Enhance eCommerce Website Functionalities For Your Online Business Using Drupal Modules

When it comes to eCommerce websites, it’s all about functionality, features, and design along with the products you sell. The success of many websites is determined by not only the products you offered, but also on how well your website is marketed. An eCommerce website should have the following basic functionalities:

  1. Catalog Management
  2. Content Management
  3. Customer Management
  4. Order Management
  5. Analytics
  6. Static Feeds and
  7. Blog Management

The effective working of these seven pillars of an eCommerce site makes your online business successful. If your website was built years ago, it may be time for you to think about new innovations to provide more effective and efficient customer experience.

Enhance eCommerce Website Functionalities For Your Online Business Using Drupal Modules

Here are some simple steps you can take to make your Drupal website standout, convert visitors and provide exceptional user experience:

  1. Redesign: When business expands, operational units increase. One technology, one design for-all strategy does not provide the best solutions. So redesigning the website consistently is a prudent idea. As per the preferences of your customers, the colors, layouts, and visual effects should be customized. For example: If your clientele is primarily female, the website colors, images, and promoted products should all be designed to appeal to women buyers.
  2. Repurpose your content: Content differs when context differs. Content can be reshaped, reproduced with same concept. Just like remixing of an old song, a content can be re-created with new insights. Repurposing the content will keep your ecommerce website up-to-date and equipped with fresh content, a must for improved search visibility.
  3. Integrate an effective and efficient Order tracking system: As customers look for a status-driven order management system, many innovative methods are available to provide users the best website experience from order received to order delivered. Creating a personal touch at each stage by providing information to alleviate friction points is necessary.
  4. Add flash news and attractive brand promotions: Internet is our biggest source of information. Websites are mainly information driven. Promotions, seasonal offers work to attract customers. At the same time, these static news pieces should not distract the visitor from making a purchase.
  5. Integrate Analytics: Tracking each operational unit’s performance with one simple system by merging large excel sheets, formulated graphs, bar charts  is time consuming. You need an automated system that analyzes the sales performance of each unit separately as well as combined company’s sales.
  6. Optimized Blog: Adding a blog with frequent and useful posts is the first step for a successful website. But you need to both create and curate posts to keep your blog corner up and running. Segment your posts by visitors’ topic of interest, context and current trends. A blog reader, for instance, won’t be interested in a post that is dated. Similarly, one wouldn’t be interested in an old technology / old trend. You should provide them with fresh and trending topics.

Catalog Management:

Drupal provides a variety of visual layouts and can integrate CSS and3rd party libraries along with existing CMS. The images are placed above your current page, not within (what does this mean?). This frees you from the constraints of layout, without dumping large codes, particularly column widths. It keeps website visitors to stay on the same page. This avoids the user from clicking to view an image and then having to click the back button to return to your site is bad for continuity. Drupal Lightbox module is one that serves for this purpose. (Please rewrite in simpler language – I, as a reader, am completely lost when I read this section on catalog management – please say it like it is).

Content Management:

Landing Pages, subpages, navigations, auto messages, banners, comment management, etc, are a part of content management system. Drupal offers administrators to assign roles to website visitors thus providing the ability to control access to functionalities within both the Content and the online store – a very important feature in online commerce, where you may want to provide attractive discounts to loyal customers, but not to first-time buyers, for instance.

Drupal is a great content management and online marketing platform. It ensures that both users and customers have a seamless experience when using your eCommerce website.  Content management also allows website administrators the ability to revise the content versions, so that you can roll back anytime if needed. Drupal Scheduler Module helps you to schedule the content even in your absence.

Customer Management:

Drupal provides the ability to manage customer accounts, customer messages, customer details, help chats, and includes default options for password resets, new accounts management, user role assignment subscriptions to newsletters as well as latest offer & deals and unsubscribe options..

In particular, the DrupalChat module allows visitors of your eCommerce site to chat with each other privately or together in a public chatroom. This module enables sites to provide online support for your products/services.

Order Management:

Search and sort feature allows for easy tracking of orders by specific variables. View order information and purchase detail, view shipping and billing address maps and order status.. This allows you to track the order and also provides customers to search status of the order  providing another trust-building feature.

Analytics:

SEO, CRO (conversion rate optimization) and website analytics provide insight into traffic patterns, including how many visitors the website receives, the rate at which those visitors convert into paying customers, and statistics relating to order value and frequency.

To boost conversions and improve sales, Drupal’s community features allows you to engage more deeply with your customers that leads to repeat sales and higher lifetime customer value.

Static Feeds:

Static shipping rates based on zone, currency, shipping discount codes and promotions, your store’s origin details like shipment zip code and country code, google maps etc.are ongoing activities in any eCommerce websites. (Please complete link the dots – what does Static Feeds do exactly?)

Drupal can integrate with external systems via a RESTful API, that means you can extend the functionality found in Drupal with third-party systems. Drupal’s Static Feeds module is one such that allows you to import content from external systems (such as which external system) .

Blog Management:

It’s no secret that blogging provides many benefits to your business including increased traffic, brand recognition, better conversion and more leads. Great blogs allow readers to quickly scan and filter content by subject.

Some among many of the Drupal modules which can enhance the blog functionality are:

Apache Solr, which allows sorting of content/blog posts on the basis of parameters such as date, tags, author, etc. The module also renders a fast searching experience to visitors. Apache Solr Multilingual is the search tool that is ideal for blogs and searches which are not in the English language. It also supports content translation. Simplified Social Share lets an impressed reader share your blog post on popular social networks such as Twitter, Google, Linkedin, Facebook and over 50 more.

Content Optimizer module is meant to give you specific insights on how well-optimized your blog is, for search engine results and also gives suggestions to improve the same.

In the cashless transactions era, more people are buying online and enjoying the benefits of convenience provided by online commerce. More specifically, an eCommerce website should never store any customer’s private data, without one’s approval, within the database. So, establishing ways to secure your website is critical. Other than ecommerce enhancement modules mentioned above, Drupal is also a highly secure platform and  Drupal can enhance your eCommerce business by its vast and innovative modules and features.

The Drupal Commerce Fulfilment module provides integration with the order management web services. It tracks orders from order placement to Order Management System, after the order is received, Updates when the order is fulfilled.

Author Bio: Reena Joseph is a digital marketing expert with more than 3 years of experience. Adding to this she is a passionate blogger who in her spare time like to write on enterprise digital marketing services and explores her content on different digital marketing channels.

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