Principles of eCommerce Project Management
What is eCommerce Project Management and Why is it Important?
eCommerce project management is the application of knowledge skills, tools, and techniques in a structured manner to reach eCommerce project goals and requirements. Proper project management can improve a business’s efficiency, foster collaboration between teammates, boost a team’s performance, and improve customer satisfaction. eCommerce project management differs from traditional project management because online businesses function differently at a fundamental level. For example, the storefront management component of a traditional business isn’t relevant to completely digital companies.
Methods of eCommerce Project Management
- Lean Project Management
Lean project management is an iterative process, meaning it is meant to be updated continuously until the desired outcome is met. The primary objective of lean project management is to deliver value to the client. This is done by polishing the final product at each stage in the management process, rather than focusing on a long-term implementation plan. In this sense, lean project management is a more reactive process than other management methods.
- Agile Project Management
Agile project management is another iterative form of management similar to lean project management. The primary difference with agile project management is that each phase of the process focuses on a new element of the final product rather than refining the product at each step. Agile project management also allows for customer feedback to be gathered and implemented very quickly. Flexibility is the primary benefit of agile project management.
- Waterfall Project Management
Waterfall project management is the oldest method of project management that is still common today. The waterfall project management method is sequential instead of iterative. In this method, the entire project is planned at the beginning of the process. This includes research and development, product introduction, and product launching. The primary benefit of the waterfall method is that your team will have a solid final goal to work towards and an overall sense of direction. However, this method of project management is pretty rigid and does not adapt well to customer feedback or new ideas for implementation.
Scrum project management has a strong focus on collaboration between team members. Scrum management usually involves short, frequent, oftentimes daily, meetings where team members review project progress, discuss the problems they are facing and plan the objectives for the day. These frequent meetings make it easy to ensure that every member of a team is on the same page. The scrum process is divided into phases known as sprints. Each sprint focuses on creating a ready-to-use product that can be refined in later sprints.
Kanban is similar to the scrum style of project management due to its use of sprints, but the lifecycle of each sprint is shorter than in the scrum method. The Kanban management style is also more flexible than scrum because it allows for project elements to be refined whenever necessary, not just in later sprints. Kanban focuses on continuous changes and updates that contribute to overall task progress.
How to Plan Your eCommerce Projects
The planning process of your eCommerce project will vary depending on the style of project management you have implemented, but there are a few crucial aspects that are present in any eCommerce planning process.
- Competitor Analysis
The eCommerce market is growing rapidly and has a fierce amount of competition. Competitor analysis will give you valuable insights into the competition’s strengths and weaknesses, which can benefit you in a few different ways. Firstly, these insights will allow your business to adapt. You’ll be able to avoid the mistakes that other companies have made and implement strategies that have worked. Secondly, competitor analysis will show you what makes your business unique compared to other companies. This will enable your business to focus on a niche in the market that you can better serve.
- Website Planning and Business Optimization
Having a fast, intuitive website that is easy to use is incredibly important to eCommerce businesses. If your website doesn’t offer customers a good user experience, then it is unlikely that they’ll return to make another purchase. Creating a memorable website goes beyond the design and structure of your website, it should also have modern functionality such as responsive windows and automation. Many online shoppers today make purchases through mobile devices so your eCommerce business’s website should be capable of responding to different screen sizes. Websites that function well on multiple devices generally outperform unoptimized websites. Many consumers also expect websites to have automated functions. Automation can also streamline certain business operations. For example, shipping APIs can streamline warehouse processes and allow more orders to be fulfilled.
Advertising is important for businesses of all sizes in any industry. There are several channels that can be used for advertising. These include physical advertisements, influencer campaigns, social media profiles, and digital advertisements. Social media is arguably the most important advertising channel for eCommerce businesses because it offers them a means of two-way engagement with potential customers.