Generally, an eCommerce implementation comes about when the company realizes that they need to update their online presence and bring their products and services to a wider audience. But what happens when the decision comes from a single person, or you can’t create the support that your project needs?
In our experience, a project without internal support will not only have trouble getting off the ground, but it will lead to more concrete mistakes throughout the implementation. Below are just a few of the mistakes that can be avoided when the entire organization supports your eCommerce implementation.
Picking an Inferior Integration Strategy and Partner
When there isn’t an adequate amount of support behind a project, it usually means that there isn’t an adequate amount of funds either. So, when it comes time to integrate between your eCommerce instance and ERP, the cheapest solution is more than likely the one that will be chosen.
Say you’ve stumbled across an incredibly budget-friendly partner to perform your integration. While it may seem like a no-brainer, keep in mind that there is probably a reason why this partner is so cheap. Perhaps this team does not have the appropriate experience or a reliable solution, either of which will mean that the integration will take more time than necessary. Regardless, remember that if this option is significantly less expensive than others, it’s most likely because they have cut corners somewhere.
Executing an appropriate integration from the start will always be more cost-effective than choosing a cheap solution that will need to be revisited and, most likely, replaced in the near future.
Another aspect of the project that can be hindered by the budget is catalog data. Having rich descriptions, detailed images, and marketing information for a product is invaluable, as those are features that customers are looking for when making a purchasing decision. However, if the internal support for the project isn’t there, then automating the gathering of that information may not be considered worth it.
While rare, it is possible for your company to come across an automated solution for gathering product data. This solution will typically work with the backend ERP to not only provide data for existing products, but to easily create new products in the future as well. This kind of solution often comes with a hefty price tag up front, which can scare off those who aren’t as invested in the project.
Think of it this way, however: wouldn’t it be worth it to know that all of the product data you’ll need is in one, easily-accessible place? Break it down to price per item as well; for example, if the data solution will cost $10,000 but you have 5,000 products, isn’t $2 a product worth it for detailed product information? Especially if the alternative is having a member of your team manually gather the information, a process that will most likely cost more money and will certainly take more time.
In the end, it’s always worth it to have a consolidated source of rich product data.
Lack of Internal Resources
If the project is not being championed within your organization, then you can bet that you won’t have many people jumping at the chance to work on the eCommerce site full-time. That’s especially the case when there are people on your team who think that your new eCommerce site is going to hurt any brick and mortar sales, not help them. But not providing the site the internal resources it needs is a surefire way to see it fail.
Some organizations see an eCommerce site as a self-contained system that needs little to no management or supervision. This could not be further from the truth. After all, you wouldn’t run a brick and mortar store without a store manager, would you?
Managing an eCommerce site takes more than just telling a few people to keep an eye on it, though. In our experience, having one, full-time eCommerce Manager is the most effective way to maximize the value of your site. Instead of having a handful of team members add site management to their already full workload, assign one person the role of eCommerce Manager so that their top priority is always the site, both during implementation and once it’s launched.
It can be tough to bring your team onboard an eCommerce project, but if you can make sure that the above three things are taken care of, you’ll have a stable, successful site that will prove the naysayers wrong.