Making a wholesale business successful is challenging. But even more challenging is taking a successful business to new heights. The idea of expansion and rolling your enterprise online shop sounds lucrative but finding the right solution to support your business is not an easy decision.
The wholesale ecommerce industry is witnessing an unprecedented boom and the global business to business sales is expected to cross $7 trillion by 2020. However, to ride the wave the wholesale business owners not only need strategic planning but also a robust and suitable ecommerce platform that can support the growth of their business.
Enterprise businesses are not only larger versions of retail business but they have additional steps and complex flows involved at each step of the ordering process. To stand out and make a kill in the multi-million wholesale online shopping industry, business owners need to invest wisely in the technology and platform provider. The selected platform should have the capabilities to handle the complexities and nuances of an enterprise business.
To make a well scrutinized and informed decision, you need to choose an ecommerce platform that demonstrates the capabilities to support and grow your business in the long term. To maximize your ROI you need to ask these 5 key questions before you make the final decision;
Is it ready to scale along with your business?
Scalability can be a major concern for wholesale businesses that deal with high volume of products, users, orders
Before buying their claims of scalability, it is wise to check the platform on a number of business scenarios. To ensure you are opting for the right solution, always think in terms of five years from the current date. Validate the platform on the following pointers;
- Does the technology make the platform inherently auto scalable
- Is it capable of handling high volume traffic during peak hours/season
- Can it handle all the transactions during such a peak
- Will it be able to handle lots of searches
- Can it scale up to any number of users, pages
- Does the enterprise ecommerce platform offer close to 100% server uptime
Once you get a positive answer for all of these queries, you can be assured that this can be a sustainable solution for your business in the long run. However, don't forget to check some of their case studies where they have been able to achieve such feats.
Can it handle extreme changes in your business?
The dynamics of business make it mandatory that your business is always ready for the change. Such changes are necessary to make your business survive and grow. Hence, the ecommerce platform that you are considering should be able to offer you the flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing environment.
A premier online store should not be opting for a solution that is designed on the premise of one size fits all. The platform should be able to handle extreme customization and allow you to tweak not only the backend but also the front end. Also, such tweaks should not take a great deal of effort in terms of time or resources. See for yourself if the platform has the following capabilities;
- Does it allow to create custom entities or tweak the existing entities
- Can it handle multiple storefronts for multiple product lines
- Does it allow to onboard a huge number of vendors for selling products/services
- Can it accommodate custom flows
- Does it have B2C capabilities that help your B2B business
- Do you have an option to white-label your site and its communication channels
If the platform satisfies all the above criteria, you can be assured that it would cope with the demands of your growing business.
Can it offer features to gain a competitive edge?
Let’s accept it, the level of competition faced by an enterprise online store goes beyond cut-throat. To stay ahead of your competition along with your product and services your website should have top-notch features that make your store unique and extremely user-friendly.
Your platform should be well aligned with the roadmap of your business. It should offer a gamut of tools and features that help you get customers from multiple channels. Thoroughly check your ecommerce platform on the following pointers;
- Does it offer cross-device, fast and engaging experience to your users
- Do you have the option to implement device-specific design themes
- Are the page load and page switch time good enough to engage customers
- Can you get a mobile site that is accessible on the basic smartphones or poor internet connection
- Will your enterprise ecommerce platform allow you to have inbuilt and third-party marketing and remarketing features/tools
- Can you rapidly implement new marketing pages or custom forms to get more information from your clients
Using a combination of above features and functionalities you can offer an unparalleled experience to your customers. This would help you keep them happy and loyal to your business.
Will it remain economically viable in the long run?
Although pricing is not the only factor to consider while selecting a plan but it is one of the major concerns. In fact, many businesses opt for turnkey enterprise ecommerce solution just to save money and resources. So the pricing factor should be thoroughly investigated before finalizing your service providers.
A premier online store has to distribute its budget prudently so that it has sufficient reserves to invest in new product lines and new business units. The expansion goals can be taken care of only when the core expenditure remains stable and does not involve upfront or hidden costs. To ensure that you don't need to curtail the budget of other critical resources check the following;
- Does the pricing model has a growth-oriented structure
- Do they charge additionally for servers and security tools
- Can you easily switch between the plans
- Do they offer additional services to grow your business digitally
- Can you avail additional services by paying for them instead of upgrading the whole plan
- Are there any hidden costs that beyond the standard pricing
An enterprise ecommerce platform that offers you affordable yet reliable and feature-rich solution can do wonders for your growth. Seek detailed and clear answers on all the above pointers to narrow down the best solution for your business.
Does the platform offer shipping solution?
A poor supply chain can be the worst nightmare coming true for a wholesale business. Bad logistics can endanger the reputation of the business and can dwindle the customers base rapidly. A well-aligned and streamline logistics service forms the backbone of a successful wholesale business.
While rolling out your enterprise online shop you should ensure that your platform offers easy integration with shipping partners. With far and wide reach of its shipping
- Does it offer integration with multiple domestic and international carries
- Can you avail discounted rate of shipping
- Do you have a simple and automated shipping management process
- Are there any extra costs involved in choosing additional shipping channels/partners
- Does it offer rate-comparisons to optimize your shipping costs
- Can you track your orders easily from start to destination
If these queries get an encouraging reply from your enterprise ecommerce platform provider you can be assured of a growth-oriented partner for your business.
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