The pandemic has changed the way we shop forever. The ecommerce industry is booming more than ever. The conundrum that SMEs now face is how can they continue to grow or maintain their growth in a post-pandemic world?
We know from our own clients that SMEs have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure their online success. Comfy Homes, for instance, has recently migrated solely online due to the pandemic and from this switch have massively reaped the benefits.
Ecommerce businesses are now challenged with a new hurdle of maintaining that level of success.
“The expectations are high and the concern is that we are under pressure to keep delivering. We have to continue to perform in a crowded and growing marketplace. So, in a nutshell we will be looking for proven solutions that are flexible and allow us to keep changing and keep visible.”– anonymous, PureClarity market research candidate, May 2021
Many businesses – large and small – are seeking ecommerce technology solutions to help grow, understand their customer buying behaviour, and to give them an edge over their competitors.
The process of researching and selecting the right solution can be time consuming, costly, and sometimes unfruitful. With so many options to choose from, the task of finding the ‘right’ fit for your business can be overwhelming. However, the pressure to follow new consumer trends, in order to stay relevant in an ever changing market, is building.
“There’s no such thing as digital transformation, it is a constant ecommerce evolution.”– anonymous, PureClarity market research candidate, May 2021
After speaking to 250 larger SMEs  in our recent research around ‘The Digital Transformation and The Ecommerce Evolution’, we found some extremely interesting insight into key deciding factors that SMEs look for when choosing the perfect software.
Six factors particularly stood out:
- Customer experience (CX)
- Return of Investment (ROI)
This blog will discuss which factors to consider when looking to invest into a new piece of software in more detail.
Cost was the main factor that SMEs said that they look for when choosing a new piece of software – and of course this was no surprise. Nobody wants to invest money into something that could potentially fail or have minimal impact.
A common misconception is that you must pay more money for a better product. BigCommerce suggests that “paying more doesn’t always give you the best experience”. Price doesn’t always determine quality. Before purchasing a solution you must consider the following:
Ecommerce solutions can be expensive, ensuring that you understand what it is you’re paying for is essential. Ask if you can have a free demo, chat with one of the experts, or trial the product before purchasing.
PureClarity is an AI ecommerce tool that provides its clients with a fixed monthly fee. We are a completely transparent and affordable ecommerce personalisation solution, that offers a free 30-day trial and discovery call.
Compare competitors and their prices. Once you find one, their competitors will be close behind. For example, if you search for MailChimp competitors such as SendInBlue also appear in the search results.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Understand what you are getting out of the product and company. Will you be allowed access to 24/7 support? Do you get analytics and insights into how the product is performing? Make sure that all your questions are answered and always check the SLA.
At a 98% customer satisfaction rating PureClarity prides itself on its outstanding customer service. We support our clients every step of the way through regular meetings – to provide updates, advice, and offer assistance when needed – and through our in-depth built-in audience insights and analytics tool.
Are you able to leave the contract at any time or are you tidied into something that is binding? Always check to see how flexible the contract is before signing anything. Some e-commerce software solutions work on a monthly fee basis, like PureClarity, so that there’s no pressure to commit to something bigger.
Impact is an important factor when considering a new piece of software. SMEs must consider how this is going to impact their sales, customer experience, conversion, revenue, performance, or ecommerce goals.
The impact of the software will generally depend on the purpose of the software. For example, if it is a personalisation software you will want it to improve the overall UX, conversion, revenue, and sales. If it is an email marketing tool you might want it to improve your customer retention, content distribution, and visibility – in short.
The one that all businesses care about. The numbers that prove that your investment was worthwhile. Is your sales, conversion rate, average basket value, revenue, or customer emails. Whatever you measure as success, these metrics and your real-time analytics, needs to be visible and the software needs to impact this number positively.
Built-in analytics that clearly show how the software is impacting your business are essential. Proof that something is working is necessary to build trust. PureClarity’s built-in analytics gives you a full insight into what campaigns are working and how much PureClarity has impacted your sales.
