I’ve worked with a host of mainstream eCommerce platforms, with most common platforms included in these exercises being Magento Commerce, Magento Open Source, Shopify Plus, Shopware, Demandware / Salesforce Commerce Cloud and various others. I’ve completed this process for over 20 B2C and B2B eCommerce retailers, working with businesses of all sizes and complexity from all over the world.
More Detail on the Service
The process I’d generally follow would be focused on initially understanding business objectives, which would help to understand growth levels and any core operational weaknesses etc. I’d then go through the functional requirements gathering phase and start building them out against the MOSCOW methodology, in order to create a phase one and phase two, as well as provide an indication of future needs. I’d also spend time with various other stakeholders, review use of third parties and go through all custom modules and integrations.
Once this exercise has been completed (and I’d enriched the specification documentation), I’d then start looking at these requirements against the different platforms, whilst considering and documenting where third parties and customisations are required (alongside native capabilities). As part of this exercise, we’d also look at the rough TCO (total cost of ownership) of each solution, considering all on-going costs, the build, licensing, third party costs etc. We’d also look at the impact of these third parties and customisations on long-term stability and maintainability of the platform.
We’d then do one final workshop to finalise these findings and then we’d make a recommendation on the solution, as well as comments on each of the other eCommerce platforms being considered. We then provide the option of having us involved in the RfP / partner selection process.
- eCommerce requirements gathering (reviewing objectives and functional requirements alongside all core stakeholders)
- Further eCommerce platform and systems due diligence
- Requirements enriching and analysis (adding more detail and listing requirements for customisations and third parties)
- Platform review against requirements (reviewing native capabilities of systems and complexity for customisations)
- Total cost of ownership assessment (cost analysis over 3-5 years)
- Platform recommendation (with detail on each system involved in the process and why the recommended platform is suitable)
- Optional RfP management (partner selection, validation and management of the process)
More detail on the process
The process would usually be split into a series of workshop sessions, involving different stakeholders from across the business (such as the eCommerce team, merchandisers, customer services, IT, marketing etc) – the stakeholders involved tends to vary from business to business.
I’d generally also ask for access to the current eCommerce platform / system or an IT resource, to get an idea around current levels of customisation, how processes and workflows work currently and any third parties used etc. Going through a module list and the setup of different stores for example can be really helpful for example.
The process can take anywhere from 3-12 weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the business, the documentation requirements and the scope of the project.