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Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Strategic eCommerce Roadmap

Having a well-defined and actionable eCommerce strategy is a necessity. A strategic roadmap paves the way for future growth and ensures that every decision aligns with the brand’s long-term objectives. 

In this article, we’ll go through the steps of scandiweb’s proven approach to crafting business-focused strategic roadmaps. You’ll learn a step-by-step blueprint we use to ensure our clients know, understand, meet, and exceed their set milestones and business goals and continue on that path after. 

What is a strategic roadmap for eCommerce?

Strategic roadmaps for eCommerce stores consist of a list of business goals for the upcoming year(s) along with an enablement plan, where each task is assigned an expected delivery date based on the effort required.

How often to revise a strategic roadmap?

In our experience, the roadmap gets thoroughly revised during a quarterly meeting between key customer stakeholders and the Strategic Account Manager. We review items delivered and their impact and work in progress. Depending on the state of eCommerce at that time, we schedule adoption and training workshops and connect with necessary departments and their leaders to continue driving progress.

Every client building a strategic roadmap with scandiweb is assigned an Account Manager to lead and oversee the project. A Strategic Account Manager connects various elements to ensure cohesion and focus, from bringing teams together across different departments to guiding everyone towards a common goal. Their role is crucial in ensuring that the strategic vision gets executed effectively, keeping your business objectives at the forefront of all decision-making.

Best practices of strategic roadmaps used by the scandiweb team:

  • Business-focused and long-term—solely focused on the business goals and targeting a 2-5-year delivery plan
  • Transparent and to the point—all the exhaustive information is concise and put on a single A4 sheet, easy to scan and understand
  • Encompassing all of the ecosystem—it needs to cover all parts of the eCommerce ecosystem, including the website, integrations, expansion, etc.
  • Milestone-focused—milestones are measurable and support revenue objectives
  • Hand-in-hand with brand vision—deliverables are realistic and tailored to brand identity, vision, and ambitions.

scandiweb’s Head of Account Management, Rudolfs, recently hosted a webinar about building strategic eCommerce roadmaps. Read the webinar highlights and watch the recording!

Strategic roadmap pillars of delivery

Strategic roadmaps crafted by scandiweb are based on three strategic pillars: digital ecosystem, customer lifecycle, and customer experience. This strategy is supported by our in-house Competence and Delivery Centers across each pillar.

Digital ecosystem

I.e., the digital core of your business and infrastructure, where data flows through, systems are integrated, products are showcased, customer orders are placed and processed, and data is collected and analyzed. 

This pillar involves ecosystem discovery and planning; eCommerce platform enablement—Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source, Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, Commercetools, Hyvä, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, or another; Product Information Management (PIM); Order Management System (OMS); scalable hosting solution; no code—applications and landings.

Customer lifecycle

It encompasses everything from acquiring traffic and converting visitors to re-engaging and retaining customers. Customer lifecycle is a long-term strategy that employs various tactics, from performance marketing and AI-powered personalization to A/B testing for abandoned cart emails and retargeting. This pillar focuses on traffic acquisition (SEO, PPC), digital marketing, data & analytics, conversion optimization, and marketing automation & AI.

Customer experience

Are your customers happy? From initial awareness and intent to making their first purchase and eventually evolving into brand promoters and ambassadors—customer experience is the pinnacle of strategic planning. The approach to shaping customer experience can vary: it may begin immediately after establishing business objectives, or it could start after solidifying and optimizing the existing digital ecosystem, integrating various platforms, and attracting targeted traffic. In both cases, it includes competitor benchmarking, UI and creative, CX audit and optimization, CX research and analysis, and strategy and implementation.

Let’s look at all the steps it takes to wrap these pillars in a strategic roadmap.

scandiweb’s 5 steps of building a strategic eCommerce roadmap

Step 1: Scanning and benchmarking

The first step in our approach to building a strategic eCommerce roadmap is a comprehensive scanning and benchmarking process to lay the groundwork for all subsequent steps, as it provides us with a 360-degree view of our client’s business landscape.

What does scanning and benchmarking involve?

  • SWOT analysis—understanding the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to see where your business stands in relation to the broader industry
  • Brand identity—knowing who you are as a brand to align the strategy with your core values and mission
  • Revenue generation process—a deep dive into how your business makes money to help you identify areas of improvement or scaling
  • Benchmarking—comparing your business metrics to industry trends, cases, and best practices
  • Customer profiling—understanding who your customers are, what they want, and how they interact with your brand
  • Competitor analysis—learning how they offer their products, their prices, what messaging they use, and how your company fits in that mix will help you understand how you will break through and win the market.

Business Analysts at scandiweb use a range of tools and databases to make this step as thorough as possible:

  • CRM systems for customer data and interaction history
  • Marketing automation platforms to understand customer behavior and engagement
  • Google Analytics for website and user behavior analysis
  • Helpdesk platforms to see customer satisfaction and areas for improvement
  • Previous research—the scanning and benchmarking phase also leverages existing internal and external research:
    • Internal reports (sales data, customer feedback, and other internal documents)
    • Industry reports (market trends and forecasts)
    • Competitive analysis (reports on competitors’ strategies, strengths, and weaknesses)
    • User interviews and customer journey mapping.

