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.

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.

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.

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.

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