Choosing the right eCommerce Platform

In order to cultivate an eCommerce business, you need to leverage an eCommerce Content Management System (CMS) platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, Drupal, BigCommerce or Magento. Yes, you are able to sell products and services independently through a custom-built website or Facebook, but in order to effectively and successfully scale your operation, at a certain point, you’re going to need the right eCommerce software.


We’ve used nearly every eCommerce platform over the years:

– from bespoke built systems (Keter on NopCommerce, Freemans on Monetate)

– to open source systems (WooCommerce, Virtuemart, Magento)

– to cloud systems (Shopify, Wix and even touched on BigCommerce)

In order to evaluate which platform is best for your business, we need to establish what it is that you are needing from your eCommerce platform. Of course, this means the right questions need to be asked, such as:


  1. How much customisation might need to be done in the future?

The biggest challenge in eCommerce is dealing with the limitations of software and the costs incurred when you realize that the platform you have chosen doesn’t meet the requirements of your business. As an existing organisation you, more than likely, have systems in place already. Do these systems need to be integrated (like an ERP)? Can they be? Do you need to purchase plugins or extensions in order to do so? Are there certain limitations that could prevent you from running your organisation successfully and effectively? Does your business have any special payment requirements or authorisations? 


  1. Does Point of Sale (POS) or Multiple Location Stock Control need to be integrated?

Shopify has complete integration with POS from multiple locations, through to stock control, but it is not completely customisable, and it is never yours. So what does this mean? Simply put,  Shopify is a scalable eCommerce platform – it can accommodate any growth your store experiences – however, Shopify is hosted SaaS. Meaning, although it has flexibility, it manages the software for you and unfortunately this means that you are limited when it comes to customisation and cannot change the core code. Whereas, WooCommerce is completely scalable and you can customise the PHP to achieve any requirement, and of course, the code is yours!


  1. Do you have complex product variants or variations?

Some Sofware as a Service (SaaS) solutions may not necessarily meet your business requirements; they do not always allow for complex catalogue taxonomies and they limit the number of variants or attributes each product can have. Therefore, one must ensure they choose the right platform, to avoid extra costs incurred due to the need to purchase plugins in order to meet your business requirements.

Unless our client has asked us to work with their current eCommerce platform, we usually recommend Shopify or WooCommerce. 


Shopify: Trusted by over 800,000 businesses worldwide

It’s difficult to beat the simplicity of Shopify. This popular eCommerce platform is a ‘one-stop-shop’ that is extremely user-friendly. Not only do they manage all the technical maintenance associated with running an online store, but they offer 24/7 customer support and hosted plans that avoid any possibility of your website crashing when traffic and sales volumes increase. You are able to integrate easily with social media and alternate market-places such as Amazon; allowing broad, almost limitless, advertising opportunities. You do not need to have an existing website when using Shopify and each of their plans include a domain name,  SSL certificate, and, as mentioned, web hosting. 

As mentioned, it isn’t customisable. One needs to have extensive coding knowledge, should you wish to customsie the theme/design, and more specifically, Shopify’s coding language: Liquid.

However, on the up-side, Shopify offers over 50 different templates, each designed by professional web developers; with current trends in mind; making it easy to use, change text, imagery, layout, product catalogues and more. It combines powerful eCommerce features with a quick setup process! If you are looking for a user-friendly, simple, platform, Shopify is for you.


WooCommerce: World’s most popular WordPress e-commerce plugin

As an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress, in order to fully understand WooCommerce, you need to understand WordPress. 

WooCommerce allows you to leverage the most powerful content management system (CMS) and utilise this system to run your eCommerce store. Due to the open-source nature, you can customise every aspect of your online store and easily build custom extensions. Therefore, WooCommerce offers the same services as Shopify, except with more control. WooCommerce also offers a variety of themes, these are usually the WordPress themes, however, you are also able to integrate alternative/additional plugins; creating infinite possibilities. Although you do need to own a WordPress site in order to get WooCommerce (and this does affect the cost), if you already own one then WooCommerce is advisable. Although, it does depend on your skill-set. If you are technically skilled then WooCommerce is for you.