By the end of this step, you’ll have a clear understanding of your current position, what your customers are looking for, and how you stack up against the competition. This data-driven foundation is essential for crafting an achievable strategic roadmap.

Step 2: Syncing the details

The second step in our strategic roadmap methodology is all about vision and goal alignment in a kick-off meeting. We want to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page regarding the company’s long-term goals, current needs, business model, and vision.

Understanding the long-term objectives sets the direction for the entire strategy. Similarly, a clear understanding of the business model and how the company generates revenue will inform many of the strategic decisions down the line. We also discuss current needs to identify immediate requirements for short-term wins, which can be crucial for gaining momentum. As we inquire about the current company matrix, we want to understand the existing organizational structure, resources, and capabilities—it helps with realistic planning and effective execution.

What to expect in the kick-off meeting?

  1. Agenda setting to ensure that all key points are covered
  2. Stakeholder involvement from various departments
  3. Documentation for future reference and accountability

For the success of the kick-off meeting, participants have data and insights from the scanning and benchmarking phase and preliminary ideas for strategies and initiatives. 

By the end of this step, there should be a clear, shared understanding of what the company aims to achieve and how it plans to get there.

Step 3: Strategic eCom roadmap creation

This is where all the insights gathered and alignments made in the previous steps come to fruition—the actual creation of the roadmap itself. The roadmap serves as a blueprint for the next 2-5 years, depending on the agreed-upon timeline, outlining the strategic initiatives that will drive the company forward.

Creating a strategic roadmap is a joint effort that involves multiple departments:

  • Tech team is responsible for ensuring that the technology stack is robust, scalable, and aligned with the company’s goals
  • SEO team focuses on optimizing the website for search engines to drive organic traffic and improve rankings
  • UX & CRO team works on optimizing the website and other customer touchpoints to improve conversion rates and ensures that the customer journey is as seamless and enjoyable as possible
  • Content & Email Marketing team crafts compelling content and email campaigns that engage customers and support other marketing initiatives
  • Business Analysts provide data-driven insights and recommendations based on market trends, customer behavior, and business metrics
  • PPC team manages paid advertising campaigns to drive targeted traffic and sales.

Key components of the strategic roadmap

The roadmap should consist of high-level goals the company aims to achieve in the next 2-5 years, as well as specific initiatives and projects to help achieve the strategic objectives. A detailed timeline that outlines when each initiative will be started and completed is crucial. You should also select the main KPI metrics that will be used to measure the success of each initiative.

Once the roadmap is created, it’s reviewed by all stakeholders for feedback, approval, and any necessary adjustments before the final version. Remember that the roadmap is not set in stone—it gets reviewed and updated regularly to account for changes in the market landscape, customer behavior, and business needs.

Step 4: Roadmap sign-off

The roadmap sign-off is not merely a formality; it’s a crucial step that ensures everyone is aligned and committed to the strategic direction the company is taking. It confirms that all departments and stakeholders agree with the roadmap, and each team knows what is expected of them and is accountable for the initiatives they are responsible for.

Regarding resource allocation, the sign-off confirms that the necessary resources—time, personnel, or budget—will be allocated to execute the roadmap. We hold a meeting where the finalized roadmap is presented in detail, and once all parties are satisfied, the roadmap is formally approved through a sign-off process. This sign-off is the green light that sets the stage for the execution phase, where the real work begins.

Step 5: Roadmap implementation

The fifth and final step in scandiweb’s approach to building a strategic eCommerce roadmap is the implementation phase, where the meticulously crafted roadmap is transformed from a strategic document into actionable initiatives and outcomes. 

As soon as the roadmap is signed off, teams are updated with their respective roles, responsibilities, and timelines, transforming the strategic goals into a detailed delivery plan.

Aside from the regular communication, we conduct quarterly revisions to assess progress, realign goals, and make any necessary adjustments. KPIs are closely monitored to track the success of each initiative. 

Strategic roadmaps delivered by scandiweb

In scandiweb, we’ve crafted and realized milestone-focused strategic roadmaps for 20+ eCommerce companies. Here are just a few examples:

  • 2-year market expansion strategy to five new markets for a top sports accessories retailer
  • 2-year strategy aimed at revenue increase from 10M to 20M for a leading food supplements retailer
  • 1-year content delivery optimization plan for a high-end, inventive touchscreen brand
  • Reduction plan on maintenance for cutting cost on licensing by x2 for a garden furniture producer
  • Market research and delivery plan for expanding to three new markets in the beauty industry.

To summarize, a strategic eCommerce roadmap is about more than just good ideas and trends. It’s about involving stakeholders, knowing your strategic partners, and developing and executing a long-term actionable plan that brings beautiful results in terms of growth for your business.

Feeling vague about your eCommerce future? Not sure where to start and how to keep track of your progress? Develop your eCommerce roadmap for the upcoming years with scandiweb and ensure you reach the most ambitious business goals!

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