Five years ago, ecommerce solutions were focused solely on getting the infrastructure in place to sell effectively through one channel: online.
Today, objectives have changed and the online channel has become the hub for activities across all channels and the shopfront for your brand on a global level.
This major shift from channel-specific to operational-centric means that before undertaking a major re-platform, there is an even longer list of business processes to confirm and preparations to make.
5 Things to Think About (Before You Start)
1. Visualise your current processes
Ask your IT department to map out what your current ecommerce process looks like including the types of data that each system needs. It’s really helpful to visualise your current solution so you can understand how it works and what systems rely on the others. When you are in the planning phase of your new solution, you can use this map as a talking point for what needs to be changed or updated.
2. Who is responsible for what?
Make sure to build a project team that is balanced with your company’s IT experts and business decision makers. During a project, your team ideally needs to have the authority to make the decisions. Also, involving decision makers heavily in the beginning of a project will lead to far less change and angst later on.
3. Where does your current site and/or solution fall short?
Ask your customers. Facilitating user testing doesn’t have to be costly and the data you get from doing those tests will help mould your goals, both for design and operations, on your new site.
Ask your employees. The people who manage the back-office systems will know a thing or two about what is working and what could work better.
4. Determine your success criteria at the beginning
Looking at both financial and non-financial, list the points in order of importance and get agreement from your team. This exercise is good not only to fine-tune your requirements and also set test plans for user acceptance testing (UAT) at the end of your project.
5. Create a roadmap
Make a plan of the technology and services you want to provide to your customers over the next 24 months. Giving this information to your agency will help guide the project so it coincides with future plans, marketing efforts and business goals.
Your Magento Enterprise Re-Platforming Checklist
Do you want to download a PDF version of this checklist?
About the Project
- What is your current solution?
- What is your desired go-live date for new project?
- Who are the market leaders in your sector who you consider your benchmark competitors?
- Please list any bespoke features previously developed for your current solution.
- What are your top 3 priorities for this re-platform? (e.g. improved back-office integration, business growth, ownership of platform, etc)
- In your current solution, what currently restricts you in achieving your objectives? (List 3 real-life situations that you find difficult with your current solution, or tasks you’d like to simplify.)
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)
- Do you have an ERP solution?
- Do you want your current ERP to be integrated into your ecommerce solution?
- Do you need end-of-day reports for your sales ledger?
- Does your ERP provide product detailed data?
- Does your ERP provide product tax and category information?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- Do you currently have a CRM system?
- Do you want it integrated with Magento Enterprise?
WMS (Warehouse Management System) / OMS (Order Management System)
- Do you have a WMS / OMS? If so, which one(s)?
- Is your WMS or OMS part of your ERP system?
- Where does stock level information come from?
- Do you have more than one warehouse?
Orders & Delivery
- Which countries do you ship to?
- What are your delivery service level agreements for each country?
- Who are your delivery providers for each country?
- What types of payments do you accept?
- Which countries do you accept payment from?
- Which currencies do you accept payment in?
- Which bank is your merchant account with for each country?
- Do you sell on marketplaces like eBay and/or Amazon?
- Do you want those marketplaces integrated into your ecommerce solution?
- Do marketplaces use shared or siloed stock?
- Do you use the same or different pricing on marketplaces as on your website?
- Do you want products to only feed out to marketplaces? Or do you want the order fed back and captured within your systems as well?
- Do you use an email marketing software? If so, which one?
- Do you want your email marketing software integrated?
- Do you want your email marketing software to send transactional emails?
- What other email marketing triggers do you have, in addition to purchase and shipment confirmation (e.g. abandoned cart)?
- How many products do you have on your website?
- What is your current category structure? Do you want that to change or stay the same?
- Do you have product bundles?
- Do your products have size and colour combinations?
- What kind of imagery do you have (e.g. 360 views, how many images per product)?
- Do you use a CDN (content delivery network)?
- How do you expect product image zoom to function?
- Do you currently integrate with Scene 7 or similar software?
- Do you use rich content, like videos, on your product pages?
- Do you have simple or complex product descriptions (e.g. do you need an area separate from description for product specifications?)
- Do you use an external system for product reviews? (e.g. Reevoo)
- Is ‘product only’ searching sufficient?
- If not, what other search definitions do you require (e.g. CMS, blog, forums)?
- Do you want a search function to auto-complete or suggest products and categories?
- How do you present different currencies and stores online?
- How do you handle translations?
- Do you need a store locator?
- Do you want the ability to ship from store?
- Are you interested in Click & Collect?
- Will you provide in-store kiosks for store customers to shop from the web catalogue?
- Can in-store customers order in-store for home delivery?
- Do you have a mobile site? If not, do you want one?
Front-End Core Functionality
- What information do customers need to provide for account creation and what is the process for data storage?
- Do you have an email newsletter sign-up? What are your opt-in preferences?
- Define the scope of features you require in the ‘My Account’ area
- Do you use post code look-up across the website including in the ‘My Account’ area and the checkout?
- Do you want a breadcrumb trail? If so, specify the role of CMS in turning this on/off for specific pages.
- Do you use a mini-basket?
- Do you use interactive technology, such as product carousels?
- On product pages, do you want to include recently viewed items? Customers who bought also bought…? Related products? Add to wishlist? Customer reviews? Send-to-friend? Product videos?
- Do you want your customers to have the ability to place back orders and re-orders?
- Do you require faceted navigation? (e.g. ability to sort products by attributes like colour, size, price range)
- Do you have non-product content such as buying guides?
- Do you have multiple price lists for different audiences?
Other Systems, Processes and Requirements
- How do you handle customer service requests?
- How do promote personalised shopping and recommendations?
- How do you handle returns?
- Who is your current hosting provider / plan?
Are you a international, multichannel retailer considering a re-platform to Magento Enterprise?
We are happy to talk through your requirements. Contact us online or call Darryl on +44 161 236 5504.
(article originally published on here on 26/07/2012)