Encyclopedia of eCommerce Upgrade / Migration: Part 10
Selecting an eCommerce Implementation Partner
Most ecommerce stores do not house the developer pool required to migrate to another platform. You can plan to depute your in house team for the process but this will significantly increase your costs on irrelevant resources. So the best option for a migration is to select an external implementation partner for the process.
To set a strong foundation for your new store, you will need to choose the right implementation partner who is a complete package and is able to deliver the user experience of a marketing agency along with the technical expertise of an IT development agency. And most importantly, the agency should have the experience of the relevant platform to which you are migrating and also the platform from which you are migrating.
The following are a few key considerations that can help you choose the perfect implementation partner:
What methodology does the partner follow to deliver projects? How does it help them cope with sudden changes in scope that you make? How much control and supervision do you have during the development process?
How many developers will be assigned to your task? How will they keep in touch with you? What is the hierarchy they’ll follow? How much expertise do they have on the technology they’ll be dealing in? How much experience do they carry delivering similar tasks?
Post Delivery Support:
Once the new store is launched, it might be a while before you become familiar with the backend processes. Hence it’s important to know if the partner will readily provide support post launch. How will they train you for the new platform? How easily accessible they are for emergency support and queries?
Can the partner implement your requirements within your decided budget? Can they help you realize the benefits of your new platform within a reasonable cost? How do they factor in a buffer budget for unexpected deviations?
How soon will they be able to deliver your project? Do they agree with the timeline you’ve set for the project? How well do they account for the time to complete each task of the process?
Experience: Since platform migration is a project of a significant scale, the experience of the firm can be a deciding factor for you. When looking at the experience of potential partners, some things that can be key reflectors of their credibility are positive client testimonials, previous experience in handling projects of this magnitude, relevant experience system integrations, prior successful migration projects, platform specific resources and development experience etc.
Although the order mentions it later, there is no compulsion in choosing a development partner after analyzing your requirements. If the procedure seems too strenuous, a better option for you will be to choose a development partner first and let them help you analyze your requirements. In this case, the experience of the firm might come in handy as for agencies with an experience in delivering similar projects, will also help you give a deep insight into the market trends and competitor strategies.