If you’re a B2B business and you don’t have an ecommerce platform, industry data shows your customers want one….yesterday. But unless you have a time machine, you’ll need to settle for a longer timeline. So, how long does it take to build an ecommerce platform? The answer depends on a number of factors specific to your business’s needs.
Building an ecommerce website is not as simple as clicking a few buttons. There are layers of strategy, planning, integrations, compatibility programming, and more not to mention the scale of the project can greatly impact launch time. If you want your digital marketplace to run smoothly, you’ll need to iron out most of the details ahead of time so your implementation team can build the perfect platform to sell your products or services.
What Factors Should I Consider When Starting an eCommerce Implementation?
1. Compatibility: Do you have a website built or will you need to build from scratch? Will your current website be compatible with the technology provider of your new commerce offering? If you do have a preexisting website, you’ll need to do some research on what technology platforms integrate well and which ones don’t. This will help to make your choices easier down the road.
2. Complexity: Are you hoping for a simple commerce site or are there multiple use cases, each with their own set of configurations? Is headless commerce a good fit for your clients’ purchasing requirements? Consider your long-term goals and how your new commerce site will fit into them. If you’re unsure how to maintain your site and would like some assistance, consider our managed services offerings.
3. Vendor Offerings: Does this vendor have other products that can seamlessly integrate into your current platform? Can you build on it to help your business as it grows? Look into the various options and weigh the pros and cons of each for your business.
4. Current Business Processes: What are your internal processes for online orders? How will those processes be modified to accommodate a digital marketplace? Who will be the lead on commerce implementation on your internal team? Think through your ongoing procedures and how they will be modified to accommodate new online business.
5. Communication: How will you promote ecommerce adoption to your stakeholders? How will you teach your team to use it? Having a commerce site is great, but only if your customers use it. Think through how you will promote the new platform post-launch.
6. Customer Expectations: B2B expectations for online shopping have influenced complex B2B buying expectations. How will you meet their expectations? Consider both sides of the consumer relationship. Make sure your commerce platform addresses your customer needs in a way that is optimal for them.
Going through this list may seem like a lot, but it really helps to kick off your ecommerce store on the right foot and maximize the ROI. If you’re overwhelmed, you may need an implementation partner to talk through your digital strategy.
What are the Benefits of Choosing a Major Technology Platform, Like Salesforce and Adobe Over Smaller B2CSolutions Like Shopify?
For B2B businesses, larger ecommerce platforms from partners like , Salesforce and Adobe offer state of the art solutions built with B2B in mind, which smaller commerce solutions don’t have. These solutions integrate with marketing and CRM solutions to deliver additional consumer insights. The different pieces can really expand your business’ digital presence and experience which benefits your company and customers. B2B business needs will quickly outpace smaller commerce platforms and need to transfer to larger technology services.
In short, bigger solutions offer more levels of complexities and insights into consumer behaviors that smaller solutions simply can’t provide. If you know your business will grow quickly, it may be better to start on a bigger solution so your customers continue to have a unified experience now and in the future. Plus, you’ll already have access to customer data needed to help your business grow.
What’s the Typical Time Range from Start to Finish?
Depending on the factors listed above, implementation can take anywhere from five weeks to six months, assuming needs and wants don’t change. As more requests and needs come through, the anticipated project timeline will slow. Having a set plan with actionable tasks can help to expedite the process.
While the timeline may seem long, keep in mind all of the puzzle pieces that go into building a commerce website. A small time investment can really boost your revenue and reach untapped markets.
How Can I Go Live Faster?
Avionos is proud to offer an accelerated approach to ecommerce implementation through our Quick Start for Salesforce B2B Commerce and Rapid Deployment Offerings for Magento Commerce programs. Both can get your B2B Commerce site live in as little as five weeks. These programs offer online portals specifically designed to meet B2B buyers’ complex business needs and our team’s extensive expertise helps you go live faster.
Having the right project partner is key to launching your dream commerce site. We’ve worked with clients such as Brenntag and Parata to build and seamlessly integrate commerce websites with their preexisting platforms. Let’s take the first step in launching your digital storefront together.