- IBM i / AS400
Starting your eCommerce site is an exciting and often frustrating time.
Lots of things can go wrong, and even if you tried to plan for every scenario, chances are there will be a few hiccups and surprises along the way. These issues will likely cost time and money, not to mention the added stress, and could potentially ruin a site implementation and the mood of the implementation team.
Thankfully, many of the common issues are avoidable. An experienced implementation team can help you avoid your project going off track by anticipating, planning, and preparing for any issues that may arise. They may even be able to help you avoid them altogether.
There are generally two circumstances when this issue occurs; either your partner deems that something is impossible from the very beginning, or something comes up mid-project and they tell you it can't be achieved.
Cutting to the chase on this one; if your development partner flat-out tells you something cannot be done at the start of a project, you likely chose the wrong partner. They may be inexperienced or not properly certified (lacking an understanding of your platform's capabilities).
That is assuming that what you are asking for is within the limitations of your platform and your budget. With technology today, the sky is the limit when it comes to adding features and functionalities to your site but being conscious of platform and budget limitations is necessary for creating realistic expectations of success.
If, conversely, you make a request mid-project and your partner says it is impossible, it could be due to decisions made earlier in the project, but it is important to have a conversation with your partner as to why it is impossible.
(This, of course, assumes that the request at hand is not something that is fundamentally impossible for the software to perform i.e.: asking for your CRM to manage your inventory)
It is exceptionally important to consider your audience when starting a new implementation project. If you don't you may end up with a beautiful site that reaches an indifferent audience.
Make sure you are marketing to your customers in the right way by using buyer personas. Personas help you understand who your customers are, what motivates them, what they want, and how they want to find it on your site.
The right implementation partner will help you develop buyer personas and keep them in mind when implementing and developing your site
This means that you not only need to have what your customers are looking for but also ensure that they can find it and have an excellent experience on your site.
Having a thoughtfully designed, well-thought-out user experience improves your customers' interaction with the site and entices them to finish their purchase and return to your site the next time.
When starting an eCommerce implementation, you are likely envisioning the site of your and your customers' dreams, but what is to blame if features or functionalities are not meeting your expectations?
It is likely because you didn't clearly define your scope. A surefire way to set your project up for failure is to take on everything at once. Biting off more than you can chew will lead to delays, confusion, and even a failed project. A great way to avoid this is to define your scope and create project phases
Schedule phases throughout the process and stick to them; be conscious of what can realistically be done in each phase.
Site downtime in today's digital commerce world can be a death sentence for a new eCommerce site. Downtime means a loss of sales and business, and ultimately, a loss of trust between you and your customers.
Downtime is most often a result of a hosting partner issue, which is why choosing a hosting partner, who has the right tools and knowledge for your business, is one of the most important decisions you will make during the implementation process.
There is not, and will likely never be, a host that can offer 100% site uptime. Hardware can go down, human error, software malfunctions, and planned downtime for system maintenance and upgrades will leave your site down occasionally.
When looking for a hosting partner you want to find one that will minimize these occurrences as much as possible.