Do you ever wish your e-commerce site was a little bit extra? Maybe you’re setting up an e-commerce business and think more options and unique features would increase site traffic. Or it could be that, after using your current e-commerce site for months or years, you realize that it could be better. The great news is that most e-commerce platforms are highly customizable, meaning you can create practically anything you imagine. Read on to learn about customization in e-commerce and the most customizable e-commerce website platforms.
What is Customization in E-Commerce?
E-commerce customization is the process of changing your e-commerce storefront — on the front- or back-end. This customization can be as simple as altering the standard color scheme or creating a new custom form. On the other side of the spectrum, sophisticated customizations on the website back-end can change how your site functions.
Top E-commerce Customizations
E-commerce customizations can help you differentiate your business and increase sales. Here are the hottest trends in e-commerce customizations.
#1 Better Site Performance
You’re probably losing customers if your site is difficult to navigate, the search function provides unreliable results, or there are too many steps in the checkout process. Customizations can make using your site a more pleasant experience, decreasing bounce rates and improving conversions.
If your main issue is that traffic to your site is abysmal, customization can help with that too. A customized e-commerce platform can boost your SEO capabilities, increasing the likelihood that people find your site when searching online.
#2 Improved User Insights and Customer Experience
Strong customer relationships are the foundation of a strong business. But not every customer wants the same thing.
The first step towards a better user experience is improving your understanding of your customer, including their culture, geography, demographics, and purchasing choices. E-commerce customizations can help by providing advanced analytics and robust customer profiles.
The second part of the equation is tailoring the user experience to their needs, desires and behaviors. With e-commerce customization, you can change the content for each user within product descriptions, ad copy, blog content, email, and more. Possible variations include chosen language, featured products, couponing, discounts and payment processors.
E-commerce customizations can also help you re-engage customers if they don’t complete a purchase. You may have heard that nearly 70% of shopping carts are abandoned. You can customize retention and retargeting strategies on your website. For example, you may send visitors a reminder email when they leave something in their cart.
#3 Customizable Product Options
Great product images sell products. But it can be a challenge to represent all the possible options to your customers if you sell products that can be personalized or customized. But there’s an e-commerce customization that can help. A product configurator allows your customer to select specific attributes for an item, seeing how they change an item’s appearance before making their choice.
One typical use of a configurator is showing what a t-shirt design would look like on a rainbow of shirt colors. But advanced product configuration functionality allows you to do so much more, including:
- Change product imagery in real-time
- Leverage 3D and AR in product visualization
- Support user-generated content and clip-art
- Adjust pricing based on customer selections
#4 Unique Shipping Solutions
Some shipping options are built directly into your e-commerce platform — usually free and flat-rate shipping. But these options aren’t always great for the customer or your bottom line.
As you’d guess, free shipping is the favored option by all customers, but your business may not be able to support the costs. And flat rates based on purchase cost can have an unpredictable impact on the ROI if the product’s price point is unrelated to product size and weight.
While a glitzy piece of jewelry and a table can cost the same, there’s a massive disparity in the shipping cost. Your customers may think that a $30 shipping cost is far too much for some new bling that weighs less than an ounce. But that same twenty bucks may not come close to covering the cost of shipping that 150-pound table.
By offering additional options, you can provide a better customer experience and incentive to buy. Plus, you’ll probably save money in the long run. Options to consider are:
- Live rates – This option calculates shipping costs based on the specific customer order, sending real-time data about the order’s size, weight, and distance to the carrier (e.g., FedEx, UPS, USPS). Customers like live rates because they can see how costs change based on weight, carrier and speed. Then they can choose the one that best meets their needs — and budget.
- Table rates – With this option, you set shipping based on factors like product pricing, sizes, order totals or shipping destination. So you might charge $5 for anything that weighs less than five pounds and $10 for anything that weighs more. Or you may charge more (or less) when shipping to certain parts of the country.
- Free shipping over a certain dollar amount – The shipping cost still comes out of your pocket. Still, your customer is probably buying more than they would have otherwise. So your profit can help offset the shipping cost.
- Subscription services – E-commerce businesses are also tapping into subscription services as a great way to generate repeat reorders and revenue — with significantly less work. An example of this is Amazon Subscribe & Save, where customers can choose to receive refills and consumables at regular intervals. Customers get free shipping and tiered discounts based on the number of items in their recurring order. Another option to generate ongoing revenue is setting up a subscription box.
Point B can help customize your website with all the shipping options that your customers may desire. And, remember that shipment tracking has become table stakes in e-commerce. Most e-commerce platforms have shipment tracking built-in. But if yours doesn’t, that’s something that we can help with too.
