Today, online customers have many options for where to shop. An e-tailer’s ability to provide a superior online shopping experience is critical to conversion rates of browsers to buyers. A great eCommerce web design powered by a robust technology platform can earn your company lasting customer loyalty.
Factors to Consider
Answer the following question to select the right eCommerce architecture:
- How large/complex is the product catalog?
- How many categories, products, and/or stock-keeping units (SKUs) are in it?
- Can the catalog include different types of products with different attributes?
- Can a single product or subcategory exist in multiple categories?
- How sophisticated do you need the e-store search functionality?
- How many order transactions is the store expected to handle on average?
- How many daily visitors will come to the site to generate the desired order volume?
- How many page views per visit does each visitor make?
- During peak hours, how much traffic and page view volume will occur during peak hours?
- How many users will be visiting the site concurrently at peak times?
- What other in-store and online systems must be connected in real-time or with regular data exchange?
How Can Eradium Help?
Eradium experts help you select the right ecommerce technology architecture. While BigCommmerce, Shopify and Woocommerce implementations have common major phases, their specific activities, tasks, and skills involved are very different. We have platform-specific implementation techniques to assist your business better.
Site and Store Structure
At this step, we outline the ecommerce site structure taking into consideration the following factors:
- How many currencies and languages are to be supported?
- Catalog complexity (number of categories and potential levels of hierarchy).
- What type of product information and non-product content will be presented on the website?
- Does the store need to support wholesalers and retail customers at the same time?
Store Design and Shopper Experience
We believe user experience design, based on strong and insightful analysis, will allow you to:
- What is your corporate branding?
- Who is your target audience?
- Do your audience shop primarily on desktop or mobile devices?
- Does your store require a lot of visual customization?
- Do you have product assets, including photos and videos?
An ideal shopping experience will result in higher conversion rates.
Store Catalog Structure and Onsite Search
At this stage, we define a product catalog structure that makes it easy for users to find the right products.
- A fashion retailer, an electronics merchant, or a specialized baby store will need different structures for category/subcategory levels.
- An on-site search solution is the critical element of every e-commerce site with a significant impact on conversion rate. The conversion optimization research reveals that conversion rates are 4 to 5 times higher for people who use on-site search.
- We plan on-site visitor navigation, search, and external search engine experience.
- Our ecommerce architect provides optimal on-site search logic recommendations, including indexing and delivery model to support catalog size and expected search volume.
Shopping Cart and Checkout
The third step is to create the store information architecture (IA) with a data model and navigation flow for the shopping cart and checkout purchase stages.
- The shopping cart tool of adding, removing of adjusting quantifies for different types of products: simple, with options, bundles, or configurable.
- Cross-sell and upsell options
- Coupon codes and rules-based promotions
- Checkout options: guest, express, and customers with accounts
- Shipping options and integration with shipping provider’s services
- Payment methods and gateway integration
- Gift card payments
External Systems Integration
We develop an integration road map, architectural specifications, and guiding principles.
- The ecommerce solution design should accommodate integration with external systems such as order management, accounting, ERP, CRM, email marketing, or marketing automation.
- The ecommerce back-end must support seamless shopping experiences across web, mobile, and social touch points.
- The integration mechanism could be real-time through web services or non-real-time with scheduled data exchange processes.
Hosting and Site Management Architecture
We work with our hosting partners to define hosting parameters, including web application servers, content and database storage, page caching, auto-scaling, security, and backup to match functional and visitors’ traffic requirements.
- Today online shoppers expect sub-second response time for above-the-fold screen content even during pick traffic periods.
- The ecommerce site hosting solution has to provide adequate computing power to support the site components: content management, catalog repository, on-site search, and order transactions.
- The modern cloud-based architecture delivers cost-effective, secure, and scalable solutions for ecommerce sites.
What are the common mistakes of eCommerce implementations?
eCommerce requires sophisticated systems that touch core retail business processes and require investment in software, server or hosting infrastructure, staffing, and training.
Clear priorities of customization requirements help to prevent scope creep, budget overrun and major project delays.
Mismatch between your unique retail operations and e-commerce technology architecture would create unmanageable complexity almost immediately after launch which will lead to inefficient and expensive e-commerce operations.
You cannot predict all your future requirements. The secret to Amazon’s success is an internal architecture that allows adaptation to changing business needs which fueled its evolution from an online book store to the largest online marketplace.
Ecommerce operation is a business-critical part of retail business. The testing and quality assurance minimizes the risk of major flows in the user experience, transaction processing, or backend operations. The time and effort required for testing depend on the size and complexity of the platform customization.