“No customization” mantra doesn’t work anymore
In many projects, I hear the same thing: minimize the number of customizations and stick to out-of-the-box. The rationale is clear: the more things you add or change, the more expensive and complex the further support is going to be. Systems are getting bigger, less transparent, comprehensive and changing the default behaviour creates unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects. The cost of errors is increasing too. However, there is a flip side to that, and that is the lack of flexibility and responsiveness. What is a greater evil? There is another trend that we need to take into account: amazonization. Yesterday this great company reached one trillion dollars in value. Amazon has been killing brick-and-mortars and independent online stores by offering better service and prices. Standard best-practice solutions may not work anymore, because giants will always be certainly out front. Small start-ups will have the advantage of personalized, custom way of interacting with a customer. Being unique is a great leverage to get ahead. All IT solutions, and e-commerce platforms are not an exception, are aimed at automating and enhancing the business processes you currently have or you need to have. If your business is built with some standard “business template”, you will likely be happy with many packaged solutions. Simply because they were made for such companies as yours. However, such businesses are getting to be a thing of the past. In order to survive in this new age, you need to be unique. Loving diversity, on the other hand, allows us to grow, to understand others in order to better understand ourselves and to evolve. Being different is crucial. Who would want an exact copy of themselves next to them their entire life? The same is with the systems. Can you imagine a world where all human beings are identical? What we see now is a lot of identical stores. Yes, it is a working model today, but what will we have tomorrow? In the world of the similar-looking things, any bright idea makes you visible. The e-commerce platforms give you some space for that, but, with time, it will stop to amaze customers: your store is no longer better than Amazon. Your solution will be as grey as thousands of others on the market.