#5 Inventory Management
Inventory management is a critical function in running a business. After all, you need to understand where your products are and where they’re going — along with what’s selling and what’s not. Keeping tabs on your inventory can help ensure you have products to meet customer demand without delays. You may even be able to identify opportunities for line extensions.
Unfortunately, manual inventory management is time-consuming. And, if your inventory is frequently changing — as you hope it is — it can be challenging to keep counts updated. So, it’s no wonder that a popular customization trend is automating the inventory management system of e-commerce platforms.
Beyond accounting for stock, these systems help you make modifications based on product performance. Features of custom inventory management systems can include:
- Viewing historical data and trends
- Identifying slow-moving and fast-moving products
- Price optimizations based on sales performances
- Adjustments to reorder points to help ensure ideal inventory levels
Point B can help create robust inventory management that supports your unique needs. And if you need multichannel inventory management for your e-commerce and retail inventory, we can help with that too.
Most Customizable E-Commerce Website Platforms
There’s a lot of debate about the most customizable e-commerce platform. But we’ve highlighted some of the frontrunners below. The best website for e-commerce customization depends on your needs — and the needs of your audience. For example, some platforms are better suited for electronic products. In contrast, others are better at supporting the sales of physical products. And obviously, if you already have a current website and are just looking for an e-commerce add-on, that’s a different story than starting from scratch.
Contact us if you’re unsure what makes sense for you and your business. We’d love to listen to your current needs, dream about the future, and put together a plan — and a website — that will help get you there. We can support customizations on all the following e-commerce website platforms and more.
WooCommerce is an excellent open-source choice. This is especially true if your small business already has a WordPress site since there’s a free shopping cart plugin that you can easily slot in. This platform is known for a wide range of themes and a robust set of built-in features such as shipping options, geolocation support, mobile optimization, coupons, and discounts. Popular customizations for WooCommerce include adding shipping tracking, drop-shipping functionality, and logistics support.
Another open-source website platform with a WordPress plugin is BigCommerce. It costs a bit more than some other options. Still, it has some compelling features such as gift cards, endless bandwidth, unlimited product listings, custom domains, many themes, and e-commerce templates. Common customizations include options to recommend products frequently purchased together, add to cart upsell and a popup login.
There are plenty of reasons why Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms for small to medium businesses. With features such as diverse custom domains, AI personalization, 70+ templates, excellent support, and a drag-and-drop store builder, Shopify makes it easy to get the store you want — even if you don’t have coding or design skills. It’s also possible to customize the checkout process and the back-end of the site — but you’ll likely need support from a web development company.
Adobe Commerce, formerly Magento, is another fantastic open-source choice for small to medium businesses (SMBs). Highlights include diverse custom domains, AI personalization options, more than 70 user-friendly templates, and stellar customer support. The platform is highly customizable with the backing of expert developers.
Prestashop is an open-source e-commerce solution that it’s easy to download and install. Because it’s highly flexible and extendable, it’s gaining popularity as an e-commerce solution. With Prestashop, you can have a fully functioning store without spending a dime. To customize your site — either on the front-end or back-end — you can add modules from their marketplace or create your own. Prestashop is easy to use, and even a non-technical person may be able to customize it.
Wix is a top-rated website builder for good reason. The drag and drop editor is extremely easy to use, making it easy to set up and fully customize the appearance of your e-commerce store. Plus, the extensive app store helps ensure you have many features and tools for your growing site. But you may need a developer to support more complex options such as custom forms, third-party API integration, advanced search function, and dynamic content.
The Squarespace website builder makes it easy to set up your e-commerce website. And, if you want unique features and add-ons, it’s no problem. Using the Squarespace Developer Platform, you can add custom code and CSS styling, plugins and 3rd party tools.
Opencart is an open-source option you can add to your current site. A key benefit is the massive amounts of themes and modules available to expand your site’s functionality and customize your website’s look and feel. Plus, you get free downloads and updates with no monthly fees. You can choose between community support, dedicated support from Opencart, or partner with a web developer to get your site just the way you want.
Why Outsource E-Commerce Website Development
There’s a lot you can do with your e-commerce website. Still, you might not have the time — or the necessary skills to make your dream store a reality. Point B is a trusted resource with the most in-demand customizations on virtually all e-commerce storefronts and web platforms.
If you want to go all-in on customization, consider taking things up a notch with customized logistics kitting. We personalize the kitting process for e-commerce businesses with branded packaging or unique coupons. We can even help you add a personal touch by including handwritten notes.