2021 Online marketplace e-commerce checklist: technology

Top eCommerce Technology Trends 2021

Today eCommerce is a massive part of the economy. If you have a business selling products or services online, it is essential. The online economy is the fastest-growing retail market available. As per the Forbes report, for the first quarter of 2021, U.S. e-commerce sales grew 39% year-over-year, to $199 billion. Ecommerce is a more convenient way for consumers to shop for products and services. The effect of Corona virus quarantine also hit significantly: Adobe says that 9% of U.S. consumers, 8% of Japanese consumers, and 15% of United Kingdom consumers said they had never used online shopping before March 2020.

With the boom in online retail, digital transactions and market technology have made the shopping experience smoother, more efficient, and user-friendly. The most effective way to build an eCommerce solution with responsive, user-friendly functions is to pull together several different pieces of interactive technologies.

COAX, as the provider of services of software development for e-commerce, has prepared its own list.

2021 Top Ten Technology eCommerce Marketplace Checklist

Use Mobile-First Approach

The mobile-first approach is exactly as the name suggests. It means that the product is designed from the mobile end, which has more restrictions, then it is further expanded in its features to create a tablet or desktop (web) version. For the most efficient eCommerce technology platforms, the mobile-first approach is the method today's developers use most. If you want to check your website or app for mobile friendliness, use the Google Mobile Friendly Test for generic report. Another great precise tool to test how your ecommerce website looks on each specific device is Browser stack.

Use Server Side Rendering (SSR) when using Single Page Applications  (SPA)

For small to medium enterprises, single-page applications (SPA) are the choice for the best 2021 technology platforms. One reason that developers use single-page applications is for quick deployment and its super simple structure. For users, they will just see content faster. Same time - SEO is crucial for ecommerce still, so businesses need to use SSR if they want to have good rankings. Usually, it's a harder and more expensive solution, but in the end, a way more flexible in the future. You can test how your SPA is rendering for Google crawler using the TechnicalSEO tool.

Set up CDN Properly

Most of the top eCommerce technology solutions utilize a CDN. A CDN or content delivery network refers to a group of geographically distributed servers across the globe that work conjointly to provide fast delivery of internet content. Many large sites such as Ebay, Rakuten, Wallmark, and Amazon use CDNs to handle web traffic. Properly configured, a CDN helps to protect websites against malicious attacks such as DDOS or distributed denial of service attacks. Using a CDN will speed up the delivery of your content, which is important in a global marketplace. You want to be sure that if you are hosting in New York and your customer is viewing in Japan, that the page is loading just as quickly in any location. Typically, CDN setup is very quick, can be performed in a day or by replacing A-records in your domain settings. All the rest will be handled by the DNS provider.

We advise looking at Cloudflare or Amazon CloudFront or Fastly as top providers.

Optimize your Technical SEO

If you want your site to rank competitively against other sites, focusing on website and application optimization is key to being highly competitive. If optimization is used correctly in the building of your site, then you can expect that your eCommerce technology platform will out-perform in every area, including traffic, speed, conversion rates, and, more importantly, the return on your investment.

There are a variety of free tools on the marketplace to help with optimization.

- Server requests caching where possible (Think Redis)
- Website pages caching where possible using internal or external tools (CDN)
- Use compressed images of proper size (AWS Lambda can be used to covert images)
- Use images lazy loading

Here are a couple of tools you can use for measuring:
- GTMetrix
- Google Page Speed Insights

Set up Google Analytics, Tag Manager, and Search Console orchestration.

Google Analytics

Analytics is an essential component to building the best eCommerce technology stack for your business. Your website collects data on your customers. Google Analytics is the top tool in your toolbox to modify strategies, increase conversion rates, and view customer behaviors. Using Google Analytics in your eCommerce technology strategy leads to all other marketing decisions and tech tools to be included in your stack. 

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is an effortless way to track page views. Tracking page views can give clues as to what point a consumer abandons their cart, allowing bringing the customer back in or providing an offer that will retain the sale.

Google Search Console

Another instrument for technical insights from Google. The Google Search Console provides you with the tools and reports you need to make your site stand out to Google. With the ability to fix errors and quickly spot user problems, your site will get the attention it deserves and rank high in your market.

Use visual analytics tools

The key to improving your return from your eCommerce platform is to understand the behavior of your visitors, users, or customers. Learning what items capture shoppers' attention will give you a better comprehension of which products to place in areas with lower response to help drive sales.

Hotjar
and Mouseflow are both top-of-the-line heatmap site analysis tools. Both eCommerce technology solutions offer free versions, however, some advanced features could incur a monthly service fee. 

Compare the top features for both tools to determine what meets your needs the most. Be sure also to compare support and hardware options.

Start or extend the usage of AB Testing

As part of your eCommerce technology solution, you will find that you can evaluate your users or shoppers with AB testing, also known as split testing, to determine the impact or effectiveness of a specific product presentation. These tests are evaluated by presenting then assessed to determine which is the better presentation method. AB testing can be achieved using Google Optimize (now part of big Google’s Marketing Platform), VWO or Optimizely, free tools for optimization of your site. If you’re new here - Hubspot’s Complete A/B Testing Kit will help you kick off your first AB Testing.

Gather and organize feedback from customers and visitors

Any type of eCommerce technology platform looking to succeed in 2021's competitive marketplace should be focused on collecting and acting on customer feedback. The direct customer feedback gives insight into future customer-based decisions. 

When a satisfied customer provides positive feedback, the ability to repurpose the user-generated text into product reviews or social media posts is one of the most powerful marketing strategies. Some great tools for measuring customer satisfaction include Mopinion, and bigger Feedier, and our favorite Intercom.

Think of AR

Augmented Reality or AR is one of the top new shopping features that is bringing in customers in 2021. AR brings an interactive experience that simulates a real-world environment. Objects residing in the real world are expanded upon by computer-generated perceptual data. Depending on the type of platform, this could include multiple sensory modalities such as visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

Try to use voice search

Conversational commerce is one of the next big things to come to e-commerce technology platforms. The use of voice search through smart home technologies is on the rise. Online users are becoming more comfortable using digital voice assistants. These users initiate voice search functions on mobile devices, in stores, and through televisions every day. Shopping will become more accessible through these platforms as the customer base continues to grow.

Conclusion

Understanding that your eCommerce marketplace consists of technology modules can help you customize your marketplace to work the way you want it. Many of the applications enhance the site and make business management more effortless. Working with a professional with a knowledgeable background as to what technologies are available, and their functions can help you choose the best modules for your tech stack. Choosing the right combination can make the difference between success and failure. For management purposes, the right combination could contrast an easy management system or one that requires more time and effort. Getting it right the first time is easy: ask for a consultation.

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