eCommerce Features

Mid-level eCommerce has now come of age with thousands of online sellers grossing 7-figures a year through their online stores. So its only natural that software platforms are starting to up their game to cash in on this new segment of the eCommerce market place.

Magento, Shopify and Big Commerce are all competing head on for your business and all of their products are good. But at the end of the day the question isn’t which platform should you choose, but more what do you need on a platform.

After hours of research, combined with my personal experience dealing with eCommerce merchants on a daily basis the requirement list was broken down into 7 key features that you need to compete at this level.

Some things such as SEO friendly, speed and responsiveness were all assumed as we’re dealing with enterprise level software here and these are all best practices in today’s market. But rather the features below are what really makes the difference between your sales exploding, and you having constant headaches!

1. Personalization features

When used effectively personalization features can boost sales by up to 20%. But that’s not really much of a surprise with 56% of consumers saying that they are more likely to shop with a retailer that offers a personalized experience.

The reason personalization is so powerful is because it adds a human feel to the store. For example, if you’re a man walk into a retail outlet, does the assistant show you the same items that they would show a women? No they don’t, so it only makes sense that your website doesn’t either.

 

2. Abandon cart emails

Did you know that on average 79% of shoppers abandon at the shopping cart? While some services claim to be able to recover 27% of these lost sheep, I prefer to work on the side of caution and agree with BigCommerce’s number of 15%. But none the less, that’s a significant increase in your sales immediately.

So how do they work? Well as soon as someone enters their email address on your checkout form, the platform saves that in a temporary area regardless of if they finish their purchase. The shopper will then receive a sequence of automated emails reminding them to finish their purchase.

 

3. PA-DSS Compliance

Nearly everyday you hear of another major organization caught up in a data breach scandal, and you don’t want to be the next one. That’s why it’s essential that your site is PA-DSS compliant.

Without getting into the technical details, PA-DSS compliance is the same compliance level that payment gateways are required to pass in order to process credit cards. In other words – Your site will be very secure.

 

4. Full Page Caching

In today’s fast paced world people are getting increasingly impatient and they want sites to load nearly instantly. One of the ways that this is achieved is by using full page caching. While this method of caching gives a huge speed boost, it isn’t offered by all platforms which is a shame as a slow site can cost you 24% of your sales.

 

Have you ever been to a website, tried to use their bar and nothing happened? Or worse still, If you typed in ‘black shoes’ it showed you every shoe and every black item in the store?

We’ll sadly this is a common occurrence, but it is one that is losing you a lot of sales. By using Solr or Sphinx search, websites can return accurate results quickly, and boost sales by 2-5%

 

6. Wholesale functionality

Most eCommerce sellers who are trading at this level have some form of wholesale need. So it only makes sense to have the ability to manage your wholesale sales from the same platform as your retail ones.

 

7. Loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book, but that’s because they work! Today you need more flexibility however than a simple ‘10th coffee is free’. Consumers like earning rewards points, money back rewards, and even qualifying for higher levels of discounts as they prove their loyalty.

Overall all of the mid-level enterprise platforms that I compared here are scored well. Magento Enterprise has a wide range of features that most people don’t know of and is a great step up from Community edition. Shopify Enterprise is a true competitor to Magento at long last. And it appears that BigCommerce has also stepped up to provide a top level offering.