Developing Your B2B E Commerce Strategy Part 1Maybe you already have an active B2B ecommerce presence today and you are looking for ways to give that initiative a definitive direction. Or maybe you are looking to expand into the world of B2B ecommerce but aren’t exactly sure where to start. Either way, developing a comprehensive B2B ecommerce strategy is essential for your success in the ecommerce space and will give your project direction.

There are nine questions you should consider as you start formulating your B2B ecommerce strategy. We will address the first four questions today and the last five questions in tomorrow’s post.

Here are the first four questions for you to consider:

Who will use your site? Make sure you have a clear answer to this question before you start spending your ecommerce project budget. (And “Our customers” is not specific enough of an answer!) Identifying your ultimate customer and deciding what they expect from an ecommerce site is essential to designing and implementing a site that meets their needs. Ask yourself what features and functionalities your target customer expects in an ecommerce experience. If you aren’t sure, ask your customers directly. Whatever you do, don’t guess at what your customers expect

Who will be on your ecommerce team? An often overlooked yet monumentally important factor in the success of your B2B ecommerce project, who will sit on your ecommerce launch team is critical to the project’s success. Selecting the wrong group of people for your ecommerce team is equally as detrimental to your project as simply making all the decisions by yourself without consulting the other key ecommerce stakeholders. Learn more about creating the most effective ecommerce launch team possible.

Where are you going with your ecommerce site? This is a fundamental question that not only gives your ecommerce project direction, but it also helps you measure whether or not your ecommerce initiative has been successful. Having a clear understanding of where you are going with your ecommerce site will serve as your guide as you decide which functionalities are essential and which you can live without. It will help you decide where and when to spend your money and resources and will help you keep your project on track over the long haul.

How are you going to get there? This question calls out the need for an ecommerce site road map and a phased approach to the launch. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, likewise, your ecommerce site won’t launch and be a complete and final online offering. It’s realistic to know ahead of time that you will probably need at least three phases to your ecommerce site and to plan–and budget–for those phases. Learn how to create an ecommerce road map.

Read Part 2 of this post on developing your B2B ecommerce strategy.

To learn more about how to develop your B2B ecommerce strategy and leverage the power of B2B ecommerce, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.