In our previous blog post, we started the topic of software selection. We covered a few important points on why invest in software solution and how potentially you can fall behind the competition if you don’t.
The first thing we need to keep in mind is that with the many unique needs and budgets of different ecommerce companies, there is no one-size-fits-all multichannel software solution for listings. The perfect software can vary depending on your business size, your existing software (if there is any) and solutions, format and channels. You can start your list of functional requirements based on your unique business needs and take your time with that.
A good thing to look out for is if the solution is user-friendly. Even when the software is delivering a massive amount of information it can still be designed and presented with the user in mind and help you take every drop you want from that massive jar of data juice.
Pay attention to the details – is the system working offline, does it work only on MAC/PC, is it cloud-based and where is the data housed. And of course, price: is it matching the budget? If you invest – can this solution save you money – what is the likely ROI?
One clever and quick way to find a product is to ask what others in your niche are using. Scan which product your competition uses, consult with others in your industry for advice, or check reviews on different sites. Use your social networks (like LinkedIn) and ask all the questions you can to accomplish your ultimate goal, which is to find and choose the right software partner.
Once you’ve prepared your list of software suppliers (try including around 3 at least), it is time to contact them. Don’t run away from demos and trials. The best way to find out if a product you selected is for you is to see and try it. To make sure you don’t omit anything – invite more people from your team to attend. Make sure everyone is aware of the primary requirements that the company has for the new software solution. During the demo, don’t miss the chance to ask questions as this is the time to get the information right from the source and in the end to make an informed decision.
Representatives will not only show you how the program works, they can also present additional features you weren’t aware of that could further can ease your work. The tricky part here is to not get side-tracked into looking at all the presented features – try checking the ones you have put on your list of requirements first. When arranging a demonstration, make sure you inform the demonstrator beforehand of your requirements or ask them for help defining them. If you can check those first on every meeting with providers, it will be a lot easier for you at the end to compare.
Be smart about your evaluation process. Consider both the functionality and the user experience, which should make the work smooth and even enjoyable. Try to determine if the system is easy to work with for first-time users basic tasks. Pay attention to how fast it performs and completes tasks. And as always – include your team in this. Offer them the chance to feedback on the system and how it automates their tasks. Asking them if they are happy with the process and getting buy-in upfront will help you in the implementation stage and help with system adoption and ultimately, sales success.
ecommotors is the only provider of integrated ecommerce business services and software systems for brands, manufacturers, distributors and resellers of car parts, tools and accessories who want sustainable online sales growth.
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