Published on February 18, 2014
How Do You Know When It’s Time to Replatform? Jared Blank Tommy Hilfiger Yorkdale Tommy Yorkdale Hybrid
How Do You Know When It’s Time to Replatform? When the team can’t get any work done. Yes, it’s that painful
Get Help • Didn’t have staff or $$ on our own • We are part of larger company w/IT and project management resources • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
The Dog and Pony Show • Every platform looks amazing during demo • Really. Every platform. • Make them show you examples FROM YOUR INDUSTRY • Interview development partners at the same time
Development Partners • Make development partners show examples FROM YOUR INDUSTRY • Ask who will be on your team. Interview those people. • In short: hire for each key position, don’t just hire the development partner
Development Partners, Continued • Don’t listen to initial time estimates: any date can be met by removing functionality • The dev partner is only as good as its weakest link. – That link will become obvious quickly. – Push back and immediately demand better resources.
The Reference Store • Ask for a reference store FOR YOUR INDUSTRY. – Seeing an electronics ref app for an apparel company site is not helpful • When you look at the reference store, note the features you DO NOT want – Ask detailed questions about what it takes to remove features from the ref store
What “Out of the Box” Really Means • You will hear lots about features that are available “Out Of the Box” – OOtB is often nonsense – Removing OOtB functionality can be costly and time consuming – Changing how something OOtB behaves can be costly and time consuming – You will start to wish that certain functions were not available out of the box (address nickname)
What “Out of the Box” Really Means, Part 2 • When you see features in demo, ask: – How difficult is it to remove that feature? – How long will it take? – How many resources will be devoted to that? • Just because something is an “industry standard” doesn’t mean that’s how it behaves “out of the box” • Just because something seems easy to do, that doesn’t make it easy to do.
The 2 Team Members Who Matter • Project Manager (Client Side) – Learn when to escalate and when to handle themselves • Business Analyst (Developer Side) – Don’t rely on developers to understand requirements
The Business Users • Focus on business needs & ask why users need functionality • Requirements take longer than you think • In release 1, if forced to choose (and you will be): side with improvements for business users, not customers
Who Makes Decisions? • Just about everyone in the company will want to be involved • 1 person (only 1 person) is the final decision maker. Appoint that person day 1, and let the developers know.
Going Live • Change scale from “showstoppers -> low level” to “must fix -> should fix” • Address low level defects that are customerfacing • Decide what defects you can live with – Determine who fixes those (implementers or ongoing support) • Check the catalog export against the live site – Products have a tendency to disappear
Going Live, Part 2 • Most importantly: tell your boss there will be problems when the site turns on
Odds and Ends • You’re firing your old platform provider, but you need their help. Be professional. • When you fall behind schedule, it takes time to figure out what to remove from the release. • Dealing with vendors takes a long time (even current vendors) • Design with Mobile in mind
Odds and Ends, Part 2 • Even if you’re not doing a redesign, there are pages you will have to redesign • Consider Tag Management Solution • Biggest Risks: – Catalog extractions – Integration with company’s other systems – Product database – Integration with distribution center (note that none of those are platform-specific)
So, Let’s Talk About Testing
2-Day Shipping Promotion in Header Presenting a 2 Day Delivery Message to customers in areas of the country that qualified has shown to: • Increase site conversion rate (from 11-15%) • Increase site AOV (from 9-21%) • Reduce cart abandonment about 2%
Company Store Tabbed Banner Test Versus A tabbed experience to separate out the Main Site and Company store has shown to: • Increase site conversion rate (5.85%) • Decrease in cart abandonment (2.04%) • Increase in Average Time on site (3.20%)
Free Shipping Today Only Presenting Free Shipping Today Only Message in the Header Promo area, had the following impact vs. showing no free shipping message in this area at all: • Increase site conversion rate 7.39% • Increase in add to cart- 3.34% • Increase in number of page views 3.33%
Abandoned Cart Overlay Copy
Testing Email Signup Overlay Versus
Testing Announcement Style Versus
Other Areas to Test • • • • • Change unnecessary buttons to hyperlinks Increase font of product name and price Increase size of buttons Change button colors Test button colors contrasting with other colors on site • Use yellow highlight on mandatory field names (instead of *) • Test on mobile (removing banners; suppressing buttons; enlarging search box)
But Most Importantly… • Culture of testing • Talk to design first – you’re going to need a lot more assets from them • Tell your designers: this is not about whether you are “good” or “bad” • Get people excited about testing – do contests about which combination will win • Use a shared doc (Google Docs) so team knows what’s being tested
Thank you! Jared Blank firstname.lastname@example.org +1 212-548-1794
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