Medium and large online businesses want robust sales and the frictionless customer experience. A top-performing eCommerce system is indispensable to achieve these goals. Before you start weighing out the pros and cons of the available software, stop for a while and think. What steps should you take to pick the right software? We’ve broken down the selection process into chunks for you!

1. State where you are

A starting point for picking eCommerce software suited to your needs is a thorough analysis of your ongoing operations. How does the current software perform? Does it serve your all its purposes? Perhaps, you have noticed some bottlenecks like technical restrictions, lack of critical features or inability to scale? At this point, you should come up with a list of pain-points that will be changed into goals later on.

2. Identify your business objectives

Unclear goals or worse enough, lack of them, leads to failure on many levels. What is it that your company seeks to achieve: reducing operational costs, improving scalability or, maybe, higher ROI? First, ask yourself, then speak to people from other departments, such as operations, sales, supply chain, logistics, IT etc. Finally, turn to the vendor to learn if the software can meet the expectations of your business.

3. Make a list of requirements

Once you have all objectives set, it’s time to gather a list of questions to be asked to each department. Here are only a handful of them:

    • What are the must-have features that your department needs?
    • What are nice-to-have features that your department may need?
    • What would make a shopping experience smoother than it is?
  • What new features do you need and how would they affect your operations?

You may also consider other aspects like integrations, product setup and catalogue management, data imports, content management, marketing, and payments as you go. To complete this task properly, you might work with an unbiased person, be it a business analyst or consultant.

4. Specify the type of product you sell

Do you sell physical products, digital items, or both? Specify the percentage of products delivered physically and digitally – your new system should account for deliveries of both. With physical items, the suppliers’ location is crucial, whereas it makes no difference with digital products. If you sell digital items like game keys, your business is fully location-independent.

5. Define the scope of customisation

At the outset, determine the degree of software customization. Why? Too much of it can literally eat up your carefully planned budget. In the end, you lose sight of time and financial resources allocated initially to your project.

6. Consider your developers’ experience

Moving to a new platform requires a team of experienced developers in place. Make sure that your re-platforming plan fit your team’s abilities. Otherwise, be prepared to go beyond the set budget. The whole transition is going to be more disruptive, too.

7. Plan the budget

Money limits your choice or, quite the opposite leaves you with an array of alternatives. To land with the best software, you’ll have to cover all fees related to integration, development, maintenance, support, design & UX, and analytics. Add to it software licensing costs ranging well into thousands of dollars, and you’ll end up with a significant investment.

8. Outsource it or do it in-house

When it comes to executing your software implementation, you can have it fully outsourced or partially outsourced. Or, your team of developers can handle it in-house. Everything depends on the level of their skills and experience. Another thing to consider is the structure of your team as the rates are by no means small.

All things considered

Choosing eCommerce software for a large business often takes a series of carefully planned actions from defining business objectives to budgeting. If you keep all your goals at the forefront, you can be sure that the chosen software will accelerate your sales and enhance customer experience.

 Read more about eCommerce software for large enterprises or about all the pros and cons of e-fulfillment.