November 02, 2021
November 02, 2021
Contributor: Manasi Sakpal
Follow these four best practices to implement a digital commerce project.
As digital business accelerates, B2B marketers are seeing a whole new wave of digital commerce opportunities. These could be tiered subscription-based plans like pay-per-use cloud models, auto-replenishments of raw materials at the manufacturing facility, predictive maintenance of internet of things (IoT) devices at a hospital or managing the end-to-end customer journey of a banking product.
Gartner predicts that by 2022, organizations using multiple go-to-market approaches for digital commerce will outperform non-digital organizations by 30% in sales growth. Key to success here is well-thought-out implementation.
“Digital commerce is here to stay, but as many as 90% of these project implementations fail or get deprioritized before they reach customers,” says Aditya Vasudevan, Director Analyst, Gartner. “Unexpected costs and delays cause stakeholders to lose interest and application leaders have to abort these projects.”
Watch now: Build The Best Business Case for B2B Digital Commerce
The success of any digital commerce project implementation depends on setting clear goals and having the right mix of technologies and teams to avoid unexpected costs, delays and frustrated stakeholders. Follow these four best practices to foster strong outcomes.
The decisions you make before implementation will determine the success of your digital commerce platform. Consider a few key action items:
A continuous delivery cycle ensures that the implementation process is iterative and reduces the risk of a low-quality solution.
“Think of it as a regular health check-in with the people and technology involved to continuously learn from mistakes and deploy incremental improvements,” says Vasudevan.
Three elements are key to the success of this step:
Being underprepared for the go-live is a sure way to set yourself up for failure. It’s tempting to skip essential activities like training and organizational change management, especially if you’re behind schedule or over budget — don't do it.
Create a launch-day checklist that outlines critical activities for all stakeholders, including environment setup, data import, communication, operational readiness, training calendar, performance, security testing and rollback strategy.
Digital commerce stakeholders should identify metrics and targets linked to specific business outcomes. You can further refine these goals and include them in real-time updates so that operational staff can receive alerts when key metrics break thresholds.
To measure the outcomes, the operational staff should use various monitoring techniques to gather data:
“Plan for improvements based on the insights garnered from this monitoring into the digital commerce release cycles,” says Vasudevan.
These aggregated insights should further feed into prioritizing business outcome improvements into the planning process for the iteration of the implementation cycle. Measure and compare business outcomes to key performance metrics related to site operations, user experience value, digital marketing and customer service, and continuously improve.
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Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
4 Best Practices for a Successful Digital Commerce Platform Implementation
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.