Merchants: It’s time to reevaluate the standards you’ve set for your vendors and push them to innovate as quickly as consumers’ needs evolve. Don’t just stay because you’re comfortable: It’s time to choose your “best for me” solutions.

This year, be your tech and business users’ hero and look for vendor partners that:

  • Reduce the drain on your resources during upgrades and provide the flexible delivery models to support your dynamic business. If you’re consciously choosing to fall behind versions because upgrades are too painful, that’s a deal breaker.
  • Minimize your time-to-value by accelerating your implementation. Just beware of “quick fixes” that may simply limit (initial) functionality without reducing cost as the means to speed up your onramping process.
  • Prioritize the business user experience. Remember the folks who run your business, and protect their efficiency. The real differentiator is how effective the vendor’s UI is in helping the boots-on-the-ground business troops expeditiously get through the day-to-day. “Extensibility” isn’t the question — every enterprise-level solution has comprehensive API coverage now.
  • Look to vendors for best practices. They have a full view across all customers on their solution, so you benefit from that collective wisdomThese days, engaged vendors are more consultative and offer recommendations that save you the trouble of having to learn the hard (“start from scratch”) way.

Learn more about what it takes to get what you really need from your vendors in my recently published research, “Digital Businesses: Hold Vendors To A Higher Standard And Demand The Support You Deserve.”

How I Can Help

Merchants, brands, and retailers:Please schedule an inquiry or advisory with me to see how to use this research to identify the best-fit solutions for your needs. I’ll walk you through my findings and help you tailor the research to your needs to identify the vendors that should make your shortlist.

Commerce vendors and commerce-related solution providers:Please schedule an inquiry or advisory with me to discuss what my findings mean for the industry and your offering.


(written with Ashley Villarreal, research associate)