Deciding Which Vendors To Work With
for Online Retailing
                                                 • Before selecti...
Choosing the right online retail suppliers isn't
       just about the prospective partner
                 companies……..
...
Agreement
                                    Signed

Questions?
dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
Questions?
dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
Questions?
dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
Questions?
dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
Questions?
dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
Questions?
dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
Questions?
dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
Questions?
dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
Before you go looking for vendors ,
                                     know your context first. This
                   ...
1 Know your customer

  Standard sources include;
  - Focus Groups / Research,
  - Customer touch points
  - Online Survey...
1Know your company

        Understand stakeholder concerns and
        requirements across multiple business functions.
 ...
1 Know your future

       What is the expected rate and scale of growth,
       Is there implicit direction to g
        ...
Include your internal criteria
                                     along with industry/market
                           ...
2 An RFP (Request For Proposal)
  RFPs can be extremely valuable in optimising the
   chances that suppliers deliver the s...
2 An RFP (Request For Proposal) :

       Accurate proposals: allow suppliers t clearly understand
       A      t        ...
2
RFP’s for Ecommerce platforms and Site builds- Key
- Define scope ,
             p ,overall design, functional component...
2
RFP’s for Ecommerce platforms and Site builds

-   Scope should include End-user functionality, Back-office
    function...
2
RFP’s for Email Service Providers

Decide on service provider vs tech platform.
based on your resource strengths & weakn...
2
RFP’s for SEM / SEO – Some suggested focuses
Seek a transparent approach to search engine marketing
Look for a structure...
Introduce Performance as a
                                     selection criteria & / or
                                ...
3      Where possible consider;
  -    Arrangements that reward vendors on
       performance – either solely or as a
    ...
3 -    Try before you buy performance trials
  -    Set a benchmark
  -    Be flexible on price
  -    Get a full trial
  ...
Travel li ht and b sure t
                                   T     l light d be       to
                                 ...
4  Travel Light
   When planning online projects ,
     developments, and functionality –
     especially f launches or re...
4                                  Consider
                                   specialisation
                            ...
Go (far) beyond an RFP and
                                    make sure you evaluate th
                                 ...
5  Beyond the RFP - Supplier Evaluation
    Does the supplier / vendor challenge your
    brief or objectives?
    Do they...
5  Beyond the RFP - Supplier Evaluation
    Do you like them?
    Make sure you talk to enough potential
    suppliers t b...
An insider’s view :

                                   ‘straight to the point’

                                   select...
6      Ask for a list of the suppliers top ten clients by
       revenue, in no particular order.
                ,       ...
6      Ask the agency to teach you how they go about
       conducting SEO or SEM
       Ask them to propose an informal, ...
6      Conduct research on the agency through
       Google.
       Ask to visit the agency’s office, and meet the
       ...
Questions?
  Q   ti   ?
       I’m always interested to discuss any questions you have
       on this presentation or othe...
Additional & useful references
  Additi   l      f l f
       Emarketer.com &                 search under
       Marketin...
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Dan Ferguson

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Published on

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..

Published in: Business, Technology

Dan Ferguson

  1. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  2. 2. Choosing the right online retail suppliers isn't just about the prospective partner companies…….. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  3. 3. Agreement Signed Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  4. 4. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  5. 5. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  6. 6. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  7. 7. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  8. 8. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  9. 9. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  10. 10. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  11. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  12. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  13. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  14. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  15. 15. Include your internal criteria along with industry/market specific requirements in RFP s RFP’s to a cross section of prospective suppliers Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  16. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  17. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  18. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  19. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  20. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  21. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  22. 22. Introduce Performance as a selection criteria & / or l ti it i contractual element wherever possible h ibl Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  23. 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 less.com Questions? on Marketing Sherpa dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  24. 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 less.com Questions? on Marketing Sherpa dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  25. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  26. 26. 4 Travel Light When planning online projects , developments, and functionality – especially f launches or relaunches – err for on keeping your scope lean. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  27. 27. 4 Consider specialisation of functionality before paying for a ‘1 stop shop’ Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  28. 28. Go (far) beyond an RFP and make sure you evaluate th k l t the ‘fuzzy’s Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  29. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  30. 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 dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  31. 31. An insider’s view : ‘straight to the point’ selection criteria l i i i to help you narrow things down.. Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  32. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  33. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  34. 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  35. 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 : dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net Network with me @ http://www.linkedin.com/in/danferguson1 Questions? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net
  36. 36. Additional & useful references Additi l f l f Emarketer.com & search under MarketingSherpa.com vendor selection E-consultancy & their ‘supplier selection templates’ y pp p http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell for the opening example http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article_print.html?id 31 http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article 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? dxignite@optus.ap.blackberry.net

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