Building a Back-End That Sets     You Up For Success         (the first km)
Matthew BertulliCreate / BuildDemac MediaSocialgift.com, triplecheck.ioCommunity (Ecommerce Toronto Meetup)Twitter: @mbert...
Where I learn about eCommerce…
Let’s talk about…A. Making Good Decisions (5 Key “Take-Aways”)A. Common challenges when building the back-end of your eCom...
Why is this even important?It’s the design that matters!How you look is only a very small part of building a successfuleCo...
Classifying Ecommerce (big ones)A. Multi-Brand Retail    Nordstroms, Fab.comB. Single Brand (B2C)    Frank & Oak, Bonobos ...
It is the when and how that matters most.               The first km of eCommerce… Q: When is the right time to implement ...
First, a very common example…payments.
Yikes!E-commerce Platforms                     PersonalizationContent Management Systems (CMS)         Rich MediaProduct I...
Yikes! x2Customer Service             PhotographersCommunity Management         MerchandisersMarketing                    ...
Order of ImportanceWhen choosing and implementing software, systems or processes.  A. Customer Acquisition  B. Customer Se...
It’s about the tools and the process.         NOT the brand of tool!
Approach         (All-in-One or Multiple Integrated Systems)You have no choice but to integrate multiple systems in eComme...
Incredibly Important!Much like any human roll / process in an organization,           there needs to be ownership.        ...
Important Data Entities (types) Customer Data Product Catalog • Media (images, video) • Basic Data (sku, name, color/size)...
Ecommerce PlatformThe “Hub” of a great commerce strategy.     – Do this right and get exponential cost savings and efficie...
Open Source vs. Closed vs. SaaSKnow your strengths!How much flexibility do you want?   – No matter what a sales rep tells ...
Challenge: Product Content & IngestionSize of your catalogue matters…Some businesses get new inventory very frequently. Th...
AnalyticsYou can go a very long way with Google Analytics.You can go even further with applications like KISSmetrics andmi...
Challenge: Customer DataBig Data is a big problem. Why?Very few people understand this area. Which results in…1. We’re all...
Mobile• Mobile is part of every good strategy now.• Not where you start in most eCommerce.   – Seriously…most of the time ...
Multi-Channel CommerceSelling on more than one marketplace sounds great right?• Get your own site right first.• Multiple s...
Assumptions are DangerousThe resources available in this business are few in #…Root your assumptions in as much real world...
Pre-Mature OptimizationVery dangerous!Lots of talk about scalability…dig deeper. What does that mean to you?•   Visitors• ...
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)Q: How much do I need to start?-   Answer depends on how many of the below processes you...
Classifying FulfillmentYou Own the Inventory                     You Don’t Own Inventory•   Ideal for scaling bigger.     ...
Key Metrics (trigger points)When do you need to start thinking about automation?  A. Large Order Volume Increases       A....
Being Agile (in process) Being agile is a large contributor to success in eCommerce. Test, test, test. • But be careful to...
Recap 1.   When & How 2.   Tools & Process 3.   Ownership of Data 4.   Assumptions / Premature Optimization 5.   Be Agile
Questions?Twitter: @mbertulli
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The First Kilometre: Building a Back-End That Sets You Up For Success

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The front end of an E-Commerce platform may get all the attention but more often than not, it's the back end that will determine whether you're a successful E-Commerce Case Study or a highlight of 5 Things You Don't Want to Do in 2014. This presentation will help to ensure it's not the latter.

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The First Kilometre: Building a Back-End That Sets You Up For Success

