The commerce experience has expanded to include more devices and channels than ever, while technological enhancements has made the journey from awareness to purchase extremely fast. Brands must transform their ecommerce approach to be everywhere their customers are to deliver a seamless, cohesive customer experience.
Adobe Commerce gives merchants a powerful platform to deliver compelling commerce experiences that meet rising expectations for more personalized and contextual interactions. But even with a robust platform, achieving this transformation smoothly and successfully requires an investment of time, budget, resources, and complete buy-in from the organization.
This is especially true of the project scoping phase. Because it takes place well before the heart of the transformation process, it may sometimes lack for attention and resources. But be certain: it can make or break the entire initiative.
When the decision is made to invest in a commerce transformation, one of the most important steps is determining who from the organization is involved in the process. For larger organizations, one approach is to split the organization up into three different areas:
- 1. The experience owners - This is the team at the organization with the best understanding of the current and future wants and needs of the customer and who is ultimately responsible for delivering the experience that addresses those wants and needs. This includes focal points like product assortment, inventory visibility, and promotions.
- 2. The technology owners - Commerce implementations will require several different platforms to communicate back and forth and be fully integrated, such as an order management system, customer service platform, or enterprise retail planning system. These integrations will often dictate the timeline for an implementation, so having contacts from an organization’s IT team involved from day one to support the initiative is imperative.
- 3. The executive sponsors - The number one reason that organizations have not yet invested in a new commerce transformation was because it lacked leadership support. The rate that the leadership team is involved is crucial to the brand’s success.
While organizations can successfully achieve commerce transformation by creating a request for proposal, one recommendation that mitigates risk before committing to a full implementation is to work with an organization on a requirements assessment or discovery process that can confirm organizational preparedness, project scope, timeline, budget, business requirements, and technical approach.
The requirements assessment or discovery process will ask crucial questions that will define the project moving forward. An example of topics and questions are as follows:
- Business questions
- What are your business goals for the new ecommerce platform?
- What are the objectives for the website infrastructure?
- Is this project dependent on other system development projects?
- Existing platform
- What problems are you experiencing with your current websites?
- How is the current platform being hosted: internal, hosting provider, private cloud servers, or hosted cloud servers?
- Which environments does the current platform have: development, QA, pre-production, production?
- Which regions will the websites support?
- Do you have delivery service-level agreements for each country?
- Are there specific SEO requirements and how is search engine marketing managed for each market?
- Has system-error handling been designed and developed for this third-party system integration?
- Do you have rewards or loyalty programs in place? Is there any integration with point-of-sale (POS) systems for rewards?
- How are product returns handled? Is customer expected to log a return request online?
- Adobe Commerce-specific features:
- Will you allow a customer to pick up items purchased on the website at a store?
- What will be the frequency of adding new products and updating existing products?
- Will "Ratings and Reviews" functionality be required?
Once the questions have been fully addressed and the discovery process has been completed, the following deliverables can be developed to guide and support both internal workflows and the RFP process:
- Business Requirements Document
- System Diagram
- Technical Specification Document
- Data Mapping
- Flow Diagram
- Finalized Scope and Contracted Third-Party Vendors
- Product Data
- Project Plan
To learn more about getting the most out of your Adobe Commerce implementation, you can download our Adobe Commerce Playbook and share it with other key stakeholders.
Merkle is an award-winning Adobe Commerce partner and has been implementing large, multi-regional projects globally. We owe a lot of our success from emphasizing the importance of setting our project’s scope, costs, and timeline early and clearly, then make it a point to follow through to ensure a seamless project launch.
If you have any questions, reach out to us and we would be more than happy to walk you through our project scoping approach.