Moving Into Phase 2 of Your E Commerce StrategyFor many organizations, the number one priority of their ecommerce effort is to get the site up and running. Most organizations pull the trigger, launch the site and breathe a sigh of relief. However, for savvy companies, the lull in activity around their ecommerce site is short as it quickly becomes clear that the site must continue to innovate–or die at the hands of savvier competitors.

You’ve launched your ecommerce site. It’s up and running. Now what? If you’re wondering what to do next, you aren’t alone. The key is to create a comprensive plan for phase two of your ecommerce site strategy–but where should you go for inspiration?

Your site launch meeting notes. Were there features and functionalities that you wanted to include on your site during the initial launch but that were nixed due to budgetary or time constraints? Phase two is the perfect time to revisit those line items and evaulate whether or not they should be added to your site this time around. Those items that don’t make the cut this time should be tabled for consideration during phase three.

Your competition’s websites. Stuck on what to add to your site next? Check out your competition’s websites for inspiration. Keep in mind that I’m not advocating out-and-out copying of their site in anyway. Rather, I recommend that you visit the ecommerce sites of your major competitors and take stock of the key features and functionalities that there site offers. If they are offering side-by-side comparison, it probably warrants a discussion on whether such features would be effective on your ecommerce site.

Your customers. There’s nothing more powerful than input from your customers on the new features and functionality that should be added to your site next. Tap into a select group of trusted customers and ask them, point blank, “What should we add to our site to make it better?” and “What would you like to see our ecommerce site do differently?” You will be glad that you did.

Customer service. When you want to know what’s working and what’s not with your ecommerce site, ask your customer service group. If you are wondering why I didn’t say, “Ask your IT department,” here’s why: When presented with a problem online, most people will immediately go toward what they know first. Typically, that means reaching out to a customer service representative via telephone if such an option is available. Asking your customer service team about what they are hearing about your ecommerce site can definitely provide the inside scoop.

Your own personal experience. Chances are good that you spend a fair amount of time online. What features and functions do you prefer to have at your disposal as you shop online? Your customers are likely to appreciate the same things that you do online. Tweak them to be applicable to your business.

An ecommerce website as far removed from your business as you can get. Stuck on what to do next? If you think your site or products are boring and can’t visual how your online experience could be better, go spend some time on an ecommerce site that is completely unrelated to your industry that does a really good job of handling the online buying experience. What can you glean from this site? Are there things that could apply to your business?

Your ecommerce site strategy truly begins post-launch. Spending some time to consider what you can do in phase two of your site’s life cycle can make a big difference in the overall success of your site. Creating a comprehensive strategy for phase two will ensure your site’s success over the long haul. What’s in your site’s Phase 2 strategy?

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