With the all of the options available, one has to consider what technology the ‘perfect’ e-commerce site would need. 

If building a site from scratch instead of inheriting a site which is performing at a respectable level where would you start and what would define the perfect site?

The perfect site to so many of us based on industry and consumer needs would be vastly different to what we would have delivered five years ago.  

Five years ago we would have reached out to ensure that we could transact, add some rotate and zoom, have a few currencies on the site, have a reasonable amount of our product range online and of course be relatively fast.

However, today’s perfect site would encompass so much more and is probably still a dream away, bearing in mind many companies have let their site become relatively stale and would need large investment to bring them up to date.  

So what is the perfect site?  

After working in e-commerce for a fair few years now and for some great companies I have put together a wishlist of what a perfect site encompasses and some of the technologies I would be implementing if given the joy of building from scratch with what would need to be a very large budget. 

  • A secure and stable platform that is adaptable and very modular allowing for future technology to be built in as needed.
  • Fast, Fast and even faster. Only a site with page load times of less than one second should be acceptable.
  • Socially integrated allowing full sharing capabilities, across all social platforms.
  • Statistically primed linked into only the best analytics programs.
  • Integrated into a full CRM package that cross communicates between all communication packages.
  • Content review technology, allowing for all content to be rated and commented upon, why stop at product.
  • Dynamically aware and forward thinking, targeting as accurately as possible, as customers view the site.
  • Voice controlled providing voice navigation to shop, browse and view content.
  • Communication savvy identifying consumer behaviour and re-targeting via social, PPC, SMS, email, push, etc.
  • Mood enhanced based on visitor time zones, seasons and previous shopping behaviour.
  • Easy CMS system, allowing full management using simple upload process.
  • User defined content enabling consumers and browsers to build pages in the way they would like to see content displayed, rather than being given it how we want it presenting.
  • Internationally aware, incorporating international payment methods and relevant social media sites.
  • Data feed construction within the CMS system providing speedy resolves to lengthy product feeds.
  • Mobile technology ready and aware.

As demonstrated above not every feature available on the market is built in to the “perfect site” but the ones that are all focus around one major area, social interaction and consumer usability.  

Engaging with the consumer should be the purpose of any site build, the basics of web design are still fundamental in what we do, social media and consumer participation will be the make or break for e-commerce over the coming years.

So  the dream site is available and the budget is no problem, which companies do you consider using?  

The question is probably easier to answer when reversed: which companies should I steer clear of? Without naming names which would, (let’s be honest, is very easy to do) we should consider when scoping a new supplier: 

  • What’s the supplier’s track record of social media, what is their social media strategy for your company?
  • Does its software integrate with social packages?
  • Can the user control partially what they see and does the system allow dynamic content following?
  • Will the CMS system allow for the integration of social feeds?
  • Can the analytics software monitor in depth the communication touch points?
  • Is there a trade of in speed because of increased functionality?
  • Does everything you implement improve customer experience and journey? 

Whilst the above is my “perfect site” there are three key projects that need to be undertaken prior to venturing into the world of e-commerce re-design or indeed the launch of a fully transactional platform.

  • Develop online strategy for the next three years, broken down into quarterly segments.
  • Create a comprehensive functional requirement of all integrations and technologies, which will help define strategy for online and digital marketing.
  • Generate a digital marketing strategy for the next three years including full program development.