Tips on Building a Robust eCommerce Platform

An eCommerce platform must be strong and robust if it’s going to succeed in the long-term. A country like Australia, according to Roy Morgan, has a $24 billion online retail trade. If you want a slice of this, you have to do the right things.

Your platform is what will get customers to buy whatever you’re selling. There are so many things you need to do to build a great platform, but we’ve narrowed it down to just a few things.

Here are the main things you should have for building a robust eCommerce platform.

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Product Image Handling

A sizeable part of any eCommerce platform is made from images. You have to make sure you’re taking into account SEO with your images. Take a grid of products, or a product wheel, like one of those on www.batterystation.co.uk, as an example.

These product images can be clicked on. They remain on the same page, though. They should never point to a unique URL. Do this and your SEO is less concentrated and you’re lessening your chances of gaining exposure through organic search engine traffic.

How You Display Reviews

Marketers are constantly telling people to display their reviews directly on the page. It’s ideal for customers on a direct level, but, once again, SEO comes into it. This is necessary, but the way you do it can influence your results. Writing your reviews through Javascript is a mistake.

Google can’t read Javascript. It reads HTML and CSS. Amazon, for example, has displayed all their reviews in HTML. If Google can’t read it, your reviews won’t be taken into account when determining your SEO ranking.

To check if your reviews are in HTML, view the page source and see if the review appears in the page code.

Advanced Caching

Caching is a way of making sure pages load quickly and effectively. If there wasn’t a highly advanced caching system on your site, loading each new page would be very slow. Every eCommerce platform must have an advanced caching system for both SEO and conversion purposes.

From an SEO standpoint, Google monitor page speed. If it takes longer than five seconds to load, you’ll be penalized for it.

When we look at conversions, though, we can see how important it is. Conversions require fast loading or people will get bored and abandon their purchases. According to TIME, this generation is 52% more likely to make an impulse buy than previous generations. You need a good loading speed to take advantage of this.

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Data Movability

Your data should be easily accessible at all times. You should have the option of downloading everything from your platform onto your computer. At some point, you will move platforms and make a new website. It’s much easier to do this if you can recycle the things you had before.

This is also important for security. If your servers are hacked and site taken offline, it can take weeks to get back up and running without the data.

Ability to Update

Your platform should be on the cutting edge of eCommerce. You need to do this in a certain way, though. If your site hasn’t been updated in a few years, you’ll notice things have changed. What worked before doesn’t necessarily work now.

At the same time, updating with every trend will just frustrate your customers. What you need is a platform which allows for change as and when you need it. You shouldn’t have to call your designer for every minor update.

Hosting Options

Your hosting choice will play a central role in the strength of your eCommerce platform. Pick a host with a bad record and all the work making your site will be for nothing.

The key to success is to opt for a host with a strong network of data centers. The major providers have centers all over the world. Data is stored in multiple locations. If a natural disaster devastates an area, your site remains online because it’s stored elsewhere.

You might want to consider cloud hosting. This takes away many of the vulnerabilities of having everything stored on a physical server. Cloud hosting is the storage of data online. It might make it more vulnerable to hackers, but physical threats are more dangerous and potentially more problematic.

About Simon Brisk

Simon Brisk runs a successful online marketing firm besides which writing on various aspects of SEO and online marketing is also a passion of his. He feels knowledge is a wealth best shared with everyone.

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