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How to launch a commerce site in just 3 weeks

Katy White
Katy White
Principal Digital Consultant, Design & Technology
6 min read
17 February 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown global industry into a state of flux. Business models are being revised, as manufacturers and B2B businesses adapt to the current reality and seek new revenue streams.

The disruptive effects of COVID-19 are accelerations of existing trends such as the shift towards e-commerce and the need for digitising processes to streamline business operations. It’s likely that launching a direct to consumer (D2C) model was already on your long-term roadmap, but now it’s time to expedite those plans to ensure your business is maximising as many revenue streams as possible.

The process of building a commerce offering can seem like new ground to many B2B CEOs. Understanding the array of software options on the market and assessing the return on investment can be daunting. The key is to see how you can make your company’s assets go further; can insights gathered from customer data be applied to other areas of the business? Can consumers be given an easier path to purchase? Digital transformation magnifies strengths by focusing on scalable improvements.

For those who have already taken the step into direct-to-consumer, you may now be assessing its long term viability and looking to cement it into your business model and future roadmap. You may have seen great success and now want to launch internationally, or you may be looking at developing a 360 view of your new customer base.  Either way, whether you’re just starting out or looking to develop your offering, agility and speed-to-market is paramount. Every day missed is a day of missed revenue. 

So, how do you quickly start selling online and grow revenue, increase brand awareness and build one-to-one relationships to increase customer satisfaction? DEPT® has teamed up with Salesforce to develop a quick-launch commerce solution that enables brands to be up and running with a fully-functioning e-commerce site in just three weeks. Here’s how…

Step one: discovery

As with any digital project, the first step is always assessing and understanding your business, your products and your target customers. For those looking to launch direct-to-consumer for the first time, we’ll explore your motivations for doing so, and interrogate ideas on how to build a compelling offering, such as offering exclusive products that aren’t available elsewhere, logistics options to enable shorter delivery times, or launching subscription-based models. 

Following a series of discovery workshops, a detailed requirements map is created that’s aligned to the functionality and capability of the quick launch commerce solution. 

Step two: build

Now that the requirements are confirmed, we can start building your commerce site. We’ll lead on the merchant setup, data integration, price and inventory, so that your storefront, product catalogue and search are all set up and ready to go. 

We’ll guide you through the creation or your product catalogues, from required formats to options for data delivery (whether it needs to be integrated into an existing ERP system, a PIM, or even just an excel spreadsheet). We’ll work closely with you to determine your needs for order management, and help you to select and integrate a solution that best meets your requirements. For example, you might already have an order management system (OMS) that you’d like the data to feed into, or you may decide to implement Salesforce OMS or DEPT®’s OMS Lite system.  

As an all-in-one solution, functionality for wish lists, bundling, product recommendations, variations and promotions will all be included, and we’ll be supporting your team to ensure you maximise the potential of all the available features from day one.  

Step three: design & branding

As an out-of-the-box solution that creates a fully-functioning website, the build phase is very short. The rest of the time is spent tailoring the site to your brand and design requirements. Our team will guide you through best practices for content creation and image optimisation, and is always around to assist with any questions you may have during the process. 

The solution comes with a highly configurable theme that is built on Salesforce’s Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA). SFRA takes a mobile-first approach, so the site is designed and prototyped for mobile devices, and expanded out from there. This ensures your site delivers the best experience for users on all screen sizes. 

It’s really easy to configure a huge variety of theme elements, directly via the Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) Business Manager console, without the need for any code changes. You can change fonts, colour schemes, update logos and more in just a few clicks, and see them reflected instantly on the site. 

The solution also uses SFCC Page Designer, which provides a library of pre-built content components such as carousels, videos, image and text blocks, enabling you to build engaging pages of content for use across the site, using a simple drag and drop interface.

Basic Google DataLayer support is provided out-of-the-box for tracking of site activity in Google Analytics. We’ll help you configure it so that it’s adjusted to match your requirements.

For payments, integration with Adyen is provided out-of-the-box, so it’s just a matter of choosing what payment methods you’d like to provide (e.g. Paypal etc), through Adyen’s intuitive console. These options will be pulled through directly onto the site,  with no further integration work required.

This is all just a starting point, for anything not achievable through the existing configuration options, our team of certified SFCC experts are on hand to assist with building further functionality and enhancements, as required.

Step four: launch

Once the build, design and integrations are done, we’ll test the solution and prepare for take off!  Having launched hundreds of e-commerce sites, we’ll guide you through this exciting step, and our Hypercare Post Launch service ensures we’re on hand to usher in a smooth stress free experience.

Quick start your commerce today

There has never been a lower barrier to entry for launching direct-to-consumer, or accelerating your commerce plans. And with 2021 posing many of the same challenges we all faced in 2020, growing successful revenue streams is vital to mitigating short-term risk while focusing on long term growth. 

If you’d like to learn more, book your demo and see how you can launch a commerce site in just three weeks.

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Principal Digital Consultant, Design & Technology

Katy White