Incorporating Industry Best Practices
Designing for the Future of International eCommerce
When appraising available solutions, it’s wise to not only evaluate the present needs of your business but to consider future demands as well. The future upgrades may concern maintenance, security or patching, and the architecture of the
platform itself must be configured in a way that won’t require a complete -or major- rework of the application every time there's an upgrade. In addition, a common practice for an international eCommerce
platform involves scheduled or ongoing tasks that occur, such as data analysis, caching, sending out transactional emails, and just general modifications or updates for indexes and integration. As a result, those tasks would ideally be
extendable and allow for additional jobs to be defined as you go along.
If the existing functionality doesn’t meet certain business requirements, the international eCommerce platform needs to support further addition of features. Maybe you need to send a certain type of email to meet legal requirements for a
particular region. Perhaps within a specific area, customers experienced issues relating to the quality or grade of an item. You may need to send some form of verification before they complete their purchase, so you can make sure your
customers understand exactly what they're buying. Or maybe there's a location-specific holiday or special event and you want to be able to promote your offerings during that particular event.
All of the above are examples of scenarios where you would want the ability to extend the existing platform. In other words, to take the existing data, customize it, and then provide information or complete tasks to make the experience more
robust and user friendly. Furthermore, as the scaling of the international eCommerce platform progresses, most businesses will wish to integrate their international eCommerce system with internal:
- Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP)
- Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM)
- Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
- General Line of Business applications (LOB)
The integrations would push and pull data between the international eCommerce system and the internal business systems. So, the question is: does your international eCommerce software, or the software that you're evaluating, offer robust
APIs that use the latest technologies like REST? Does it offer the ability to work with older technologies like SOAP, so that your internal team members, regardless of what technology stack they're used to, can still use those APIs?
Moreover, does it have the ability to provide access for reporting, and possibly raw data access for business intelligence platforms, so that they can consume the data and analytics to provide reporting for the business? Does the platform
have extensibility and are all of the essential resources available to your team in order to grow and extend the platform to match your business? We ultimately recommend that you dig into a plethora of questions as you're evaluating available
international eCommerce software.