Minimal Viable Product for Updating Enterprise Digital Commerce Websites

A Comprehensive Guide


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of updating your enterprise digital commerce platform using a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) approach. We’ll delve into identifying core features, planning, and development, as well as user testing and scaling strategies. We’ll also explore tailored solutions to make this transition smoother.

You’ll find practical insights, use cases, expert opinions, and key statistics designed to equip you with the tools you need to make informed decisions. In the following guide, you’ll discover how an MVP can be strategically employed to roll out effective solutions in fast-evolving markets, minimize poor investments, and incrementally improve your product based on user engagement and feedback

Unlocking Digital Commerce Success Through Minimal Viable Products

In an age where digital transformation is not just an option but a necessity, digital commerce stands as a cornerstone for businesses, both large and small. With a growing share of sales for all markets online, the stakes have never been higher.

For enterprises, particularly those with significant online operations, staying ahead of the curve is both challenging and crucial. This guide aims to introduce you to the concept of MVPs in the context of digital commerce—a strategy that can help you navigate these complexities with a focused, iterative approach.

The Importance of Digital Commerce in Today’s Market

Understanding the significance of digital commerce in today’s world is pivotal for any enterprise seeking to maintain a competitive advantage. With advancements in technology and shifts in consumer behavior, the impact of digital commerce is felt far and wide across the global marketplace.

Global Sales Surge
According to a report by eMarketer, global digital commerce sales are projected to exceed $6 trillion by 2023. This isn’t a passing trend but rather a substantiation of how fundamental online commerce has become to the modern economy.

Pandemic Acceleration
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for digital commerce, driving significant changes in consumer behavior. According to McKinsey & Company, online shopping adoption increased dramatically during the pandemic, a trend that is expected to continue in the post-pandemic world.

Share of Global Retail
As per Statista, the digital commerce market accounted for 16% of total global retail sales in 2022. This is a steep rise from 2017, when digital commerce made up only 8.9% of the total retail market. The near-doubling of this percentage within a mere five years underlines the growing importance of online platforms in the global retail landscape.

Consumer Preferences
A study by PwC suggests that 80% of consumers now shop online at least once a month, with convenience cited as a key motivator. This demonstrates that digital commerce is no longer just an alternative to physical stores but is often the first choice for many consumers.

It has become clear that digital commerce isn’t merely a supplementary channel but a critical pillar for any business to succeed. Not leveraging digital commerce means not only missing out on a significant revenue stream but also risking becoming irrelevant in an increasingly digital-first world.

Challenges Faced by Enterprises in Keeping Up-to-date

Revamping an enterprise-level digital commerce platform is no small feat. The scale and scope of such operations bring about a unique set of challenges that smaller retailers seldom encounter. From scalability requirements to integration issues with existing infrastructures, the hurdles are numerous. Additionally, catering to a larger and diverse customer base compounds these complexities.

These challenges often manifest as bottlenecks in the pathway to innovation, resulting in extended lead times for updates. Consequently, enterprises find themselves less agile in adapting to evolving market dynamics.

Struggling with Complexity
According to a 2020 Gartner report, a staggering 26% of digital transformation initiatives within enterprises hit a roadblock at the pilot stage. The primary culprits? Overwhelming complexities and a lack of agility in responding to rapid changes. This underlines the pressing need for enterprises to not just adopt digital strategies but to do so in a way that is both efficient and flexible.

In essence, the scale that should be an enterprise’s strength can often turn into a liability if not carefully managed. Therefore, it’s imperative for organizations to recognize these challenges and address them proactively to stay competitive in the ever-evolving digital commerce landscape.

What is a Minimal Viable Product in Digital Commerce?

In the digital era, terms like “Lean Startup,” “Trial-and-Error,” and “MVP” are more than just industry jargon; they encapsulate vital approaches to modern business. As of Spring 2020, when the world found itself in unparalleled circumstances, it became crucial for commerce decision-makers to fully grasp the concept of an MVP.

