The Right eCommerce Platform: Future-Proof Your Business
By Mark Richards, CEO, Kalio Commerce
If the last two and a half decades of eCommerce have taught us anything, it’s that the future is hard to predict. Particularly the future of eCommerce technology. With the rapid changes brought on by Covid-19 such as supply chain issues and rising customer acquisition costs, it’s become increasingly imperative for companies to quickly adjust their eCommerce strategies to account for these changes. And it’s not going to slow down anytime soon.
Which is why one of the key trends in eCommerce is to deploy newer, SaaS-based, API-driven, technologies. Gone are the days of long implementation cycles, limited customization capabilities, and bloated codebases that make upgrades all but impossible. Today’s eCommerce technology needs to be nimble, flexible, and extensible to maximize your opportunities and reduce the long-term risks to your business. Focus on these 3 areas and you’ll help maximize your eCommerce opportunities moving into the future:
The part that’s worth noticing is the efficiency and design of the structure itself. Is it extensible? How will it respond to the need to become more customized, resilient or user friendly?
Focus less on specific features that a platform offers (they’re always changing anyway) and more on the long-term underlying principles of speed, flexibility, and extensibility. By doing so, you’ll be well-positioned for whatever the future may hold.
- Mark Richards, CEO, Kalio Commerce
- Rapid deployment cycles – from implementation to enhancements, building out your eCommerce solution and extending its capabilities can no longer take months or years. Instead, companies are looking to execute in hours, days, or weeks. This allows them to launch capabilities, measure real-world user feedback, and then modify or expand these capabilities quickly. Rather than working on 1-2 major updates a year, implementing a cycle of continuous platform enhancement allows companies to rapidly adjust to market changes and enhance their capabilities at a lower risk to the organization.
- Flexibility – having the ability to create unique user experiences and deliver merchandising options specific to your business model is another key trend. Often referred to as “Headless Commerce”, this refers to the ability to separate an eCommerce site’s front-end presentation layer from its back-end capabilities. Platforms that offer this capability provide their customers with full control over the user experience allowing them to shape an online shopping experience that is unique to their brand. And they can do so without jeopardizing their ability to leverage future platform upgrades.
- Extensibility – oftentimes, eCommerce solutions will limit the extent to which a customer can expand data fields, add new attributes, or incorporate 3rd-party integrations. Systems that do so limit a company’s ability to take advantage of new technologies and/or business opportunities. This can compound over time until the retailer has no choice but to re-platform to a newer, less restrictive, solution. Choosing a solution that offers an extensible data architecture and scalable systems will not only ensure that you’ll be able to take advantage of future opportunities but it can also eliminate the re-platforming cycle that so many retailers have grown accustomed to every 3-5 years.
So, whether it’s BOPIS, BNPL, ERP/OMS integrations, or some other new acronym that comes along, make sure you’re eCommerce website is prepared. Focus less on specific features that a platform offers (they’re always changing anyway) and more on the long-term underlying principles of speed, flexibility, and extensibility. By doing so, you’ll be well-positioned for whatever the future may hold.
Mark Richards, CEO, Kalio Commerce
As CEO, Mark leads the senior management team to establish direction and implement strategies. Mark brings expertise in strategic relationships, business development, and services management to Kalio and KalioTek. He has served as CEO, VP Consulting, CIO, and in other management and business development roles for a variety of high technology firms.
Prior to KalioTek, Mark was a member of the founding management team of Corio (IPO in 2000, acquired by IBM in 2005), an early pioneer in SaaS/cloud-based enterprise applications. Prior to that, he was Director of IT Outsourcing for DSCI.
Mark holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah.