Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Selecting an e-commerce platform

First things first, you need to ensure that you consider what all of your potential requirements are. Often we get engaged to help clients through the ‘platform and supplier selection process,’ as it’s a real minefield.

We work with retailers to gather requirements and then surface this information through stakeholder interviews and workshops with all of the people in the business who touch e-commerce.

There are many areas that need to be considered when it comes to developing an e-commerce platform, as it will have potential implications for anyone and any part of your operation involved in this channel. The resources you need to consider will include:

  • IT and system development
  • Website design
  • Buying and merchandising
  • Commercial planning and stock management
  • Pricing and promotions management
  • Content creation and management (including photography and copy)
  • Product photography and art working
  • Online/digital marketing
  • Order management
  • Loss-prevention fraud-screening
  • Customer contact management
  • Warehousing facilities: pick, pack, despatch and returns processing
  • Parcel carrier service
  • Reporting and control

The information gleaned from this process will be fed into the ‘Request For Proposals’ (RFPs) usually given to five or six suppliers selected to pitch or respond to the RFP. They are selected based on a combination of your budget, your requirements including any specific technical requirements, their experience of your sector, culture, size and importance of you to the supplier

The detail in the RFP should cover the following headers:

  1. Requirements for the end user functionality and experience
  2. Back office functionality
  3. Multi channel requirements
  4. Technical requirements 
  5. Integration requirements
  6. Future requirements, considerations
  7. Reporting requirements

You would review and evaluate detailed proposals against your provided requirements, scoring vendors against your agreed selection criteria and conduct additional due diligence: including live demos of suppliers platform. And finally you’re ready to make a recommendation.

Martin Newman is chief executive of ecommerce specialist Practicology

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.