How to start implementing an online store in Magento? It seems to me that the awareness of the steps in which an online store can be created is growing, but I also see that in the minds of many business owners, such an implementation is simple: writing down all functions, ideas and wishes -> valuation -> programming everything -> launching. What if we have a limited budget and want a good platform with many functions? What if we start with a new store and do not know if we need all the features? Is there a different way to implement an online store? Implementation of an ecommerce MVP store comes to the rescue.
It stands for Minimum Viable Product, which means a product with the minimum required functionality. By transferring this concept to e-commerce, an MVP-shaped e-shop can mean a store that has all the necessary features that allow customers to make a purchase and to which they can get used to, for example, on competitors’ websites. Implementation on the principle of MVP gives some benefits, so you should consider when you should apply this way of IT project implementation.
When to use MVP?
Building a store in the MVP model can bring a lot of benefits in several specific situations. Implementing MVP can be a good choice when we have a new project entering the market, with a limited budget, but we want to have a store on Magento, or we are migrating to move slowly another system. For each of these projects, MVP implementation allows more flexibility than a full implementation and will increase the chances of success without investing the entire budget in implementation.
Benefits of eCommerce MVP implementation
Now we will deal with these three scenarios and show you the benefits of implementing the MVP model. If we have a new project of an online store entering the market, MVP implementation will reduce initial costs and speed up implementation. Thanks to the MVP approach we can separate all store functions into priorities – what we need to have at the beginning and what we can implement later. We cut the implementation to the most needed functions, so the amount of the initial investment is reduced and the time to receive a ready-made store is shortened. If we have a new project that involves some risk, then thanks to the MVP approach we can reduce the amount of money that we need to put into the project at the beginning.
The implementation of ecommerce MVP store will be beneficial, is when we have a limited budget to launch an online store, but we plan an advanced implementation on Magento. The costs of a comprehensive Magento implementation often exceed the estimates of companies. MVP implementation may allow such companies to launch a store on Magento, even though they don’t have the entire budget to build a full store. Taking the company’s budget, it can be easily converted into the number of working hours that need to be spent on Magento. Then by taking all the functions of the store you want, you can prioritize them from the most important to the least important, and calculate how many hours you will spend on each function. We cut down the list of functions when we use the hours from our pool (+ security buffer), and as a result we get Magento with the most important functions. At the moment when the store starts selling, we have a justification for further extensions and investments in new functions.
When migrating use MVP
Migration of stores between platforms is also an excellent situation to implement MVP. Migration from any e-commerce system to Magento is the moment when we need to do an in-depth analysis of our online sales – what we have, what modules work, what functions we don’t need, what else we need to add to keep the store up-to-date with our sales processes in the company. This allows us to re-prioritize functions and determine in what order they are to be implemented. The MVP platform launched in this way can be made available to customers for testing on a different domain (or subdomain), so that our store will receive first feedback from real users and we will see if our assumptions have worked. Customers also get used to the fact that the store is being changed and it will not come as a surprise to them. After launching a new store, as in the case of the previous paragraph, we can plan further work and develop our online sales.
An example of MVP for e-commerce
An example of good MVP thinking in e-commerce is the Zappos store. When creating the idea for his online store, owner NIck Swinmurn wanted to test whether people would want to order shoes online at all. Because he said he had to test his users’ willingness to buy first, he didn’t invest in the storage infrastructure and buying products for sale (according to MVP’s idea, these were lower priority functions). Nick started to go to the stores and took pictures of the shoes he later sold in the online store. When the shoe was sold, he bought it in the store himself and sent it to the customer. The MVP store gave his customers what they needed to order products, and Nick received confirmation of his thesis (people wanted to buy shoes online), so he invested in the store and developed it until Amazon bought it for $1.2 billion in 2009. Today, Zappos is one of the most popular online stores in the USA.
Building an ecommerce MVP store is becoming more and more popular alternative to a full implementation, where we risk a large investment, the results of which we will also have to wait for. If we enter the market with a new store, have a limited budget or migrate from another platform to Magento, MVP implementation can give us more flexibility and room for manoeuvre. As with every IT project, the situation of each company is unique and the whole implementation strategy should be adjusted only to our company.
If you have questions whether implementation of the store on MVP principle will help you achieve your online sales objectives, please, contact us.