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The engineering of a company’s digital commerce is more important than ever before.  Making prudent and progressive infrastructure decisions, while also strategically being lean and competitive, is a new kind of approach which doesn’t occur by happenstance. 

It requires widening your time-honored, long-established lens and committing to an unwavering technology stewardship, along with the following:

  • significant planning
  • objectivity and exploration
  • outcome modeling
  • high-level disciplines and standards
  • continually maturing team insights and ingenuity

Some simple recommendations are to avoid hype, do not be swayed by the claims from technology firms, reps or self-described pros, evaluate a diverse number of methods and pathways, and amplify value and efficiency at every stage.

Why ‘value’ and ‘efficiency’? Because those are the foundations of lean principles.  By creating capabilities-driven production with waste-reducing workflows, the aim is to reach more effective and profitable performance.

Every application has a framework that includes software design, major components and predefined functions. The most essential considerations for the business are platform assets, advantages and evidence of:

  • compatibility with existing systems
  • ease and flexibility of customization
  • supremacy of security features
  • governance of data
  • minimal-effort services (i.e. multimedia, drag and drop, hooks and more)

There are innovative new platforms that companies are investigating such as Progressive Web App and Headless Commerce.

Progressive Web App

Also known as a PWA, this application has a look and feel just like a native mobile app. It works on most browsers, whether it be Chrome, Opera or Samsung internet browser, and users are not obliged to download it from the app store. 

Headless Commerce

This solution separates front-end presentation with the back-end system for facilitating changes to the interface and then pushing that to other channels seamlessly. With this application, user strategies can be deployed quickly, ensuring a consistent brand experience from every touch point.

Technology is inherently a compound of complexity. There are many vulnerabilities with digital platforms ranging from inadequate data storage and insecure authorizations to insufficient encryption and poor quality code.  Be sure your technology project is led by a subject matter expert, possessing years of firsthand experience and keen knowledge of what can go wrong, to provide a much-needed vantage point of susceptibilities, snags and potential setbacks.

To start, break out your initiative into these primary areas:

Management

Sensible Budget | Achievable Goal | Collaborative, Agile Teams | Exhaustive Analysis and Testing

Interface

Enhanced Experience | Ease of Use | Persuasive Messaging | Mobile-First Framework

 

Design and Development

Quality Architecture | Functionally Sound | Intuitive Design | Testable Programming

 

Optimization

Site Speed | Code Efficiencies | Scalable Application | Performance-Driven

Two central points for the structure of the application are architecture and diagrams.

Architecture

  • usability
  • design
  • process
  • implementation
  • deployment

 

Diagrams

  • context
  • activity
  • data flow
  • use cases (with descriptions)
  • entity relationship (customers, products, order ids etc.)

Finally, here is a snapshot of some prime tactics.

Best Practices (trust me, this is just a handful!)

  • omnipresent search
  • multiple search options and misspellings
  • machine learning model for user terminology
  • hierarchy structure of data
  • clean, concise product pages
  • highly compelling visual experience
  • familiar navigation
  • error messaging that is understandable and prominently placed
  • minimal entry fields and trigger auto fill
  • apply scarcity
  • avoid pop-ups
  • make security obvious

Technology is truly a complicated challenge with a multitude of factors, which will impact long-term success, sustainability and scalability.  Please take a look at my “Ecommerce Archetype” checklist to help guide you through the matrix of requirements, modules, features & functions, and system elements, available here:  https://artofdigitalcommerce.com/ecommerce-archetype/ 

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