Getting a site up and running can take months or years for some companies. Can you do this quicker? What are the commercial advantages of speeding up the process and pushing to market in microtimes?
Many old school project managers will look at a web based system and treat it like a house build; that is a front heavy specification where everything needs to be completed before it’s given to the end user.
This approach is perfect for physical builds where it would be impractical (or dangerous) to allow users anywhere near something which isn’t holistically complete, but the virtual world offers a major advantage in the form of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Essentially this is the product with the highest return on investment versus risk.
Okay so lets take an example. A client who currently has no digital presence but does have a shop wants an all singing and dancing eCommerce solution with a backup of email marketing.
A good rule of thumb would be 3 to 4 months of specification writing, design, development, testing and go live before the client had anything available to the public. Essentially they would make no return on investment until that date, and even then it’s likely to be minimal due to the natural update curve.
Another solution would be to get a holding page up with basic details on a domain in 2 days, followed by a very simple ‘brochure’ site within a week based on a pre bought theme which can harvest potentially interested users email addresses for a marketing campaign. The site can go live with minimal content, and this can be added on a daily basis. This approach allows the company to start engaging with its digital audience after just two days, rather than 4 months.
The advantage this has is data can be obtained from the process on how users interact and find the site. Which pages they’re most interested in. The data can then be used to build a more robust e-commerce solution which is focused on actual market data for that retainer rather than assumptions based on the retail sector.
As the engagement builds the e-commerce site can be built with this data feeding into it. Losing two to three weeks in development time may seem crazy, but the end product will be more likely to deliver results from day one and have a reduced risk of failure.