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A 7-Step Framework for Successful Ecommerce Implementation

Navigating the world of ecommerce is akin to navigating a dense jungle! Just like a veteran explorer wouldn’t venture into a dense jungle without a route map and a compass, it is critical to have a strategic roadmap and well-defined framework to successfully establish your brand in the digital space.

A well-defined framework for ecommerce implementation encompasses multiple facets of online business including cost, operational efficiency, customer experience, profitability and growth, scalability and more.

As you kickstart your ecommerce journey, let’s look at the 7 steps forming the foundation of solid ecommerce implementation:

  1. Planning for eCommerce Business
  2. Technology Selection/Website Audit & Analysis
  3. Customer Acquisition
  4. Customer Engagement
  5. Customer Retention
  6. Optimizing Key Metrics, and
  7. Business Analysis & Customer Insights

Decoding the Ecommerce Implementation Framework

The success of your venture depends on the strategic execution of these 7 steps, each of which are interconnected and consequential to the other. Hence, implementing each of them in the right priority and in a phased manner is of utmost importance – to thrive and scale up in the highly competitive and crowded digital realm.

Let’s delve deeper to understand these steps constituting an ideal Ecommerce Implementation framework:

  1. Strategic business planning and roadmaps

    Strategy is about making the right choices that will help you reach the stated business objectives. Brands with successful ecommerce website/ storefronts vouch for the benefits of starting your ecommerce journey with a solid, well-defined strategy and technology road map.

    For a successful ecommerce website implementation, it is imperative for you to have a clear-cut vision, and understanding regarding:

    • Business goals to be achieved with the ecommerce channel
    • Timelines & Cost factors required to achieve the goals (in how much time, within what budget)
    • Challenges that you may face in your ecommerce website implementation journey
    • Right resources and innovations to address the above challenges and facilitate a smooth eCommerce journey. Omnichannel digital experience strategy to ensure seamless, consistent and connected experience for your customers.Your brand should be able to engage, communicate and reach out to customers across all touchpoints – website, mobile app, social media, billboards – basically wherever they are engaging with your brand.
    • Knowledge and deep understanding of the digital marketing tools and techniques that will help in reaching and acquiring customers is required. The assumptions considered in preparing the strategic business plan should be in alignment with the ecommerce industry’s norms and trends.

    Coming back to bulleted point#2 – timelines and cost factors, the conventional notion of spending a hefty amount of money and time to set up a functional ecommerce store is a thing of the past!

    You can now have a full-functional ecommerce store implementation done within a matter of few weeks !

    Yes, you heard it right. . .

    Embitel’ s meticulously crafted ecommerce Rapid Deployment solution named RapidRetail empowers business ventures – regardless of the size – with swift implementation of ecommerce website within 6-12 weeks.

    Find more details here.

  2. Website audit and analysis

    In order to provide the maximum benefit to your online store visitor, your chosen ecommerce technology should be fully capable of being customizable. Additionally, the platform should compliment your business model, and adhere to the existing best practices in offline retail.

    If you’re a retailer foraying into the world of eCommerce, you should have razor-sharp clarity about the functionalities that you do and don’t need on an e-commerce website. The features and functionalities in your eCommerce website should be a factor of the following:

    • the industry
    • the size and type of audience being targeted
    • different customer segments your online business aims to serve

    And if your business already has an online presence and is yet to gain the full-fledged benefits of eCommerce technology, you must consider a deep website audit!

    A complete assessment of how your eCommerce website can perform better by examining the storefront and customer flow, analysis of competing websites, and identification and implementation of solutions based on the gap analysis should be carried out (‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’).

  3. Customer acquisition

    Now that you have had a successful ecommerce store implementation, the next step is developing strategies for customer acquisition through effective marketing.

    Online or popular digital marketing encompasses multiple tools for reaching out to the new generation of customers, who are actively engaged in using multiple devices, through search engine optimization, search engine marketing (paid advertisement that includes both cost per click and cost per thousand impressions), social media marketing (with ads that include both cost per click and cost per thousand impressions), email campaigns, display advertisements using various ad networks, referral programs and re-targeting campaigns.

    In order to enhance the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, it is important to align your marketing efforts with the user journey and preferences. This is where marketing automation becomes indispensable.

    In fact, Marketing automation is one of the core components of brands with a highly successful ecommerce implementation framework. From personalising experiences to tracking the performance of each marketing effort and offering deep consumer insights – marketing automation tools are a perfect ally for your online store.

    Going by the sales principles of AIDA (awareness, interest, desire and action), it’s important to note that the cost of customer acquisition will be very high for brands and retailers that are newly establishing their product offerings exclusively online.

    However, for brands that are well established offline and are pursuing an ecommerce strategy, the cost of customer acquisition is lesser compared to the new entrants.

