One of the first questions that B2B businesses ask when starting to explore eCommerce options is “how long is this going to take to implement?”
Businesses often operate under a predetermined timeline, which in turn, dictates many of the decisions when selecting an eCommerce platform. Modern technology such as headless and API-first platforms allow businesses to move faster and get an application up and running quicker.
While there isn’t a standard answer for how long it takes to implement B2B eCommerce, there are a few things that affect the timeline and should be taken into consideration.
Four things that affect your timeline:
- Organized product data: Having organized product data will not only speed up implementation but save you from headaches along the way. All of your product data needs to be integrated into your new eCommerce platform. Having your descriptions, details, and images organized will help move the process along.
- Feedback and approvals: Digital transformation isn’t just signed off by the IT team anymore. Your eCommerce strategy needs to be signed off by leaders in many departments such as marketing, sales, and executive leadership. Before implementation begins, be sure that all stakeholders are on the same page when it comes to goals and requirements.
- Customization (from a design standpoint): The more custom a front-end, the more time you’ll need to spend on the design phase. Luckily with headless technology, you can move faster because the front-end is decoupled from the back-end, meaning that updates and changes can be made with less risk to the system as a whole.
- Integrations: Businesses today operate with many systems including ERPs, CRMs, and more. Modern technologies such as APIs make integrations fast and easy to integrate with your existing business critical systems.
As you get started, make sure you consider your data, your stakeholder buy-in, your depth and breadth of customizations and integrations that need to be accomplished so you can set your expectations accordingly. That being said, a modern technology stack with APIs at its core should allow you to move faster and start taking orders online sooner than you would be able to with traditional software options.