The starting point for understanding best practice in platforms is understanding the wider ecosystem in which the e-commerce platform operates. Mapping business processes, technical requirements, market opportunity and operational realities to create an end-to-end e-commerce capability helps the marketer develop an understanding of the flows of data, content and payments.
Most standard e-commerce business processes are supported by the following:
- The core e-commerce platform
- Back office/ERP and accounting systems
- Delivery partners
- Product information management (PIM) systems for stock management
- Digital asset management (DAM) systems for content
- Payment options including credit/debit card acceptance and fraud mechanisms
- An understanding of how to manage an e-commerce projects at inception and as part of business-as-usual
- Partners to build platforms and integrate process flows.
Figure 1 illustrates the process flows that map to each part of the ecosystem.
Figure 1: The e-commerce ecosystem
Source: Colin Lewis
Each of these can be seen as a component part, with its own individual best practice.