  4. Customer engagement

    Customers these days are actively seeking to engage with brands to understand the core benefits and unique value proposition that the brand offers, to get faster resolution of queries/clarifications regarding the products displayed, etc.

    But how is this connected to the success of your ecommerce store implementation?

    Engaging customers through various social media channels, chatbots and other mediums and offering them accurate and context-specific information and content also instils superior trust in the minds of customers. This engagement fosters trust and confidence in the brand, laying a strong foundation for long-term customer relationships.

    You can take customer engagement to a whole new level with conversational commerce solutions. These innovative solutions seamlessly integrate with social media platforms, facilitating real-time interactions between brands and customers. Through conversational commerce, businesses can offer personalized recommendations, address customer queries instantly, and create interactive shopping experiences that resonate with today's digitally savvy consumers,

  5. Customer retention

    With the advent of sophisticated e-commerce technologies, new age retailers will be able to leverage an almost one-to-one customer experience and that’s the best a customer can really expect.

    However, it should be noted that to fully leverage best-in-class technology, there needs to be a constant effort to look out for features and functionalities that will enhance the customer experience.

  6. Optimization based on key metrics

    Some of the key metrics to measure the health of an eCommerce venture include:

    • Total revenue generated
    • Cost of customer acquisition
    • Percentage of customers visiting the eCommerce store through various channels
    • Percentage of customers converted

    However, these metrics may vary significantly based on the business objectives, and so every business needs a fully customized approach for defining the key metrics and further analysis.

    Once these are defined and there are a substantial number of customers visiting the website, a deeper level of optimization is needed at 2 levels – on the technology and the business front.

    • Technology – This generally includes optimizing the ecommerce website load speed, shopping cart, check-out and other web pages, a/b and multivariate testing, etc. Creating unique and well-researched blog content, refining the titles & headings in the content, and using engaging meta descriptions are other ways to attract organic traffic to your website.
    • Business – Optimization here includes analysis of the total revenues generated, total spending for running the e-commerce operations, optimizing the gross net margins, conversion rates from each of the various channels, customer loyalty and retention rates, rate of repeat purchase, frequency of repeat customers (across multiple dimensions), % of carts abandoned, etc.

    Ecommerce brands can optimize these metrics with significant investment in innovative tech solutions available today.

    Online ratings and review, product recommendations, AI-enabled search features – There are a lot of technically advanced features that you can integrate with your eCommerce website to improve these numbers and enhance online shopping experience.

    There is a lot of research evidence supporting the incorporation of features like reviews and ratings, and display of the right products either through up-selling or cross-selling.

    As per market research done by Digital.com, 54% of online shoppers refer to product reviews before making a purchase.

    26% of online shoppers marked good reviews as the prime factor for influencing to shop from a particular eCommerce website.

  7. Business analysis and customer insights

    The final step in the entire process is about fine-tuning and understanding the product categories that have performed well compared to other products displayed in the webstore. How does this tie into the successful implementation of an e-commerce solution or strategy from a business perspective?

    Assessing this is crucial since each of these categories and products within those categories occupy the prime real estate in the online world – the web store. Analysing product performance and understanding customer behaviour provides invaluable insights for optimizing the e-commerce strategy. By identifying top-performing categories and products, businesses can strategically allocate resources, refine marketing efforts, and enhance product offerings.

In nutshell, a comprehensive ecommerce implementation strategy encompasses several key business insights including:

  • understanding of the customer segments,
  • the demographics,
  • profitable customers,
  • source of channels through which the profitable customers came to the web store,
  • % of revenue each profitable customer contributes to, &
  • the marketing spends that has gone into acquiring these customers.

These metrics are only a small representation of a larger list that can be optimized further. These metrics vary based on the business needs and require a customized approach for defining, monitoring and optimization.

What Entails a Holistic Ecommerce Implementation Strategy?

In today’s “compete hard or perish” environment a holistic e-commerce implementation strategy, if planned and executed well, can be an important means of bolstering revenues, increasing brand awareness, providing best in class support and shopping experience to the new generation of customers.

The successful implementation of an e-commerce strategy helps in gaining a competitive edge over the existing competitors, no matter whether they are online or offline.

It’s evident: a clear winner in the game of e-commerce power play will be the one who understands the role of deep integration of these 4 core pillars along with the execution of a 7-step approach around these pillars.

For more information and to know how Embitel Technologies can help you drive your business objectives using e-commerce technologies, contact us at sales@embitel.com.

Sreedevi V

About the Author

Sreedevi is a seasoned digital strategist with over 9 years of experience in both B2C and B2B marketing, brings her passion for B2B tech marketing to life. An explorer at heart, she cherishes connecting with new people and uncovering the stories that define cities and individuals. In her free time, she revels in the world of music, short stories, and picturesque journeys to nature's wonders.

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