Taking Your Business Online
The policies being implemented in response to COVID-19 are changing consumer behavior and directly impacting businesses in significant ways that ultimately demand a shift in priorities for both the business and the consumer. This results in a change in how businesses engage with their customers.
The primary impact is due to the reduced physical contact that consumers and businesses are adjusting to at this time. Taking your business online compensates for this change while keeping you in direct contact with your customers.
We are going to take a look at systems that are designed to help businesses take their offering online, and quickly. Shifting your business into eCommerce, or expanding your eCommerce offering, has never been easier. Below are some things to consider in order to determine what solution will promptly meet your needs.
Below are some questions to frame what details your business should be considering.
- Do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality? Or do you need a balance of both?
- What data do you need to collect about your customers?
- What tools do your customers need to make product decisions?
- How will your customers find products on your website? Filters, search, categorization, etc.
- Are your products physical or digital?
- How many decision points does a customer make for each product? Size, color, shape, etc.
- Will you be selling your products in bulk or to wholesale customers?
- What forms of shipping will you make available for your customers?
- Are you shipping them yourself or are you shipping directly from a manufacturer or fulfillment location?
- What types of reporting does your business need?
- What forms of payment will you support?
- What systems does your eCommerce platform need to integrate into? Fulfillment, Inventory Management, Shipping Utilities, Quickbooks, etc.
Beyond these early considerations, an eCommerce platform must align with your business goals and support growth. While a custom eCommerce is best for no-compromise, perfect fit deliverables, the changes in the market today require solutions that meet your business needs immediately. Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) platforms are extremely helpful for getting your business online as fast as possible while retaining advanced functionalities.
Below we outline our recommended SaaS platforms that can transform your business operations to keep engaging with your customers and providing your products and services.
Restaurant Curb-Side To-Go with GloriaFood
Restaurant Curb-Side To-Go with GloriaFood quickly adds online ordering to your restaurant’s WordPress website or Facebook page. Adding GloriaFoods to your website puts a “See Menu and Order” button right on your homepage, which drives unlimited online orders directly to your device while processing the order on your behalf.
How it Works
- Your customers visit your restaurant’s website or Facebook page
- They click the “Order” button
- The client navigates through the menu and selects their options
- The client submits their order
- You get notified that an order was submitted via your smart device
- You confirm the order within 3 minutes of submission
- The customer is notified their order has been confirmed
- The customer will complete their checkout based on the setting you have defined
Ecwid is a low cost and quick set up platform. If your products are straightforward and you need to get your store up right away and you already have a web presence to plug into, Ecwid is the low barrier solution for your business.
Set Up Shop Anywhere
Ecwid is designed to be your online store’s backbone so you can add your products to all of your online platforms and accounts. You don’t need to just sell through your website, you can add your store to your social networks. From your website to your Facebook page to your Instagram account, Ecwid can be used to get your products in front of your customers. In addition, Ecwid’s responsive design allows customers to view on any device and anywhere they are connected.
Your Customer’s Experience
Ecwid’s responsive designs and single backbone across your sales channels mean your customers will have a consistent experience no matter how they engage with your business. Ecwid features a drag and drop customer experience, easy checkout, customer address books, save favorite products, location-based language detection, and location-based shipping calculations.
Ecwid is simple to use and easy to master, such as the native dashboard includes important information so you to respond to your sales. Additionally, the Ecwid app marketplace means you can expand your system to meet your business’s specific needs.
Ecwid can be used to track inventory, manage product options, extend promotions to your customers to boost sales, sell digital goods, accept payments, and offer the shipping options your customers expect.
Shopify has a comprehensive set of features with a marketplace of applications that can enhance your store’s functionality. If you do not have a web presence and you want to get your products in front of your customers online quickly, Shopify may be a great fit.
Your Shop, Your Way
Build your brand, build your presence, build your store. Shopify offers some of the industry’s best themes and allows you to make those themes your own with their customization interfaces and drag-and-drop store builder. Shopify can handle the most common products with ease and integrates with all of the popular sales channels. You can build your products on Shopify and then sell them on Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram.
Marketing is the key to any eCommerce success, and Shopify apps allow you to leverage the industry’s best marketing tools. And as the market changes and those tools evolve, Shopify’s app support advances with them. The platform never becomes the bottleneck to your marketing.
Your Customer’s Experience
Shopify provides everything your customers have come to expect in an eCommerce experience. It is an easy to navigate platform with full customer account functionality, including order histories and wishlists. Your customers will be able to quickly find the products they are looking for and easily move through the checkout process. Shopify is designed for your business to stay engaged with your customers, such as each time they return their experience will be as easy or easier than their last visit.
Shopify takes all the difficult tasks of store management and presents them on easy to understand interfaces. Through Shopify’s app store you can expand your management tools to meet your business needs. Shopify has integrations available for popular shipping, inventory management, accounting, and marketing solutions.
Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution that connects you to the entire suite of tools you may need to be successful selling online. From getting a store set up, managing products and orders, and performing search engine optimization (SEO) to stay engaged with your existing customer base, Shopify gives you control over your eCommerce store.
A Solid Foundation to Support Innovation
BigCommerce is a fully-featured eCommerce platform focusing on security, stability, and scalability. Its top priority is making sure the transactions between you and your customers and between your system and integrated systems, go through without issue.
BigCommerce includes advanced reporting right out of the box and can handle products with as many as two hundred and fifty options. On the advanced plans, the API allows for unlimited calls, meaning your business is always connected to the tools you use. BigCommerce is actively expanding its Business-to-Business capabilities. If you are looking at your market and can see an opportunity for growth, BigCommerce may be the best choice for you.
Your Customer’s Experience
With built-in mobile optimization, your BigCommerce store will look good on any device by adhering to the industry standards across interfaces. In addition, BigCommerce themes and checkouts can be customized.
BigCommerce offers industry-leading site speeds to reduce your customer’s wait time. BigCommerce allows your customer’s access to digital wallets for faster purchasing and has one of the most robust search tools on the market to make finding your products easy
BigCommerce contains a full suite of eCommerce management tools, including comprehensive reporting tools. You can offer your customers coupons and discounts, preview theme changes before publishing, and set up store channels across all top marketplaces, such as eBay, Amazon, and Google Shopping.
BigComemrce allows you to create customer groups, provide bulk pricing, and customer group-based pricing. Furthermore, through BigCommerce apps you can provide price lists, purchase order support, punch out lists, and quote management.
Through its API any future needs can be supported; BigCommerce is ready to support your growth.
If none of the SaaS options meet your immediate needs, our team is capable of rapid deployment of customer solutions. We can work with you to identify what your specific needs are and put together a no-compromise solution. To learn more, please contact Evolve Systems.
SaaS platforms often represent a trade-off to get into a “best fit” rather than a “perfect fit”. For most businesses the ability to rapidly deploy a solution and get back to selling in a situation like the one presented with COVID-19 far outweighs any compromise in the business or administrative process that may be required.
The SaaS platforms have advanced far beyond their early capabilities and are now capable of handling a variety of comprehensive cases. All of these eCommerce platforms can help your business survive today’s unique challenges and thrive in tomorrow’s opportunities.