If you’ve recently created an online storefront for your cannabis dispensary, it’s likely that you’ve implemented online ordering with the assistance of a third-party provider that specializes in online ordering menus. While this option is oftentimes affordable, many third-party providers like Meadow or Dutchie will embed iFrame onto your website in order to deliver an online ordering system. Even though iFrame is simple and intuitive, native eCommerce is likely a better option for your dispensary.
What Does an Iframe Refer To?
The iFrame term stands for inline frame, which is a form of web development that allows developers to take the functionality of an external webpage and insert it directly into another website. When designing a website, iFrame provides you with the means of embedding an eCommerce dispensary menu onto a specific page of your website in seconds. All that’s needed for this option to work is to input a few lines of code into your website.
Pros and Cons of Inline Frame
One clear advantage of iFrame is that the provider is responsible for securing user data for your dispensary. Since the data won’t be stored on your website, a hack into your website won’t cause you to lose important customer data. The iFrame host will also provide regular updates that will apply to your iFrame menu. However, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. If the latest update is poorly made, there’s nothing you can do about it.
While there are a couple benefits of this technology, there are also numerous issues. For one, iFrame functionality doesn’t pair well with responsive technology, which means that mobile users could encounter usability issues. The menu’s styling is unable to be customized, which means that your online ordering menu will look the same as other dispensary menus.
The worst aspect of iFrame is that it’s completely invisible to search engines like Google and Bing. In order for any webpage to appear in search results, search spiders from Google or Bing will first need to crawl the page, after which the page can be indexed and appear in relevant search results.
However, spiders are unable to crawl iFrames because the content is hosted on a third-party domain. Because of this issue, your website and products won’t show up in Google search results and can’t be optimized.
What Native Ecommerce Refers To
Native eCommerce is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of having an online ordering menu inserted into your website, the eCommerce solution you use will be built natively on your website, which allows for a much better user experience. Websites like Amazon are outfitted with native eCommerce, which is one of the reasons why Amazon has become so popular among online shoppers. You will have full control over what your online ordering system looks like and can make the design match your brand image.
Pros and Cons of Native Ecommerce
The main benefits associated with native eCommerce include comprehensive analytics for performance tracking, extensive styling/branding options, contextual placement of products, and expansive SEO functionality via tags, products, categories, and reviews. The SEO features alone should help you increase your website’s visibility by ranking higher on search engines.
Unlike iFrames, implementing native eCommerce into your website means that these pages can be crawled and indexed by Google/Bing spiders. Since these aspects of your online ordering menu can now appear on search engines, you can start optimizing your product pages for Google and other search engines.
The ability to on-page optimize the native product pages on your website ensures that your products get the most out of keyword modifiers. Once you use native eCommerce, you can optimize image meta tags, meta descriptions, and other on-page elements. Over time, your efforts should result in better search rankings on Google, which will increase site visibility, traffic, and conversions.
Despite the many benefits of using native eCommerce for your online ordering system, there are a couple of issues you should be aware of. For one, this system must be built onto each page of your website that’s it’s being paired with, which can take some time.
You may need to hire a professional developer to assist you with the installation of your online ordering menu. Load speed between webpages can also take some time because of how complex the architecture is for native eCommerce. However, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Why You Should Choose Native Ecommerce
If you want your dispensary’s online presence to continue growing alongside your business, it’s highly recommended that you choose native eCommerce. Even though iFrames have several tangible benefits, they aren’t search engine or user friendly at all. Because of these drawbacks, using iFrames is counterintuitive.
As mentioned previously, search spiders from Google and Bing don’t crawl iFrames, which means that your product pages won’t be indexed and will never be shown to potential customers who search for nearby dispensaries.
By implementing an online ordering system with native eCommerce, you will be able to create an online ordering system that accommodates customer needs and will have full access to an array of search engine optimization techniques.