Digital Transformation

Perficient's Guide to the eCommerce Universe: An IRCE Retrospective

Written by Chris Durfee
As Project Managers at Perficient, we are your guides through the eCommerce Universe. This online universe, like in real life, is infinite and ever-changing; something truly extraordinary to behold in all of its diversity.
Fellow Program Manager, Dan Kaho and I attended this year’s IRCE. It was enlightening. It reaffirmed our necessity in the journey and it enhanced our perspective. Here are some of the takeaways:
Point A: Getting Started

Stargazing: Where am I and where do I want to go? Define the objectives of your journey.

  • Like any journey, a starting point is necessary. Identify where in the universe you are currently located.
  • What is your destination? Let’s be honest… There is no destination, only checkpoints. The eCommerce universe is ever changing as will be your journey.

Star Chart (Roadmap): Direction and Duration
Nav Computer: Building the roadmap through collaboration and planning.

  • Are you equipped for the journey?
    • Do you have your timeline, prioritized objectives, risks and mitigation detailed?
    • What components of your journey are currently in place – tools, staff, budget?
    • What are the gaps?
  • The Perficient Project Manager is a preprogrammed GPS unit, hardwired to help you plan and define this journey as a collaborative effort.
  • An eCommerce project is not an IT project. It is a business project with IT components.

Vehicle: Traveling in Style
Engine: Choosing a platform, the primary vehicle of your journey.

  • Requires people, process and defined objectives.
  • Leverage your existing customer data to help drive the objectives and platform requirements.
  • Scalability: How will the platform grow with you over time and what is the required investment to do so?

Booster Rocket:

  • Mobile -You can’t ignore the mobile aspect of your platform / eCommerce strategy. It is growing leaps and bounds. Still, leverage your site analytics to ensure that mobile is warranted. Here are examples of the mobile persona:
    • Phones – “Snacking.”
      • Viewing email.
      • Quick look ups.
    • Tablets – “Intent-Based Shopping” (fastest growing mobile segment).
    • Slowly taking the place of desktops.
    • Benefits to device-based marketing – Provides opportunity to prioritize merchandise and simplify messaging. Social interactivity with your brand.
  • Fuel (PIM):
    • A PIM System centralizes and streamlines all product data with multiple systems.
    • Data efficiency and accuracy.
  • UX/UI is king! Bring your customers along on the journey – Keynote IRCE comments on good UI / UX:
    • “Based on the market you are in, can you afford not to invest in your UI?”
    • “If your brand shows elegance and style, customers deserve a good interface.”
    • “If you want to survive, you have to have good designs…It’s table stakes.”

Point B: Arrival

  • You know where you came from.
  • You plotted a course with detailed objectives and honed strategy.
  • You’ve traveled the route on the back of a robust eCommerce platform and complimentary business tools.

You’ve now arrived at point B. What comes next? Point B is not your destination, it is merely a checkpoint onto the next checkpoint. Your customer, your market, the eCommerce tools and technology are constantly changing. You are on a direct spaceflight in the eCommerce universe to destinations unknown. All the while, your eCommerce guide, the Perficient Project Manager, helping you to plan and course correct.

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