Selecting a B2B e-commerce platform can be a pretty tricky task, especially if it is your first time. The whole process involves reading and understanding different components of the e-commerce system, learning and identifying different requirements that are unique to your business and so on. Here is a simple guide that can help you carry out this specific task.
Four best practices for selecting your b2b e-commerce platform;
Write a business case
A business case is a work plan which you will use to implement your business ideas systematically and in the process to transform them into reality. Your business case should include a detailed return on investment plan based on hard data like conversion and average order value and site traffic. It should also include soft data like cost per customer call and reduced operational cost. Your business case should be able to help you prioritize what to do first and even know how you can measure the effectiveness of your decisions.
Study and understand the components of an effective e-commerce system
Learn every aspect of an effective e-commerce platform. For starters, learn how to develop a lasting customer experience, promotions, merchandising and generally what out of the box (OOTB) means. This process will help you identify and effectively implement standard features that span across platforms- things like product information, orders and shopping cart.
Get your business and IT on the same page
To effectively identify and select the right platform, you must balance what you need to deliver with how to construct it. This process can be carried out effectively through experience management, merchandising tools and architecture.
To the IT team: Find out what your business counterparts require, why they request it and the tools they need. In this case, the customer experience should not be considered or given any particular attention.
To the Business team: regardless of what is out of the box, try and effectively work for hand in hand with the IT team. Advocate for each other if need be and maybe even work to understand one another.
Discover which requirements are unique in your industry and business
When developing different conditions, the trend is usually to focus on where you stand out. While you most definitely need to understand these unique needs, it is often difficult for any platform to provide all of them out of the box. Thus, be patient and work with what the B2B e-commerce platform offers rather than demanding all requirements at ones.
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