Modern consumers maintain high ecommerce expectations. Yes, these technology-savvy shoppers demand that online retailers provide top-of-the-line purchasing experiences that facilitate choice yet unfold lightening fast. And, patrons who deem the ecommerce options before them deficient do not stick around. In fact, almost two-thirds of consumers attest to abandoning ecommerce portals with poor user experiences, according to data from Digital Commerce 360. Customer attrition of this kind is anathema to today’s sellers, which is why virtually all of them invest considerable time and money into perfecting their web presences.
Here at Pixafy, our award-winning designers work with countless retail companies who are intent on developing and deploying websites that catch eyes, draw clicks and drive revenue. A good many come to us contemplating big digital shifts and typically find themselves grappling with one major decision: website optimization or ecommerce portal creation? Both approaches possess unique advantages and downsides. To solve this fundamental conundrum, retailers must therefore assess each option and contextualize it against budgetary and operational requirements.
Exploring ecommerce optimization
Websites are ubiquitous within the retail space, where more than 14% of transactions unfolded through digital channels in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Amazon is not the only seller contributing to this figure — traditional brick-and-mortar ventures are entering the online arena in an effort to cultivate omnichannel sales setups. For this reason, most retail businesses that reach out to development firms, like Pixafy, already maintain established web workflows that have catalyzed some modicum of success or at least acted as customer information collection tools. From enterprise resource planning integration modules to trusted checkout features with strong track records of sales excellence, there are simply some existing components that should not be replaced.
Ecommerce optimization is the ideal option in situations like this. What does that entail? Here at Pixafy, we recently collaborated with a client that wanted to take this route. Maxxima, which sold lighting fixtures, maintained a workable website with distinctive branding. It also leveraged a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system containing massive amounts of historical client information. While Maxxima wanted to move to the Magento ecommerce platform, it did not want to wipe the slate clean, so to speak. So, our development team worked to design a modern, Magento-based portal that offered new functionality but also leveraged parts of the existing site that performed up to standards. We also orchestrated seamless data migration and reconnected the ERP, all without dragging down the customer experience.
This strategy helped the client mitigate costs and keep tried-and-true backend and front-end functionalities while also facilitating serious performance and user experience improvements.
Exploring new website creation
Some sellers enter the ecommerce development process looking for complete online renewal. A good number of the retailers, intent on starting from scratch, come from the small business arena. Why? Almost three-quarters of the organizations in this niche do not have ecommerce websites, per research from SurePayroll. However, boutiques and mom-and-pop haunts are not the only sellers embarking on new builds — established retailers with pre-existing online presences are doing it too. Whether they are expanding into new markets or executing comprehensive brand resets, plenty of large retail businesses build new online ecommerce channels from the ground up.
Pixafy recently coordinated and executed one of these builds for VDL Cosmetics, an offshoot of LG’s Household and Health Care division. The company, based in South Korea, was preparing to move into the U.S. market and needed an ecommerce experience that could engage Western shoppers. The business was interested in going with a Magento build that included social media integration features capable of supporting cross-promotional efforts, as well as customer sign-up modules that could help the marketing team cultivate revenue-generating mailing lists. VDL also needed robust product catalog capabilities, as it sold products in numerous colors — its lipstick line alone features items in 20 different shades. Our developers shaped out-of-the-box Magento components to meet the client’s needs and managed to translate approved website copy from Korean to English, with the assistance of specialized copywriting services. The portal launched to great success and provided the digital connection that VDL needed to bridge into a new market.
Making the right decision
As outlined above, the website optimization and the ecommerce portal creation approaches both offer benefits, depending on the situation. Sellers considering digital improvement must assess each strategy in the context of their overarching organizational goals and choose the option that makes achieving those aims possible.
Here at Pixafy, we assist sellers of all sizes — from emerging small businesses to international brands — navigating this decision and develop online shopping experiences that work for them. Our team of award-winning developers can address and can lend insight into numerous online retail issues, from ecommerce platform selection to backend integration mapping, and help retailers realize their digital potential.
Is your organization looking to optimize or replace its existing ecommerce footprint? Consider connecting with us today to learn more about our work and expansive service selection.