September 18, 2008, 12:00 AM

Shop.org panel advises retailers on how to choose e-commerce vendors

Retailers planning major e-commerce technology projects need to focus on matters most important to their business, be clear about their goals with vendors, and involve business and technological staff in setting project plans, a Shop.org panel said.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Retailers planning major e-commerce technology projects need to focus on matters most important to their business, be clear about their goals with vendors, and involve business and technological staff in setting project plans, a Shop.org panel said.

“Be clear what you want your platform to do, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of vendors,” said panel member Andrea Gulli, vice president of e-commerce at apparel retailer New York & Company. She noted that an e-commerce project can take six months to two years to implement, making it crucial for retailers to work out clear details about how a project’s goals.

Retailers should also include a cross-functional team in charge of the request-for-proposal process of getting project proposals and cost estimates from vendors, she said. The team should include members of the legacy I.T. staff, the e-commerce group and financial management department. “It’s important to for them to have confidence in the project,” Gulli said.

Among other advice, the panel said retailers should pay particular attention to both customer-facing front-end and back-end system requirements, determine the retailer’s competencies and non-competency areas, and determine where the merchant expects to be in technology needs in three to five years.

The panel also recommended that merchants open themselves to learning from vendors about technology options, but not to let vendors create requirements not important to the retailer’s goals.

Comments

Sign In to Make a Comment

Comments are moderated by Internet Retailer and can be removed.

Not a member? Signup for free today!

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Relevant Commentary

FPO

Jason Squardo / Mobile Commerce

Five tips for achieving high mobile search rankings

Searches on mobile devices will soon exceed those on computers, Google says. Retailers that keep ...

FPO

Sergio Pereira / B2B E-Commerce

Quill turns to its B2B customers for new ideas

Coming in April is a new section of Quill.com that will let customers and Quill ...

Advertisement