Not all eCommerce platforms are created equal.
If I’ve learned anything from working alongside eCommerce platform developers over the last year it’s that legacy code will kill you.
There is no point investing in a platform if it’s already out of date.
There is no point investing in a platform if the cost of maintaining it is out of proportion to other solutions.
There is no point investing in a platform if it’s not future-proof.
One Web, Multiple Devices
I’m a great believer in ‘One Web, Multiple Devices’, but that doesn’t stop eCommerce managers and directors from searching online for “mobile website solutions” and wondering what mobile platform they should invest in.
The truth is that even if you can get past the sales pitch and evaluate a mobile platform’s functionality, you need to know if your investment has the right type of foundation so that you can build upon it over the next five years.
For example, if you bought a high-spec PC today you would want it to be easy to upgrade.
If someone tells you in 12 months time that you need a new motherboard, CPU and GPU, you’re actually changing the guts of the machine – and you were sold the wrong solution. The same principle applies to the technology you’re going to use to enable all internet capable devices to display your website in a user-friendly way.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of how mobile is changing our lives.
Paul Bloom, IBM’s Chief Technology Officer for Telco Research, has written an excellent blogpost on the matter.
“Your mobile device knows where you’re going, where you’ve gone, what you’ve bought, where other people have gone and bought, and other data that could change the way people start thinking about their daily routines”.
Barely a week old, the article contains a lot more substance than the obligatory lip service you’re likely to come across on Mashable.
Predictive analytics is just one of the ideas Paul Bloom touches upon and the whole piece is likely to fire the imaginations of all tech enthusiasts. It’s highly recommended reading.
If you were developing a mobile platform solution that incorporates mCommerce, it certainly makes sense to be aware of what mobile developments are just around the corner.
Marketing vs Innovation
Apple’s success in hardware has been built on giving people what they need just before they realised they needed it. If you’re waiting on your customers to tell you want they want, then even in a software as a service environment, you’re failing to be proactive.
Innovation is an easy word to throw around. It’s much more difficult to execute it.
When you’re researching, don’t confuse slick online marketing with software innovations.
After all, the best software developers I know couldn’t market a product if their lives depended on it! And that’s a good thing.