Why Choosing the Right Ecommerce Platform for Your Online Retail Website Matters

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A record number of shoppers now prefer direct ecommerce as 82% of consumers expect to be able to purchase directly from a brand’s website. And with global ecommerce sales nearing $4 trillion, companies can’t afford not to have a strong D2C strategy.

Making the transition to selling directly to consumers requires looking at everything from your customer acquisition strategies to marketing, fulfillment and back-office operations like payment processing and regulatory compliance. For instance, it’s important to be aware that the cost of non-compliance and monetary fines have been skyrocketing in the past few years as the complexity of laws, standards and regulations has increased.

To navigate these new challenges, it’s important to choose a backend ecommerce platform that can tie together your content and sales strategies with bullet-proof back-office processes to deliver frictionless ecommerce customer experiences in new and global markets.

I. THE SCALE OF THE CHALLENGE

Let’s zero in on one of those challenges: Regulatory compliance spans an incredibly wide range of issues, but is effectively about laws that apply to finance, sales and related data privacy, international trade and tax issues. The pace and rate of change in regulatory compliance pose a significant financial and legal risk to ecommerce. Entering some of the most attractive country markets means taking on some of the most difficult regulatory requirements. And there are plenty of stateside regulatory and compliance issues to contend with as well.

The penalties and legal ramifications for falling out of compliance can be severe. That’s why brands need to make sure they have the right technology, processes and people in place before selling into new markets

79%

Of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) member states have implemented e-transaction laws.

76%

Of online consumers consider data privacy and security as very important factors when deciding where to buy.

72%

Of UNCTAD member states have implemented cybercrime laws and 58% have implemented data protection and privacy laws.

II. THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY

Competing in today’s market and reaching new customers here and around the world, brands need to provide multiple buying options—including building a robust direct to consumer (D2C) ecommerce channel. When most people think about launching a D2C ecommerce channel, the first thing that often comes to mind is building an ecommerce store that provides outstanding customer experiences. They immediately start thinking about what it means to create a site with a sleek design and great UX.

But to provide outstanding customer experiences, you also need to align your back-office processes to accommodate your new direct ecommerce strategy.

After all, switching from selling your products wholesale to selling on an individual basis will require a significant change in your accounting, shipping, payment processing, fulfillment, order management systems, and other back‑office operations. And offering preferred local payment methods, a smooth checkout process and timely delivery is just as important as UX design for keeping customers happy.

While there are full-stack solutions available, brands today are taking a more modular approach for greater flexibility, speed, innovation, and scalability. Digital River provides the following solutions:

Experience Platform

Experience Platform (CMS & DXP)

Commerce Platform

Commerce Platform

Payment Gateway

Payment Gateway

Fraud Prevention Platform

Fraud Prevention Platform

Tax Management Platformm

Tax Management Platformm

Order Management System

Order Management System

Fulfillment Integration

Fulfillment Integration

ERP System

ERP System

III. THE RIGHT PROCESSES

Building a compliance group and enacting the right policies and processes starts by prioritizing your risks to see which kinds of issues (security, privacy, etc.) are most likely to put your business on the radar of regulators. Review the most relevant regulations to your business and build a framework for operations around that – while making sure that all of your processes are tailored to the specific geographies in which you operate.

For instance, do you want to:

Expand your footprint internationally?

GDPR in Europe, CCPA in California, the Great Firewall in China. How are you going to deal with all these different, overlapping concerns and guidelines?

Grow your digital channel or create a direct-to-consumer channel?

Depending on what you’re selling, what different products, there can be different regulatory rules that apply. And the risks may be different if you’re selling digital goods or services (software, subscription services) or physical goods, because different regulations can apply. It can be lot more complex if you’re selling physical goods into different countries, for example.

IV. THE RIGHT PARTNER

Partnerships are critical for ensuring you stay compliant and keep both your business and customers safe. Look for partners that have a large global footprint but also have experience helping brands like yours in the specific markets you want to target.

Going global is not easy. Here are just some of the localization challenges you’ll have to overcome when expanding globally, and how the right partner can you help you gain onshore advantages through hyper-localization:

CHALLENGE: Complicated import and export regulations and restrictions.

SOLUTION: A partner that can offer local buying experiences.

CHALLENGE: Increased financial and legal risk.

SOLUTION: A partner that’s responsible and accountable for anything that comes under global regulatory compliance, global tax management, fraud management, and payment processing.

CHALLENGE: Increased levels of payment processing declines.

SOLUTION: A partner well-versed in local transaction routing.

CHALLENGE: The high cost of investing in local infrastructure.

SOLUTION: A partner that offers already established local entities.

Learn how Digital River provides an ecommerce solution that is just that—an API-first, ecosystem-connected solution for global ecommerce payment processing, fraud mitigation, risk management, and tax compliance.

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so that you can start seeing 2021 and beyond!