So many vendors are offering E-commerce tools that determining the right ones for you can be overwhelming, especially if you're just beginning. Filling out this E-Commerce Product-Comparison Matrix -- either by yourself or with a tech consultant -- is a good first step toward focusing your goals.
The matrix will help you plan the up-front components of your site by helping you analyze the functions and features available to you from various vendors. It will also put into perspective the functionality you must have to launch an E-commerce Web site versus the features that could be more appropriate on your site as your on-line business grows.
To use this matrix, first mark the E-commerce functionality and features that you need on your Web site. (Check the first column for each item you consider essential.) Then select features and functionality that may help your on-line business later but that are not crucial to your launching a functional E-commerce site now. (Check the second column for each item you consider important but not essential.) Finally, review the features offered by several vendors and service providers to find the most complete solution or best match for your business. (Use one column per vendor or service provider.)
File Type: This work sheet is a Microsoft Word 6.0/95 document. You must have Word 6.0 or higher to use it.
Source: Tips and Tactics for Conducting E-Commerce, by Loël McPhee and Peri Drucker, with Robert Cormia and Cathy Hammer.