The need to stand-out in a competitive market is high in the e-Commerce industry. Businesses start small with a standard website models and eventually learn to scale up with a custom-built online platform that surpasses features of brick and mortar stores in terms of customer experience and engagement.
Stats from multiple research on e-Commerce industry suggest that most e-Commerce companies have been analysing key metrics for conversion optimization. From using video content to updating design and UI/UX features, e-Commerce companies know it’s an uphill battle to stay relevant with unique and custom-built websites.
One may wonder why, but, custom e-Commerce websites are easier to exercise control and manage according to changing business needs. Freedom and flexibility are two benefits that are lacking in out-of-the-box e-Commerce websites.
Below are few reasons why e-Commerce businesses fare better with a custom online store:
- Great Customer Experience: The modern customer or customer 2.0 expects quite a bit from e-Commerce companies. With the ever-growing number of businesses in this segment, customers prefer in-store experiences and options that allow seamless online shopping. That includes conveniences like anytime, anywhere shopping, easy returns and payment policies, faster and direct communication with the customer services teams, responsive and mobile-friendly sites. These elements can be added, tweaked and improvised in custom-built e-Commerce sites as per requirements without interrupting quality of customer services and experience.
- Higher Outreach: Custom e-Commerce websites help businesses and brands to manage their content, product and services details, run marketing campaigns and promotions at hyperlocal levels. Customization enables brands to extend their market reach and explore opportunities in smaller and micro segments. It helps businesses to contextually relate to markets and engage with wider audience segments as opposed to dealing with homogenized groups due to limited technical, operational and design bandwidth in standard e-Commerce website models.
- Increased Personalization: Personalization is the key to boost audience or customer engagement that drive conversion. Data from multiple surveys reveal that about 70 percent of consumers prefer brands to offer personalization. Many successful online retailers manage to differentiate themselves by understanding each customer and attuning their actions as per customer’s behaviors and engagements. e-Commerce companies smartly push content, videos, product and service information as well as modify web pages based on the previous searches and purchases made by customers. Personalization tactics are based on much intricate details like demographics, niche interests, time-influenced behaviors and more.
- Offer Unique Shipping and Payment Options: Besides offering product or service diversity in the sites, customers prefer variety of options for payment and shipping. Custom e-Commerce websites offering different choices of courier delivery services or payment methods encourage customers to trust the brand more. This also offers more convenience to purchase and pay as per customers’ requirements.
- Optimize Site into Multi-vendor Platform: e-Commerce brands can increase their profit margins by partnering with multiple vendors to sell products and services. This adds products or services diversity as well as provide more options for delivery, packaging, shipping and customization. Customization would allow e-Commerce brands to engage with multiple shipping and carrier companies and integrate with online payment solution providers to cater to broad range of customers.
- Customer Tracking and Communication: e-Commerce brands and businesses can leverage web analytics to track and manage customers or visitor’s actions. Insights on these helps them optimize their website and identify weak areas that drive customers to abandon carts or sites. This also helps unravel valuable sales and marketing data to measure impacts of their actions on prospects and customers. Customization is also useful in fostering a direct communication channel with the customer to address their inquiries and reward engagements with loyalty and reward plans.
- Run Personalized Campaigns: When it comes to marketing, the idea of one-size-fits-all does not apply to today’s customers. Online shoppers need an array of marketing and promotional campaigns that are relevant to their spending capacities, requirements, age and other demographic factors. Personalized campaigns including email marketing, rewards and discounts plans based on audience engagement guarantees customer loyalty and prevents attrition while also delivering rich shopping experience.
- Enhance Speed, Navigation and UI/UX Features: Poor loading speed, complicated navigation and bad UI/UX are reason enough for customers to leave the sites and move on to e-Commerce stores with features. Customization helps e-Commerce companies accommodate their website features as per traffic volumes to counter bounce rates and decreased conversion. As per research, nearly 47 percent of customers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less. And about 40 percent of customers reported abandoning the website if the loading time is more than three or more seconds. A delay in page response can lower conversion possibilities by nearly 7 percent.
- Overcome Market Competition: Customization helps brands to project their philosophy, brand value, vision and uniqueness of their products and services on their websites. Customization helps e-Commerce brands’ websites to upgrade locally or internationally while also adhering to trading policies and rules that are relevant to the location, audience demographics, currency and more. This helps e-Commerce sites to be more versatile and audience-specific to overcome market competition.
- Individual Hosting: Most of the standard websites offer shared hosting. The only upside of shared hosting is that it is inexpensive but, it is less ideal for individual sites that manage high traffic. Customization helps e-Commerce companies select a dedicated web hosting services or use in-house server hosting for better security, speed and performance.
There are many custom e-Commerce development solutions providers in the market such as Magento, Shopify, WordPress, WooCommerce, PixelCrayons and more that are well-suited for brands with different budget models. The developments in this space will contribute to the growth of custom e-Commerce solution industry and the overall e-Commerce market which is likely to reach over 120 billion USD by 2020.
e-Commerce growth in the emerging markets are slated to be on par with that of the U.S. market in terms of annual growth rate and performance. Amid the burgeoning online retail and e-Commerce revolution, businesses need technology collaborations that allow them to engage and serve audience at cost-effective rates.