7 Questions B2B Buyers Should Ask When Vetting a Platform
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6 Considerations for B2B Buyers When Vetting a Platform

Consider the following questions often overlooked when selecting an ecommerce platform.

  1. Explain the upgrade process.
    Many B2B buyers ask about the implementation process when vetting ecommerce vendors, but neglect to inquire about the upgrade process. Discuss the complexity involved when it’s time to upgrade, and ask if the platform offers regularly scheduled updates in lieu of upgrades. This question could save hundreds of thousands of dollars over time, and countless headaches.
  2. How does the platform scale over time?
    Understand the framework and technology stack the platform is built on in order to identify if it has the ability to grow as more customers transact online and ecommerce sales contribute to a higher percentage of revenue. If the technology is already dated, expect an expensive upgrade process in three to five years.
  3. How is the platform optimized for speed?
    Page load times have a huge impact on SEO and customer experience. Identify page load times and consider if additional costs for hosting bandwidth or a content delivery network (CDN) are necessary. A platform developed on modern architecture that caches pages and APIs will create a faster experience at a lower total cost of ownership.
  4. What are the integration capabilities?
    Integrations are typically the highest risk and most expensive portions of an ecommerce implementation plan. Inquire about platform connectors and APIs to ensure a smoother integration process. Consider a platform with headless architecture and pre-built APIs.
  5. How much customization is necessary?
    Rarely does an out-of-box implementation of any ecommerce platform meet all requirements at any given business. Understanding how customizations occur and if they impact future upgrades is crucial when understanding total-cost-of-ownership over time.
  6. How is the product roadmap determined?
    A product roadmap provides clear direction and prioritization of feature development. A customer-centric approach on behalf of a platform is a must for both planning and maintaining relevancy in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
multi-store architecture
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Znode’s Multi-Store Architecture Enables Scale and Growth

Quickly launch and manage multiple stores while significantly increasing speed to market

Znode’s multi-store functionality enables admin users to easily create and manage multiple stores without duplicating databases or catalogs. Admin users can upload products to a master catalog and assign the catalog globally, or create sub-catalogs which can be applied globally, to specific stores, or to one store. When a business needs to launch a new online store, the admin simply applies a catalog or catalogs to a store. Catalogs are simply virtual collections of products.

This architecture makes catalog management much simpler than traditional ecommerce platforms. It also makes Znode a much lighter and faster platform.

Highlights of Multi-Store:

  • Full control over all ecommerce stores in one central location
  • Improve speed to market by launching stores faster
  • Efficiently create and manage sub-catalogs from the master catalog
  • Apply catalogs and categories globally or at a store-level, allowing for greater flexibility
  • Provide a more personalized shopping experience with the ability to create custom stores
  • Efficiently manage pricing, shipping, tax, and promotions at a store-level
  • Boost store rankings with SEO management and the ability to create specific and unique URLs for stores

Improved speed to market + efficient store management = a perfect formula for growth

Znode Knowledge base in action
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Znode Knowledge Base is Live

Committed to raising the bar on customer experience, Znode has officially launched a new Knowledge Base. The database allows users to search any topic about the software and its capabilities, and receive answers instantaneously.

Znode 9.0.4 Release Searchendising
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Znode Releases Best-in-Class Search Functionality

Over 90% of online buyers are more likely to use site search versus browsing and on-site navigation.

Although a few factors could contribute to this stat – including customers in the late stages of the buying process performing the site-searches leading to purchases – advanced search functionality is the key to improving customer experience, and increasing conversions and revenue.

Here enters Znode’s newest upgrade: searchandising. This advanced search feature allows the user to optimize the customer experience by creating search rules for customer personas, products, and keywords. Breaking it down further, with the new upgrade users now can:

  • Create search algorithms to personalize site-search
  • Curate search results based on keywords and customer profiles
  • Override the general search and create an optimal site search experience
  • Adjust facets based on each product
  • Create and automate dynamic landing pages based upon search
  • Localize searches with both B2B and B2C users
  • Integrate customer attributes into CMS and CRM
  • Add unlimited attributes 
  • Automatically index results on a continuous-basis
Ecommerce personalization just got a lot more personal. Use searchandising to optimize the customer experience. Click To Tweet

What does this mean? By using advanced site-search functionality, users can essentially customize the results customers see after performing a site-search. This leads customers to the right product faster, creating a better customer experience. It also happens to generate an increase in shopping cart items, conversions, and revenue.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a meeting to talk about Znode’s latest features.

SEO

SEO Series: Links

You’ve made it this far in our SEO blog series!  We admit that SEO is not the most glamorous topic to discuss, but it’s crucial for your eCommerce website.  Now, we’re diving into the importance of links in SEO.  Catch up on our last posts on keywords and content if you need a refresher; they’re vital in the discussion of links.  We’re piggybacking here!

We started with the keyword discussion because it’s important to establish what your customers are searching for.  This then makes is easier for them to find you based on your content.  The next step is getting other sites to link to you thus signaling to Google that YOU are important.  People link back to your site thus creating link juice.  Example: you sell apparel on your eCommerce store.  You’ve written some blog posts about upcoming spring fashion and styling.  People interested in these topics then start to share your content with friends or other people online.  What you’re doing is adding more links to the web and making your content shareable.

Now let’s pose this question: what’s better — The New York Times linking to you once or 10 sites with very domain authority each linking to you?  Most likely it’s the former.  This is because The New York Times has incredibly high domain authority.  Multitudes of websites link to it in contrast to the other sites with low domain authority.  Moz describes this as a site’s trustworthiness.

We’re not stopping with external links.  Internal linking is the icing on the cake.  It’s important to link to other pages on your website because it forces users to stick around and it helps them navigate to other relevant pages.  It’s a value added benefit for the reader.  Remember how we said you should write and generate content for people?  Note that you can find the previous two posts in our SEO series above.  Voila, internal linking!

Stay tuned for one last post in our SEO series.  In our last one, we’ll be discussing long term SEO and how to continuously improve your ranking.

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