If you’re looking to build an online store, you need to know that deploying a shopping cart platform is only half the story. The other half of the story is the content management system you pair the shopping cart with and – more importantly – the integration of the two platforms so your customers have a seamless journey from landing on your site to placing an order.
A rough estimate helps to get a sense of scale for your planned online store and may also influence the cost of hosting your online store. It will certainly have an impact on how long it will take to develop the store. There is often some confusion over exactly what a product is.
A good ecommerce platform will support multiple category levels. It will strongly suggest you stop at two or maybe three levels. It ensures ease of navigation for your customers, improves the chance that all category and product pages on your website will be indexed and, most importantly, maximises your conversion rate.
When a new website goes live, the only way it’s going to get visitors is if you actively promote it. In fact, you should start marketing your website well in advance of its launch, especially if you need to hit the ground running once it goes live. Once the website has been launched, you should then be prepared to continue marketing your website on an ongoing basis.
So, why exactly do you need an integrated ecommerce platform? Here are some ways which explain the need:
Marketing And Blog Content
Ecommerce platforms need to be able to create marketing and blog content on the site. Content marketing is the only sustainable way to grow your traffic in the medium-long term. This means you need the freedom to create extra content outside the product catalogue of the site. Most shopping cart platforms simply don’t give you that option, or charge you extra for it.
Better Customer Experience
A better customer experience mean more sales. Trying to integrate two separate platforms together and ensure a seamless customer journey is a serious risk-taking thing. It might happen, but it won’t look pretty, and it won’t convert as many visitors to customers as a single integrated platform. Creating an integrated mobile version of the site adds a magnitude of difficulty to this integration.
Single Platform For All Operations
A single platform means the money will be spent on things that matter. The cost of integrating two separate platforms together adds little value to the effectiveness of the finished solution at converting visitors to customers. Managing content on one platform and products on another is inefficient. Your team needs to learn two systems, and deal with the consequences of both. When you want to build a landing page that includes content from WordPress and a product from let’s say, Bigcartel – it sounds like duplication of effort.
Optimizing Sales Conversion Rate
Optimising the sales conversion rate is a whole lot harder. SEO, CRO and website analytics are much easier to control because you only have to work with one system, not two. Optimizing the customer journey is much easier because it’s all one journey. Not only that, but your team needs to be familiar with the optimisation of two platforms – not just one.