Description of the issue and scope
The choice of a technological platform is essential and it is essential to take advantage of existing solutions. However, it is easy to get lost in the vast choice available, and while a wise choice can facilitate all business processes, from purchasing products to analyzing data, a bad choice can undermine the growth of the company for several years and bring additional expenses. The main issue is therefore not the choice of technology, but rather the choice of an experienced and efficient external partner to put the technology in place, since many small companies do not have the internal resources to do so. However, several commerces indicated that they had difficulty finding competent, experienced and serious people with the right expertise.
Retailers are obviously concerned by this issue, for whom poor technological choices can lead to additional costs that do not result in a return on investment. In addition, the trader sometimes finds himself with inflexible or overly complex technologies and becomes dependent on external suppliers for any changes or adjustments, which can also prove to be costly. On their end, external suppliers sometimes offer the technology with which they are most comfortable or which gives them the greatest profit margin, without ensuring that it is really the best suited for the needs of the merchant.
Recommendation: Develop a tally sheet for merchants
We suggest developing a questionnaire or tally sheet that allows businesses to identify the best technological choice for their situation. As the change in technology is a critical step in the development of a retailer, it is important that they are able to analyze the different possible solutions for them. The tool must therefore allow them to quickly target their business and operational priorities in order to see where technological solutions have the most impact.
The questionnaire should contain an in-depth assessment of the different technologies currently offered on the market and identify the most important points of differentiation between the different platforms. It should be noted that the Quebec Center for Commerce Innovation (CQIC) is currently working on a tool of this type, the beta version of which is under development.
Solutions could be presented with a fact sheet, which would include benefits, business impacts, statistics and examples. Finally, it would be relevant to offer recommendations, implementation reviews and warnings about the solutions, and clearly indicate whether these solutions are from Quebec. In addition, CEFRIO (now ATN) set up a questionnaire to assess the digital maturity of companies in 2016. This questionnaire can constitute a basis, but should be revised and adapted to the needs of today.