Earlier this summer we announced Bullseye, a quick and easy assessment tool we designed to help B2C and B2B companies select the right partners and services to take your ecommerce business to the next level. This three-part blog post series looks at Bullseye from different angles:
- In Part 1 we discussed how we use Bullseye to measure the maturity of a business (it has nothing to do with revenue or business acumen and has everything to do with the size and skillset of your ecommerce team).
- In Part 2 we talked about how to right-size the tactics and strategies you deploy to grow your business; how to define and measure success; and how we use Bullseye to determine both.
In this blog we focus on how we use Bullseye to right-size your partnerships. This is critical, because through years of experience we’ve learned that ecommerce businesses can succeed or fail based on the tools and the partnerships they form to engage their customers.
Right-Sizing Your eCommerce Platform
When some ecommerce managers set out to build their infrastructure, their first impulse is to opt for the platform with the most bells and whistles. This approach, their thinking goes, allows for maximum flexibility in the future. They may not need all the features and functionality now, but who knows what will happen five years from now?
In reality, it may be like buying a Ferrari 458 just to go down the driveway to get the mail. It’s way more power than you will ever need for the task at hand and a huge waste of money.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, features and functionality don’t necessarily equate to business success. Just because you can do something it doesn’t mean you ever will or even should. This is why Bullseye and right-sizing is so important. You can choose (and pay for) an ecommerce platform based on its impressive list of capabilities, just take care not overestimate the ability of those features to drive value for the company. Case in point: among Magento’s hundreds of features, is a wedding registry, but how many companies will actually use it? Certainly no B2B company will ever need such a feature, and gift registries don’t make sense for many B2C companies.
We at Something Digital are huge fans of Magento’s ecommerce platform. We’ve been an enterprise-level partner for 10 years, and have built hundreds of sites on it. Personally, I’ve worked with Magento since 2007. Twelve years ago the company offered features and functionality for the B2C market that are on par with what competitive platforms of today. The company was ahead of its time.
While we’re fans of Magento, we don’t recommend it for high-growth but smaller staffed B2C merchants. Magento requires more internal staff, along with an understanding of generally accepted accounting principles, order management, order lifecycle and so on. Nor does it come with a preconceived notion of how your business should manage orders. If your ecommerce team is small, and doesn’t have the skillset to map out an order management system, we’d recommend Shopify over Magento.
The same is true for any software used to support your ecommerce business. Does it make sense to spend $3,000 a month for an email platform if all your team has time to do is send out newsletters? You don’t need the Ferraris of software if you don’t have the capacity to utilize all of its capabilities. You’re better off spending your money elsewhere in the business.
When evaluating any software choice — whether that’s an ecommerce platform, email service provider, CRM or ERP system — you need to ask:
- Does this software meet my needs today?
- Does my company have sufficient maturity to utilize the totality of this software
- Do we have the vision to utilize this software to grow the business within a reasonable time frame?
These questions can be difficult to answer, which is where Bullseye comes in. We’ll assess the maturity level of your business and recommend partners who will be a good fit for your company.
Role of Bullseye in Recommending Software
There are a lot of things to consider when assessing the maturity level of an ecommerce business, but that assessment is absolutely essential in order for Something Digital to recommend the right partners to engage. We can’t say this enough: ecommerce maturity isn’t about gross revenue, it’s about resource levels and skill sets of team members who will be tasked with growing the business. Choose the wrong partners and your business can suffer; select ones that compliment your team and infrastructure and your business can prosper.