6 Considerations for B2B Buyers When Vetting a Platform
Consider the following often overlooked questions when selecting an ecommerce platform.
1. What is the upgrade process like?
Many B2B buyers ask about the implementation process when vetting ecommerce vendors, but neglect to inquire about the upgrade process. Discuss the complexity involved when it’s time to upgrade, and ask if the platform offers regularly scheduled updates in lieu of upgrades. This question could save hundreds of thousands of dollars over time, and countless headaches.
2. How does the platform scale over time?
Understand the framework and technology stack the platform is built on in order to identify if it has the ability to grow as more customers transact online and ecommerce sales contribute to a higher percentage of revenue. If the technology is already dated, expect an expensive upgrade process in three to five years.
3. How is the platform optimized for speed?
Page load times have a huge impact on SEO and customer experience. Identify page load times and consider if additional costs for hosting bandwidth or a content delivery network (CDN) are necessary. A platform developed on modern architecture that caches pages and APIs will create a faster experience at a lower total cost of ownership.
4. What are the integration capabilities?
Integrations are typically the highest risk and most expensive portions of an ecommerce implementation plan. Inquire about platform connectors and APIs to ensure a smoother integration process. Consider a platform with headless architecture and pre-built APIs.
5. How much customization is necessary?
Rarely does an out-of-box implementation of any ecommerce platform meet all requirements at any given business. Understanding how customizations occur and if they impact future upgrades is crucial when understanding total-cost-of-ownership over time.
6. How is the product roadmap determined?
A product roadmap provides clear direction and prioritization of feature development. A customer-centric approach on behalf of a platform is a must for both planning and maintaining relevancy in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
By asking these questions, you can make a more informed decision regarding which ecommerce platform is best for your company, and better prepare for what comes next.