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  • January 19, 2016

New Year, New Ecommerce Platform: Factors Driving SaaS Commerce Growth in 2016

Nathan Joynt
CX Cloud Business Group

Retailers and ecommerce leaders know customers now have more options as to where, when, and how they interact with brands. In 2016, businesses know they can't be sedentary with their marketing and ecommerce operations:

  • 27% of companies say technology bottlenecks slow implementation of website updates and revenue-generating campaigns.
  • Ecommerce operations are more complex than ever. Retailers often operate in an average of seven languages and in more than 100 geographies.
  • Digital competition has also increased, with tens of millions of retail websites globally, growing every year.
  • 47% of companies have difficulty delivering an integrated experience.

These issues must be addressed. Legacy ecommerce platforms make it difficult to deliver a seamless and consistent customer experience across all touchpoints. It's difficult to quickly and accurately integrate data from disparate sources to improve visibility without incurring excessive costs. Growth is stifled as businesses struggle to meet the changing demands of complex business models and processes.

New Platform for Competitive Advantage

Modern software-as-a-service ecommerce solutions address the challenges of legacy systems, as well as other problems. These platforms provide a single, unified commerce experience and bring together what you know about your properties: your on-page product content and data around orders and engagement, including ratings and reviews. They also integrate with your highly contextual customer content and data: profiles, devices, order history, location, social graph, and more. This all helps retailers and ecommerce leaders deliver relevant commerce experiences regardless of device, channel, location, language—anything!

Planning for multiple touchpoints lets retailers and ecommerce leaders execute business plans and drive agile, more profitable ecommerce operations. This helps them gain a competitive advantage by giving them the tools needed to differentiate their brand and stand out from the crowd.

  • It simplifies management and operations to reduce costs.
  • It enhances scalability to adapt to changing business needs and improve performance.

Key Criteria When Evaluating a New SaaS Ecommerce Platform

  1. Focus on mobile: Look for a single solution for mobile and desktop—that is, a platform that prioritizes responsive development and design.
  2. Think feature-rich, flexible, and infinitely scalable: Look at the overall capabilities of the platform. Is it innovative and built to scale? Consider everything from design capabilities to up-to-date features and functionality. Do you understand how and when the platform will be updated and how this may affect your business? How rapid are the releases? Understand the platform roadmap, and try to see your business on the map. Be wary of platforms lacking vision and roadmap clarity.
  3. Make sure it’s business-user friendly: Business users such as marketers and merchandisers should be able to learn and use modern SaaS commerce solutions with little if any professional web developer and IT support. Seek to clearly understand the admin and user interface. Is it intuitive? Will it empower your day-to-day users to do their jobs more efficiently? Does it give them more control to positively impact the user experience immediately?
  4. Find a strong partner ecosystem: You have limited resources. Seek a platform that taps relevant partners with established technology relationships and marketing partnerships to help you not only realize the full power of the platform initially, but also to build strategies to extend beyond it. Seek trusted extensions for managing technology you can’t manage and/or don’t have the expertise for. Managing IT is a perfect example. Does the platform manage IT extensions and preconfigured integrations with best-in-breed technology providers? Know your business and what you’re good at. Don’t let technology get in the way.
  5. Consider the complexities of the migration process: You’re likely experiencing problems and limitations with your current platform, but also rewards from past marketing, design, and testing efforts. Your goal with a new platform should be to cure legacy problems without dismantling past successes. If anything, you want to leverage those successes. Make it a point to clearly understand what if any initial effect moving to a new platform will have on current marketing efforts, including search engine optimization.

Ecommerce leaders have unique business challenges. How do you effectively create, manage, and optimize customer experiences across multiple touchpoints better than the competition? There will be significant challenges to overcome, often tied to issues with legacy commerce platforms. In this video, see how accessories company Elaine Turner overcame the legacy ecommerce platform problems plaguing its growth and success in 2015. 

Ignite your business growth in 2016. See if Oracle's modern SaaS ecommerce solution is right for your business.

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