Every industry has one; it is endlessly evolving with the chopping and changing of strategies. What works becomes standardised and many businesses adopt it — perhaps even without realising. This is the industry playbook: the set of practices that have been tried and tested over years and have been adopted by many companies.
We have mentioned quite a few of these over the last few weeks here on our blog. And to add another common strategy within the playbook of Salesforce Commerce Cloud consultancies is this: in order to appear affordable to prospective partners, a vendor will intentionally withhold information regarding situations that they know will later on drive up the budget for your ecommerce installation.
And within the powerful ecommerce platform, there is one particular piece of functionality that is highly complex, and is conveniently withheld during negotiations, only to be brought up during the installation process: the catalog import complexity. Which is when you import your old catalog into Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
The typical interjection goes something like “Woe is us, the dev team! Art thou but a plague amongst us, the unexpected catalog import, for it is giving us greater difficulty that we had expected. But not to worry, we will have our team contribute an extra 60 hours of work to import it seamlessly and fine tune it. Yet this is something that your initial budget didn’t take into account.”
Beneath the surface of this strategy is the simple fact that far too many clients assume that importing your catalog into a new ecommerce platform is as easy as clicking the “import” button. The truth, deep down, is that it is a highly complex action to undertake, particularly because it involves the conversion of your database into XML files. This also doesn’t sound significant, but there are tools that are completely dedicated to carrying this process out, such as our very own Nagual that we are proud and fond of using.
Fixed to the number of hours that this requires is the price that it costs. A catalog import is estimated to cost around tens of thousands of dollars. A significant sum like this is not loose change — even to the biggest of companies — and is a big sum to leave off of the initial budget agreed.
So how can you clear up these types of issues? And uncover these hidden costs? During your rounds of discussions, bring up the potential issue to the SFCC consultancy, and ask whether this is going to be an issue for them, or whether it is already part of the fees discussed.
Yet, this potential issue does provide you with an interesting situation. Treat this as a litmus test. Do they specifically mention this cost? Or try to keep it as a surprise for you later on? This is a great indicator to highlight whether this is the right Salesforce Commerce Cloud dev team for you and your project.
PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) development teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.