An effective commerce implementation should begin with a clear ambition for how it can improve the customer experience. But companies are too often tempted to include every feature imaginable, which creates interminable delays and larger-than-necessary budgets.
A solution that’s purpose-built on a cloud platform offers a clear alternative. Starting with a minimum viable product, the company can get in front of customers quickly, collect real-world data, and use it to sharpen the next rapid iteration. The advantage is that the company can begin generating ROI, score some quick wins, and arm itself with intelligence about what’s working and what’s not.
Flexibility and speed to market are especially critical at a time when budget constraints and economic uncertainty are top of mind. To make your implementation as efficient and effective as possible, begin by asking your customers what they want. Don’t assume you already know. Too often, large B2B companies try to deploy every feature in the first round, taking on too much at once. Instead, do it in stages and prioritise what your customers say they need.
One of the key benefits of implementing a commerce platform in manageable stages is that customer feedback becomes part of doing business. The company can gather data and insights on the fly, using them to make better decisions. Creating tight feedback loops to gather and analyse sales data helps companies understand what’s working or not, so features can be tweaked, built up, or abandoned if necessary.
A smooth implementation also requires determining who has decision rights — IT, marketing, finance, and so on — and including those people from the very beginning of the project. Trade-offs between features, cost, and speed inevitably crop up in the planning process. It is critical that everyone contributes to these decisions, so a consensus emerges around the overall rationale for the project. Anything less than full alignment is a threat to success.