When looking to build a VTEX site, there are many steps to get through such as design, development, settings, and launch… but not to worry! It’s all manageable with an effective project plan. Such a plan can include tasks that you as the business owners are responsible for, as well as tasks that others, such as a digital agency providing design and development services, is responsible for.

It all begins with a proper discovery/assessment. This will allow the authors of your project plan to include important considerations, such as:

  1. If you have established branding
  2. Any websites that you like in regards to design
  3. The type of sales the site will make:
  • Business to Business or Business to Consumer
  • Retail or Wholesale
  • Domestic or International
  1. Any 3rd party connections that the site will need to make, such for:
  • Point of Sale software
  • Accounting suites
  • ERP systems
  • EDI / Dropshipping
  • Inventory / Warehouse Management
  • Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay
  • CRM software
  1. Marketing Integrations, such as:
  • Tracking Pixels
  • E-mail Marketing connectors
  • A blog
  1. Shipping Options that will be offered to buyers
  2. Payment Methods that will be made available to shoppers
  3. The types of products that you’ll be selling, such as:
  • Products like clothing that may come in different sizes and colors
  • Products like eBooks, that may need to be downloadable
  • Products like warranties, that may not need to ship or be downloaded
  • Products like kits that will, in essence,be made up of your basic products
  • Products like Gift Cards that need to be redeemable on the website
  1. What basic content pages you’ll need, not include categories and products, such as:
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • etc…
  1. Any special forms that you’ll need to be created
  2. Any data migration needs from a previous E-commerce platform
  3. Your sales tax collection needs
  4. Live Chat for customer service and sales support
  5. Any VTEX Apps for Customizations that you’ll need

Using such information, VTEX partner agencies can help to quote your specific project. Depending on their specialties, they may also be able to provide estimates on internet marketing campaigns, such as Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Google AdWords and other Pay Per Click Marketing, E-mail Marketing, and more.

When it comes to web design and development, different agencies will quote using different billing models. Teams that follow Waterfall project management philosophies may offer more static rates with very rigid specifications and limitation. Most agencies that work on these types of projects use an Agile project management methodology. In essence, Agile recognizes that during the course of your project, your needs may evolve as your business, and various technologies continue to grow and change. It also recognizes that bringing your business value is more important than the initial specifications. As a result, such estimates can be more fluid, but such teams are more likely to provide a website that’s focused on getting a return on your investment, and leaving you satisfied - and even leave opportunities to come in under budget.

Regardless of whether you use in-house resources or an agency, you’ll still want to budget for any outside costs. This may include things like any setup or recurring fees from your merchant gateway, which is used for credit card processing. Since VTEX is extremely robust, most merchants will have minimal fees for such other systems, but in the world of technology, there are always optional additions that you can choose to utilize if you believe that they have a strong value for your business.