FROM THE PIM EXPERT: Before you jump into eCommerce … think through these next three things!

We all know that you shouldn’t go to the grocery story hungry and without a list. The result is a cart load of unhealthy snacks and an empty wallet. The exact same holds true when investing in eCommerce, so don’t become a statistic and check out why eCommerce sites loose at least $3 billion a year.

Targeting Plan

First, think about who you will be targeting, their online characteristics, the size of your market both in terms of population and spend. Hey, wait a minute that sounds like the business plan we started five years ago. You are correct … some things never change … so listen to this again … if your fail to plan you plan to fail. Do your basic research, Dave Mattson keeps it simple with 7 Steps to Develop a Successful Business Plan from Sandler. Let me add one thing to this list and that is to spend a lot of time on your competitors’ websites, then pick the top three to improve upon and win their business.

Technology Professional

Second, what technology should you make or buy? Big hint, go listen to your IT team or vendor for advice but work with someone who has successfully built business websites before and preferably with current experience in your industry. Next big hint, I am not a fan of huge software licencing costs and proprietary technologies, so at least consider Why open source? The reality of web technologies is that using any of the top ten can get the job done, your success will come from your planning and who actually does the work. My other advice is to be sure that you make everything Mobile friendly.

Stand out

Third, it is never over. Your competitors are now starting look at your website to find out why you’re taking away all their business. Monitor, measure and check out this Guide to increasing acquisition. First plan, second hire a professional, and third do it again.