A Cheat Sheet for eCommerce RFP

The Goals of Issuing an ECommerce RFP Are Twofold.

First, to solidify your intentions and requirements internally. And second, to formalize those objectives in a way that lets you examine and evaluate prospective solutions on your terms.

Launching an eCommerce solution for a business can be daunting, as it’s a process of creating a solution which will take care of customers daily activities and streamline business team activities.

This article helps you to ensure that your eCommerce proposal (RFP) covers details on your customer and business common needs. It’s true, launching an online store is an overwhelming activity, but it can also be the path to exponential growth.

Let’s simplify an eCommerce RFP creation process by referring to a concise checklist to be addressed in your eCommerce RFP:

1. Business overview: Get your business overview documented, which describes products offering, services offerings, sales channels, and distribution model. 

2. Project overview: Describe the engagement with details like business driving factors, primary goal, scope, mobile support, phases/roadmap, success criteria, and budget.

3. Existing Online solution: If your company has an online presence, please describe, type of solution (CMS, CRM, Marketing, Commerce), online sales, traffic, convention rate, success, and challenges.

4. Business Competitors: Highlight your business competitor’s positive and negative points in line with your business. If competitors have an online presence, collect information like what is good on their site, and what you need to do differently.

5. Product catalog: It is very much required to outline product catalog with details on number of products, type of products (simple or configurable), product categories, levels of categories, product attributes, product specification, and product search flow.

6. Data integration: Identify eCommerce data integrations with other systems your business needs like ERP, PIM, CRM, CMS, marketing tools, payment gateway, and shipping services. It’s also a good idea to create your company’s IT Landscape diagram as part of the RFP process.

7. User Interface: ECommerce UI requirements could change your solution from a simple implementation to a complex implementation. Analyze if you need a specific/fancy frontend to attract users or if simple/out of the box (based on the platform) would meet your business needs.

8. Customer Specific Data: In this competitive business era, personalized customer experience is becoming essential. Document your approach related to customer personalization describing user interface, persona, pricing, catalog, and reports.

9. Pricing logic: Outline your business pricing scenarios to be covered by your eCommerce solution.
10**. Online shopping:** Ensure that online shopping execution is defined with requirements like quoting, inventory updates, modes of payment, tax logic and shopping service.

11. Multi-site: Ensure that multi-sites requirement lined up regarding customer specific data, internationalization and localization. Having multiple sites could be on roadmap plan, but we need to ensure that your system is getting designed to accommodate multistore requirements.

12. Digital Marketing: As you approach launching your eCommerce online solution, it’s necessary to have a good plan in place for digital marketing. Outlining your digital marketing strategy, in the beginning, enables your solution to be designed to support digital marketing execution.

Your company eCommerce platform is a cornerstone of your growth strategy. We all know in complex businesses, no system can address all the needed functionality, but this level of analysis is critical to understanding the fit. The above RFP checklist will help to identify and to document your eCommerce requirements. Creating an RFP will help you to understand the differences between new system options and will help you make the right application decision for your company.