Choosing the right e-commerce platform

Selecting a new technology solution to power your online sales can be a daunting proposition. With so many e-commerce software vendors, products and implementers in the marketplace, it is difficult to know which is best for your business or indeed how to even get started.

Here are the five top tips we give to clients who are about to embark on a new e-commerce development:

1. Don’t jump into a purchase decision

There is a tendency for businesses to engage software vendors too early in their selection process, often before they have even properly worked out their core requirements for the new system.

Take some time to capture the detailed requirements which are specific to your business. The requirements should capture the expectations you will have on the system from a functional and non-functional perspective. Don’t forget to also consider the commercial and operational aspects such as the price point (total cost of ownership), industry adoption, ease of access to appropriately skilled developer resources and support services, product roadmap, ease of integration with other systems, etc.

2. Choose the right implementation partner

Of course I’m slightly biased here, but whilst choosing the right software product is important, I think it is crucial to have a trusted and reliable implementer. After all, these will be the individuals working alongside you throughout the selection process, the implementation phase and the ongoing support and enhancement of the system. Your e-commerce project will live or die by the quality of the implementation, not just because a particular software product is chosen.

3. Decouple the selection of the software from the choice of the supplier you want to build your solution

Choose a supplier with e-commerce and web application implementation experience across a number of different products and platforms as they will be able to give you the level of vendor neutrality and real world development experience needed to make an informed product selection.

4. Involve stakeholders from across the business in the selection, design and development process

Your e-commerce platform is not just another project to be run and delivered by your IT department. The solution should transform the way in which the business is able to sell to and interact with customers, so the project should be led by those closest to the end customer and the overall business objectives.

5. Don’t forget about the content

The success of any web or e-commerce solution rarely comes down to simply choosing the right technology. More important is the ability for a business to produce and maintain engaging and useful content that supports the end products or services that you are offering to customers.

Ensure that your new platform empowers individuals within your business, allowing and encouraging them to create high quality content.  Make every aspect of content generation a straightforward, enjoyable and rewarding process, not an ongoing battle with yet another frustrating or confusing IT system. A better content editing and content management experience for your internal users will result in a more engaging experience for your end customers.

If you are taking your first steps into e-commerce, or are looking for a trusted advisor to help you through the process of e-commerce platform selection and implementation, then please get in touch. Priocept can provide the expertise and resources that you will require for your project to succeed.

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