When it comes to going online to sell, there are a lot of decisions to be made that can have an impact on the success of your site. One of the most important decisions is which ecommerce partner or partners that you choose. Their performance and insight can make a large difference in how your requirements translate into revenue.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you get started planning your next ecommerce site:
The plan ends up being your competitive advantage:
Although plans tend to change and some businesses have gone to floating requirements with their partners in order to prepare for more information coming in, the overall notion that the plan behind the requirements that is created at the outset can bring you success remains unchanged. So work within your organization to elicit as much information as you can from relevant parties regarding what the shared needs are and what the goals should be. You can then break these down into requirements and bring prospective vendors in to help develop them from a technology perspective. One positive takeaway from having ecommerce website builder partners involved in the requirements development is that they can normally suggest ways to keep your costs in line with your budget.
All for one or one for all?:
Once you have put together your requirements and determined what needs to be done, it can be helpful to put some thought into whether you would prefer to use many vendors or just one to develop and launch your ecommerce site. The edge right now in the market goes to a firm that can help will all of your needs. Some firms that offer one-stop shopping have gone even further and pledged to create your site for free, only charging you for a support contract that you would likely end up paying for anyway. One plus of using ala carte firms is that if you are a hands-on type of manager, the visibility will all be in front of you.
Marketing, marketing, marketing:
Another important factor in looking at ecommerce partners is how strong their marketing support is compared to their technical ability. To be honest, marketing is a very different discipline from engineering. You therefore want to look at firms that have a track record of producing successful sites and coordinating well on the marketing before you make any decisions. SEO is a good example of an Internet marketing area that requires a lot of effort on the part of firms to keep up with the latest techniques in order to be successful. By looking at areas like SEO results for a firm’s websites, you can get a feel for how well their own teams mesh together.
Ecommerce is a pretty exciting area to be involved with because there is a lot of change and a lot of opportunity when you use the right approach. By taking the time to find the right vendor to build your ecommerce website, you will be setting yourself up for success.