Finding the Right Retail Partners and Platforms for Future-Proof Growth
Adaptation is a crucial ability that helps a living thing survive and function better. When environments or circumstances change, the ability to adapt keeps things moving forward and productive.
An eCommerce business can function as a living thing and, similarly, is well served by the ability to adapt. The pandemic tested the adaptability and agility of many organizations and continues to push their adaptability and agility. It permanently altered consumer habits and expectations over the last few years. Many eCommerce companies quickly adjusted to adapt. Some are still amid the adaptation.
The effect is that many eCommerce businesses are now evaluating their existing systems to understand if their technology can keep up with the changes while at the same time rushing to evolve. Therefore, many understand that their platforms may be doing more harm than good and don’t have enough in-house resources to keep operations running while evaluating and implementing change.
If you’re considering new platforms and the partners needed to help you make the shift that your customers demand, here are some tips you’ll need to move forward effectively.
Tip 1: Know your company vision and roadmap inside and out.
“Know thyself.” It seems counterintuitive when you’re looking for someone outside of your organization to help, but the truth is that knowing where you’re headed and what you want out of your technology will make it easier to find the right platform and partner to help you strategize.
Step back and examine your purpose. Do you have executive visions and goals for your roadmap? Do you have guiding principles that you want to go back to that will drive your strategy as you evolve? If you do, those will be your foundation moving forward. If you don’t, now is the time to put those in place.
DMI frequently helps clients prepare that strategy upfront to make it easier to identify the gaps in their existing systems and what solutions they should implement to achieve those goals. We can help with vendor comparisons and decision-making guidance with that in place. It’s the kind of end-to-endless consulting we have the capacity for and sets clients up for success right from the start.
Tip 2: The solution you choose will drive partner selection.
The right partner will be able to execute well against the chosen solution. Therefore, the platform combined with your goals will inevitably drive partner selection.
Take Salesforce as an example. Salesforce can provide an all-in-one solution for organizations between Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud including Pardot, and other features. However, if you already have some of this locked down — say, your marketing solution works well for your organization, as does your service solution — a comprehensive platform may not be optimal. Instead, you may be looking for commerce or sale solutions that can integrate into your existing ecosystem.
That could still mean elements of Salesforce are the correct answer, but it would also mean that the partner you choose would need to be able to address your platform needs differently. A partner familiar only with Salesforce configuration and setup may be acceptable for the first scenario but wouldn’t have the integration domain knowledge to implement the second successfully.
Tip 3: Find a partner who listens.
Good communication is the bedrock for most well-executed strategies. This quality is more nuanced than finding a partner who will hear what you need instead of driving you in a particular direction.
Successfully transitioning to a new or enhanced commerce solution requires an intuitive application that your internal and external users can use, fits your goals, and is scalable and sustainable. So, it’s beneficial to consider an agile and attentive partner experienced in guiding your business towards the right commerce solution.
Tip 4: When business and tech collide, go back to your guiding principles.
There was a time when the tension between the business and tech groups was a trope. It was something that existed for decades before the pandemic had begun to subside. However, we’ve seen this competitive and sometimes contentious relationship paradigm rear its head again in the COVID era.
Regardless of the reasons for this, a single, foolproof fix returns to the original goals and guiding principles. Those principles will help guide the next steps because they offer a destination for the ongoing work. When there is debate over who owns the platform or partner selection process, leverage those guidelines to form a solid ground for decision-making.
Are you interested in increasing your retail organization’s adaptability? DMI would love to hear from you and discuss a potential approach to your digital transformation. Contact DMI today to learn how to get started with the right partner.