E-Commerce Business ConsultingE-Commerce business consulting creates website strategy and implementation options. It aligns deliverables to the given timeline and budget. Its planning mitigates the risks inherent in IT projects.
E-Commerce StrategyThe e-commerce strategy aligns website capabilities with specific business goals. We help companies implement new technologies to expand their opportunities. Realizing what the latest technologies can deliver and integrating that into their workflow presents a significant challenge to most companies. Our consultative approach makes companies aware of the positive and negative impacts of the existing solution and how to grow the business in the future."
Business StrategyBusiness strategies determine what will make the e-commerce website a success. It analyzes the budget, timeline, and risk implementation of the solution. It summarizes marketing goals, including how the website attracts prospects and builds customer loyalty. Business consultants articulate:
- Solution alternatives and how they influence operations.
- Opportunities to grow the business.
- Methods to cut operational costs.
IT Delivery PlanThe IT delivery plan lowers the possibility of omissions, scope creep, and misinterpretations. It follows best practices for modern cloud solutions. There are many best practices, and we found the following guides helpful when the business adopts current business practices with cloud technologies.
- Agile Software Development for Project Management
- DevOps (Development and Operations) to improve solution quality
- The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) for system architecture
- Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) for compliance
- Center for Internet Security (CIS) for security configuration
Keyword ResearchOnly five percent of websites get any traffic, and a tiny percent of those monetize it. Keyword research allows users to find the content you spend time creating. The page must clear that hurdle before it can deliver business value. A more modern approach uses keyword research to orient the communication plan and organizational strategy toward market demand. Effective keyword research means using one of the following Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools to identify commercially relevant terms that are attainable within the current budget. The most popular are:
Data-Driven MarketingData-driven marketing tracks progress toward key performance indicators. It captures and organizes data from the website and other sources for downstream reporting using spreadsheets and business intelligence platforms. Analyzed results can include the following:
- Did the user scroll down the page, bounce back to the search results, or close the browser tab?
- Which pages did the user visit during their session?
- What is the click-through rate for each step of the sale funnel?
- Are users returning to the website at a later date?
- Which campaign leads to the most sales?
- How should marketing change to reduce product returns and fraudulent purchases?
- What is the best and worst content?
A/B TestingA/B Testing measures the difference in user response between two web pages with slight variations in content or presentation. The methodology continually measures new ideas to determine which leads to more sales, then permanently applies it to the website. The value of individual changes is typically small, but aggregating many together impacts the bottom line significantly. Common variations to test are:
- Identify the most effective advertisement.
- Color selection, contrast, and saturation
- Space, width, and height of items.
- Title wording and font type.
- Image selection
Abandoned Cart RecoveryAbandoned cart recovery relies on gathering contact details with minimal friction. Our solutions use multiple strategies to boost recoveries. Some of them are:
- Spread data collection of purchase data across multiple windows to build user commitment slowly.
- Collect contact details in the first window to maximize the probability of having the necessary information.
- Apply A/B testing on the window design to increase click-through rates.
- Support digital wallets, which reduces typing on mobile devices.
- Leverage 3rd party authenticators like Facebook and Gmail, so the user does not need to create, enter, or remember your account.
- Automatically populate data entry fields with cached content.
Marketing SegmentationMarketing segmentation classifies users based on predictions of how they will respond to various marketing campaigns. Instead of applying your bias to the marketing plan, the objective approach is collecting detailed and granular data on each user. Then search the data for purchasing predictors. Each segment correlates to a unique outcome. Valuable data to collect includes:
- Where was the user physically located when they visited the website?
- How much do they spend in a month?
- What kinds of products do they view on the website?
- What is the area code for their phone number?
- Is the email address for a consumer or business address?
- Is the credit card from the local country?
Anti-Fraud SegmentationAnti-fraud segmentation is similar to marketing segmentation, except it identifies who to avoid. Failure to adequately predict problematic users eats into profit margins and leads to increased oversight from merchant banks or the loss of banking services. Industry-standard predictors are:
- Did the payment pass the credit card validations 3DS, AVS, and CVV?
- Do the shipping address, billing address, and geolocation of the request match?
- Is the shipping address in the normal region of operation for the business?
- How many requests came from the same IP address?
- Is the purchase rate unusually high?
- Is the physical address or a rented postal box?
- Is the purchase huge?
- Is the browsing activity consistent with a person making a purchase or a bot?
Product SearchPublic search engines are the best product search tool because they bring new users to the website, but only some websites promote the content. Adding Google Rich Results for products makes it easier for the search engine to understand the purpose of a page. Simple details like currency and offer expiry date give the search engine confidence your content is relevant to their client.
Most e-commerce websites come with a hierarchical category search. For most e-commerce websites, that is sufficient for the user already on the website to find the desired product. The navigation and naming of categories critically impact how many users find what they want. Our solutions can help find the best structure and category names.
Selection attributes, such as size, interact with the SEO design of the website. If no one searches for the given product by size, consolidate products into a single page and add a selection attribute for size. However, split the pages out if people search for XXS or XXL. The same logic applies to the entire product hierarchy. The goal is to align content with what people want to find.
There are many types of text-based product searches. Matching based on spelling, fuzzy distance metrics, and Levenstein algorithms is more likely to alienate users due to the high standards set by public search engines. We suggest text-based search only if you invest in goal-driven coding. That requires a developer to map outcomes and use artificial intelligence to capture relevant searches from users. The secondary advantage of mapping is immediately answering other common questions like hours of operation and store addresses.
UpsellingUpselling generates alternates for a product within the same category for a higher cost. An alternative is to provide similar items regardless of the price to increase purchase rates. Upselling applies when browsing a category or product and should not distract users from products already in the cart.
Cross-SellingCross-selling displays out-of-category products. The offers have a known relationship with items already in the shopping cart. It is most common during checkout but can still happen while the user browses for the additional merchandise. Marketers can extract correlations between products by reviewing the purchase history of all stores and by manually entering correlations.
RepurchasingRepurchasing uses prior purchases from the same used to make recommendations at a later date. It applies to consumable items. A more sophisticated approach incorporates upselling and finding replacements for discontinued items.
Operational EfficiencyThe design of an e-commerce website profoundly impacts the user experience and back-office efficiency.
Catalog ManagementCatalog management gets updated frequently to reflect current pricing and inventory levels. SEO has the opposite need to keep everything stable through time. Our solutions balance these requirements. For example, pages make items available but include features like disabling the buy button in real-time when inventory runs out.
System IntegrationSystem integration increases the speed and accuracy of data flows between applications. The smallest businesses tend not to have other applications, while the largest integrate with many. Common integration points are:
- Immediately send new shipping orders.
- Pull and push marketing data for marketing strategy, accounting, fraud prevention, IT support, shipping, customer relationship management (CRM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
- Enhance extracted data with third-party sources. The most common is geo-locating IP addresses.
- Add functionality to the website, such as immediate text messaging after a purchase.
- Update pages with real-time data, including inventory levels and pricing.
- Deploy production mirrors or create testing stubs to help with 3rd party development.
- Set up private networks connected to other data centers and company offices.
- Create production mirrors to develop and test integrations.