  1. 1. Building a Back-End That Sets You Up For Success (the first km)
  2. 2. Matthew BertulliCreate / BuildDemac MediaSocialgift.com, triplecheck.ioCommunity (Ecommerce Toronto Meetup)Twitter: @mbertulli
  3. 3. Where I learn about eCommerce…
  4. 4. Let’s talk about…A. Making Good Decisions (5 Key “Take-Aways”)A. Common challenges when building the back-end of your eCommerce business. 1. Mid-Size Business Focus 2. Real World StuffB. Components of an eCommerce Back-End (software & process)A. When & How Today’s focus is on the eCommerce platform and ERP systems.
  5. 5. Why is this even important?It’s the design that matters!How you look is only a very small part of building a successfuleCommerce business.These 2 systems are the hardest to replace. They also have a massiveimpact on… customer experience!
  6. 6. Classifying Ecommerce (big ones)A. Multi-Brand Retail Nordstroms, Fab.comB. Single Brand (B2C) Frank & Oak, Bonobos etc…C. Private Sale Gilt GroupD. Marketplace & Auction(2 sided) etsy, eBay
  7. 7. It is the when and how that matters most. The first km of eCommerce… Q: When is the right time to implement X system. Q: How do I choose? **A lot of the answers to these questions depends on the type of eCommerce business you’re building.
  8. 8. First, a very common example…payments.
  9. 9. Yikes!E-commerce Platforms PersonalizationContent Management Systems (CMS) Rich MediaProduct Information Management (PIM) Affiliate MarketingContent Delivery (i.e. CDNs) Search Engine MarketingCustomer Relationship Management (CRM) Security CertificationCustomer Reviews & Forums Shipping CarriersCustomer Service Software Shopping Comparison EnginesEmail Marketing Site SearchFulfillment Social Media MarketingLive Chat Web AnalyticsMarketplace Management Hosting / InfrastructureMobile Commerce Performance Management & OptimizationOrder Management Business Intelligence / Data MiningPayment SecurityPayment Systems
  10. 10. Yikes! x2Customer Service PhotographersCommunity Management MerchandisersMarketing Purchasers• Search Marketer And many…many…more…• Copy Writers• Affiliate Marketer• Email MarketerCreative / DesignDevelopersPickers, Packers, ShippersWarehouse ManagementBusiness Analysts
  11. 11. Order of ImportanceWhen choosing and implementing software, systems or processes. A. Customer Acquisition B. Customer Service C. Customer Fulfillment (Logistics) It doesn’t matter what kind of eCommerce you are in, this is how it breaks down.
  12. 12. It’s about the tools and the process. NOT the brand of tool!
  13. 13. Approach (All-in-One or Multiple Integrated Systems)You have no choice but to integrate multiple systems in eCommerce. It isreality.How many systems you integrate is what you want to control. Less ismore. Other ERP Ecom. Platform
  14. 14. Incredibly Important!Much like any human roll / process in an organization, there needs to be ownership. Data Ownership Which system owns which type of data?
  15. 15. Important Data Entities (types) Customer Data Product Catalog • Media (images, video) • Basic Data (sku, name, color/size) • Complex Data (descriptions, attributes) • Inventory • Pricing ** Orders Non-Product Content
  16. 16. Ecommerce PlatformThe “Hub” of a great commerce strategy. – Do this right and get exponential cost savings and efficiency savings in other applications. – Do it wrong…and the opposite happens.- Shopping Cart - Mobile Web- Content Management - On-Site Search- Product Management - CRM (basic)- Order Management (back-end stuff) - Payment Systems / Security- Customer Service - Personalization & Segmentation- Basic Shipping (printing labels etc…)- Returns Management
  17. 17. Open Source vs. Closed vs. SaaSKnow your strengths!How much flexibility do you want? – No matter what a sales rep tells you, SaaS platforms are less flexible than open source platforms. – Flexibility = ability to test more stuff without changing platforms.How “hands off” do you want to be? – SaaS will always be faster to get going. Open Source comes with built in technical debt.
  18. 18. Challenge: Product Content & IngestionSize of your catalogue matters…Some businesses get new inventory very frequently. Think fashion (fast).Quantity and Frequency are critical.The more technical the product, the more data that needs to be entered.Manufacturer data is largely garbage. Don’t depend on it!Tip: If you’re starting out, everyone on your team should know how to get newproducts into your system. It is also a great way for non-merchandising peopleto learn about your product.
  19. 19. AnalyticsYou can go a very long way with Google Analytics.You can go even further with applications like KISSmetrics andmixpanel.The very biggest will use the Omniture types. $$$
  20. 20. Challenge: Customer DataBig Data is a big problem. Why?Very few people understand this area. Which results in…1. We’re all in data overload1. Even fewer folks knowing how to actually use this data. (actionable)
  21. 21. Mobile• Mobile is part of every good strategy now.• Not where you start in most eCommerce. – Seriously…most of the time this isn’t your first move.• Our Preferred Order – Web with mobile optimizations made in UX – Mobile Web (Responsive or Stand Alone) – Apps
  22. 22. Multi-Channel CommerceSelling on more than one marketplace sounds great right?• Get your own site right first.• Multiple selling channels is almost always a good thing. – Product / Inventory Management critical. – Order Management very important. – Watch your margins! – Systems Integration can be very painful.
  23. 23. Assumptions are DangerousThe resources available in this business are few in #…Root your assumptions in as much real world data as possible.
  24. 24. Pre-Mature OptimizationVery dangerous!Lots of talk about scalability…dig deeper. What does that mean to you?• Visitors• Transactions• Feature Adoption• Concurrent Admin Users• Data Storage• Warehouse order processing time?None of this matters if you don’t have customers. Create some pain, then optimizeit.
  25. 25. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)Q: How much do I need to start?- Answer depends on how many of the below processes you want to handle in this system.- If you’re starting out, start as light/lean as possible as ERP systems are generally expensive and don’t have top-line impact.- Accounting - Reporting- Fulfillment (Pick/Pack/Ship) - Business Intelligence- Order Management- Customer Service- CRM
  26. 26. Classifying FulfillmentYou Own the Inventory You Don’t Own Inventory• Ideal for scaling bigger. • Drop-Ship or JIT• Heavy capital requirements • Easier to start.• Fulfillment Options • Almost no capital requirements. – Run your own warehouse • Fulfillment Options – Third party logistics – Combination? • Really popular among private sale companies.• Where everyone wants to go. • More balls in the air. You can’t• More profit margin % points to play control full customer experience. with.• You own the full customer experience.
  27. 27. Key Metrics (trigger points)When do you need to start thinking about automation? A. Large Order Volume Increases A. 0 – 20 / day B. 20 – 100 / day C. 100 – 1000 / day B. Customer Service Requests C. Return Requests D. Frequent Price Changes E. Received Product
  28. 28. Being Agile (in process) Being agile is a large contributor to success in eCommerce. Test, test, test. • But be careful to test the right things. • For example, test your picking process to see what works best. ERP Software is really hard (and expensive) to replace. Probably not the best place to test a lot… Agility fights Stability
  29. 29. Recap 1. When & How 2. Tools & Process 3. Ownership of Data 4. Assumptions / Premature Optimization 5. Be Agile
  30. 30. Questions?Twitter: @mbertulli

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