Maintaining Your B2B eCommerce Site: Saving Now, Paying Later (Part 3)

We’ve been looking at how cutting corners on your B2B eCommerce site can sometimes lead to greater expense in the long run. Once your software is set up and your site is developed, it’s important to be aware of and plan for the costs of ongoing maintenance & support. All websites require maintenance to keep them functioning

We’ve been looking at how cutting corners on your B2B eCommerce site can sometimes lead to greater expense in the long run. 

Once your software is set up and your site is developed, it’s important to be aware of and plan for the costs of ongoing maintenance & support. All websites require maintenance to keep them functioning

My Honeymoon – Why Maintenance Matters

It reminds me of when I was planning my honeymoon. I remembered stories and pictures I had seen from my parents’ honeymoon at a ski lodge in Pennsylvania. There was a romantic lodge in the mountains, live music and dancing after dinner, and activities for the newlywed couples. It sounded like a fun getaway for our December wedding.  

Unfortunately, when we checked into our room, it seemed the lodge hadn’t been updated much since my parents had been there!  The red carpet was outdated.  People had carved their names on the wooden walls. It was no longer the nice place I had pictured.  Lucky for me, my husband has a great sense of humor and we made the most of it and still laugh about it today. But, needless to say, we have never gone back.

Your eCommerce shouldn’t be a laughing matter. You don’t build an eCommerce site once and forget about it. You have to constantly maintain it and improve it to serve your customers better and grow your revenue.

If you don’t budget and plan for maintenance and support, you risk losing functionality and having a poorly performing website in the future, which translates into lost customers and revenue. Just like the ski lodge where we stayed, your site will require regular updates to keep your customers coming back.

Approaches to Maintenance

Some changes to your site can be made internally on an ongoing basis using your software platform. Things like price changes, new products, and document updates will be a regular part of your site maintenance. (In some instances, these changes are not as simple as they should be because of bad software or development team selection.)

Consider who on your internal team will be making edits to the site and what your eCommerce site needs to allow them to keep the site current.

In addition, there are other, more technical aspects to site maintenance. Consider the following questions as you plan for your maintenance costs on an annual basis: 

  • What are the costs to keep your software current and have support from the software manufacturer?
  • What should happen if your website goes down at 1 AM on a Saturday? How quickly do you expect to know? How quickly do you expect an issue to be resolved and who is responsible for resolving it?
  • What happens if customers report a problem checking out on your site? Who will work on this issue for you? (Even if your site was working flawlessly at launch, as new browsers are released your site may all of the sudden have an issue.)
  • How frequently do you expect to add new functionality to your site?
  • How often will you review your web analytics to identify strategic improvements to your website?
  • Are you compliant with current security requirements, and what changes are necessary to stay up-to-date?

We had a client who decided to not update their eCommerce site for four years. As time passed, store admin features stopped working on certain browsers. The site wasn’t mobile-friendly. There was new functionality available that would have helped them generate more revenue, but the features could not be implemented because the site had not been upgraded and maintained. 

This business may have thought they were saving money by not maintaining and updating their site, but in truth, they were losing sales and creating a bigger problem for themselves.

How We Help

Is your eCommerce site getting out of date? Is it in need of some improvements or even putting your company at risk? Not allocating enough resources to maintaining your site can end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

Knowing that maintenance and support are an important part of your long-term costs, we have created a support team that provides ongoing maintenance and monitoring of your eCommerce site. Set up a time to talk to us about your maintenance needs today.

Lori McDonald

President & CEO

About

Lori McDonald

Lori graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer-Electrical Engineering and leads Brilliance Business Solutions with over 20 years of computer engineering and software development experience.  She is an Episerver EMVP, a Microsoft Certified Professional and a regular contributor on Practical eCommerce. Her status as a recognized industry expert has resulted in regular speaking engagements at business conferences.

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