E-commerce platforms are the lifeblood of retailers’ online sales success. And the systems retailers are putting in place today are markedly different than those from just a few years ago. The changing nature of e-commerce platforms, which increasingly unify previously disparate back-end functions, reflect the broader retail shift to omnichannel shopping that ties together merchants’ online and offline operations.
Today’s e-commerce platforms often incorporate technology that enables consumers to check real-time inventory counts across channels, track the status of their shipments, read product reviews and deliver streamlined navigation paths so they can quickly find the products they want.
Some platforms also enable retailers to coordinate marketing initiatives across online, mobile and, in the case of retail chains, store channels. Often, these are platforms that are hosted and accessed on the web, or cloud. From these platforms, e-retailers can expect to be able to manage e-commerce, mobile commerce, accounting, point of sale, inventory and order management, marketing, merchandising, online marketplaces, customer service and financials. This special report examines the various features and functions e-commerce platforms offer.