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14 ecommerce platform features that retailers can leverage to improve sales

30-second summary:

  • Ecommerce agency Plum Tree Group (PTG) created a 60-page guide that outlines fourteen underutilized features in Shopify, Magento & BigCommerce that retailers can leverage to help increase sales.  
  • The features can be loosely bucketed into the following four categories: user experience enhancements, business enhancements, product-focused features, and website enhancements.
  • PTG’s eBook lists several features that an ecommerce platform provides retailers to help improve shopper experience including multi-language websites, creating customer groups, and adding Amazon and Google payment gateways.
  • It covers three features that help retailers streamline business functions including running shopping ads on external websites, creating unlimited admin accounts, and configuring automated tax calculations. 
  • PTG provides an extensive summary of four key features that can help showcase products, increase repeat sales, raise the average order value, and incentive shoppers to buy more. 
  • Their reviews include four website enhancement features as follows: the ability to configure site search, create custom landing pages, enable metadata, and create multiple websites and stores.

The Plum Tree Group (PTG), an interactive agency with specialized expertise in ecommerce, published a new eBook, 14 Ways You Are Underutilizing Your Ecommerce Platform. This 60-page guide outlines fourteen underutilized features in Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce that retailers can leverage to help increase sales.  

In this post, we’ll summarize some of PTG’s key strategies based on four categories, as follows:

  • User experience enhancements — Features in this category include ways for retailers to improve shopper experience such as creating multi-language websites, customer groups for B2B shoppers, and enabling unlimited user accounts.  
  • Business enhancements — Retailers have a long list of tasks to contend with to keep their online stores running smoothly. Luckily, all three ecommerce platforms contain features such as Facebook & Google shopping integration and tax solutions to help store owners manage their workload more efficiently.
  • Product-focused features — The heart of any good online shopping experience is the merchandise. Features such as rule-based product recommendations, product alerts, product bundles, and tier pricing enable retailers to keep relevant products front and center, increase the average order value, and motivate shoppers to buy more.
  • Website enhancements — Most shopping platforms enable website enhancements such as customizable site search, landing page creation, meta data enablement, and the ability to create multiple websites and stores, all of which can help shoppers find your products while ensuring their shopping sessions are relevant and targeted.

Content produced in partnership with The Plum Tree Group.

Focusing on your users’ experience

Over 75% of online shoppers abandon their carts without making a purchase, this is up from roughly 60% in 2006, as illustrated in the following chart by OptinMonster.

Poor user experience is a big reason people abandon shopping carts—things like forcing a user to create an account, high shipping costs, and an overly complex checkout process dissuade users from taking that final step to purchase. Improving user experience can help mitigate cart abandonment.

PTG’s eBook lists several features that the top three ecommerce platforms provide retailers to improve shopper experience.

For example, over 70% of internet users browse in a language other than English and a whopping 90% of people who don’t speak English won’t buy from an English website.

This is a big barrier when selling globally, which is why Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento all offer options to help you create a multilingual site.

ecommerce platform

Source: Plum Tree Group

Another UX-focused feature covered in the eBook is the ability for retailers to create customer groups, which enables targeted custom content based on specific segments (perfect for B2B retailers who may have wholesale pricing).

Another key usability feature offered by Shopify and BigCommerce is the ability to add Google and Amazon payment gateways. Per PTG:

“It goes without saying that you need to make your checkout process as easy as possible for your customers. You don’t need a study to tell you that buggy, complicated checkout will devastate your conversion rates. But did you know, 8% of people abandon carts because there aren’t enough payment methods available?”

Focusing on your business

The eBook covers three features that help retailers streamline business functions including running shopping ads on external websites, creating unlimited admin accounts, and configuring automated tax calculations. 

Facebook and Google are critical platforms that shoppers use to find products, so listing your merchandise on these platforms can have a significant impact on sales. Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce recognize the importance of Google and Facebook in scaling retail sales.

All three platforms have standard integrations built in which feed automatically into each respective platform’s ad products.

Automating product feeds can save retailers a significant amount of time when advertising  products on Google and Facebook. It also ensures that product listings are current and match the available inventory.

Another helpful business feature for large stores that may have a distributed team is the ability to create multi-user accounts. This enables retailers to add multiple staff members from relevant departments who may need to access the ecommerce platform.

BigCommerce provides the most flexibility with this feature, but Shopify and Magento both support multiple accounts.

And, finally, a key pain point for retailers involves tax calculations by territory. PTG reviews the tax calculation features of all three platforms, and provides a helpful list of apps such that can help retailers manage tax calculations appropriately. 

Focusing on your products

Your products play the starring role in your online store. As such, PTG provides an extensive summary of four key features that can help showcase products, increase repeat sales, raise the average order value, and incentive shoppers to buy more.

These include rule-based product recommendations, product alerts, product bundling, and tier pricing.

It’s well worth exploring all four of these features as they can be game changers, but product recommendations are very much a standout feature in this category. Per PTG, product recommendations can increase store revenue by as much as 300%.

Recommendations also have the potential to increase revenue and average order value by 150% and 50% respectively. 

ecommerce platform

Source: Plum Tree Group

Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento each have innate product recommendation functionality which is outlined in the eBook. For even more functionality, PTG provided a list of apps that are compatible with each ecommerce platform.

Focusing on your website

The website enhancement features available in all three shopping platforms touch on everything discussed above—user experience, business management, and the showcasing of products.

However, website enhancement features fall within the realm of website development and design. They include the ability to configure site search, create custom landing pages, enable metadata so your products and website can be indexed appropriately by search engines, and the ability to create multiple websites and stores.

As with all features listed in the eBook, website enhancement features vary depending on what ecommerce platform you’re using. PTG’s eBook provides an extensive overview of these important features and how each platform addresses them.

For example, regarding site search, PTG has this to say:

“By default, Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce all have a site search feature. Each platform uses its own algorithm; however, generally, it leaves much to be desired, rarely allowing for a good result.  If you’re keen to supercharge your site search, we recommend using Elasticsearch (which is compatible with all three platforms) as your catalog search solution.”

PTG’s eBook contains a total of fourteen strategies that store owners can leverage to help increase sales and order size. You can download the free eBook, 14 Ways You Are Underutilizing Your Ecommerce Platform, from here.

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Reblogged 7 months ago from www.clickz.com

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