There are, of course, other factors that need to be taken into consideration 

  • Product Detail (either photographic or descriptions)
  • Shipping (price of shipping based on location)
  • Payment (integrating with Payment Gateways or POS)
  • and lots more…. 

Key take-away:

When choosing an ecommerce platform, we ask the following questions:

  1. How much customisation might need to be done in future?
    WooCommerce is completely scalable, can customise PHP to whatever you want your website to do… and the code is yours.
  2. Does POS or Multiple Location Stock Control need to be integrated?
    Shopify has complete integration from POS from multiple locations, through to stock control… but the code is not customisable, and never yours.

Still need help? 

Contact us to find out more.

The importance of eCommerce Attribution

Online stores are becoming more and more popular and due to their efficiency and convenience, today’s shoppers have become far more than one dimensional, as they constantly encounter new online experiences and platforms. 


Thus, given the cross-channel nature of today’s consumer, ecommerce store owners are urged to consider the amount of money being spent in the digital space and ask themselves the following questions:


“What value do my marketing channels and campaigns have?”

“Am I spending my money wisely?”

“What channel of attribution is the most effective?”

“Am I retaining my customers?”

“Who is my main target audience?”

“At which touchpoint did the lead convert?”

“Which source actually lead to the conversions?”


Answering these questions is equally important, and the only way to do so is to understand that the eCommerce Attribution Model is more than Google’s “Default Channels” or “Source/Medium”.


Understanding the most common eCommerce Attribution models


First Click Attribution

The goal is attributed to the first interaction. For example, if a user’s website visit was prompted by a Facebook Ad, then they visited your website again via Google Search, the conversion is attributed to the Facebook Ad.


Last Click Attribution

In The last interaction model the goal is attributed to the marketing channel that brought the customer to your website during the last session of their journey. This is the most common and unfortunately the most inaccurate. Since it awards credit to the last interaction, it disqualifies any effort put into previous interactions such as social media, emails etc – it has a somewhat ‘incomplete nature’. 2

Linear Attribution

Attributed to all channels involved prior to the purchase. This model distributes credit to every interaction that prompted the call to action and the conversion.


Last Non-Direct Click

This is the standard model used by Google Analytics. 100% of the credit is attributed to the last clicked channel within the user’s journey. However this does exclude any direct channels, but also undervalues any  previous interactions and awareness that may have prompted the direct sales. 

Time Decay Attribution

This attributes a small amount of credit to each touchpoint, however, the closer the interaction is to the actual sale, the more credit it is awarded.

“Thinking about ecommerce attribution is simply attempting to add granularity to your marketing analytics and to spend money and time more wisely.”2


Effective Tracking

Using an effective campaign builder and creating a correct UTM (Urchin Tracking Module),  is the most important part of the overall process. Should a campaign or ad not be tracked correctly, the user’s entire journey goes ‘undocumented’. Therefore all forms of interaction including calls, emails, chatbots, whatsapp messages, social ads, google ads, email signatures (and even non-digital media), should be tracked in order to effectively analyse the channels that may have prompted the interaction or conversion.

This helps the owner, or agency, to make better decisions when deciding where to invest more money, based on which channel is more effective.


How does this affect ROI Tracking?

Since the provided data enables the owner to track which platforms perform better than others, they are able to allocate budget to the high performing platforms that work best and therefore save time and money that may have been wasted on non-performing platforms. 


