There are many challenges and issues to address in order to implement successful eCommerce projects.
Kyle and the Exceed team worked together to write this article to help you!
When projects fail it’s usually the result of a multitude of issues. Typically these issues occur on both the client and the supplier-side. Rarely are they only caused by one party.
From a client-side perspective, one of the key issues is business leader’s failure to recognise an organisation’s culture and how the internal team can significantly impact the success or failure of eCommerce implementation. Many issues arise from the absence of a seasoned eCommerce practitioner on the board.
We have seen many examples (too many) in which projects fall short of expectations, fail altogether, or cost much more than anticipated.
The key client side issues which tend to arise and cause eCommerce projects to fail are:
- No presence of an eCommerce advocate internally within the organisation.
- Setting unrealistic expectations. Forecasts are too high and unsubstantiated.
- Timescale estimates can be incredibly optimistic.
- An insufficient level of investment in the development of the channel.
- Ineffective structure.
- The eCommerce channel is developed as a silo and not integrated with key business functions.
- A lack of cross-functional teamwork internally (it takes more than a head of eCommerce to deliver a successful web channel). For the best results, collaboration must take place between multiple operational units: buying and merchandising, marketing, supply chain and fulfilment, customer service, in-store personnel, and – of course – the eCommerce agency.
- Inadequate team skills (the speed and level of growth of eCommerce has meant there’s a shortage of skills).
- Overall resistance to change and/or the inadequate planning around Change Management.
What can you do about it?
Proactive and forward-thinking businesses can prevent many of these pitfalls and in doing so, save time and money while creating a smoother transition and implementation of eCommerce.
For the best results Exceed Online recommends:
- Enrol key stakeholders in the planning phase, including executives who will input into the vision, and operational stakeholders who will be involved day-to-day with supporting the eCommerce operation.
- Setting SMART objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time lined.
- Communicate the benefits of the channel to all affected operating units ensuring everyone sees the benefit to them and to the business.
- Run stakeholder workshops and interviews assessing the impact eCommerce will have on job tasks, functions and processes, and employee roles in the execution phase.
- Ensure the overall business strategy takes into account the impact eCommerce has on all other channels of the organisation.