No matter your business vertical, the third party technologies you choose to augment your online store will play a critical role in improving operations, driving purchases, and increasing average order values. Whether it be an email platform, customer loyalty program, or personalization software—to name a few—making the right choice will directly impact your bottom line if you chose technologies that fit your specific business needs.
While many third-party technology providers offer ecommerce functionalities that consumers have come to expect, you should also consider offerings that differentiate your company. For example, instant financing at checkout can give visitors more reasons to engage with your site and fewer reasons not to purchase.
On the other hand, choosing the wrong provider can lead to unnecessary costs, weak customer service, configuration issues, substandard performance and, ultimately, lower conversion rates. That’s why it’s important to understand what each provider can bring to the table for your specific business case.
Through Corra’s proven strategic alliances program, we help clients understand which solutions are aligned with their vision, thus simplifying their path to success. In the last 15 years, we’ve worked with more than 150 retailers and have created a Strategic Alliances program with that experience in mind. There are thousands of technology providers out there, but we have only added a select few as trusted Corra partners. For every company we consider, we assess their technology, customer service experience, and overall offering to the customer through a strict vetting process. We also work with them on a continuing basis to make sure they uphold the standard we expect through project implementations to provide the best experience possible for our clients.
Based on this expertise, we want to share five tips to help you choose the right ecommerce technology. If you are looking for a new provider or if you migrating to a new platform, make sure you consider these key factors.
1. Don’t lose focus of your ROI
Besides what the technology can do, it is also important to consider how it works for your company specifically and be honest with yourself about what you need. Avoid getting carried away by the technology buzz: every decision should be based on both your short-term and long-term goals. Do you have the in-house capabilities to customize and deploy the solution, or will you need to seek help from on an agency? Will a powerful tool that comes with a hefty price tag, all of the bells and whistles, and a robust support structure be a better overall investment for you versus an affordable solution that requires more of your team’s time? Evaluate what really adds to your strategic ecommerce vision and ROI to avoid technologies that may be excellent, but not for you.
2. Understand your requirements
Other than your business requirements, also define technical and vendor requirements. Try to be as specific as possible to allow vendors to be detailed in their proposals. Include your business overview, specifications, terms and conditions, assumptions, constraints, and selection criteria. It’s also important for you as a company and project sponsor to understand why the requirements are what they are. Simply saying, “we’ve always done it that way,” is not always a valid reason for a requirement.
During the conversations with providers, you can ask them to walk you through a standard implementation, inquire about integration and what your team needs to know from the onset. Find a way to rate the responses you are getting in a way that is effective for you.
3. Avoid fixating on price
Smart ecommerce tech investments are about leveraging strategy-driven products and services at a price that suits your budget. The less you spend on the product, the more you can end up spending to configure it and maintain it in the long term. At that point, you can spend more to fix problems than to improve your business. Make sure the product is right for your needs before you make your decision.
4. Pay attention to customer service
Throughout the process, weed out technology providers that deliver grandiose marketing pitches for plug-and-play devices that promise unprecedented lift. A common complaint we hear is that the technology providers set unrealistic expectations for the whole team, leading to poor results and terrible customer service.
Does the provider have a dedicated support team, or do they only offer a ticketing system? Are they willing to work as an extension of your team to identify new opportunities for growth? Make sure you can talk to someone you trust. Immediate assistance and proactive recommendations can significantly impact your KPIs.
5. Let a qualified agency do the work for you
The third-party ecommerce technology space is saturated, and facing the decision-making process alone can be incredibly overwhelming. The best way to avoid this inundation of information is to rely on your trusted agency partner to do the heavy lifting for you. Regardless of how much research you have done, an agency has done more and, in most cases, will have real-world experience with the provider.
Corra’s best-in-class Strategic Alliances program provides this valuable service to all of our clients. Whether you’re new to ecommerce and just don’t know where to begin or if you’re a seasoned veteran looking to take your business to the next level, we can help.
Corra’s trusted partners are:
- Blue Moon Digital
- Instant Search
- New Example
- Sandbox Studios
- Annex Cloud
Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] to get started.
Corra is a digital agency creating transformative commerce experiences for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. With headquarters in New York, Los Angeles and London, Corra provides strategically led creative and technology solutions to a growing global market.