Integrating Google Analytics with CRM

Although Google Analytics assists in measuring the effectiveness of your inbound website marketing campaigns, a CRM platform stores data of your consumer’s offline activity. This is done by capturing the data collected emails, sms’s, social messages, whatsapps, skype and phone calls creating an attribution beyond the ecommerce store. An effective  CRM provides you with information including sale stage processes, hot/warm or cold leads, lead income, user loyalty, surveys and customer retention. This information, combined with Google Analytics data, forms a powerful remarketing tool. 6

Therefore, with the use of eCommerce Attribution Models, you are able to understand user’s journey as a whole and get a better understanding of which model will work best for your organisation. This allows you to allocate the necessary amount of money to the correct platforms and therefore save costs, increase revenue, generate new business and increase consumer retention and satisfaction.

We’ll be posting our next blog on how we use Bitrix24 CRM to measure offline attribution.

Keep an eye out!

Behavioural Economics in Ecommerce

Behavioural Economics in eCommerce

Behavioural Economics in Ecommerce

Insights of behavioral economics that can be applied in eCommerce :

What is behavioral economics? It is a term that is becoming more and more familiar on a global level in eCommerce. Combining psychology and business, behavioral economics looks at decision making processes from an economic perspective in both individuals and institutions. Why people make the decisions they do based on cognitive, contextual, social and emotional factors. Behavioral economics is not only concerned with the “why” it also looks at the inner workings of how these have an effect on the economic environment.

The first Insight that is addressed explains default behavior and how this can be used to enhance online engagement. Take a look at this example found in an online lecture on Behavioral economics, from the University of Toronto by Dilip Soman, found on edX online Courses. He explains the organ donation rates between different countries. How is this related? Read on, It’s astounding.

Organ donation rates in Canada are 2.5% and in Austria 99%, thats a huge difference. Why? We look at the processes of engagement that donors have to go through.  Have a look at the two processes below :

Organ Donor Process

As Dilip explains in the lecture, the difference is in their default assumption and this has a direct effect on decision making. Humans are lazy, two ways of looking at this : if you need a particular outcome,  check your process of engagement, what processes are in place that inhibit or enhance the outcome. Are you steering consumers on your site the right way, and is it a smooth drive or a bumpy ride? Consider the potential obstructions that consumers will need to overcome in order to land at the desired destination on your page. This default technique is not necessarily restricted to steering consumers, think of the possibilities of applying it in your online marketing strategy. Also consider that defaults signify “sameness” and grouping,  the “everyone else is doing it” effect is strong in decision making.

Decision making is not as easy to trace as we would like it to be, as individuals we are all unique in the reasoning behind decision making. However we are all human, and humans are creatures of habit, therefore we create patterns of behaviour, consciously or subconsciously, according to our own personal frame of reference as well as external environment. This is what we can observe and take forward into the online business world.

To learn more about how we can help grow your online business visit Shopping Directs’ services page now. Contact us for any further information here. We also suggest to check out our infographic on Consumer psychology and eCommerce Checkout process for more insights.

Online Business Points

10 Super Powers of a Social Media Marketer

In order to achieve successful social media marketing, we believe that certain characteristics of a social media marketer are vitally important. Too often people are bombarded with emails, messages, phone calls etc. of companies trying to sell them their products, therefore people expect their social media platforms to be free from that. With that being said, it is important that a social media marketer approach their target customers carefully and in a way that seems they are being helpful rather than trying to sell them something.

The first and most important step to get new business via social media is to earn the trust of their clients, one can only know how to do that if they know their client and by knowing their client they would need to listen first rather than assuming. If people see that they can trust you and that you are honest then they will want to listen and will engage more on your social platforms.

It isn’t easy being a social media marketer, but if done correctly it will make that much of a difference for your company as well as your clients.

Infographic by: Placester

e-commerce checkout

Consumer Psychology and the eCommerce Checkout

At Shopping Direct and our sister company TNNG, we love brainstorming, conceptualising and planning an effective eCommerce website – that will have real return on investment for our clients. User experience (UX), backed with the right technology, will help customers find the products they want to purchase in a matter of seconds. We design our eCommerce experiences to the old Steve Krug motto of “Don’t Make Me Think”. The following infographic will give you an insight into consumer psychology and help you better understand the eCommerce checkout process.

eCommerce Infographic