Running a profitable ecommerce business isn’t easy. As a brand leader, you must constantly look for new ways to improve your business to compete with big retailers and deliver a superior shopping experience. Whether it’s new software, marketing solutions, data management or a website redesign, trying to deliver enterprise-level execution on an entry-level platform usually creates more problems than solutions.
According to our WBR Insights report study, 31% of respondents said their current ecommerce technology was ineffective at increasing customer lifetime value, and 35% said their current platform was falling short of increasing customer conversions with predictive analytics.
In other words: about one-third of the retailers we surveyed have outgrown their platforms.
As retailers like Amazon and Walmart dominate online shopping, your business needs to find a way to remain competitive. That’s where enterprise-grade capabilities come into play.
But how do you know what types of technology and services you’ll need to best serve your customers? And once you determine the right platform… how will you know when the timing is right? Most importantly, how much will you have to pay in upfront fees to complete the migration?
We made it easy for you by laying out the five red flags that signal you might need to upgrade to an enterprise platform and what features should be at the top of your list.
You Need more Sophisticated Customer Segmentation and Personalization
If your ecommerce platform offers little support to create personalized experiences for shoppers, it’s likely time to reevaluate. Suppose every customer is treated the same, and you cannot differentiate between visitors and segment them to create tailored shopping experiences. In that case, your brand will struggle to scale at the same level as your competitors. Investing in personalization software can increase customer retention and deliver better user experiences.
According to an Accenture survey of 8,000 online shoppers, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that remember preferences and use them to provide relevant offers and recommendations. Additionally, 83% of respondents said they are willing to share their data to “receive the benefits of a personalized experience.”
Ecommerce personalization improves customer experience, repeat purchases, and shopper loyalty. You can effectively guide shoppers through an ecommerce marketing funnel by using personalized content, product recommendations, and unique offers.
Large retailers like Amazon have set a high bar for personalized ecommerce experiences. Look for platform solutions that have a sophisticated customer data platform combined with microtargeting capabilities. Ensure that your solution utilizes machine learning or AI capabilities to segment users automatically based on behavior through implicit data collection.
Whatever ecommerce solution you choose should analyze each shopper’s unique purchase history, search keywords, geolocation, browsing device preference, and other activity and deploy recommendations based on rule-based methodology.
For instance, a rule-based criteria could be, “if a customer searched for winter jackets in New York, display the following winter apparel for product recommendations.” Great personalized ecommerce technology will also constantly A/B test personalized content and messaging to determine winning strategies that improve a brand’s profitability.
You Can’t Keep Up With Big Retailers
Many brands simply can’t keep up with the complexities of ecommerce. There’s an overwhelming amount of ecommerce solutions on the market, and although a company may feel they need an upgrade, analysis paralysis can prevent forward momentum. We don’t want this to happen to you.
Most companies try to experiment with new apps to improve their storefront while working with various ecommerce specialists or marketing agencies to acquire customers more effectively. Unfortunately, most platforms fit for small to medium-sized businesses like yours are stretched beyond their limitations.
For example: it’s impossible to find enough apps to compete with big retailers like Amazon because they invest billions of dollars into research and development to improve their operations. So what are your options?
We see many independent brands hire out robust technology teams and ecommerce experts – but the upfront costs dwindle their budgets without guaranteed returns on their investment.
If you’re looking to upgrade to enterprise capabilities, we highly recommend selecting a platform or solution with innovation built in. The best ecommerce platforms are constantly evolving their tech to match big retail capabilities. Make sure your platform solution invests in research and development to leverage customer insights and deploy tech that improves performance.
Your Fulfillment is Too Expensive, You Get Too Many Returns, and You Have Fractured Order Management
You know how important customer satisfaction is for your business, and one of the top concerns for your shoppers is order fulfillment. If you’re experiencing challenges in this area, it might be time to consider upgrading to an enterprise ecommerce platform.
According to a Walker Sands Future of Retail Study, 90% of respondents said free shipping was the number one incentive that would make them shop online more often. If you have subpar order management systems (OMS) and fulfillment processes, it could lead to stockouts, slow delivery times, and expensive shipping fees.
That’s why whatever platform you choose should have top-notch OMS functionality to facilitate efficient coordination between suppliers. A great OMS will automate the customer order process and alleviate manual supervision over receiving, routing, fulfilling, tracking, and notifying customers on the status of their purchases. It will provide visibility to manage the multiple systems needed to complete the fulfillment cycle, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), point of sale (POS), warehouse management systems (WMS), and transportation management systems (TMS).
One of the biggest advantages of an enterprise-level OMS is inventory management. If you’re currently operating on a basic platform, you might struggle to keep products in stock. You might work with multiple distribution centers and vendors, so connecting all your data systems under a single OMS would significantly improve your operations.
Also, look for solutions with 3PL EDI software integration to automate order processing and inventory management. Improve supply chain predictability, operational efficiency, and free your internal team from slow manual data entry.
You’re investing in Expensive Marketing Without the Conversions
Marketing is one of the most complex and challenging aspects of running an ecommerce brand. Some of the main hurdles you must overcome include:
- Competition: The ecommerce industry is highly competitive, with many brands vying for the attention of the same consumers. Standing out is difficult, and the competition drives up advertising costs.
