So, you have launched an online store or marketplace. Customers are satisfied, stakeholders are happy too, but do not rush to say goodbye to the developers – the online business will reach the desired heights only if the project is technically maintained and functionally developed. We talked to Darcy, Head of Sales at Simtech Development, about how to solve this task.
ー Darcy, tell us why work on the online store does not end after the release?
ー eCommerce project is a living organism. Imagine that you have a child who is taking his first steps: he has to adapt to the social environment, learn a lot and ultimately realize himself. The same goes for business: you have launched online sales, for example, with an MVP, a product version limited to basic functionality, and that’s absolutely right. But this is the starting point for future growth: the project should not only prove its viability, but also constantly improve.
Plus, let’s not forget that trends in digital commerce, like business reality, change at lightning speed. Take, for example, the product list that needs to be labeled in a certain country. It is constantly expanding, and for online stores, the product labeling service should be integrated with online cash registers to comply with legal regulations. Therefore, online store owners have to quickly adapt to innovations.
What is the point? An eCommerce project should be able to transform, and without developers, it is very difficult to do this in real-time.
ー Perhaps, it is also worth mentioning the ongoing updates of the CMS itself?
ー Of course. IT is the most dynamic industry in terms of development. And if your business is related to it, be prepared for constant evolution of the application. There’s no need to be afraid of this – the whole world has become dependent on technology. Someone just needs to keep their finger on the pulse and update the store in a timely manner. This “someone” can be either in-house specialists or a dedicated development team from a contractor selected for your project. You can also combine the first and the second options to make the work as efficient as possible.
ー And what tasks can be done after the project launch?
ー It depends on the client’s needs. eCommerce Website Maintenance may include technical support, setting up default functionality, monitoring website performance, fixing glitches and bugs that compel users to abandon the website. It may also involve expanding the functional capabilities of the eCommerce platform: if the project has proven successful at the MVP stage, business owners are unlikely to leave it in the basic version for long. They will expand payment system options, integrate inventory management systems, connect with delivery services, or add marketing and analytics tools. Or the focus may be on improving the site’s visibility in search engine results, UX/UI design, or developing a mobile application.There are plenty of opportunities for product development, and these are tasks that developers might take on after the project is launched.
- Why Do Your Customers Leave? 5 Common Mistakes of Online Store Owners
- How to Optimize an eCommerce Website for Mobiles: Looking for an Optimal Solution
ー Darcy, another important point: should this be a dedicated development team involved in the initial creation of the website?
ー Not necessarily. Yes, it is convenient when the team that developed the project from scratch also maintains it after launch. In this case, the developers have a complete understanding of the project’s architecture, the technologies used, and the functional requirements, so they can quickly engage in new tasks.
For example, two years ago, we launched an MVP for the Askned B2B medical equipment marketplace in Australia. After the launch, the client requested to develop a strategy and plan for the project’s development based on the business needs. After the document approval, the team immediately started working on it. By the way, today the marketplace has over 5 million active users and 20,000 items in the catalog.
However, sometimes it happens differently: the project is not developed by us, but the client addresses Simtech Development for refinement or development of new functionality. Or they may ask for an audit to identify the growth points of the website. In this case, the business analyst and technical team conduct a preliminary study of the project. The customer approves the relevant tasks, and they are included in the backlog – a general list of work. Later, we will report on the work done and, if necessary, take a new pool of tasks from the backlog.
Another example: one of our clients is the owner of Shopmundo, a multi-product marketplace from the Dominican Republic. Several years ago, we conducted a website migration to the CS-Cart platform, and then a series of improvements, including the development of a PWA store for mobile devices. Now we are preparing for an upgrade of the storebecause the new versions of CS-Cart are characterized by higher performance and security, which is very important for websites with high traffic.
ー What are the engagement models to maintain the project after its launch?
ー At Simtech Development, we offer various models, including package offers or hourly payment. In all cases, we select experts individually for each project. The composition of the team depends on the presence or absence of technical specifications, the volume of tasks, the release deadlines for new features, and the budget.
ー What does the client receive thanks to such support?
ー Confidence that their project is in the hands of professionals. Specifically, this means having established communication with the IT company, prompt response to issues and errors, bug fixing, updating functionality, and improving website performance. Specialists will have the necessary expertise and access to the source code of your project, so the work will be carried out quickly and effectively.
ー Can you advise online business owners on things to consider when choosing a project maintenance team?
ー Make sure that the specialists have experience working with the technologies and programming languages used in your project. Ensure they have sufficient flexibility and resources to act in accordance with your schedule and volume of tasks. Agree on deadlines, update frequency, and reporting requirements to ensure clarity and transparency in the maintenance process for your eCommerce project.
From my own experience, I would also note that clients appreciate the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue, where they are heard, supported, and encouraged to take the initiative. And if necessary, they can even argue, but they will always substantiate their position with reasoned arguments.
Do you also want to comfortably develop your projects? Discuss the options for maintaining your project with the experts at Simtech Development