Managing Partner & Sitecore MVP
How Complete is Your Commerce Solution
If you are looking to invest into a new ecommerce solution or looking to evaluate your existing ecommerce solution, then having a set of general ecommerce features might be helpful. In this blog, I am trying to compile a list of ecommerce areas and features that can be helpful while conducting such an evaluation.
We can broadly group ecommerce features into the following areas:
Commerce features will be core to any ecommerce solution and generally include merchandising, Product MDM, Customer MDM, Pricing, CPQ, Quotes, Entitlement, Discounts, Loyalty, Rewards, Availability, Order Management, Returns, Warranties, Customer Services, etc.
A good ecommerce solution will offer more than a storefront and will generally include features like multiple ways to browse (navigation, search, product listing pages, landing pages, featured products, etc.) and multiple ways to purchase (add to cart, order grid, upload CSV, reorder, Wishlist, multiple payment options, etc.). Other key website features include good product and related content, rich assets (images and videos) and self-service account management. Marketing should we enabled and empowered to apply different incentives and campaigns and be able to measure impact and test/optimize performance.
A good ecommerce solution will be secured, compliant, perform well, have high availability and be able to easily scale due to seasonal demand or growth in online sales.
BI & Reporting Features
Commerce solution should provide key metrics and reports but more importantly be able to provide that data to a data warehouse for reporting, segmentation and analysis. Advanced ecommerce solutions will have built-in reporting as well as predictive forecasting and dynamic personalization.
Sales & Service Features
Businesses need to have visibility into how their sales teams and their customers are performing. A good commerce solution will provide at least basic CRM features around account and contact management and KPIs & reports related to them. Performance management, assortments and quote management will be nice additions. Service is an inherent part of any commerce operations and has direct impact of customer satisfaction and confidence. Businesses that want to closely interact and collaborate their customers or partners must also look for solutions that provide community related features.
This is not a complete list of all ecommerce features and features will change based on industry and use cases. As I evaluate different ecommerce platforms and implementations, I will keep updating this list.