No time right now?
Finding a suitable e-commerce solution is not that easy. But especially in times of the corona pandemic, it is crucial in order to offer customers an optimal customer experience and successfully assert oneself against competitors.
Whether digital only or traditional retailer with ambitions in e-commerce: Many companies have long been without their own online shop as a sales driver. Since the outbreak of the corona pandemic last year, the focus has now been even more on the topic of e-commerce – after all, customers only have one thing left in lockdown: online shopping.
It is therefore all the more important for companies to offer their customers an optimal customer experience despite the unusual circumstances, to maintain the dialogue with them and to put them even more at the center of the action. Because at the end of the day, only those companies can score points with their customers who respond to their current needs in their online shop. A strong e-commerce partner sets the course for online success – especially in these challenging times. How to find the right provider step by step and which one Factors you should pay special attention to in 2021, you can find out here.
As-is analysis and catalog of requirements
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Before you start looking for an e-commerce solution, you should think carefully about what it has to do. The clearer your ideas are, the easier it is to evaluate the various systems and offers. In the first step, carry out an analysis of the current situation and clarify all framework conditions – for example how many products or stock keeping units (SKUs) are listed, which ones target group the online shop has or how high the sales are. On this basis, a catalog of requirements can be created that contains all the relevant topics for the decision. These include, for example, technology, security or that Content management.
You should also note that personalization that is the alpha and omega. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, you can suggest personalized content and individual product recommendations to users. This gives you the advantage of better understanding the customer journey, identifying the next steps and measuring their impact – fully GDPR-compliant, of course.
Schedule and Budget
Now it is time to define a schedule with various milestones and set the budget. Also take into account dependencies on other systems when planning your schedule; for example when a new ERP or CRM is introduced and the data is to be synchronized with the shop system.
When it comes to budgeting, you shouldn’t forget the expenses for the initial setup and ongoing operations. With regard to on-premise versus cloud in particular, there are some key factors that can make life easier in the latter respect, including hosting, monitoring or CDN, for example.
Supplier search and evaluation
When you know exactly what you need, when the shop should be (re-) launched with the new system and what you are ready to spend, it is time to identify suitable providers that you approach for your pitch. To do this, you create a long list of providers who may be eligible. Here you can either consult provider comparisons or personal recommendations or find out which ones via specialist articles, webinars or events Systems are currently on the market. You then compare the providers with the catalog of requirements and delete unsuitable candidates. Ideally, what remains is a shortlist of up to five providers. Provide the providers on your shortlist with a comprehensive briefing and ask them to fill out the catalog of requirements. A product demo also helps you make the final decision. With it you get an insight into what the daily work with the solution looks like. Make sure that you are able to change or add content on your own without having to worry about IT. This saves you valuable time and allows you to immediately provide your customers with the information they need.
Optimize, optimize, optimize
Did you find the most suitable solution for you? Congratulations! But that’s not all. So make sure that you understand the customer journey of your Customers design and continuously optimize them as seamlessly as possible. From A / B tests at page level to complex scenarios – the right provider will support you with their know-how so that your online shop remains successful in the long term.
Further information can be found in the E-Commerce Evaluator’s Guide from Episerver (Optimizely), which can be downloaded free of charge here.