3 Reasons to Consult Early and Often
We’ve all been there. You’re driving to work half asleep or you wake up in the middle of the night with an amazing idea. It’s a revelation and you just can’t wait to tell someone about it. It might be a new product line that will help reinvigorate your current customer base or a service you can provide that will set your company apart from its competitors and bring in new customers. All you know is you have to tell SOMEONE the moment you step into the office.
You bring up that new idea to your manager and before you know it, you find yourself sitting in a meeting with the key stakeholders for your department selling them on it. Soon team members are doing market research to evaluate customer interest and compare to your competitors. The graphic design team is putting together banners and mockups for the website. The marketing department is lining up key social media players to be ready to Tweet, Instagram, and Snapchat in a beautifully synchronized launch of this amazing idea.
You’ve got everything all lined up and now all you need to do is let the development team for your eCommerce platform know about this minor tweak to your website. No big deal, right? Well, not exactly….
It might seem like adding a new product or a new service to your eCommerce site is just a quick change and something the development team can quickly knock out but that’s not always the case. At LYONSCG we’ve seen both sides of the spectrum – clients who engage us early on in a project and share the roadmap for the future with us and clients who engage with us after everything has been wrapped up on their end and all that’s left in their eyes is the code development.
While both styles of interaction can work, more often than not the most successful projects are the ones where we are brought in early on and work as a partner with the client team. This means starting at initial thought development and working through production release.
Here are a few reasons why consulting with your partners early (and often) can make your projects smoother and more successful.
1. Platform Experience
Even if you have been on a platform for several years, there are usually areas of the platform that no one on your team has ever used. Nearly every company using an eCommerce platform has some piece of existing functionality that they have never used, and that’s ok. Where issues can easily pop up is when you decide to start using that untouched functionality and expect it to work perfectly right off the bat.
At LYONSCG we pride ourselves on knowing our eCommerce platforms very well, and have a clear understanding of what “out of the box” functionality can accomplish. In addition, if we’ve been working with a team for a while, odds are we know if something has been implemented that may alter this previously unused functionality for another business need, or how much of the code may need to be changed in order to meet our client’s exact business requirements. The sooner we are brought into projects, the sooner we can help guide your team on which changes will be simple and straightforward and which ones will require larger development efforts to accomplish.
2. Multiple Practice Expertise
One of the perks of working with a digital agency is having access to multiple expert-level teams within one company. We work hard to drive a #OneTeam workplace where we can easily engage multiple teams on a project as they are needed. The Digital Strategy team can help make sure new products and services are optimized for SEO and online advertising. The Experience Design team can provide recommendations to give your customers the most innovative experience and keep your site best-in-class while also performing usability testing.
The sooner you involve a strategic partner into your new project, the sooner they can address your goals and make sure this great new idea is presented to the world in a professional, smooth, and customer-friendly way.
3. Partner Connections
Often, new eCommerce projects involve new integrations. Sometimes these new integrations are straightforward module installs, and other times they involve engagements with new service providers. When a new provider comes in and pitches a new service – a product review engine, live chat support, etc – it can be easy to watch the demos, read the case studies, and decide it’s great idea. But what do you really know about this service provider?
A valuable strategic partner seeks out the best technologies for your needs and forms close relationships with these best-of-breed providers. Together with these programs, they help optimize your eCommerce platform with strategic integrations to meet your business objectives. These close relationships enable partners to provide honest feedback about a service provider as well as direct contacts to enable you to reach out directly should the need arise.
Working on a new project that will take your business to the next level is always exciting. LYONSCG provides our clients with best-in-class services for website development, Digital Strategy, Experience Design and so much more. Our extensive knowledge of the eCommerce platform ecosystem and our close partner relationships mean we can consult on and provide solutions tailored to the unique needs of each of our clients. So please, consult with us early and consult with us often. LYONSCG is here to help!