The concept of a MVP traces its roots back to the Lean Startup methodology. At its core, an MVP is the simplest version of a product that delivers value to the customer while also providing the company with the necessary feedback for further development. It’s not about creating a ‘bare bones’ version of your product, but rather about finding the most streamlined way to solve the customer’s problem or meet their needs.

A Balance Between Simplicity and Functionality

The MVP serves as an initial, functioning iteration of a concept, be it an online shop, content portal, marketplace, or mobile app. For instance, while a fully-featured digital commerce site may offer personalized recommendations, multiple payment gateways, and AR-based try-before-you-buy experiences, an MVP version might focus solely on essential functions such as product listing, a shopping cart, and a basic payment gateway. The aim here is dual-fold and seemingly contradictory:

  • Create a product simple enough to be developed swiftly.
  • Ensure the product is robust enough to deliver real value to customers.

This balancing act distinguishes the MVP approach from traditional product development, which often entails extensive market research, long planning periods, and a quest for perfection.

The Standish Group reports that 45% of features in a typical software product are never used, and only 20% of features are used frequently or always. This speaks to the importance of focusing on core functionalities initially and expanding based on real-world usage data.

A Pragmatic Strategy for Dynamic Markets

At its core, an MVP is designed to expedite time-to-market and enable continuous refinement based on actual market feedback. It’s about developing “as much as necessary, yet as simple as possible,” allowing you to validate demand and usability before making further financial and time commitments. If the metrics suggest it, you can either scale the product or pivot to more promising avenues without much loss.

This MVP model operates contrary to classical methodologies that rely on exhaustive market analysis and extended development cycles. Instead, it opts for agility and adaptability, crucial for navigating the unpredictable and ever-changing digital markets.

Importance of an MVP Approach for Enterprise-Level Operations

For enterprise-level operations, the stakes are even higher. Given the scale and complexity, the risks and costs associated with failure are significantly amplified. An MVP approach allows you to:

Test Market Viability: Launch quickly to test the actual market response rather than relying solely on market research.

Iterate Based on Feedback: Make data-driven decisions for further development, reducing the chances of feature bloat or misaligned priorities.

Optimize Resource Allocation: By focusing on key features, you can allocate resources more efficiently, ensuring that you’re not over-investing in non-critical aspects.

Risk Mitigation: A failed full-scale project could be a catastrophe, while an MVP allows for “controlled failures” that offer valuable lessons with less financial risk.

According to a report by Geneca, a staggering 75% of business and IT executives anticipate that their software projects will fail. Much of this is due to the “overcomplication” trap—piling on too many features before validating market demand. Adopting an MVP approach can be a potent remedy for this ailment.

By embracing the principles of an MVP, enterprise-level digital commerce operations can not only accelerate their go-to-market strategy but also substantially reduce both financial and operational risks.

Why Should Enterprises Consider an MVP Approach?

The concept of an MVP is not just for startups looking to break into the market. In fact, enterprises stand to gain a multitude of benefits by adopting an MVP approach, especially when it comes to updating or revamping their digital commerce platforms.

Building a full-scale, feature-rich digital commerce platform is a substantial investment in both time and resources. Often, the initial estimates can balloon out of proportion due to unforeseen complexities or changes in scope. An MVP approach allows you to launch with essential features that solve the primary user needs, thereby reducing the initial development cost.
Pro-tip: Cost savings from an MVP can be reinvested in marketing, analytics tools, or further development based on customer feedback.

Speed to Market
In the fast-paced world of digital commerce, being first—or at least quick—to market can provide a decisive advantage. With an MVP, you can accelerate the development process by focusing on the must-have features. This enables you to launch faster and begin acquiring users and feedback, providing you a head start over competitors still stuck in lengthy development cycles.
Key Insight: A faster time-to-market allows you to capitalize on market trends or seasonal shopping periods like Black Friday or holiday sales, which could be missed with a longer development cycle.

Flexibility and Adaptability
The MVP framework is inherently agile, enabling rapid iterations based on real-world feedback. This flexibility ensures that you can pivot or adapt your offering in response to market changes or consumer behavior, something a rigid, full-scale development project may not accommodate easily.
Consider this: A B2B marketplace initially designed to connect manufacturers of industrial machinery with suppliers of various machine components gathers data from the MVP. The platform notices that most transactions involve a specific component and pivots to specialize exclusively in this category. By employing the MVP model, the platform successfully validated its market fit and efficiently refocused its efforts on a narrower yet more profitable niche.

