Case Study: eCommerce platform evaluation for an International Fashion Retailer

eCommerce Platform Evaluation

Our client is a leader in Woman’s Fashion Retail offering a true multi-channel service to a global customer base. eCommerce revenues account for over 70% of company revenues with operations in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, France and Australia. eComp were initially engaged to help provide a review of the eCommerce platform market space to aid with an in-house assessment to identify their next eCommerce technology provider. This client had also invested in building a development team of their own and so had substantial experience they wanted to leverage in any future re-development project.

Technology Evaluation and Selection

The first stage of our work was to develop detailed business requirements for all aspects of the project including phase one functionality, user experience, integrations to 15 plus back office systems and third party software providers. Given the size, scale and international nature of the business site performance, security and service level provision was critical so we invested significant effort in producing a set of highly detailed non-functional requirements to ensure the software vendor and system integrator could meet the demands of an eCommerce focused fashion retailer undergoing rapid growth across all their core markets. A certain level of agility was also deemed necessary to allow the client to co-develop with the selected systems integrator but still have development and on-going support managed by the integrator.

Contractual Review and Negotiation

As with all contracts the devil is in the detail and our role was to limit practical project and commercial risks to our client, both on the project and in the future. Whilst reviewing the technology platform and system integration responses we also reviewed detailed contractual and project governance documents to understand the level of commercial and project risk with each supplier and ranking them accordingly. We then held further workshops with the shortlisted suppliers to go through more project detail and assumptions to ensure the required functionality and approach was well understood on all sides. This led to more accurate estimations being produced and a decision being made based on best price, quality of service delivery, cultural fit and executive sponsorship from the supplier using our evaluation matrix model.

The Result

The client selected their preferred vendor and system integrator and went into a detailed discovery and design phase. We continued to be involved to ensure the supplier commitments in the RFP evaluation phase were carried through effectively and supported the client with on-going commercial and contractual negotiation which led to the build phase commencing on time as planned. There was an 8% of variance in cost once discovery was complete and the main build was contracted on a fixed price basis which is testament to the robust nature of our evaluation methodology from RFP through to discovery and project conclusion.