- Explain the upgrade process.
Many B2B buyers ask about the implementation process when vetting ecommerce vendors, but neglect to inquire about the upgrade process. Discuss the complexity involved when it’s time to upgrade, and ask if the platform offers regularly scheduled updates in lieu of upgrades. This question could save hundreds of thousands of dollars over time, and countless headaches.
- How does the platform scale over time?
Understand the framework and technology stack the platform is built on in order to identify if it has the ability to grow as more customers transact online and ecommerce sales contribute to a higher percentage of revenue. If the technology is already dated, expect an expensive upgrade process in three to five years.
- How is the platform optimized for speed?
Page load times have a huge impact on SEO and customer experience. Identify page load times and consider if additional costs for hosting bandwidth or a CDN are necessary. A platform developed on modern architecture that caches pages and APIs will create a faster experience at a lower total cost of ownership.
- What are the integration capabilities?
Integrations are typically the highest risk and most expensive portions of an ecommerce implementation plan. Inquire about platform connectors and APIs to ensure a smoother integration process. Consider a platform with headless architecture and pre-built APIs.
- How much customization is necessary?
Rarely does an out-of-box implementation of any ecommerce platform meet all requirements at any given business. Understanding how customizations occur and if they impact future upgrades is crucial when understanding total-cost-of-ownership over time.
- How is the product roadmap determined?
A product roadmap provides clear direction and prioritization of feature development. A customer-centric approach on behalf of a platform is a must for both planning and maintaining relevancy in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Author bio: ABOUT TOM FLIERL
Ever wonder what it would be like to meet a marketing expert who's also an eCommerce fanatic . . .and a strategic wiz? Meet Tom. Tom's the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Amla Commerce, where he uses his more than 16 years of executive experience to propel the success of Amla's eCommerce platforms, Znode and Artifi Labs.
Tom harkens from the digital agency and software development worlds. His focus on growth enablement is the secret sauce behind the tremendous value he brings to his customers - a proficiency that's earned him an enviable reputation and made him a hot commodity in the digital commerce space. Tom writes and speaks nationally on the subject of integrated branding, marketing and technology, where he uses his knowledge, experience and passion to boost the health of businesses and drive notable success for customers.
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