Ecommerce platforms are crucial for your success, and choosing the right one for your business will deliver long-lasting impact. However, it is good to remember that no ecommerce platform will fulfill all of your digital needs. When it comes to optimizing your conversions and revenue through personalization, you will need a dedicated personalization platform.
When determining which ecommerce personalization platforms to investigate, there are four criteria to keep in mind that will ensure that you choose a solution that will meet your short and long-term needs:
- Does it provide a “cartridge” for quicker implementation?
- If you want to integrate your personalization and ecommerce platforms (and you will want to), check to see if the personalization provider offers a “cartridge” for your ecommerce system. A cartridge is a pre-defined set of code that your IT team can use to create the connection points between the two systems. Using a cartridge can greatly reduce the total integration work needed.
- Also note that the cartridge should be customizable. Chances are your ecommerce platform was customized during its implementation, so it is important that the cartridge be customizable too to ensure all the right system connections can be made.
- Can it be run by your existing team?
- I have never met an ecommerce team that was brimming with time and resources. Therefore, it’s essential that your personalization platform empower your existing team members without dramatically increasing their workload. This means that the system must be easy to learn, and flexible enough to meet your needs not just for the next few months, but for many years. When you are talking to personalization providers, put added emphasis on ease of use and flexibility.
- Does it integrate seamlessly with your analytics?
- Much of ecommerce is rooted in analytics. So to help you track your personalization progress, and learn over time, your personalization platform must be able to fully integrate with your analytics programs. At a minimum, this includes your web analytics platform. Ideally, it will also include any data warehouses used by you or other departments.
- Does the provider offer high quality strategic consulting services?
- Unless you have all your expertise in house, you will need some help. You will likely need implementation help, and if you are not staffed for day-to-day execution, you will need help with that too. Strategic consulting is often overlooked when evaluating providers, but it can be an important part of your operations: these services help you set your long-term strategy, KPIs, and execution plans. Even if you do not purchase these services, ask to meet with someone from that team while you are evaluating solutions. They can often provide you with deeper insights and use cases. It is also good to know exactly which experts will be on your side should you choose to engage with them.
It’s important to remember you aren’t alone in this process. There are a lot of ecommerce marketers just getting started. Read Monetate’s 2017 Personalization Development Study to find out what other marketers are doing today.