Staff Writer

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The cultural shift from a ‘physical store only’ mentality to adding an online channel requires that online gets embedded into a new world order, rather than sitting in a silo outside of it.

This requires change. Acknowledge that change is uncomfortable. And lean into it.

From the outset, operational stakeholders need to be involved in requirements gathering, scoping and solution architecting your online business. Ensure they are onside and recognise the need for change, and are the champions of it.

Top 5 Tips when adding an online store to your business:

1. How will your current systems need to be changed to account for your online store?

Consider all the product management, finance systems, warehouse management systems, marketing campaigns, human resources, legal requirements and customer service that will be touched when implementing this project. Recognise that you are changing your business by adding an online store

2. What new systems, new staff and new processes will you require to make the shiftinto eCommerce?

While your scope document might focus on the technology solution for your eCommerce project, explore more broadly the people and process changes required for its success.

3. How do you keep the existing processes going while you make the changes?

Especially consider the human impact of this, and if you will need to add new resources into your business or re-allocate existing resources to accommodate additional workload.

4. What’s the appropriate timing for the change (peak/off-peak trading)?

Think carefully about the trading peaks in your business and how they will impact the timing of this project.

5. What’s the skill set and experience of your existing staff in eCommerce and eCommerce operations?

Determine whether you need to re-skill or hire new staff with different skills in your operations team to back the online store.

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