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Dan Ferguson


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Deciding Which Vendors To Work With …

Deciding Which Vendors To Work With
for Online Retailing for Online Retailing.
6 things you need to know, including;

• Before selecting
vendors know your internal context!
•Include context and
industry specific criteria
in an RFP’
•Introduce Performance
as a selection criteria wherever possible
•Travel light!
•Evaluate the Fuzzies!
•An insiders view..

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  • 1. Deciding Which Vendors To Work With for Online Retailing • Before selecting vendors know your internal context! things you •Include context and industry specific criteria need to iin RFP’ RFP’s •Introduce Performance know… as a selection criteria wherever possible h ibl •Travel light! •Evaluate the Fuzzies! •An insiders view.. Questions?
  • 2. Choosing the right online retail suppliers isn't just about the prospective partner companies…….. Questions?
  • 3. Agreement Signed Questions?
  • 4. Questions?
  • 5. Questions?
  • 6. Questions?
  • 7. Questions?
  • 8. Questions?
  • 9. Questions?
  • 10. Questions?
  • 11. Before you go looking for vendors , know your context first. This y includes ; - your customers t - - your company stakeholders a d project goa s and p oject goals - your agreed definition of success in whatever online retail activity your pursuing! Questions?
  • 12. 1 Know your customer Standard sources include; - Focus Groups / Research, - Customer touch points - Online Surveys Often overlooked -> Mine any and all existing online data exhaustively Questions?
  • 13. 1Know your company Understand stakeholder concerns and requirements across multiple business functions. Don’t forget Legal, HR g g , Be aware of precedent for distinct types of vendor relationships – ad agencies, recruitment, property – ie Full outsource hybrid vs in house ie. outsource, in-house bias - as these can drive expectations in online. Understand organisational strengths and weaknesses – what skill sets are your t k h t kill t teams light on and conversely strong in. Questions?
  • 14. 1 Know your future What is the expected rate and scale of growth, Is there implicit direction to g p grow towards a certain model of business (away from outsourcing) What other related but incremental goals are on the company roadmap that involve online. Questions?
  • 15. Include your internal criteria along with industry/market specific requirements in RFP s RFP’s to a cross section of prospective suppliers Questions?
  • 16. 2 An RFP (Request For Proposal) RFPs can be extremely valuable in optimising the chances that suppliers deliver the solutions that you need, & encourage the following: Internal agreement: allow you to discuss and finalize your requirements with all of the internal y q (and agency) stakeholders before involving a further supplier. Questions?
  • 17. 2 An RFP (Request For Proposal) : Accurate proposals: allow suppliers t clearly understand A t l ll li to l l d t d your needs so they can provide you with the most accurate estimates of their best solution. Comparable solutions: ensure that each supplier receives the same set of requirements and therefore replies with a similar and comparable set of proposed solutions. Questions?
  • 18. 2 RFP’s for Ecommerce platforms and Site builds- Key - Define scope , p ,overall design, functional components and g , p objectives of your e-commerce project - Decide whether you have any applications that perform similar functions within your business that you wish to retain, and, whether there are any key dependencies between existing applications and the new applications you require. i - Each of these will need to be identified and the integration g requirements included in your business requirements. Questions?
  • 19. 2 RFP’s for Ecommerce platforms and Site builds - Scope should include End-user functionality, Back-office functionality Technical requirements, Integration requirements, Reporting requirements, Future q p g q requirements - Further deta o t e bus ess bac g ou d, eco u t e detail on their business background, ecomm solution, and support style Questions?
  • 20. 2 RFP’s for Email Service Providers Decide on service provider vs tech platform. based on your resource strengths & weaknesses - Chemistry is vital in this high traffic supplier - Everyday staffing quality is key - Scope your needs and match capabilities – don’t over don t scope as you’ll pay unnecessarily now for the advanced feature set that won’t be used for another few years Questions?
  • 21. 2 RFP’s for SEM / SEO – Some suggested focuses Seek a transparent approach to search engine marketing Look for a structured approach to keyword analysis Uses industry best practice Will openly describe the strategies and techniques they will use for SEO Has a performance-based approach to SEO performance based Viable as a long term strategic partner Questions?
  • 22. Introduce Performance as a selection criteria & / or l ti it i contractual element wherever possible h ibl Questions?
  • 23. 3 Where possible consider; - Arrangements that reward vendors on performance – either solely or as a component. component - Try before you buy performance trials - Set a benchmark - Be flexible on price…………. See Ben Kirshner, CEO, Coffee for Questions? on Marketing Sherpa
  • 24. 3 - Try before you buy performance trials - Set a benchmark - Be flexible on price - Get a full trial - Negotiate better exit terms See Ben Kirshner, CEO, Coffee for Questions? on Marketing Sherpa
  • 25. Travel li ht and b sure t T l light d be to evaluate the trade-off's in a‘‘one stop shop’ t h ’ Questions?
  • 26. 4 Travel Light When planning online projects , developments, and functionality – especially f launches or relaunches – err for on keeping your scope lean. Questions?
  • 27. 4 Consider specialisation of functionality before paying for a ‘1 stop shop’ Questions?
  • 28. Go (far) beyond an RFP and make sure you evaluate th k l t the ‘fuzzy’s Questions?
  • 29. 5 Beyond the RFP - Supplier Evaluation Does the supplier / vendor challenge your brief or objectives? Do they ‘want’ your business? C ea Creativity vs ROI - Do they ‘get’ e y s O o ey ge e- commerce? Cultural fit – esp issue response Questions?
  • 30. 5 Beyond the RFP - Supplier Evaluation Do you like them? Make sure you talk to enough potential suppliers t b i with li to begin ith Whats the online community like for their technology? Do they have value to add across key y y elements of the end-to-end e-commerce Questions? process
  • 31. An insider’s view : ‘straight to the point’ selection criteria l i i i to help you narrow things down.. Questions?
  • 32. 6 Ask for a list of the suppliers top ten clients by revenue, in no particular order. , p Then ask the supplier how long they’ve been working with each of these top ten. Choose partners th t h Ch t that have d demonstrable t bl experience in organisations with both retail and etail arms; Don’t bother meeting with the business development manager! Questions?
  • 33. 6 Ask the agency to teach you how they go about conducting SEO or SEM Ask them to propose an informal, preliminary set of clear KPIs. Ask for an early termination clause in case of underperformance relative to KPIs; Ask them to send you an anonymised sample of their monthly reporting templates. Questions?
  • 34. 6 Conduct research on the agency through Google. Ask to visit the agency’s office, and meet the consulting team in person. Visiting their environment and shaking their staff’s hands will g give you a good gut feeling about the agency; Insist on receiving, and actually call, 3 referees. Once you get on the phone with the referees referees, ask them about what they feel are consistently the weakest features of the agency. THAT’S IT Questions?
  • 35. Questions? Q ti ? I’m always interested to discuss any questions you have on this presentation or other online challenges. If I can’t help you I can refer you to another etailer that can. Email me : Network with me @ Questions?
  • 36. Additional & useful references Additi l f l f & search under vendor selection E-consultancy & their ‘supplier selection templates’ y pp p for the opening example 31 print.html?id=31 273 How to Negotiate Trials and Lower-rates with Vendors: 5 Strategies Thanks to Tom Skotidas & Mark Baartse from First Rate & some of the star suppliers I’ve worked with including ; SOM / DT Melbourne, Carl, Kellie & Ben @ Reactive, EuroRSCG, Javelin Group Questions?