Central to Prosperity

Why solution support is the foundation for ecommerce success

With any new digital platform, the launch always gets the attention. That’s understandable: we’re hardwired to notice and appreciate new things. Novelty is seductive. But once that first flush of excitement wanes, people expect more than bells, whistles, and bright lights. They expect engaging content and reliable service. And that’s where troubles can arise.

That’s because all ecommerce platforms are complex and dynamic systems. Unanticipated weaknesses may manifest after launch, or develop as new materials and components are introduced. That’s not supposed to be an insurmountable obstacle, of course—after all, solution support was invented for just such contingencies.

But the problem is that solution support is more often honored in the breach than the observance. Maybe the designated “expert” team isn’t so expert, after all. Or team members are overbooked, and your particular crisis must simply wait in queue. In either case, your problem remains unaddressed, or the resolution proves inadequate. Time is lost, taking customers and revenues with it.

Solution support, then, isn’t just about fixing a sudden glitch or leaving the lights on during a crisis.  For any enterprise with an ecommerce program, it must be a key priority. Solid and reliable solution support is essential for site growth and stability; it ameliorates both immediate and chronic pain points. Good solution support ensures your site is continually optimized for the introduction of new products and promotions, tracking and measuring sales, customer preference, and behavior data on a daily basis, and integrating subsystems. It allows the ongoing development and inclusion of apps and algorithms that keep your site fresh, timely, and exciting, maximizing traffic and sales. 

Most critically, solution support supports the customer. That, after all, is the goal of continual site optimization: to ensure an easy and enjoyable shopping journey that leads to the buy button. 

Every time a consumer navigates to your site, it’s opening night. And when that curtain goes up, all the players must hit their marks and know their lines. The only way to assure your virtual “actors” are at peak readiness is through a crack solution support team that’s poised 24/7 to guarantee the script is up-to-date and any miscue is corrected. 

Products will come and go on your site. What’s permanent, what’s immutable, is memory of the shopping experience. How easy or difficult was browsing and purchasing? How attractive was the content? How valued did the customer feel? It isn’t enough to simply meet expectations. Let’s face it: the bar remains relatively low for most commerce sites. If a shopper is able to find a desired product and successfully conclude a purchase, she or he likely will be satisfied.

But satisfaction isn’t enough. To remain competitive in today’s hyper-challenging retail realm, you have to exceed expectations. The goal isn’t to make the ecommerce experience tolerable. The goal is to make it enjoyable—indeed, life-enhancing.  An opportunity of incalculable value is created every time a shopper visits your site: the chance to create a loyal customer, the kind of shopper who will ensure your business thrives for the long term. Along with your products or services, the attractiveness and responsiveness of your site is paramount to creating such customers. That means a deep and permanent commitment to solutions support. 

What’s required, then, is a mindset in both the C-suites and cubicles that elevates solution support to its proper place in the priority hierarchy. Also needed: the right solution support partner. 

At Astound Commerce, we not only recognize the importance of solution support—we specialize in it.  We avoid a cookie cutter approach, leveraging our deep expertise and strategic insight to create powerful solution support programs tailored individually for each client.

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Glen Martin

Glen Martin is a a frequent Astound Insights contributor whose other credits include Forbes, Wired, Outside, and Men's Journal.

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