As you launch or rebrand your ecommerce site, you’re likely to be questioned about your ecommerce strategy. It’s important to note that having an ultimate goal for your ecommerce site does not constitute a strategy. Nor does having a list of to-do items you are going to put into place constitute a strategy.
In the business world you’ll hear the word strategy tossed around on a day-to-day basis, sometimes as a synonym for “goal” and other times used to describe a list of to-do items that are ultimately tactics used to further a strategic initiative. So, what’s the difference? Isn’t having a goal for your enterprise ecommerce site the same thing as having a strategy in place for the site?
Dictionary.com defines the word strategy as “a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.”
Your goal for your enterprise ecommerce site is what you ultimately hope to achieve. Your strategy is a plan that drives you to achieve your goal. Tactics are the to-do items that put the strategy into action.
For example, if you’re in New York City and have the ultimate goal of driving cross country to San Francisco, arriving in San Francisco is your goal. If you only have four days to get there, your strategy could be to break the drive into four equal distances that will get you to your goal. In this example, tactics include which roads you are going to drive on each day, where you are going to stop for food and fuel, and where you are going to sleep each night.
The theory goes that if you employ your tactics successfully and roll out your strategies one-by-one as you planned, you’ll reach your ultimate goal. The same is true of ecommerce.
Strategy is the plan that brings the tactics into play in order to successfully achieve a goal. What’s more, a clear ecommerce strategy:
- Keeps your ecommerce goals in focus giving your project clear direction.
- Prevents “scope creep” during the design and build of a site.
- Allows you to create a list of enhancements to add to the site during Phase II.
Starting an ecommerce launch with an end goal in mind and a list of to-items in hand but without a strategy in place is likely to slow down your site launch and may ultimately affect your site’s overall success. Make sure your ecommerce efforts are successful – create and follow your strategic plan from the outset to achieve your ultimate ecommerce goal.
To learn more about how to maximize the success of your ecommerce site, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.