- Limited physical interaction: Online companies do not have the benefit of face-to-face interaction with customers, which can make it harder to build rapport and convince them to make a purchase.
- Finding the right channels: Ecommerce brands must identify the channels that are most effective for reaching their target audiences, such as social media, email marketing, or search engine marketing.
- Building trust: Customers may hesitate to purchase from a brand they are unfamiliar with or purchase products they’ve never physically touched.
Because of the highly-competitive market you’re in, retailers like you have to constantly push fresh content, run expensive paid ad campaigns, or find new ways to acquire customers. You must engage past shoppers and entice them to become loyal, repeat shoppers. You also need to deploy a cost-effective, robust marketing strategy that converts customers to cover advertising expenses.
Big retailers like Amazon and Walmart don’t have to invest heavily in marketing compared to independent SMBs since they already have online marketplaces that shoppers frequently visit. Brands traditionally contract marketing agencies to help improve their advertising efforts, but covering their hourly rates plus marketing expenses usually isn’t the most scalable option.
Switching to an enterprise solution may give you the necessary technology you need to execute a robust marketing strategy that lowers acquisition costs while increasing conversions. The main advantages of enterprise solutions include better personalization capabilities, marketing automation tools, and customer segmentation.
In our new WBR research report, we found that the top three most challenging aspects of respondents’ ecommerce stacks are system integration (42%), personalization (39%), and content management (38%). Customer expectations are higher than ever, and in order to meet your most crucial ecommerce KPIs, you must deliver personalized shopping experiences comparable to big retailers with robust content management capabilities. Enterprise solutions that offer microtargeting capabilities coupled with customer segmentation can help you create automated marketing messaging that resonates with visitors.
Check out more expert ecommerce marketing guides below:
- Traditional marketing strategies for ecommerce
- New customer acquisition retention strategies
- Product page optimization tactics
- How to increase sales with a personalized experience
You Have Too Many Complex Integrations Without the ROI
Ecommerce brands often rely on SaaS (Software as a Service) to help facilitate a variety of ecommerce operational necessities, including content management, merchandising, marketing, return rate solutions, warehouse management, 3pl ecommerce fulfillment, and more. However, traditional SaaS solutions come with inherent complexities, including:
- Integration with other systems: SaaS ecommerce platforms may need to be integrated with other systems, such as a CRM, accounting software, or shipping software, which can add complexity to the setup and maintenance of the store.
- Customization: They often have limited customization options, making it difficult to create a unique and personalized shopping experience for customers.
- Scalability: It can be challenging to scale a SaaS ecommerce store as the business grows because it may not have the capacity to accommodate increased traffic or sales.
- Security: These platforms are responsible for maintaining the store’s security and protecting sensitive customer data.
- Cost: SaaS ecommerce platforms typically charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee, which can be a significant ongoing expense for a business. Retailers often need to hire ecommerce specialists to utilize their licensed SaaS tools which may require expensive hourly retainers.
If you’re struggling because your business relies on too many different SaaS solutions, you may need to migrate to an enterprise platform that offers comprehensive SaaS technology.
Enterprise platforms are built for seamless integration with other systems, such as CRM software, accounting software, and marketing tools. This can help businesses streamline their operations and improve efficiency.
Plug Into Intelligence Commerce and Access the Most Advanced Enterprise Ecommerce Solution With NO Upfront Costs
If you are ready to make the move to an enterprise ecommerce platform, it’s never been easier to migrate than with Nogin Intelligent Commerce and Shopify Plus. Nogin embraces the stability and ease-of-use of Shopify and extends it with enterprise-level technology that fills the gap between entry-level and enterprise platforms. Best of all there are no upfront replatforming costs and instead of waiting up to a year to complete the migration, we can get you live in under 8 weeks! Don’t worry, we check all the boxes that the major enterprise platforms have and offer much more:
- Our superior microtargeting capabilities and hierarchical platform deliver the most advanced customer segmentation to create tailored shopping experiences for each visitor. Convert more users, increase conversions, and lower acquisition costs with personalized messaging and offers that increase Average Order Value (AOV) and repeat shopping.
- Access a comprehensive technology stack and pre-integrated frontend theme called Luminate, which includes the best Shopify apps along with partner integrations and exclusive features developed specifically for Intelligent Commerce. Our dedicated site optimizers are constantly working to improve each application, leveraging tactics gained from managing over 150 brands and $1 billion in total gross merchandise value (GMV) over the past decade.
- Our 3PL ecommerce fulfillment solution will maximize your profit margins and keep you competitive with big retailers. We have our own network of fulfillment centers and we utilize sophisticated merchandising and technology to lower shipping costs and improve return rates.
- Access 40 enterprise-level tools and features that improve conversions and lower marketing spending, shipping, and returns. Forget trying to find the latest SaaS solutions and confidently run your brand while we handle delivering innovation each day to improve your bottom line.
Nogin is a different approach to enterprise ecommerce, and the results speak for themselves:
- Conversion rates improve an average of 40% on our platform.
- Marketing spend efficiency increases 30% with our CDP.
- Increased personalization drives a 15% increase in revenue.
If you want to recession-proof your business and instantly become more profitable, it starts with a smarter approach. Learn more about the research and data behind a Commerce-as-a-Service business model and download the Coresight Research Reports below, or contact us today: