Shae Inglis
Acro Media
Author Acro Media
Posted in Digital Commerce , Company
May 30, 2018
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IRCE 2018: Retailer's Guide to Vendor Qualification

Find what’s important to you

If you’ve attended IRCE before, you know it’s a jam packed, exciting, information overloaded, and electrifying few days. You’ll be spending time in the exhibit hall having conversations loaded with tech speak, buzzwords, and listening to the newest features of each platform, module, integration or widget.

We challenge you to question what you read on those glossy feature sheets and what you see in those smoke and mirrors demos. What is deemed important to those vendors or platforms may not be what’s important to your business. Be on the hunt for what you really want rather than settling for something that does the majority of what you want while making concessions and settling for good enough.

What should you be asking potential vendors?

Below, you’ll find a bunch of typical reasons eTailers find themselves at IRCE, looking to replatform or integrate with additional tools to accommodate their business needs. These are the usual pains companies find themselves experiencing. Are you in the same boat? If so, blast through the buzzwords! The questions below will help you to really grill the vendors and platform reps you’re about to meet.

Hint: Blast through the buzzwords

Current pain: 

“My eCommerce platform can’t be changed to match my products needs, or my customers intended path through the cart”.

Vendor buzzword:

They promise to solve your problem with a “Tailored Customer Journey”

What you should be asking:
  • Can I build specific pages to match my products?
  • Are these pages still templated?
  • What if 2 products have completely opposite purchase journeys?
  • How expensive are these “changes”?

Current pain: 

 “My site’s checkout experience is, well, different. Will your platform work?”.

Vendor buzzword:

They promise to solve your problem with a “Customizable Checkout Flow”

What you should be asking:
  • Can I add extra steps in a checkout flow?
  • Can I remove steps from a checkout flow?
  • Can 2 products have completely different checkout experiences?
  • How much will this cost to customize?

Current pain: 

“My site can’t track inventory, and it’s a lot of manual work between my Point of Sale, my online business, Amazon, eBay and Walmart integrations. Help.”

Vendor buzzword:

They promise to solve your problem with a “Real-Time Inventory Solution”

What you should be asking:
  • Can this inventory solution update stock in BOTH directions?
  • Can this inventory solution do this within seconds of a purchase?
  • Can this single tool track inventory without human intervention across every possible platform in your store and on the web, at once?
  • Can this inventory solution connect with your shipper, your warehouse and your accounting system?
  • Do you have to pay massive monthly fees to make this happen-ish?

Current pain: 

“My Point of Sale is too generic, is lacking features and doesn’t connect to my site or my accounting software”.

Vendor buzzword:

They promise to solve your problem with a “Personalized Point of Sale”

What you should be asking:
  • What is the monthly service fee?
  • Do I have to wait for feature releases?
  • Does this Point of Sale integrate to my physical stores, my webstore and my selling channels, seamlessly?
  • Who’s in charge of the development path?
  • How complex is this thing to use?

Current pain: 

“My eCommerce site bottlenecks and slows down during big sales and traffic spikes. Black Friday is always questionable for my site’s performance and I think I’m losing sales”.

Vendor buzzword:

They promise to solve your problem with “Scalable Performance"

What you should be asking:
  • Are you solving these problems with hardware or software?
  • Do I have to pay for this big server year round, or just during peak times?
  • How many users can be on my site at the same time?
  • How do I know if my site is actually “optimized”?

Current pain: 

“My eCommerce site has a lot of written content, too. Right now, I have to edit 1 site in 2 places and maintain 2 backends”.

Vendor buzzword:

They promise to solve your problem with an “Integrated CMS”

What you should be asking:
  • To edit products, content or any other section of the site, is it a single login?
  • If the CMS is integrated into the eCommerce platform, can you please show me the shared backend?
  • What about multi-language and various levels of creators, editors and publishers?

Current pain: 

“Omnichannel…. I know I need it, but I can’t afford to replace multiple systems with monthly fees to accomplish this experience for my customers”.

Vendor buzzword:

They promise to solve your problem with a “Seamless Omnichannel Experience”

What you should be asking:
  • Do my customers have accounts with history?
  • Can I access my customer’s history from my site, my store, and my Point of Sale?
  • Can my customer start a transaction online, and I can finish it with them in store?
  • Omnichannel is a bit “different” for what we sell, is your solution flexible?

Challenge us at booth 452

Hopefully you’ve learned a little bit about navigating through the buzzwords and asking questions to dig into an ideal platform or vendor partner to match your business’s workflow. We challenge you to come to our booth, 452, and ask these same questions and see if our omnichannel open source platform can cure what ails you.

Experience open source commerce

At the booth you will receive a hands-on omnichannel experience using Drupal.

Drupal 8 is the latest release of the world’s most widely adopted enterprise content management system. Drupal Commerce paired with Drupal 8 has more than 300 new features built in… but it's more than a collection of features; it's a platform you can use to achieve digital success.

Here’s what you’ll see:

  • A fully featured Drupal Commerce online store
  • A standard cashier Point of Sale sharing the same data source as the website (customer info, inventory, product info, etc.)
  • Several examples of integrated, non-proprietary custom hardware, such as a customer facing terminal, independent kiosk and handheld customer service devices
  • Standard equipment (phones, tablets & laptops) being used for Point of Sale and customer service hardware

Our team of experts will help you evaluate the capabilities and flexibility to see if it fits your business requirements.

Take it home with you

If you like what you see, you will be able to take it home and evaluate the platform on your own. We have partnered up with, a powerful hosting partner of Acro Media, who will be providing 30 days of free hosting to experience the true potential of Drupal Commerce.

But don’t take our word for it, Find us at booth #452 and we’ll show you. No buzzwords, we promise! Better yet, book a meeting with one of our experts ahead of time.

Click here to pre-book a meeting with us at IRCE

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