How to: Prepare in advance of your eCommerce platform implementation
A strong eCommerce platform is an essential sales and marketing component in virtually every business structure today. We are increasingly buying more online and enabling digital purchasing is essential for those retailers looking to evolve with the technology and the times. But how do you prepare in advance of your eCommerce platform implementation to ensure that the process is smooth and the platform appropriate?
What do you want from the platform?
If you haven’t yet made the decision about which eCommerce platform to opt for then there are a number of factors to consider including:
- The needs of your customers - What do they expect to see online and how will they want to buy?
- Your goals and targets for the platform - How will you measure ROI, what cost savings are you seeking and what kind of customer usage do you want to achieve?
- Integration requirements for your existing systems and technology - Easy integration will simplify life for you after implementation.
What kind of functionality is essential?
Many eCommerce platforms offer fairly similar features in terms of functionality but you need to know what your must-haves are before moving to the implementation stage. This could include:
- Shopping carts - Look at all the options, including features such as shared carts and the different payment methods available.
- Mobile responsiveness - Consumers are increasingly shopping via phones and devices so your eCommerce platform of choice must be mobile responsive.
- Depth of content - The content on your pages will have an influence over consumer buying decisions. Will this eCommerce platform enable you to use high quality images, embed video and include detailed descriptions and specifications?
- Searchability. How much control will you have to dictate results when users search on your site and do you want to have access to features such as auto-complete suggestions?
The implementation itself
A good eCommerce platform provider will be able to provide you with timetables and a schedule for the build and launch of your site. Implementation always runs into some obstacles so choose a provider that prioritises clear and regular communication.
- Who will manage the implementation? You’ll need a core team to ensure the implementation goes smoothly and to handle any issues that arise. It’s particularly important to make sure someone is responsible for each key stage.
- Start with a soft launch - This is a great way to test out your site before the official launch date. You can test it on staff or on a small number of carefully chosen customers. The feedback that you get from the soft launch should help to take care of bugs and issues that only become apparent once the platform is up and running.
- Monitor the main launch - When you get to the stage of full launch, make sure you have tools in place to monitor and analyse how the site is doing. Implementation is never really complete, as you’ll be continually changing and tweaking your eCommerce site based on analytics, as well as the changing needs of your customers.
At Salmon, we have a two-decade track record of implementing eCommerce platforms for some of the biggest brands around. Click to find out more about our platform services and how we can help you.