Who should read this? Stakeholders looking for insight into what it takes to (re)launch or re-platform their e-commerce channel on Magento 2, business stakeholders considering Magento 2 Enterprise Edition specifically .
Your current digital channel might be suffering from an outdated, underperforming or even severely problematic software and you want to change that. It makes business like yours less risky when you know all the challenges upfront. The outcome of a project becomes more likely to be as desired.

Fortunately, some rules, most of the problems and all of the principles are universal for everyone and can be summarised with a few key questions:

  • Trust - Who can we work with
  • "Want vs. Need" - How to discern?
  • How to do it - Outsourcing, in-house or best of both worlds
  • Company Readiness - Are we able to take this on and when
  • ROI - Is it worth the investment and what if we don't do it?

Let's tackle each question at a time.

Who to trust? - In-house vs. outside help

Magento Inc. is now the leading e-commerce software in the world. Privately owned, backed by Hillhouse Capital Group with 250 million $USD supported by thriving open source community of developers, agencies and customers all over the world.

Besides their core e-commerce product, Magento Inc. got you covered with:

To top all of that, at the time of writing, Magento Inc. announced their biggest B2B feature additions and enhancements for Enterprise coming in Magento 2.2 (currently in alpha).

Update: If you are reading this before October 11th 2017. you might want to join the "Discover The Power Of Magento Commerce 2.2" free webinar.

Full suite of native B2B features:

  • Custom pricing / shared catalogs
  • Credit Limit
  • Company structure
  • Quotation engine
  • Requisition lists
  • Quick order

Yes, I am biased. Being a part of the community for over 8 years does that to you. Yet, even I was blown away how Magento Inc. soared in the past 2 years.

This Gartner Magic Quadrant Report should provide you with enough objective information to decide for yourself.

Magento implementation partner

Although you are a part of a big company you still struggle with the same major problem as any other business, at this point: "Who to entrust this project with?" Everything else falls right into place after that question is answered.

Businesses rely on things working on a professional level but also on quality interpersonal relationship. More often than not it is the key to a successful project. I emphasise that because after the re-platforming is done you'll need to make sure that the "know-how" has been passed on to your in-house team and that you have a solid support by the team that built your channel. It's a long term commitment for both sides and fitting both professionally and as people is what makes you unstoppable.

Engaging a third party to prepare, launch and lead the way on your journey is unstoppable when people fit on a personal level as well.

We believe being super friendly is the only way of doing business.

In-house team

Switching to a new e-commerce platform means that your in-house team has some learning to do. If you are moving away from an outdated platform, team members will be pleased to realise how much over 10 years of e-commerce baked into Magento 2 pays off.

So much so, that even there are vast number of business features it is easy to use the software. Back-office area user experience is superseded only by experience your end customers get. There is also plenty of information within user manuals, community sites, videos and blogs like ours.

We had more than one customer get blown away by seeing what **Magento 2** actually can do as opposed to their outdated software.

To summarise what your team will need to engaged in:

  • Know how transfer
  • Utilising existing company talent
  • Product Information procurement & management
  • Fulfilment and on-site payment

Extra help

  • Copywriting
  • Merchandise presentation

Technical infrastructure

  • Magento ready hosting vendor
  • [optional] Third party services

Given your support channel is already set up, you are set to make up your own mind. Re-platforming efforts need to make a huge difference therefor, the next step is important. Defining what you really need to do against what you want. Also, there is hopefully enough business data gathered to make the best use of project discovery.

Want vs. Need - project discovery

Your needs vs market needs vs Customer and Business expectations.

Like you, or client's challenge was to relaunch and this time with a huge set of products. Their current site was outdated and also lacked the e-commerce component. Being one of the largest non-food retail chain in Croatia this was a challenge in operational and strategic sense considering:

  • Large and diverse product catalog
  • Business process streamlining needs
  • B2C & B2B commerce
  • CRM and PIM integration
  • Support and Marketing needs expansion

At this point gathering correct data for the catalog proved to be the hardest part. Obtaining diverse product data from hundreds of vendors is no small feat. You might not have the same issues yet you would still need to take into account product import and management once it's inside the system.

In the next chapter we'll address:

  • How to do it - Outsourcing, In-house or best of both
  • Company Readiness - Are we able to take this on and when
  • ROI - Is it worth the investment and what if we don't do it?

Hope you found this insightful. Won't hurt to subscribe to our newsletter just to be sure you don't miss the next part.