The road to eCommerce success is rarely a straightforward one. Complications are par for the course, timelines are frequently stretched beyond all recognition and unexpected costs have a nasty habit of springing from nowhere. Keeping an eCommerce project on track is undoubtedly a challenge.

Nonetheless, as with most projects, the potential for disruption can be significantly reduced with savvy, diligent planning. It also helps to understand the common mistakes that can all too easily befall an eCommerce project, after all, if you know where the traps lie you stand a much better chance of avoiding them.

Here is a quick glance at some of what we would consider to be the major pitfalls an eCommerce project could encounter:

1. Unrealistic planning

Far too many eCommerce projects come a cropper because they haven’t been realistically planned and managed. The responsibility for honest, upfront planning lies with both the customer and the supplier – the customer needs to be realistic and take their own project input seriously while the supplier should resist the temptation to over promise. Ultimately, an open, honest and collaborative relationship between supplier and their customer will help to ensure timelines remain realistic and the project stays on course.

In depth, comprehensive costing is obviously central to the planning process and must also be as realistic as possible. As many as 43% of companies underestimate the cost of their eCommerce platform according to Forrester Research so avoid complacency and over optimistic budgeting.

2. Failure to agree on criteria for success

It’s important that the customer and supplier agree on a viable project roadmap. Project scope management can play an important role in clearly defining this roadmap and the project’s goals so that all parties are fully aware of expectations and deliverables.

Don’t be afraid of being ruthless when defining the scope of your project – identifying and excluding non-essential objectives from your plan can help to clarify the roadmap and significantly improve the project’s chances of success. Agreeing what a minimal viable product looks like and focusing on core objectives that will allow the project to see returns at the earliest possible juncture can be valuable when planning your project…

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