The Request for Proposal (RFP) process can be intimidating, maybe even more so when it comes to e-commerce. It can definitely take a lot of time and energy.
But it’s absolutely necessary if you want to avoid being stuck with technology that isn’t suited to your needs. Or, just as bad, getting trapped working with vendors who do not understand your business.
If you do your homework, plan and set objectives at the RFP stage, then you won’t be stuck dealing with the consequences of having the wrong e-commerce platform.
Remember that you’re looking to find an e-commerce platform that can support your growth for the next five years or more. Getting your e-commerce RFP wrong can be a waste of time and money, but it can also set you back in achieving your corporate goals.
To help you avoid this, we’ve come up with three secrets to developing an e-commerce RFP that will aid your success.
1. Identify Your E-Commerce Goals Before Starting Your RFP
>Developing an e-commerce RFP starts with identifying your business goals.
A good way to do this is to take your corporate goals – for example, keeping up a growth pace of X% year-over-year with a margin no less than Y% – and consider how your e-commerce offering contributes to them.
Your e-commerce goals might be to decrease returns, reduce reliance on your call center through self-serve channels or optimize your quote-to-cash process. You need to make sure that they are as measurable as possible – for example, improving conversions by 15% or increasing e-commerce traffic by 25%.
By understanding what your aspirations are and the timeline for delivering them, you can construct an e-commerce RFP that will get vendors to demonstrate how you can achieve your goals.