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E-commerce and single-copy report sales (part one)

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The platform we are discussing on this website is transactional, with each example portal able to accept credit card payments for both subscription-based products and also for single-copy R&A report products.

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As a subscription business it is a requirement that the portal and the Merchant account the business is using is set-up to take and process recurring charges.

Core Functionality

Below is a list outlining the core functionality involved in an effective e-commerce engine:

SECURITY – The entirety of the portal will be behind a secure server.

MULTIPLE DESIGN OPTIONS – The design of the product item and product list pages must be adaptable. The business will undertake constant A/B and multivariate testing to ensure that conversions are optimised.

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT – The metadata for the products should be easily manageable.

SEO – The product item pages should be optimised for Search Engines. Combined with high quality metadata this will create opportunity for high quality free, organic search traffic.

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To ensure that the site offers the best potential performance the pages should offer a static URL wherever possible.

SHOPPING CART – If the platform was offering purely subscriptions, or a single product no shopping cart would be needed. However, as the portals will market not only subscriptions, but also potentially thousands of products within each vertical a shopping cart will be needed.

For example, a user may want to purchase a SWOT analysis for 5-10 of its competitors or acquisition targets within the space.

CLEAN CODE – As with all other aspects of the platform, the code base needs to be clean and efficient.

SEARCH INTEGRATION – Any platform-based business integrating an e-commerce store that offers a number of different products will need to utilise a facetted enterprise-level Search Engine such as Apache SOLR, Sphinx, or the like.

In addition to offering relevant search results based on product type and scope, the enterprise-class search will also enable the business to better relate products together. Returning the most relevant ‘Related Reports’ back to the visitor as possible.

FAQ’S – This enables the business to answer any pre-purchase questions; remove potential objections; and to help the user understand the products.

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CHATBOTS – Integrating Chatbots, such as Live Chat functionality with the e-commerce pages enables the business to convert more visitors into purchasers. Additionally, it helps address objections to purchasing and opens a dialogue.