The ecommerce industry has blown up. It is expected to be valued over $4.9 trillion in 2021.
As a result, many entrepreneurs are entering the realm of ecommerce in the hopes of securing a chunk of that $4.9 trillion pie.
With that said, developing and managing ecommerce projects can be quite different from managing other software or digital projects. The task can be especially confusing for those that haven’t dabbled with a long term and complex project in the past.
If you too, are struggling with managing an ecommerce project, the following best practices will ensure you are able to complete the project in time and without going over budget:
Focus On The Project Plan
A project plan is perhaps one of the most important parts of effective project management and ecommerce projects are no exception.
The problem here is that most ecommerce business owners are only focused on their business plan. While there is no denying that a business plan is also critical to success, the truth is that it doesn’t contribute much to the ecommerce project. For instance, without a project plan, you will not be able to determine the platform where you will be hosting your ecommerce store.
Before you start the project, make sure you develop a plan and discuss it with the relevant stakeholders and contributors.
An ecommerce project plan includes elements like a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a definite and defined workflow, along with a list of communication and enterprise project management software that may be used for the project.
If you are working with external consultants, developing and presenting this project plan should be the first thing they do.
Avoid Adding Features In The Middle Of Development
In many long term projects, the contributors and stakeholders often come up with (sometimes) brilliant ideas that can make the end product, in this case your ecommerce store, better.
While there is nothing wrong with having such ideas, implementing them usually means changes to the timeline and the budget estimates of the project.
If you do come across an idea that is worth your attention, it is advisable to ask your project managers about the changes’ influence over the project timeline and budget. If the project manager tells you that the change will be implemented without affecting either of those things, it usually means that either they are wrong or their original project plan was flawed.
Iterate Post Launch
Once you have launched your ecommerce store with your MVP, you can start thinking about ways to add new offerings or to develop a ‘premium’ and more capable version of your MVP.
You should also analyse and learn how the users are interacting with your ecommerce store and think about how the user’s experience can be further optimised to improve conversions.
Keep in mind that this is a continuous process. While it may seem unnecessary at first, remember that your competition has also probably employed a similar process in the hopes of staying ahead of the curve.
Ecommerce project management can be confusing, but only when you don’t have a project plan. By creating a solid plan and ensuring you don’t deviate from it during the development, you should be able to meet your ecommerce project management targets.
Have you been involved in an ecommerce project before? How was your experience? Share with us in the comment section below.