What the FUD? Part 3: Doubt

Making big decisions about your e-commerce platform inherently involve levels of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. But should you let these emotions stop you from making the right decision for your business? We’ve already assessed the risks around potential fear and uncertainty, and you should go back and check those out if you’re still feeling uneasy. But what about doubt? What doubts do we face before, during, and after a lofty e-commerce implementation?

Being confident in the beginning

Image from Chris & Karen Highland, found on Flickr, source link: https://bit.ly/1FVSVa8

After choosing a platform there’s always the search for the perfect partner for implementation. Sometimes this search can take a while and you don’t want to be disappointed after it’s done. How can you be sure you’ve found the perfect partner?

A great partner that’s not going to let you down is one that communicates well with you, clearly understands your present and future goals (keyword clearly), and is honest about their capabilities upfront.

That last point is super important. When you’re first engaging with a potential partner, you need to assess how they do business. Are they open and honest about what they can do for you and how? Or are they more of a “yes man”, disguising themselves as the perfect answer to all of your problems?

Of course, this all depends on what your business problems are, but just keep in mind that if things seem to be too good to be true, they just might be! Remove all doubt by asking for clear and thorough explanations on the “how” they can help you.

Items to ask about that will help clear up lingering doubts can be:

  • Delivery Process & Approach – Does the partner have a defined Discovery & Implementation process they can walk you through? More importantly, do you understand the approach?
  • Communication – Do you know who your main point of contact will be? What is their overall role in the project and how will that person keep you informed about status, resources, budget, timing, etc.?
  • Launch & Support – Does the partner have a training plan for both IT & Marketing? Can the partner explain what to expect during the final days before launch? How will the partner support you post-launch?

During your e-commerce implementation

When it comes to the during and after phases, there can be a lot more moments where doubt might sneak back into your thought process. You may find yourself asking questions like:

Is our partner being 100% transparent about the cost with us?

Ideally, you want a partner that is totally transparent about how much this operation is going to run you. Now, it’s standard practice to have an agreed-upon price, as in most things. However, there’s certainly the possibility that things change during the implementation process.

Maybe the vision for your finished platform evolves slightly, or maybe you want to put more emphasis on a certain service that your partner offers (for example, cloud-based storage), or perhaps there’s a new business need that requires implementation attention. These changes may impact the bottom line, and so the most important thing is that you have a partner that is diligent and timely in clearly communicating to you how financially things may change. No one wants to see an unexpected shift in price.

Is our partner actually as flexible as they say they are?

How will they respond to sudden required changes in the plan? This relates to the point above about your partner understanding your goals clearly. If they know exactly what you’re hoping to achieve, then this will allow them to be more flexible in the case of a required scope change. But how are they prepared to handle such changes? You should be asking questions like: how will your team handle this change in the next 8 weeks? Are you able to split up the labor so that the main trajectory of the implementation is still satisfied while the change is being incorporated? What, if any sacrifices need to be made to stay on time, and on a budget?

Will this really take the same time our partner has promised?

Lastly, it should be obvious that changes in your plan will cost you more time, and therefore money. That’s why it’s super important to consider the above two items. If your partner is great at communicating what changes will look like logistically and financially, then extending the deadline of the finished product shouldn’t leave you with any doubt that you’ll still get what you want.

If you can confidently answer the above questions, or have the open communication to address them, then you should be confident that you’ve found the best, most reliable partner.

The aftermath

It’s been months, maybe even a year since you’ve first started the e-commerce implementation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have doubts about the future! Now that we’ve got this shiny new platform that will escalate your pace as a business, how can we be sure it will continue to help us well into the future?

Will our e-commerce implementation continue to work after implementation?

Hopefully, you will have assessed the reputation of your partner regarding their finished product. Did they deliver on time? Did they need to extend? If so, how long? And why? All of these are great to consider, but there’s one more element that’s even more important. Does the agency prepare your staff to take over the implementation after it’s done?

This is something that Luminos Labs does extremely well. Not only do we work closely with you throughout the entire implementation process, but we also make sure that your IT and marketing teams are well acquainted with the platform and its intricacies. This allows you to be more self-reliant, thus saving you more time, money, and headaches in the future. You don’t want to be stuck with an agency that acts as a gatekeeper of knowledge behind the platform they implement for you.

Will we actually be able to measure economic growth after this is all said and done?

Any successful implementation will allow you to analyze how it’s affecting your business in periods to come. You want to be able to clearly see how much you’ve grown since the implementation. Luminos Labs is also great at providing these kinds of analytics post-implementation. In fact, we were able to help our clients record a 35% increase in Conversion Rate in the first year after the launch of their new platform.

While you’ve launched the site and technically it’s a little bit too late to change partners on Phase 1, you should look for ways to embrace and evolve your new eCommerce platform. Whether with the original partner or a new one, ensure whoever you’re working with is metric-driven to support you to meet your growth and revenue targets.

Eliminate doubt with Luminos Labs

Luminos Labs has helped a number of retailers transform their shopping experiences online. Is your business gearing up for a big shift in e-commerce strategy? Looking to move from an on-premise e-commerce solution to a flexible and powerful platform? Luminos is here to help eliminate the doubt that can come with these big developments.

Our team of experts works 24/7 to provide you with the smoothest implementation and most reliable maintenance when it comes to your e-commerce platform and experience. We’re always interested in doing the best for our clients, and we’ve helped many achieve increases in average order value, some by as much as 22%! If you’re looking for help with e-commerce implementation, Azure cloud services, or general digital strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And if now just isn’t the right time, then please feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more e-commerce updates, trends, and announcements.