ECOMMERCE PLAYERS NEED THIS ONE THING TO SUCCEED TODAY
MVP (OR) MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT
One thing that is emerging as an aftermath of this pandemic is that everything is going digital. And online shopping experiences are increasingly the norm. There has been a 200% to 400% uptick in the growth of online sales in the past few months. Customers need products and services and being able to purchase them securely in the comfort of one’s home has become paramount.
Not surprisingly, quite a few small to medium sized retailers who have so far been serving a local community and working as a brick and mortar (B&M) business will now have to create an online presence to not only survive but capitalize on the opportunity. In this “Ideas @ Work” series we present to you a Minimum Viable Product (or MVP) for launching an eCommerce business. So if you have been a traditional B&M store then this is exactly what you need.
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a term coined by Eric Reyes, represents a sufficient set of features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features, is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users.
For a Brick & Mortar retailer with an established business this definition holds good where they can test the waters with a minimal set of features that will help their early adopting customers to give them valuable feedback to enhance their site.
Now let us look at a traditional eCommerce platform. There are three major divisions of IT systems that are necessary for eCommerce
Customer Facing Systems
This is typically the website and/or the mobile app where customers can shop online
Business Facing Systems
These are tools that allow the setup of products, prices, order processing rules. These allow the retailer to define the business rules behind eCommerce.
Operations Facing Systems
Customer service portal and call center portal come under this category and address post-purchase requirements of the customer.
A MVP therefore is a subset of all these features, where we define the key features needed and the rationale behind each. Our approach will involve a balance between addressing customer experience and creating a lean operations cost to minimize initial investments.
To conclude, the ongoing pandemic is also an opportunity for many traditional B&M businesses to go online and expand their business. To achieve this retailers will need to start with a MVP that will ensure their success.