Risk Mitigation
Every project comes with its set of uncertainties and risks—technological, market-based, or financial. By starting with an MVP, you can validate your assumptions and gauge market reaction before fully committing resources. In essence, an MVP serves as a low-risk testing ground for your hypotheses about what your customers need and are willing to pay for.
Expert Advice: Use an MVP to perform A/B tests on different features, pricing models, or user flows to gather data that can help mitigate future risks.

A Real-World Blueprint

Imagine a manufacturing company traditionally focused on producing original equipment (OEM) parts, and it’s now contemplating entering the lucrative aftermarket parts market. In a conventional approach, the company might invest in comprehensive market research, develop a broad catalog of aftermarket parts, establish multiple sales channels, and create a dedicated customer support infrastructure complete with advanced features like real-time inventory tracking and an AI chatbot.

The MVP Approach

Instead, with the MVP model, the company could choose a far more streamlined entry strategy:

Limited Range: It could start by offering a limited range of high-demand aftermarket parts, targeting a specific geographic location or a particular customer segment.

Basic Sales Platform: Rather than a full-fledged e-commerce portal with all the bells and whistles, the company might launch a simplified online store focusing on user-friendly navigation and an uncomplicated checkout process.

Manual Customer Service: Initially, the company could opt for human-based customer support via email or phone instead of investing in an AI chatbot right away.

Data-Driven Refinement

Once this pared-down service is up and running, the company would gather data on customer behavior, popular parts, and user feedback. This information would be critical for:

Product Expansion: Identifying which parts are in high demand, thereby informing what additional parts should be added to the product line.

Service Enhancements: Determining whether features like real-time inventory tracking are essential based on customer demand and behavior.

Channel Expansion: Understanding if there is a demand for additional sales channels like third-party resellers or physical retail outlets.

By adopting an MVP approach, the manufacturer can quickly penetrate the aftermarket parts market, validate its business concept, and iteratively refine its product and service offerings. This enables the company to allocate resources efficiently and mitigate risks while aligning closely with actual market demand and customer needs.

Identifying Core Features for Your Digital Commerce MVP

As you progress in your journey to create or revamp your digital commerce platform, one of the most crucial steps is identifying the core features that should be part of your Minimal Viable Product (MVP). This can be a complex task that requires thoughtful evaluation and planning.

Listing the “Must-Have” Features

When building an MVP, focus on the features that are absolutely essential to your platform’s functionality and the user experience. These are the features that directly address the primary needs of your customers and cannot be omitted without causing significant disruptions to their shopping experience.

Shopping Cart
Perhaps the most crucial feature, the shopping cart, is where users review selected products and proceed to checkout. Ensure that it is simple, intuitive, and functional. Features such as quantity adjustment, estimated taxes, and a ‘continue shopping’ button are generally considered basics here.

Product Search and Filters
Customers should be able to easily find what they’re looking for. An effective search bar, perhaps with auto-suggestions, and filter options (like sorting by price, brand, or ratings) are considered “must-haves” for an e-commerce MVP.

User Accounts and Profiles
While guest checkout options are useful, having a dedicated account helps customers track their orders, manage their information, and expedite future checkouts. It also provides you with valuable data for personalization and marketing strategies.

Payment Gateway
Your MVP should have a secure, straightforward payment gateway that allows users to complete transactions with ease. The initial launch should at least include the most commonly used payment methods like credit/debit cards and perhaps a digital wallet option like PayPal.

Features That Can Wait: “Nice-to-Haves”

While it might be tempting to include all kinds of advanced features, remember that the goal of an MVP is to launch quickly and gather feedback for iteration. Features like:

  • Product recommendations
  • Live chat support
  • Multi-currency support
  • Loyalty programs

These can usually wait for subsequent development phases, after the MVP has proven itself viable.

