Leadership

How to Make Digital Commerce Less Complex

October 24, 2018
Managing change is probably the most formidable challenge your business will face. There’s a lot to keep up with. Technological trends, consumer sentiment, and the competitive environment are constantly evolving in complicated ways. But there are proven ways of coping with all of the complexity in e-commerce. Here are 5 key things you should be focusing on.
 
5 Tips For Managing E-Commerce Complexity
 
  1.  Plan Ahead. Developing a clear IT roadmap is a critical step towards realizing your business goals and managing your costs. 

    GuidanceYou can’t just think about your day-to-day needs or your requirements six months from now. Instead, you need to think carefully about how your website will be performing 3, 5, 7, and even 10 years from now. 

    Replatforming is one of the most disruptive and expensive IT costs a business can have, which means it’s imperative that you get it right the first time.
     
  2. Leverage Partnerships. Working with an experienced strategic solution partner can create a lot of efficiencies that you could not otherwise achieve on your own.  That’s because a company that lives and breathes e-commerce will be familiar with the latest technology, your industry, and market trends.  These commerce service providers have seen it all across a wide range of different clients and are highly skilled at leveraging this experience to customize solutions for your business or prevent obstacles from getting in the way because of their knowledge. They have simply seen it before and know how to solve various challenges well before they become a stumbling block.   

    Consequently, they’re going to be able to scale up your business and help you deploy things more nimbly (and ultimately more cost effectively) than if you tried to do it on your own.    
     
  3. Stay Up-To-Date.  Trying to make an outdated site or technology work hampers your performance. That’s because creating workarounds, security patches, and temporary fixes siphon off resources that are better spent on the factors that fuel growth. 

    Instead, commit yourself to the latest version of a platform, which includes cutting-edge security features, the latest fixes, and the most up-to-date code. Remember, digital commerce is a growth driver that is highly profitable when done right.  Your IT roadmap should reflect the ongoing investment needed to accelerate growth in this channel.  
     
  4. UI/UX Audits. Take a pragmatic (analytics-based) look at your site’s architecture. Make sure your sales funnel is optimized for conversion and that your messaging is resonating with your customers. It’s especially important to mine customer data for insights into their behavior and habits as they interact with your site.  

    Also, use A/B testing to make changes that optimize your user’s experience. Create a culture of testing instead of relying on hope or intuition. This ensures that you’re making an impact on the bottom line and deploying resources effectively.
     
  5. Understand Your Platform’s Flexibility and Limits. You need to select the right platform, which will enable you to be flexible so that you can extend your business. If you choose the wrong platform, then you’ll very likely be saddled with second-rate workarounds that cause excess maintenance demands. 

    The right solution partner will help you avoid these common pitfalls. They’ll also help you understand where your business is going and what you will need to do to navigate the competitive landscape with precision. Consequently, you’ll appreciate what you’re getting out of the box, and what you may need in the future. 
 
Takeaway 
 
GuidanceYou need to exercise great discipline in the platform decision-making process. This includes thinking both short and long-term. You also need to reflect carefully on the ways digital tools can enhance what your business does. 
 
The best way to maximize these efficiencies is to work with an experienced digital agency or commerce service provider. In contrast, a failure to adequately plan ahead will cripple your business by creating long-term headaches, more frequent replatforming costs, and squandered opportunities.