The second quarter of 2020 was eye-opening for everyone. The unprecedented changes we’ve seen since the COVID-19 pandemic circled the globe in early 2020 have rocked the foundations of countless businesses worldwide. In some cases, traditional business models that worked well for decades were upended overnight as ecommerce and digital marketing became the only way to reach customers and make sales. Others may have been dabbling in ecommerce prior to the pandemic but found themselves woefully unprepared to survive on that alone.
Many of our existing clients were suddenly faced with upgrading or expanding their digital capabilities to keep pace with demand. And, prospects we’d spoken to months or years earlier who had decided not to pursue a project were suddenly lining up with brand new priorities. Speed was of the essence for all.
We worked to devise a new approach to rapid start commerce solutions, something we’ve branded Gorilla IQ (or G.IQ for short), under the framework of Commerce-as-a-Product. As we built-out business requirements and began technical development, one thing quickly became apparent: to enable an ecommerce site launch in a matter of weeks, our clients needed to have their teams enabled to support these fast-moving initiatives.
As these types of projects require close collaboration from all parties involved, we’ve put together a high-level guide that brands can follow to put themselves in the best position for success.
What is Gorilla IQ?
Time is the enemy of innovation. So, we sought to determine what we could offer in the way of accelerated solutions that could get a client up and running and to begin generating revenue in weeks rather than months. The result is Gorilla IQ, an ever-expanding portfolio of commerce solutions.
G.IQ starts with the already powerful native capabilities of leading ecommerce platforms. Our initial G.IQ products include Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento), Shopify, and Salesforce (B2B Commerce on Lightning Experience).
Based on data amassed over hundreds of commerce launches, common features and functional enhancements are pre-built on top of the native platform. Essential integrations necessary for launch, from payments to analytics, have also been wired into the solution. Our proprietary front-end BuildKit, a modular, platform-neutral, mobile-first dev framework, sits on top as the presentation layer. This enables us to move fast.
The result is a MVP solution that goes live in as few as 4-6 weeks, fully operational and able to generate revenue and data from the start. But, there is one important thing to note: the CAAP model relies heavily on collaboration and commitment from the client. To launch quickly, your team will also need to move at speed . Here’s what you’ll need to plan for.
Enabling Your Team For Rapid Start Commerce
While your choice of commerce platform may adjust the timing of certain steps, the primary tasks you’ll need to complete remain the same.
STAGE 1 (~1 WEEK):
Make sure you have your assets in order. Have an up-to-date brand style guide ready to go, as well as related assets like logos. This will inform the site design and ensure all assets and the interface itself are on-brand and conform to your visual identity. We’ll help outline what assets are required and can help assist in their creation, if needed.
Begin mapping site content to be migrated and start creating any net new content needed for launch. This is a step that is often overlooked, but it’s never too early to optimize your site content for launch, as it serves as the core of the customer experience. Our content team can supplement your internal resources to help scale that effort to hit the launch date.
You’re designated site admin will work with our Business Analysts to begin inputting required store data and configuring platform back-office features to conform to business needs.
Lastly, ensure third-party vendor contracts are in place or begin that process. Having a functional ecommerce ecosystem requires key integrations to enable business operations. So, for things like payment processing, tax calculations, Shipping, and value-adds like marketing automation and product reviews, it’s best to make sure everything is in order as early as possible.
STAGE 2 (~1 – 2 WEEKS):
At this stage, you’ll want to finalize product and pricing data for launch. This can be a subset of your full catalog, as you’ll be able to import expanded product offerings and categories and at any time post launch. Inventory data can also be appended to the primary product data.
If your business has physical locations, mapping location details and store hours will be required for upload to the storefront.
Site configuration will continue in this phase, including checkout configuration. You’ll also want to finalize content creation in preparation for upload to the site.
STAGE 3 (~1 – 2 WEEKS):
As everything starts to come together, you’ll preview the site design and ensure all aspects are on point. This will run parallel with site content population, where copy, images, graphics, and any multimedia content is loaded to the site. The product content import process will run separately from the content population.
In preparation for the upcoming launch, we’ll work with your team to identify who will be responsible for day-to-day site administration and set up appropriate roles and permissions.
Behind the scenes, final integrations and analytics set up will be completed, along with an end-to-end quality assurance review. This will take us to the final step before launch.
STAGE 4 (~1 – 2 WEEKS):
We’ll collaboratively engage in User Acceptance Testing (UAT), validating data and ensuring site functionality performs as expected. Any bugs or content issues will be identified and addressed in this stage.
Once everything is pixel-perfect and we have your approval, site launch will be scheduled and we’ll collectively celebrate this milestone in your business’s digital transformation.
Now that you have an idea of what it will take from your team to enable rapid-start ecommerce, maybe it’s time to overcome the biggest barrier of all, getting started.
To begin discussing your digital transformation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to schedule your demo. We look forward to connecting with you.