Industry experts recommend that retailers should consider several criteria in helping them decide whether to outsource their on-line shopping services. These include:
hardware, software, manpower and buying expertise to fill in the gaps.
Set up a timeline to pinpoint when the capabilities must "go live."
Decide on the functions and features of the site and how to achieve them.
"When looking at outsourcing consider not only the technical skill set and technological capabilities of your potential partner. Find out if they understand the grocery industry and especially if they understand your customer," advises Don Yee, vice president, ShopEaze, Santa Clara, Calif.
"Timing is generally the compelling reason to seek an outsourcing partner," says Mike Spindler, president, MyWebGrocer, New York. "Down the road retailers can always take it in-house."