Finding a new eCommerce platform can be an intimidating task with the number of solution providers out there. These 5 steps will help you narrow your search to a much more manageable list of contenders:
1. Decide which delivery model suits you
Comparing eCommerce platforms on different delivery models is like comparing apples to oranges. Before you evaluate specific eCommerce platform providers, determine what delivery model will best suit your business. The 3 types of delivery models are on premise custom development, hosted, and software-as-a-service. For more clarification on what each of these models entail, check out this white paper on picking the right type of software.
2. See who can integrate with your existing solutions
If you are already married to a back end platform, such as an ERP or OMS system, make sure you are talking to platform providers that can easily integrate with this existing software. Integration issues are one of the leading reasons companies choose to replatform in the first place, so do your homework on who has an exceptional track record with past integrations.
3. See who caters to your size of business
Depending on whether you are in the low, middle, or upper end of the online retail market, you may find eCommerce platform providers that have designed their solution especially for your size of business. Even if a vendor does not outright describe their eCommerce platform as targeting a specific size of retailer, a quick look at their client list will help you see if you may be a fit.
4. Determine your timeline
Replatforming can take as little as a few months to as long as over a year. Ask vendors how long they anticipate the replatforming your site will take, and encourage them to give examples of timelines of past replatforming projects. Have them break down their estimate into sections (such as migrating data) rather than give you an overall project timeline. Inquire about what other projects they have in the pipeline that may take focus away from your site.
5. Get a preview of what life together will be like
Every vendor will likely claim that help is always available after implementation. Figure out how much this support will cost and how readily available it will be. Think of changes that you typically need to make to your site, and begin gathering information on what the process would be to enact these changes on prospective platforms. Asking for a 3-5 year analysis is also a good way to begin investigating potential costs.
To discover the top mistakes retailers make while replatforming, watch our webinar with Practical eCommerce.