Stakeholder Involvement in Feature Selection

Deciding which features make it into the MVP isn’t a task to be carried out in isolation. Stakeholders, such as department heads, marketing teams, and even key customers, can offer invaluable perspectives. Hold brainstorming sessions, interviews, or surveys to gather their input. Be sure to consider:

  • Business Goals: What the enterprise aims to achieve with the e-commerce platform.
  • Customer Needs: What customers are explicitly asking for or could benefit from based on their behavior.
  • Technical Limitations: Constraints that your development team faces, which could affect what features are feasible within your timeline.

Involving stakeholders not only enriches the feature-selection process but also ensures buy-in from key parties, setting the stage for a more successful rollout.

Identifying the core features for your digital commerce MVP is a balancing act between meeting customer needs and managing resources effectively. By focusing on must-haves and deferring the nice-to-haves, you’ll set the foundation for a scalable, adaptable platform.

Navigating the Roadmap: Planning and Developing Your MVP

In this section, we’ll explore the planning phase, outlining key considerations that lay the groundwork for a successful MVP development. We will also discuss how to make strategic decisions about your technology stack and project timelines, including industry experts on best practices for MVP development.

Requirement Analysis

Understanding the project’s requirements is essential to its success. This is where you will outline the functionalities and features needed for your e-commerce MVP.

  • Functional Requirements: Defining the core functionalities and features that your MVP must have.
  • Non-Functional Requirements: Outline elements such as speed, security, and scalability that will underpin the user experience.

Time and Budget Estimation

One of the most challenging aspects of MVP development is managing time and budget effectively.

  • Time Factors: Provide realistic timelines for each stage of development, taking into account potential roadblocks.
  • Budget Parameters: Outline the financial aspects of the project, ensuring that it aligns with both development needs and business goals.

Decision-Making Frameworks

While we won’t delve into specific methodologies like Agile or Waterfall, it’s crucial to have a decision-making framework in place to guide the development process.

  • Approach: Discuss how to evaluate and make decisions during the MVP development, such as when to pivot or iterate.
  • Team Alignment: Strategies for ensuring the development team and stakeholders are aligned in their goals and expectations.

Tech Stack Selection

The technologies you choose for your MVP will play a vital role in its performance and scalability.

  • Front-end Choices: Outline options for front-end frameworks and languages.
  • Back-end Considerations: Discuss back-end programming languages, database options, and hosting services.


In MVP e-commerce development, the ‘Do’ is to prioritize delivering tangible customer value with each iteration. Start small but impactful, because MVP just gets us to the starting line (launch).

The ‘Don’t’ is rushing to add every feature under the sun. It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality. Remember, it’s easier to add than to take away.

The secret sauce is in continuous, data-driven improvement, which keeps us racing ahead in the pace of innovation delivery. Each iteration should be a step closer to perfection, guided by customer feedback and behavior analysis.

In the world of MVP, less is often more, especially when it comes to delivering an exceptional user experience. What’s great is, with today’s modern platforms, the best right builder can get so much more with less now, ensuring we stay on pace with the ever-evolving innovation landscape.

– Mike Pierce, President of Echidna Agency and 20-year veteran helping large enterprises plan, design, and build successful eCommerce

By carefully navigating through each of these planning elements, you lay a robust foundation for the successful development of your digital commerce MVP.

User Testing and Feedback Loop

As your MVP starts to take shape, it’s imperative to involve real users to validate your assumptions and make data-driven improvements. This section reviews different testing methods, the importance of user feedback, and the process of iterating your product.

Types of Testing: A/B Testing, Usability Testing

Testing your MVP can take several forms, each designed to offer unique insights into the user experience.

  • A/B Testing: Explain the benefits and methodology behind A/B testing, where you compare two versions of a web page to see which performs better.
  • Usability Testing: Discuss the process of observing users as they navigate your site, offering invaluable firsthand insights into your UI/UX.

Collecting and Analyzing Feedback

The true value of testing lies in the quality of feedback you obtain.

  • Quantitative Data: Discuss how to gather metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and user engagement.
  • Qualitative Data: Explain the importance of customer interviews, surveys, and feedback forms that capture the ‘why’ behind user behaviors.

