5 Costly eCommerce Implementation Issues and How to Avoid Them

Gian Genovesi
February 12, 2015 | 2:15 PM

5-ecommerce-implementation-issuesLaunching an eCommerce platform is exciting but the truth is, a lot of things can go wrong (even if you have already asked the right questions before starting the project). While these issues can cost time and money, and potentially ruin an implementation, they are certainly avoidable.

1. Random and Inexplicable Errors

When an error occurs without rhyme or reason, it can be difficult to fix. Often, these kinds of problems are impossible to track or recreate, so you are left with a broken functionality with no explanation.

Cause: This can be caused by a number of things, but the most frequent culprit is avoiding or abandoning best practices, especially when it comes to code changes. If a handful of different people make changes to a file or code base without properly managing the changes in a source control system and without following proper process, errors can occur.

Similarly, if platform best practices are not followed, the framework’s fidelity can be damaged and the platform will no longer run as expected.

Effect: These seemingly unsolvable but avoidable errors can lead to a subpar user experience for your customer. This reflects poorly on the business and breaks the trust that you have formed between your organization and your customers.

2. Ineffective Customer Support

Whether you are experiencing a lack of support from the platform or your development partner, feeling helpless is never acceptable.

Cause: The cause of a lackluster support effort comes down to an undefined support contract. Without a properly architected and agreed upon support document, there is no accountability to provide a solution.

Effect: Deficient customer support can lead to an ongoing and frustrating battle between you and your partner to meet the needs of your site in a timely manner.

3. Features or Functionality Are Not Operating as Expected

Going into an eCommerce implementation, you are probably envisioning the site of your dreams, but if features are not meeting expectations, what is to blame?

Cause: Unfulfilled expectations start at the very beginning of an implementation. If you don’t know what you want, then how do you know when you have it? Without guidelines and definitions of success from the beginning, it is difficult for the development team to meet every expectation set by the client.

Effect: Time and money are wasted trying to figure everything out and animosity grows between the teams.

4. Intermittent Website Downtime

In this day and age, any sort of downtime can be a death sentence for your eCommerce site.

Cause: Choosing the wrong hosting partner can cause website downtime. Plain and simple, if you do not have the right partner for your needs, downtime is inevitable.

Effect: Downtime leads to a loss of sales and business and, ultimately, a loss of trust between you and your customers.

5. My Development Partner Says Something Can’t Be Done

There are two circumstances when this issue can occur: either your partner deems something impossible from the very beginning, or something comes up mid-project and they tell you it can’t be achieved.

Cause: We’ll cut to the chase on this one: if your development partner flat-out tells you that they can’t do something, then you most likely chose the wrong partner. They are either inexperienced or not properly certified to accomplish your goals. This applies when your partner tells you “no” at the very beginning of a project.

If, however, you make a request once the project has already begun and your partner says it can’t be done, it could be due to choices made earlier in the project.

(This, of course, assumes that the problem at hand is not something that is fundamentally impossible for the software to perform i.e.: asking for your CRM to manage your inventory)

Effect: You don’t get what you want or what you thought you were paying for.

One overall solution to all of these problems is to select the right solution partner for your project. To learn about how to solve each of these issues in detail, click below.

Click to Learn the Solutions to 5 Costly eCommerce Implementation Issues

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