What consumer electronics brands should consider when choosing an ecommerce platform
The consumer electronics market is one of the most successful segments when it comes to ecommerce. The brands’ recognition as technologically-advanced trendsetters, as well as their particular calendar when it comes to launches, and the hunger of their followers — who are always on the lookout for leaks— means that companies have a very specific set of needs met when it comes to ecommerce.
The biggest consumer electronics companies have grown from barely having their own online presence, and depending on retailers, to being a reference voice and sometimes even a direct-to-consumer retail leader, just like Apple and Samsung have managed to do. With this, their most important needs when it comes to platforming have evolved as well.
For a company with regular launch announcements — like most of the cellphone and computer manufacturers— it is important to keep as much control as possible around the information about new devices that is available to the public.
“One of the main things in technology and innovation that a platform needs to be able to manage well is this idea of breaking news about a device. These companies deal with trade secrets, and you have to be able to create product pages and assets for marketing with extreme security and no leaks.”Thiago Garcia, VP of Customer Experience for North America at VTEX
Platforms need great security in their data layer in order to serve companies in the ecommerce space, while also making it possible to send sensitive data to worldwide sites and coordinate its actual publication down to the exact minute.
Much like the opening weekend of a movie, the first measure of a device’s success is the number of pre-orders it’s able to gather, as well as the number of sales during its launch. Both of these numbers can be influenced by leaks, which tend to drive down the hype around the launch of a new product. Hence why Garcia considers security a “crucial functionality” for ecommerce platforms.
Speaking of first-day-hype, the way clients respond to consumer electronics launches — especially in the case of heavily followed brands such as Apple and Samsung — means that a website needs to be able to endure an extraordinary number of visits in short periods of time. This is also the case during seasonal sales such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, when consumer electronic products are some of the most sought after.
A good experience during the pre-order process or during launch-day purchase is vital for a company’s public perception, and can be a driver factor for a product’s overall success. So the company’s website should offer a seamless journey for every visitor, whether they are ordering or just trying to get more information.
There are other special requirements that can improve a company’s ability to offer added value to its customers. The first one is presets, which allow a brand to quickly launch pages with different characteristics. García thinks this trend will gain traction in the near future.
“(Presets) enable us to implement buttons and forms on the day – when assets are being published and a product goes live. This allows clients to put down their money for the product. As technology becomes more cutting edge, the adoption curve will change and things like waiting lists will be more of a trend.”Thiago Garcia, VP of Customer Experience for North America at VTEX
Other companies are already looking at Live Shopping, flash sales and other functionalities that can drive numbers up. Today, many product launches in the consumer electronics space come with some sort of promotional event in order to bring more fanfare to the new product. This means that one of the most important capabilities of a good platform is to be nimble enough to adapt to any future tools that could be used in this type of campaigns.
The consumer electronics space is very competitive when it comes to innovation, even if the market share tends to be concentrated in a few of the biggest companies involved. No one wants to be relegated in this race, and the first requirement is having the right platform to keep innovating in the client-facing space.
So, what’s next for consumer electronics ecommerce? We’ve talked before about some of the trends that we expect to grow in the near future, and we’re sure that some companies are working on new ideas that will surprise us all once they take hold of the market.