Having a product roadmap for your eCommerce business is one of those bare minimum needs in a modern-day retail business. It doesn’t matter if your retail business is 50 years or 50 days old, technology roadmaps are critical to your success!
Here’s Why Technology roapmaps are critical
In the many conversations I have with brands and retailers, this is usually the foundational element that is missing.
However, every now and again, I speak to someone who really gets this. Almost always it is someone who doesn’t even come from the retail world, but rather has a technology background.
The other day I was speaking with the new head of digital at a mid-size Canadian retailer.
We were introduced through a mutual friend of ours and it was incredibly refreshing to have a first conversation about roadmap and not whether eCommerce/digital had a good return on investment.
Oh yes, most of my conversations are still centered on whether or not an investment should be made, not about where or how.
Your Roadmap Should be Fluid
Roadmaps aren’t set in stone, they are fluid. This is the first thing you need to be aware of when trying to create one for your business. This makes them a lot less scary. You are creating a roadmap to set direction, not specific steps along the path.
Technology roadmaps tell you where you’d like to end up in 2-3 years as a business, and what you roughly think you will need to get to that new state of operating.
A roadmap helps you visualize how you will move from where you are to where you want to be.
Without a product roadmap, you can’t work backwards to identify what investments in technology, people, and process need to be made and more importantly, when they need to be made.
Without a roadmap, you will be hard pressed to identify which legacy systems should be integrated into newer technology and which should simply be bypassed and built around, earmarked for sunsetting at a later date.
Without a roadmap, you are simply flying blind.
I get that product roadmaps are not something that brands and retailers have had to think about much in their past. While super common in the technology world, it is very foreign in most other industries.
Haven’t had the roadmap conversation yet?
Stop reading and make this priority #1. Trust me, it’ll change the way you operate your bricks & mortar and eCommerce businesses for the next decade or more.
Because let’s face it, technology has moved far beyond a cost center in your business…it is your business.