Preparing for the future of commerce is no easy feat. While looking for a solution to fulfill current needs, you also need to be able to anticipate how you wanted to adapt and change in the future as you drive your commerce business forward. With an e-commerce platform being a core foundation for any business looking to create positive disruption within their industry, it is important to understand the basics when it comes to designing, building and maintaining a modern viable commerce solution. This includes the continuous innovation that is required to keep up in today’s digital economy. We are giving insight into this and the seven key steps on how to ensure the future-readiness of your commerce solution.
1. Assess Current State: Take stock of the current state of affairs across the entire organization. This includes the pillars of Business, Operations, User Experience, Merchandising, Marketing and Technology. By understanding the challenges and desires of stakeholders throughout the company, you will be able to better formulate the right strategy and build a complete roadmap across all pillars of your company.
2. Strategy & Roadmap: Many times digital growth is driven by leadership’s vision and strategic directives. By starting with imagining the future you want, you will be able to better set a course from current to desired future state. The journey to having a modern, viable commerce solution requires a clear vision of the experiences you want to create and the strategic roadmap that you want to achieve.
3. Prioritize & Evaluate: Being as clear as possible with capabilities requirements for the initial release and moving forward will help you better evaluate, reassess and move forward in your journey. By having already created a roadmap you will better be able to measure the true impact of changes. This will enable you to arrive at the current state you specify in your strategy.
4. Construct Solutions: Once the desired outcome of your vision is well-articulated and conveyed to the team, it is time to create solutions to the challenges. Every change created should be thoroughly reviewed to determine its readiness for real-world operations.
5. Prepare for Launch: This stage of the cycle is focused on preparing the systems and people for the change in your business operations. Managing change to your organization is essential to the success of your evolving business.
6. Go Live & Support: At this point it is time to launch your new business, support its success, and assess the resulting value.
Now that you have a mature e-commerce platform and commerce practice in place, it is time to set your pace for continually adding capabilities, features, and optimizations. In order to outpace your competition, you will need to continually plan, build and evolve.
7. Continuous Innovation: This will allow you to enhance, optimize and grow your online business. It is up to your organization the pace you want to set for innovation. Your “pace” is determined by the size of the team and the length of each sprint cycle. A faster pace means more work gets delivered each month and you reach strategic objectives sooner. A slower pace will reduce the amount of work done and costs incurred each month, but objectives will take longer to achieve. Decide what pace is the best fit for your organization and know that this pace can always be changed.
Because of its complexity and the rapid change, success in e-commerce can hinge upon outside help more than in most industries. At Echidna, we are experts in working with clients to create modern and viable commerce solutions to set them on a path for success. Contact our team today to start a conversation.