Assessing E-commerce Readiness

What is an e-commerce readiness assessment?

An e-commerce readiness assessment is a tool that evaluates business capabilities to engage in e-commerce activities and sell online. It helps firms evaluate their strengths, areas to improve, and weaknesses in interacting with customers, suppliers, and business partners through digital channels. E-commerce readiness assessments offer insights to launch e-commerce sales channels through investments in market research, online payments, customer services, and logistics. 

What is the structure of an e-commerce readiness assessment? 

E-commerce readiness assessments may have five sections: 

  • E-commerce planning: This involves assessing whether companies have defined their value proposition for target customer segments and whether their products and services comply with regulations and requirements in target markets.
  • Online presence: This involves identifying whether businesses own a website that lists products and services in marketplaces and if this website is in line with customer preferences.
  • Digital marketing: This involves looking at the extent to which businesses use digital marketing to promote their online sales and monitor digital goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Shipping and inventory: This involves evaluating business capabilities in offering shipping options to customers, meeting import duties and other charges, and managing inventory systems. 
  • Customer service: This involves assessing the ability of businesses to interact with customers and clients by building relationships and offering interactive information about products and services.

How can an e-commerce readiness assessment support my business? 

Selling online has advantages over selling in traditional stores. Businesses can reach customers worldwide and enter new markets because geography no longer creates the same physical barriers to trade. E-commerce readiness assessments are a starting point for businesses to design an online sales strategy. They guide businesses in identifying in-demand products and services, identifying competitors, and offering appealing shipping options to customers. They are also useful for mapping out additional costs and benefits expected from e-commerce activities by developing a profitable business model that matches entrepreneurial skills with online market needs. Visit the International Trade Centre to learn more.   

Where can I learn more? 

Businesses can assess their e-commerce readiness and identify online sales channels through the following resources: 

  • ITC E-Commerce Readiness Quiz: The International Trade Centre provides a short quiz that assesses e-commerce readiness in five areas: planning, online presence, digital marketing, shipping and inventory, and customer service. Visit the ITC e-commerce readiness assessment.
  • ecomConnect: This is an e-commerce online community that connects entrepreneurs, business owners, and individuals seeking digital business opportunities. Visit ecomConnect.