How to Select an eCommerce Partner to Work With

February 25, 2016

Category: Best Practices

So you’ve decided to either implement a new eCommerce site or replatform an existing site.  You don’t have all of the resources in house and no one has the time to handle the entire project internally.  There are many capable third party implementation partners out there who work with a variety of platforms, but how do you choose the best one for you?

Below is a list of questions that your business should know when choosing an eCommerce partner to work with.

Make sure you can answer these questions in order to have a successful, headache-free implementation.

There are several high-level, standard business relationship considerations that we are all familiar with in terms of choosing “partners” to help with these types of projects:

  • What kind of experience do they have with the specific platform you have chosen?
  • Do they have good references?
  • Are they experienced in your area of business?
  • Is their pricing within your budget?
  • Do they quote the project using fixed bid or time and materials?  

There are also additional general project management issues to consider:

  • Do they use an agile project methodology?
  • Will they be a fit with your organization from a cultural perspective?
  • Are their people local or remote and how will this impact your project?
  • Are both parties assigning business analysts & project managers with the appropriate levels of experience?
  • Do they provide a comprehensive project plan?
  • Are they transparent in how they handle contingencies and problems as they arise?   

Specific to eCommerce projects, there are also several things to think about:

  • Is your project design heavy and do they have the right resources for that?
  • Do they understand all the various compliance issues you will need to deal with? For example, PCI or HIPPA.
  • Do they have the right capabilities to handle all of the integration requirements of a typical eCommerce project?
  • Do they have experience working with user design & user experience to give your users a great experience when working with your new eCommerce site?

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing the best eCommerce partner for your project.