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Are you happy with your e-commerce platform?

Last week I interviewedeCommera’s Michael Rosswho pointed out that many retailers suffer from ‘post traumatic platform selection stress’; something I am sure many of you have experienced.

Unfortunately for some retailers it’s a stress that lasts for the duration of a working relationship.

As platform providers often assert that retailers expect too much, and are habitually unrealistic in their expectations, retailers can claim platform providers overpromise (to secure a sale) and under deliver.

Is it possible for platform providers to have lasting harmonious relationships with retailers? Or will it continue to be the norm for retailers to make the best of what they have until they’re able to make a move?

As retailers are rarely in a financial position to change platforms they’ll often implement solutions to lessen their ongoing reliance on platform providers. 10CMS is an example of this.

10CMS is a merchandising tool which allows retailers to use Flash technology sans development time from platform providers; something which works for all parties. It makes free development resources, to concentrate on new projects, and gives retailers more control of how content appears on their websites.

Retailers constantly have to look at ways to improve their websites to drive conversions and increase basket values. So it’s no surprise that when improvements are identified they’re seen as urgent. And with everything being urgent platform providers can find themselves feeling tasked with the impossible.

Maybe we’ll be seeing more solutions like 10CMS implemented, and perhaps platform providers will offer retailers, who have the necessary in house IT expertise, greater access to their back ends?

So, what do you think is the key to managing platform/retailer relations? (You might want to make sure you add your comment anonymously!)

Visit my website The Online Fashion Agency

Readers' comments (2)

  • Hayley Chalmers

    The key to this is candour and honesty on both sides. Frequently the business people will not understand the IT (why should they, it's not their area of expertise) so they are not aware of all the things that they should tell the platform vendor to enable them to create/sell the best solution. Or indeed to allow the vendor to say 'we can't do that'.

    The vendor will likely not know the details of the customer's business, and equally does not know what they are not being told.

    Unless both sides take the time to question and explain candidly their information and plans then there will be issues.

    Retailer must be open about their expectations and vendor must manage them. I would like to see vendors being open about what they cannot do. The customer will appreciate this a lot more than sales bluff.

    How many vendors would walk away from a deal because they really can't deliver what the customer wants, rather than sign anyway and hope it will be OK?

    Long and happy relationships happen when both sides tell each other more. The vendor has to make the effort to really understand the customer's business, only the vendor can know how their product can help the business - and that's their job. If during the relationship they can keep going to the customer saying 'hey we can do this extra thing for your business, it fits here and gives you this benefit', the customer would be buying them the beer.

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  • My fashion company has been running for just over 2 years and i already have spent over £250k on platforms. im tired of them and in one case sueing one of them for the platform not being able to launch.
    im already on my 5th platform going onto my 6th in july. i hope this one works out.
    I always ask them "what can you offer" not what i want but most of them still cant deliver!!!!!

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