The days of the single website are long gone -- today's businesses manage a variety of websites in the interest of appealing to customers with vastly different needs and preferences. It's common for companies -- especially large enterprises -- to begin with a general website and then specialize with several additional B2B online stores, which are typically targeted for very specific types of customers. Unfortunately, keeping track of these wildly different websites can be a huge hassle.
The right eCommerce platform will feature an easy-to-navigate central client administration area that allows for seamless management of all relevant sites. Widgets and other tools should provide an element of flexibility, while also maintaining full control over the front end experience. The following are a few key modules that each central platform should include:
Not all website users should enjoy the same capabilities. The ideal platform will allow you to maintain full control over a diverse range of users, including everyday consumers and account administrators. Look for preferred groups functionality, which allows each website to operate as a store within a store.
The many online customer stores you operate may share images and documents, despite being targeted at different users. On other occasions, however, these assets may be reserved for a specific site. Manage both situations with an online solution that lets you choose whether to share images across several websites or use them in a more specific manner.
Content Management System
Your content management system (CMS) should allow for prompt editing, with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) setup that shows changes as they're made. Prepare to bounce back and forth from the front to back end, handling everything from system workflow to user experience with ease.
Ordering protocol may be vastly different from one website to the next, based on the specific needs of each customer. Order management must therefore be unique to every account, as this will ultimately ensure prompter and more accurate reporting.
Single Sign-On Authentication
An effective authentication process that offers users access to multiple applications and websites by signing in just once, single sign-on (SSO) greatly enhances the customer and administration experience. For back end purposes, SSO can be used to log activities and monitor user accounts.
Drag and drop functions provide a more accessible and personalized experience for administrators, who can customize and manage eCommerce sites exactly as they see fit. This allows for a more targeted approach to website content, which can be customized to fit the exact needs and preferences of the end user. The best content management systems provide the opportunity to create your own widgets, while also taking advantage of already existing widgets.
Managing lots of websites need not be a burden. From single sign-on to shared assets, a variety of features can be employed to allow for seamless management on the administrator's end, and easier online ordering for customers. Think carefully before selecting an eCommerce solution, as your decision will ultimately have a huge impact on customer satisfaction.