How to Partner on an eCommerce Solution - Best of Breed or Full Suite?

In today's digital age, a functioning, quick, intuitive eCommerce solution is an essential part of any business. However, implementing or upgrading such a solution can be a complex and time-consuming process that requires a diverse set of skills, which an organization may not have in-house. As a result, it can be challenging to determine what skillsets are needed for the project and where to find them. This may lead you down multiple avenues, including trying to figure out what skillsets might be needed for a project like this and where you can find them.

The Choices

At this point, you essentially have two options: find a partner who can handle all aspects of the eCommerce implementation or opt for a best-of-breed partnership approach. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages and weighing them carefully can help you make an informed business decision.

Full Suite

To begin, let's examine the full-suite partner option. These companies are more scarce if not going with one of the very large global companies because of the extensive knowledge and expertise required to tackle all aspects of a successful ecommerce project, including SEO, creative design, integrations, content creation, branding, development, and more. It's important to note that while some companies claim they can handle everything, in reality, they may only have experience in one particular area that doesn't translate well to others. As a result, it's essential to thoroughly vet potential partners before choosing one and be wary of companies who claim to be able to do it all.

Risk Mitigation

While it's true that managing one vendor relationship can be more straightforward, as there's typically one point of contact and an overarching contract that ties all functions together, this approach also comes with certain risks. For instance, if one or more of the independent functions aren't meeting your expectations, it can be challenging to address the issue effectively. Additionally, being locked in with one vendor for all functions can be risky from a risk-mitigation standpoint. Since no one can be an expert in all areas, opting for a full-suite partner may mean sacrificing expertise in one or more critical areas of ecommerce implementation.

Best of Breed

The alternative option is to work with multiple partners, each of whom specializes in a specific area. While this approach can be more challenging to manage due to the need for multiple contracts and relationships, it has its advantages. For instance, by working with multiple partners, you avoid being entirely reliant on a single company for all aspects of your ecommerce implementation. Additionally, this approach allows you to leverage a broader range of expertise, which can lead to better results. To mitigate risks, it can help to choose partners who are accustomed to working together and have a proven track record of creating a more cohesive ecosystem of solutions that can be easily interchanged, giving you greater control over the project.

Current Partnerships

Suppose you already have existing partners that you trust and would like to continue working with. In that case, a best-of-breed partner approach may be a better fit. With this approach, you can maintain your relationships with trusted partners while also partnering with other companies that specialize in complementary areas, such as integrations or user research. This can help you build a more comprehensive team with expertise across multiple areas, leading to a better overall outcome for your ecommerce implementation project.

Project Ownership

The best-of-breed approach relies on companies that work well together and understand how to collaborate effectively. With you, the client, at the center of the solution, as long as everyone is working towards your best interests, they will recognize their strengths and weaknesses and bring in a partner who specializes in areas where they may not have expertise.

To make the best-of-breed approach work, it's crucial to identify the various "mesh points" in your ecommerce implementation project and ensure that all partners are aligned on how they will work together. The partner should be proactive in this situation and recognize that all parties need to contribute to the project's success. With clear communication and a shared understanding of each partner's role, a best-of-breed approach can result in a comprehensive and successful ecommerce implementation project.

Choosing the Right eCommerce Partner: The Key to Successful Implementation and Business Growth

When it comes to implementing a new eCommerce solution, the initial question of "what do I do?" quickly gives way to the more pressing question of "how can I get this done?" Choosing the right partner and partner strategy is crucial to achieving success. Your partner will have the expertise and experience to guide you through the complexities of the implementation process and ensure that your ecommerce solution is functioning smoothly.

Partnering with an experienced ecommerce solutions provider can make all the difference in the success of your project. They have a deep understanding of the nuances of ecommerce and can help you navigate the complexities of the implementation process. With their guidance, you can be confident that your ecommerce solution will be functioning effectively and efficiently, helping you to achieve your business goals.

Over the past decade plus, Luminos has assisted numerous companies in navigating the intricacies of their digital commerce transformation journeys. Through this experience, we've honed our expertise and recognized areas where we excel, as well as those where partnering with others is beneficial. If you're interested in exploring how we can help, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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