From humble beginnings, eCommerce has exploded into our daily lives. Almost anything you can think of is available to purchase online, and the eCommerce boom is not about to end soon. The pandemic accelerated the growth of online retailing volumes by about ten years, so that in just a few years, one out of every four sales will be made digitally. Therefore, you cannot sit back and watch this opportunity pass you by.
You need to be in this dynamic and competitive environment to continue driving sales growth. One of the keys to online success is understanding eCommerce project management.
What Is eCommerce project management?
Project management and eCommerce project management have different focal points and characteristics, as eCommerce project management drills further into the detail.
And that makes sense because estimates are that by 2025, 24.5% of worldwide retail sales will be made online. So there’s no room any longer for lacklustre eCommerce project management.
Good management goes beyond clear strategy, budgets, quality assurance, and deadlines. In eCommerce environments, these criteria are more challenging to implement effectively. The project manager is responsible for motivating and building a successful team capable of completing the workload within the deadlines, with quality targets met, and within set budgets.
Challenges to overcome without eCommerce project management
Online retailers have difficulty keeping control as they are often unaware of the latest trends and breaking technologies. Knowing the direction their eCommerce outlet needs to follow and the development needed is only possible with proper planning. Failing to plan effectively will bring issues such as delayed schedules, poor sales, lower profits, project failure, and a failed business.
What are popular E-commerce project management methodologies?
To face these inevitable challenges, an eCommerce business owner must invest in the optimal project management methodology.
Trying to implement one specific method into your business is challenging. You can use more than one method and tweak rules to make them work within your business model. Using the latest CRM technologies and partnering with a HubSpot eCommerce agency will help grow your business by utilizing companies such as Shopify and Magento.
The information here will help; whatever methodology you choose is right for your business.
1. Agile project management
Agile is an iterative methodology that grows from a simplified starting point and continues to expand in complexity until the software is finally complete.
As system enhancements are implemented in small steps, it gives the benefit of customer feedback for each implemented feature. The feedback contributes enormously to constant development, but it is harder to envisage the final product as it is not developed on a linear path.
2. Lean project management
The cornerstones of the Lean project management methodology are steady, continuous workflow to keep roadblocks and delays at bay, constant improvement, and delivering value to the customer.
Focussing on crucial systems while avoiding unnecessary meetings and tasks saves valuable time and resources.
With features defined for each development stage, this approach allows efficiency at each key point to be monitored.
3. Waterfall project management
The oldest and currently least popular project management approach delivers well to small teams needing to know how the final product will look.
The whole project is planned outright at the beginning. Should you plan to take a product through Research and Development to product development and through to market launch, the Waterfall method ensures that the final product is as expected.
The downsides are inefficiency as developers can add no new stages until all previous stages are completed, opening up more possibilities for backlogs.
Scrum is heavily team-focused, and it is imperative that all team members have adequate experience to respond quickly to any challenges. Concise meetings, often less than 15 minutes, are conducted daily to review the progress, discuss problems, and plan daily tasks. These are held in person or via video conferencing such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams for improved project management collaboration.
Development is split into “Sprints,” which are short but regular cycles in which a significant product increment is presented.
Kanban has many similarities with Scrum. Kanban allows tasks to be categorized as “to do,” “in progress,” and “done.” It allows changes to be implemented not only after the sprint but at any time they are needed.
The main feature of Kanban is to allow continuous and regular changes to contribute to the progress of the overriding task. Kanban tasks are usually tracked through eCommerce CMS Solutions and project management apps.
How to plan your E-commerce projects wisely.
Here are seven easy project management tips that every digital business should follow:
1. Competitor analysis
To stay competitive, you must monitor your competitors. Regular competitive analyses will give insights into your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
2. Trackable goals
Create clear and trackable goals. Whether your goals are increased brand mentions by influencers, or improved yields from online marketing, they need to be easily logged within Google Analytics with a conversion goal and a value set.
3. Workflow process
Visualize each step and what is required to achieve it. Schedule regular meetings to track changes and define obstacles. Discuss team members’ concerns regarding timings and budgets.
4. Tracking time
Wasted time is a wasted resource. Use time tracking and management software to analyze time wastage and how long tasks are taking compared to your expectations.
5. Cost management
An E-commerce project must deliver superior features over its competitors. It must deliver maximum value and usability with minimum defects, and ongoing maintenance costs must be minimal.
6. Using the best E-commerce business tools
Every e-commerce business should operate on simple and scalable project management software. It should use video conferencing, time tracking, and project management tools to improve team collaboration and simplify project management.
7. Continuous iterating and testing
In the eCommerce sector, very few projects are ever completed; instead, they are constantly undergoing upgrades, updates, and bug fixes.
These iterations must be run as A/B variants to analyze performance before sending them back to the planning stage.
Everything can be improved, and there is no such thing as a perfect eCommerce store. Developers can simplify checkouts, improve website speed, and tweak product displays for higher click-through rates.
Now that you know the tried and tested eCommerce project management rules, you need to implement them into your online business. Online businesses can be formidable to manage, but software development challenges can be met head-on with the correct strategies and tools.