Choosing ecommerce software is like getting married–finding the right fit is half the battle. Deciding too quickly or letting yourself become star struck without asking the important questions can result in a less than satisfying relationship at best.
At worst, choosing the wrong ecommerce software solution can be expensive–resulting in lost time, wasted resources and a tendancy toward being gun-shy about trying out another go-around.
Don’t let potential pitfalls keep you from moving into the ecommerce space–like marriage, the benefits typically outweigh the tribulations associated with picking the right mate. Instead, keep these things in mind as you select ecommerce software for your business and reap the benefits of a mutually beneficial partnership.
Lots of fish in the sea. My mother always told me that there are lots of fish in the sea. The same can be said about ecommerce. There’s an ecommerce solution provider for every business from the Mom-and-Pop garage business to the large-scale enterprise organization. Does the ecommerce solution you are considering specialize in working with organizations like yours?
More than a pretty face. Let’s be honest–looks matter–but in ecommerce, you want to be sure your site is equipped with more than a pretty looking design. Site functionality, while largely transparent to the user, is essential for success. Does the solution you are considering offer the features and functionality your business requires? Is the provider constantly adding new features and functionalities to its repetoire?
It’s a commitment. Once an ecommerce site is live, you typically aren’t likely to even consider another provider for two or three years–hopefully considerably more. Because of this fact, it’s important to make sure you can live with the solution you pick. Can the solution you are looking at scale and grow with your business?
Prepare for a financial investment. A friend’s father once said to me, “Think marriage is expensive? You should try divorce.” Ecommerce isn’t much different. If the initial cost of the launch makes you sit up and take notice, consider that moving to another ecommerce provider is likely to double the initial cost at best. And, even if you don’t switch providers, your site needs to grow and change over time. Have you prepared an appropriate budget for your ecommerce site, not just to get the site live, but for years 2 & 3?
Ecommerce takes time to plan and implement. Most couples spend at least a year planning their weddings–and some take two or three times that long. Moving into the ecommerce space takes time to plan and, as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Same goes for your ecommerce site. Are you using a realistic timeline to guide your project?
While choosing the right ecommerce partner may be daunting, remember that ecommerce is immensely rewarding for most companies. Don’t let the fear of making the wrong choice keep you from moving into the ecommerce space.
Just be to ask yourself all the right questions before saying, “I do.”
Ready to take your business to the next level? View the on-demand webinar, Ecommerce Best Practices for B2B and B2C.