eCommerce Readiness Assessment

Just how ready is your company to develop an e­commerce site where you can sell products directly?

This assessment tool is only a guide but will help you pinpoint some of the hurdles facing your company.


Commitment Readiness

Company Commitment to Web Sales

Without serious commitment on the part of top management any web sales initiative is seriously crippled since commitment brings resources and removes barriers. However, sometimes full commitment comes only after some web sales success, and many companies have built stores with only tentative or partial commitment from top management.

Competitive Environment

The degree of threat from online competition has a way of affecting top management commitment.

Distribution Chain

Distribution chain factors can create ambivalence in commitment to Web sales, and therefore severely retard the process.

Content Readiness

Product Database

The basis of an online store (except the very smallest store) requires a spreadsheet or database containing SKU, product name, price, weight, description, etc.
Select applicable options.

Product Photos

For most products, photos are an important motivation to the customer to actually complete the sale.

Systems Readiness

Mail­Order Experience

Companies that have only sold in physical retail stores are at a disadvantage, since the distribution requirements for online sales are substantially different than in­store sales. Customer service, order tracking, and shipping systems are vital. Existing direct sales and mail order companies have a leg up here. This category applies equally to inventory and drop­ship models.

Legacy Computer Systems

The larger the company, the more important are connections to existing backend inventory, accounting, and order fulfilment systems. This does not kill web readiness, only web sales efficiency. Many companies, however, choose to develop an online sales presence prior to full integration so they don’t lose market share. Select one of these measures of relative ease of bridging from Web ordering from end to existing systems.

Internal Maintenance Staff

Online stores must be maintained on a regular basis by in­house staff, not outsourced.

Developer Readiness

Developer Readiness

Site Developer and store software readiness require some important decisions. (a) selecting a developer to construct an online web store and (b) selecting a store building software environment in which to construct the store.

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