I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about the importance of creating and implementing an ecommerce strategy for your ecommerce site. I recently received an inquiry asking how an organization might assess their ecommerce strategy and validate that it is functioning as an effective business tool.
The litmus test is simple. You can easily determine the effectiveness of your B2B or B2C ecommerce site by evaluating whether the site supports your over-arching business initiatives and goals. Specifically, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
Is the site tied to a major business goal? Like all effective goals, this must be a specific and quantifiable outcome. For example, your goal for an ecommerce initiative might be to increase revenue by 20% or cut costs by 30%.
Does the site reflect your corporate brand and values? It seems elementary, but an enterprise ecommerce site should reflect the branding, culture, and values of your organization. Avoid the urge to do something “different” with your online presence that is not in synch with the rest of your corporate messaging. Ensuring that your ecommerce site reflects your organization’s branding, culture and values will allow you to leverage the power of your site most effectively and grow your business across all channels.
Does the site reflect and enhance your ultimate corporate goal(s)? Too often ecommerce sites are viewed as standalone initiatives that operate independently from the rest of an organization’s business rules and organizational systems. Allowing ecommerce to operate independently creates inconsistencies and opportunities for error. Take steps to make sure that your site furthers your organizational goals.
Do you have a long-term ecommerce plan? If your answer is “no,” you’re missing a huge part of your ecommerce strategy. Mapping out a 3-5 year plan that demonstrates site upgrades and enhancements will help you budget and allocate resources to make your ecommerce initiative a success. Without such a long-term road map, you are more prone to chasing whatever rabbit appears on the horizon whether it suits your business or not which is incredibly expensive, or worse yet, you may fall prey to the “set it and forget it” mindset that results in a fizzled ecommerce effort.
Periodically revisiting your ecommerce strategy and asking yourself these four questions will ensure that you leverage the power of your ecommerce site throughout its life cycle.
To learn more about how to maximize the success of your ecommerce initiative, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Ask When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.