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For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals

When eCommerce Executives Should (And Shouldn't) Believe Vendor Case Studies

Decision-Makers Need To Distinguish Between Useful Data And Propaganda

October 9, 2009

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Authors

  • By Sucharita Mulpuru
  • with Brendan McGowan

Why Read This Report

Because of the preponderance of point solutions in the online retail world, eCommerce executives are bombarded with numerous vendor-authored case studies that claim to increase a client company's overall performance. Upon closer inspection, however, vendor-authored case studies are generally inadequate for answering important questions from stakeholders. Such questions are various: "How much does the solution truly cost?"; "What is the benefit that my specific company, in its unique vertical, is likely to see?"; "What is the likelihood of experiencing (or not experiencing) that impact?" Thus, to better understand the value of a vendor's product or service, we recommend that eCommerce executives ask 15 questions that approximate Forrester's formal vendor evaluation, the Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) assessment, when reading and assessing case studies. Case studies that can be characterized as weak because they provide little to no information on costs or benefits should call into question the value of a vendor's offering.

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