Best Practices for an Ecommerce Implementation Part 2
Earlier this year I shared the first two of eleven best practices to consider for your next ecommerce implementation. These included selecting the right platform to limit customization and ways to handle multiple stakeholders.
Part two in this series involves understanding eventual traffic and becoming well-versed in needed integrations. Preparing for holidays, promotions and other scenarios that will dramatically increase site traffic is important to mitigate or eliminate lost sales. Understanding necessary integrations will allow your organization to closely follow business processes and can provide your customers with a seamless user experience.
These two best practices are discussed further below. If you’d like, the full 11 Best Practices for Ecommerce Implementation eGuide is available for download.
Understand Eventual Traffic
Traffic volume is a key factor in selecting and implementing a new platform. Most companies understand they will have traffic peaks on days significant to their businesses, such as retailers on Black Friday/Cyber Monday and health insurance companies during open enrollment season.
Understanding those peak levels and identifying potential bottlenecks help shape the decisions on how to accommodate them, for example, using a cloud environment to scale up or down to accommodate fluctuating traffic volume. Load testing plays an important role in defining integrations or dependencies that have the potential to become bottlenecks.
Implementation partners play a critical role in identifying these concerns and adopting the right remedy. Some quick wins can sometimes be had by optimizing the code to make it more efficient and provide more throughput. Other strategies include caching or creating “waiting rooms” to offload traffic for expected high-volume sales.
Understanding these types of critical events and their impact on the platform will help guide the kinds of tools and accommodations necessary to meet customer demand and ensure satisfaction.
Know What Systems Must Be Integrated
Ecommerce platform implementations require integration with a number of internal and external systems. Integrating back office systems, ERP, CRM, search, marketing automation and other third-party applications is often a critical part of a web design and development project. And on the front end, tools for site search, personalization and more.
Example Client Integrations
For the American Academy of Pediatrics we integrated Episerver Commerce with netForum an Association Management (AMS) platform. An AMS is similar to a CRM, but specific to associations. The integration allows members’ purchases, event registrations, and course completions to be attributed to their member account. The integration further enables personalized product and content recommendations.
Backend integration was a key part of Lacks Valley Furniture’s overall project. Making sure orders, customer service support, and financial processes were streamlined, optimize the customer experience across all channels.
The Guthrie Theater’s site rebuild included an integration with Tessitura, a ticketing system and CRM widely used in the arts, culture and entertainment industry. This integration not only provides customers with a seamless experience but increases content editor efficiency as they can update content in one place and production details, pricing and media are automatically updated in the CMS.