Forbes suggests that when looking to adopt technology you should ask yourself: ‘how will this software investment enhance my services to benefit my customers?’
Nearly 80% of consumers have said that they choose brands based on customer experience.
It is key to ensure that whatever ecommerce software you adopt has a positive impact on your business and your customers. Your customers are the core of the business – without them the business would cease to exist. Research shows that the ‘todays’ customer expects a high level of CX everytime they visit your website. This is the key to customer retention.
“I think customer expectations of the online experience are more and more sophisticated, and this has to be reflected in what we all do.”– anonymous, PureClarity market research candidate, May 2021
PureClarity’s personalisation software is an expert at delivering a seamless customer experience. Our ecommerce tools and expertise have in the past and continue to prove that it delivers an improved shoppers journey, which in turn increases customer loyalty, revenue, and conversions.
Return of Investment (ROI)
It is common knowledge that when looking to purchase a new piece of software ROI is an extremely important factor. Similar to the ‘cost’ section, you do not want to invest into something that could potentially lose you money – you want to see the return on investment.
A benefit of PureClarity is that it increases your revenue. Our AI-based personalisation platform encourages your customers to spend more and continue to return. You can be assured that PureClarity will get the most out of your website traffic. We turn browsers into customers.
“Since working with the PureClarity platform our target is to increase sales monthly to 6 figures to make up for the loss from in store sales. PureClarity has really helped us bridge that gap through the innovative AI platform that is increasing our clients order values and sales volume on site. The various features and integrations with our Magento platform have been great. The customisation of the platform is brilliant and we are yet to fully use all the tools the feature offers on site. The data is really supporting our paid media activity to increase performance and ROI from our key platforms. Having PureClarity onboard is helping us stay ahead of our competitors but also understand our customers better to help us grow quicker and efficiently.”– Comfy Homes, January 2021
Proof of success
Proof is the one thing that guarantees reassurance that a software technology is going to work. Take time to review social proof:
Case Studies. Take a look to see if the software has case studies of clients already using their service. Are there any businesses that are similar to yours in vertical, challenges or ecommerce goals that you could relate to?
People trust people. Checking out case studies and customer reviews is a must. You could even try contacting existing clients to ask them directly what their experience of working with this software is like – it is worth a shot.
Take a look at PureClarity’s case studies.
Free trial. Are they offering a free trial or demo to show you how the product works? A free trial is great for getting to know the product before fully committing to it. It allows you to see first hand that the product is worth the investment.
Resources needed to implement and manage
Our market research revealed that a key factor that affects the decision of choosing an ecommerce solution is resources required. A great deal of SMEs have limited amounts of resources. Depending on the size of the business, some may not be able to commit to something that is going to be extremely time-consuming to manage and implement.
“We are looking for something with big impact and little effort”– anonymous, PureClarity market research candidate, May 2021
Implementation time. How much effort and time does it take to get up and running? Does the software require a developer or is it a plugin and play? These are all things that must be considered before purchasing a product.
Some software products, like PureClarity, support you throughout the onboarding process to minimise implementation time as much as possible through 24/7 support, step by step experience wizards, access to our technology developers assistance, regular scheduled calls, PureClarity Academy, and our ‘ecommerce how-to’ guides.
Time. It is important to understand how much time this software is going to require. Another thing to consider is how much time your business has available and how much time you are willing to give vs the impact that the software will have on your ecommerce goals. Will it need an employee to manage or will it run on its own?
PureClarity has been described as a helping hand by employees and clients. It can be extremely flexible to your resources, time, and requirements. Our software is AI-driven which means it works in real-time, freeing up your time – this we can guarantee.
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Do you want to improve your customer experience, online revenue, and maximise conversions?
PureClarity Market Research
 All have in excess of 100 product SKUs on their site. All turnover between £7 million and £20 million per annum. A mixture of B2B and Consumer. The interviewees ranged in vectors; furnishings and homeware (25.2%), wellbeing and lifestyle (185), clothing (16.4%), DIY (10.8%), beauty (9.2%), leisure and/or hobby and craft (9.2%), food (8%), and home office (2.4%).