least, media files. To set up a dedicated server that can work well, these are the hardware requirements:

  • CPU: 2 x 1,6 GHz
  • RAM: 3,5 GB
  • HDD: 1 x 40 GB of free space or more

This is pretty much what it takes to support e-commerce operations. It will require some commitment from your part. If you were to choose Shopify, you would’ve outsourced your computing and storage needs to the providers that make available the infrastructure. It’s totally cloud-based and hosted, which means that upgrading and maintaining the infrastructure doesn’t fall under your responsibility.

Interestingly, Shopify decided to use Google for e-commerce site hosting. Until now, the company counted on Amazon Web Services for the cloud infrastructure, but most of it will run on Google.  Anyway, since Shopify is cloud-based it can be run from virtually anywhere as long as you have a browser connected to the Internet.

SaaS or on-premise?

E-commerce platforms represent a small portion of the SaaS industry, but it deserves enough care and attention. An ever-increasing number of businesses are turning to software-as-a-service systems and applications to run operations. As a retailer, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use a SaaS e-commerce enterprise platform to manage your own processes. It simplifies the task of managing the e-commerce platform. With a platform such as Shopify, you can cover all important dimensions, namely inventory, delivery, and customer needs and support. The software isn’t installed on-premise and, most importantly, it’s not maintained by the user.

Maybe you’re opting toward an on-premise e-commerce enterprise solution. In this case, the platform is installed locally on your hardware systems and it will be managed by the in-house IT team. It’s necessary to make a considerable upfront investment to acquire the infrastructure that can support this initiative. The good news is that hardware is simple to access and obtain. This is what you’ll be needing for your IT infrastructure:

  • External hard drive
  • Desktop or laptop computer
  • Network server
  • Mobile device

The aforementioned components will make your life easier. Think about how you will manage the platform, if there is enough staff available, what recurring expenses there are, and don’t neglect performance.

Find out if there are any obstacles to achieving your goal

If customers have started rolling in big time, you have to do something to revamp the online shopping experience. Making the transition to an e-commerce enterprise solution is the best thing you can do for your business. When you’re at an enterprise-level, you’re playing a very different game.  You need a platform that is capable of supporting all the functionalities required by your business. The number of websites providing similar products and if you don’t make a visible change in the way you handle operations. Sustaining increased competition is the most challenging of tasks.

It’s important not to forget about cross-platform integration. Mobile is an integral part of the online shopping experience. The younger generation prefers to browse for products directly on the smartphone. Mobile optimization isn’t limited to choosing a responsive theme for the site. If you don’t want people to abandon your web-based store in a matter of seconds, make sure to meet user expectations. What you need is a responsive website that enables cross-platform integration. Everything should be one click away. And the cost should be what you need.