How Does the eCommerce Website Lifecycle Impact on Your Needs With NetSuite?
The increase of e-commerce has redesigned the manner in which people around the globe buy and sell goods. As new online channels come into use, the traditional online distribution model for brands relying on eCommerce continues to be disrupted. In fact, the complete eCommerce Website Lifecycle is constantly and rapidly changing. It is this constant disruption that we here at Cloud Coders look at when approached to develop any integration between NetSuite and an eCommerce website already in use. In fact, we have found there are 6 key stages that begin with the investigation of the marketplace and business use for the website, through to the redesign and decommissioning of the website to adjust for changes as business and consumer needs change.
This initial stage should cover who your market is, what their requirements are, and what CMS will work best for your business. Things to consider are what type of content you want to use now and in the future, what is currently successful in the same market space that you’re operating in, and what your key points of difference are within the business model. One point to keep in mind is how will you communicate this to your audience?
When planning your website you should:
- understand your target market, what they need and what their future requirements may be.
- select the appropriate e-Commerce platform by taking into account the type of content that you want to display in addition to the product information
- work out the best way to ensure that the eCommerce platform enables you to deliver your products and services and what integration may be required.
- select a payment gateway that supports end-to-end processes including the inevitable refunds and returns
- determine what shipping costs and processes need to be setup so that it is clear what the process is.
- form a plan for your pricing and how it can be adjusted to meet the markets, including options like promotions and specials
- assign the right resources for developing and maintaining the content and website design.
Design Build and Test
The design approach can be executed in one of two ways:
- buy a template and adjust it to meet your needs
- engage a web design / graphic design company to prepare a design in alignment with your companies branding and image requirements.
If you’re new to the eCommerce arena then doing a themed approach is always cheaper and faster, and allows you to get a feel for what you may or may not want at a fraction of the price. Engaging a web design company can often not return a cost/benefit whilst you are working out what works for your business, or may require you to use a CMS that is either proprietary and lock you in. SO ALWAYS make sure you do your research.
Additionally keeping a copy of the development version of the website after you have tested and gone live is invaluable for future testing and maintenance.
Operate, Maintain and Evaluate
This is probably the key to increasing sales and rankings for your website. Whilst SEO still remains a bit of a black art, with google continually changing it’s search processes, regular content updates and changes to the products will ensure that your website is current. Linking to relevant news content and promoting products via social media channels such as Facebook, are popular methods to promote your website. Importantly, remember to turn off content once it is no longer required. Seeing a tweet from 2009 as the most current Latest News item shows that website is not updated very often at all.
This can all be tracked through Google Analytics. Look for pages that work well and those that don’t. Adjust the content and layouts to see if there is a better or worse response.
Redevelopment and Decommissioning
Once the website has been running for some time, it is very common to re-skin the website and to change the functionality. The choice for a redesign vs a decommission is usually determined by whether there has been a change in the functional usage of the CMS which often means it is too difficult and/or expensive to add the new functionality to the existing CMS. More often than not, a decommissioning can be avoided if the future requirements are thought through.
Linking the CMS and eCommerce platform to Netsuite ensures products can be managed centrally. This integration with NetSuite also means that detailed product information can not only be displayed on the website but ensures there is only one source of information (i.e. NetSuite) for customer enquiries. This also helps your business stay relevant regardless of where you are in the eCommerce Website Lifecycle.
Why NetSuite Integration
Using the right CMS and e-commerce platform ensures better ease of use as well as making it easier to maintain product information for your customers. The website integration with NetSuite also means that data entry time is reduced when adding new products, as there is only one core product database. You as a business are now empowered to control and effectively manage your business online via your website.
If you aren’t sure where your business is on the eCommerce Website Lifecycle or even what the requirements for your business and NetSuite contact us today and find out how we can make your life simpler and help you work smarter.