Since we launched American Off-Roads we have consistently used the word platform to describe what a lot of people might, incorrectly, call our website. In this blog post and video, we hope to clarify and layout for you exactly why we aren’t just a website.
The difference between a platform and a website.
The simplest way to describe the difference between these two ideas is to think of it this way, if a website is a house, a platform is the house, the foundation, and even the land that the house is built on. Not every house-type structure has a foundation (think of tents, mobile homes, RV’s) but every foundation has a house.
But for those of you that like your answer a little more technical, a website is a series of simple code that moves between static pages. A platform is a framework that encompasses a website but includes many additional services and features. Our platform, for example, includes five cloud platforms that allow us to evolve in massive ways over time.
Why use a platform instead of a website?
Not only does this give up the power to include exciting and innovative features on our pages, in ways that just haven’t been done before in the off road market, but our platform allows us to keep a very unique amount of transparency in all aspects of our business.
How often do you place an order on a website only to wonder how much your shipping will end up being before you get to the last step of checking out? Then after that, you have to wait to find out exactly how long your product will take to get to you? But lo and behold, now that you have placed your order, you find out this product is back-ordered and coming from the other end of the world!
That doesn’t happen with us.
Our product pages are full of information about how and when you will be able to get your product with different shipping options clearing labeled. You will know, before you add a product to your cart, if you should expect a discounted shipping rate, flat rate or free shipping. Not only that but once you have purchased your product our platform interfaces with our vendors to decide if our warehouse is the best option to get your order quickly, or if one of our vendors can make it happen faster. Once that is established and a shipping label is made, that is sent right to your email.
This is all possible because of the power behind our platform.
Any other features we can expect?
One of the best things about having a platform of this kind is that we aren’t limited by media size and usage. On our product pages, you will notice several tabs to get you information, and some products even have videos from the vendor (or us, we like making product videos!). We have the ability to house that kind of media and we are including more and more videos every day.
After all of that, we still have the room on product pages to host product documents, installation guides, Q&A’s, and reviews!
Combining the ordering platform with IBM Watson also known to you as Buck allows us to expand the capabilities of customer service, search and platform navigation. Over time you will see the platform expand its ability to deliver information to you in a fast and efficient way.
Thanks to the way our platform works we have the flexibility and scalability to do anything we want to as time goes on.