I’m in the middle of preparing a talk for a couple of up-coming events. The basis of this talk is exploring which back-end systems are required in an eCommerce business, and more importantly when are they required.
When I create a talk / presentation, I take the approach of gathering as much information on the subject as possible and throwing it into an Evernote notebook. I then proceed to organize and structure this information so that I have a solid base of data to work with.
One of the first things I did when starting to assemble said information was to create a list of all of the various components of a mid-to-large sized eCommerce business that might have specialized software applications for them.
So, to answer the question in the title of this post, here is my list of software application categories for a mid-to-large sized eCommerce business. Many of these categories can be blown out into several sub-categories or specializations. The goal with this list isn’t to be comprehensive, but rather a point of guidance for businesses wondering what is potentially needed.
In other words, this list is probably not complete, so don’t bust my chops if I missed a category that your software app falls into!
1. eCommerce Platforms 2. Content Management Systems (CMS) 3. Content Delivery (i.e. CDNs) 4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 5. Customer Reviews & Forums 6. Customer Service 7. Email Marketing 8. Fulfillment 9. Live Chat 10. Marketplace Management 13. Mobile Commerce 14. Order Management 15. Payment Security 16. Payment Systems 17. Personalization 18. Rich Media 19. Affiliate Marketing 20. Search Engine Marketing 21. Security Certification 22. Shipping Carriers / Integrations 23. Shopping Comparison Engines 24. Site Search 25. Social Media Marketing 26. Web Analytics 27. Hosting / Infrastructure 28. Performance Management & Optimization 29. Business Intelligence / Data Mining
I look at this list and I find it a little intimidating. That’s a lot of “stuff” to think about if you’re a young eCommerce business. Of course there are several systems in the market that solve varying combinations of these problems. I don’t want to delve into the one-system or integrated systems debate in this post. I couldn’t do it justice and I think the answer depends on the business.
As I polish up my talk I’ll post more of my thoughts on the priorityorder in which I think a new eCommerce business will need to implement this list of software applications.
Matthew is the Co-Founder & CEO of Demac Media, a Commerce Agency serving mid-market to enterprise merchants with online and in-store technology products. Demac Media's team of 80 consists of Commerce Strategists, UX Designers, Front End Developers, and Engineers, all with experience in guiding and delivering commerce solutions for 80 retailers in North America.