Making Iterations

The feedback loop doesn’t end with data collection; it’s all about what you do with that information.

  • Prioritizing Feedback: Offer strategies for determining which user feedback is most critical to act upon.
  • Iterative Process: Discuss the importance of continuously updating the MVP based on feedback, emphasizing that an MVP is a starting point for ongoing improvement.

Continual Innovation from the MVP Scaling from MVP to Full-Scale Product

Scaling is the ultimate aim for any MVP; it’s the transition from a minimal product to a full-fledged e-commerce platform. In this section, we’ll guide you through knowing when and how to expand beyond the MVP stage by taking a continuous innovation approach. This includes the incorporation of new features, the monitoring of KPIs, and providing benchmarks for scaling your enterprise eCommerce solution.

When to Move Beyond MVP

Recognizing the optimal moment to move from beyond MVP is crucial for maximizing your resources and market impact.

  • Validation Signals: This involves discussing the indicators that suggest your MVP has been validated and is ready for added innovation (scaling). These indicators could include positive customer feedback, increased user engagement, or achieving specific business goals set during the MVP phase.
  • Market Timing: Explore external factors that influence the decision to incorporate additional features and expand beyond the MVP. For instance, market trends and shifts in consumer behavior can play a significant role in this decision. Recognizing these trends and aligning your expansion with them can be crucial for success.

Incorporating Additional Features

Once you’ve decided to scale, the focus shifts to enhancing your e-commerce platform with new features. Here’s what we’ll delve into:

  • From Nice-to-Have to Must-Have: Continuous innovation requires identifying features that were initially considered optional or “Nice-to-Have” but have proven to be essential for your users. It’s about prioritizing what adds the most value and focusing on those elements.
  • User-Driven Features: This refers to incorporating features based on user feedback and data analysis. It’s about being responsive to your users’ needs and preferences, continually improving the user experience.

Monitoring KPIs for Informed Decision-Making

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) act as a guide, assisting you in making data-driven decisions as you continuously innovate and grow.

  • Sales Metrics: This includes metrics like Average Order Value (AOV), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and Conversion Rate. These metrics provide insights into your revenue generation and customer acquisition.
  • User Engagement: This involves monitoring indicators like bounce rates (how quickly users leave your site), page views per session (how engaged users are), and time spent on your site. These metrics help gauge how effectively your digital commerce platform is engaging users.

Key Metric: Benchmarks for Scaling

To assist in understanding the continual innovation process, present industry benchmarks that can act as a guide and leverage key business metrics to inform priorities and strategy on your journey.

  • Traffic Increase: Discuss how a consistent rise in website traffic is often a strong indicator that your e-commerce platform is ready to scale. Increased traffic can lead to more sales opportunities.
  • Conversion Rates: Explore how maintaining or increasing your conversion rate (the percentage of visitors who make a purchase) signals readiness for scaling. This is a critical metric for measuring your platform’s effectiveness in turning visitors into customers.

Amplifying Success with Echidna Digital Agency and Spryker

When it comes to navigating the e-commerce landscape, the alliance between Echidna Digital Agency and Spryker provides an unparalleled ecosystem of services and technology. Echidna, known for its holistic approach from strategy to design and development, aligns perfectly with Spryker’s modular, flexible technology platform. Together, they serve as a one-stop solution for enterprises looking to excel in digital commerce.

Echidna provides a well-rounded offering that covers everything from defining the scope and objectives of your MVP to its design and development. Their optimization services don’t just end at launch but continue to refine your platform, ensuring it stays aligned with evolving user expectations and market trends.

Spryker is the engine that powers e-commerce ambitions. Whether launching new digital products, expanding into new markets, or replacing legacy systems, Spryker’s Commerce OS delivers. Its modular structure not only supports rapid go-live but also ensures that features can be added or modified in response to changing market dynamics. Spryker’s platform offers speed, scalability, and seamless integration with existing enterprise systems.

Partnering together, Echidna and Spryker accelerate your journey from MVP to a fully-realized e-commerce enterprise. The strategic and development capabilities of Echidna are complemented by Spryker’s platform’s technical flexibility. Echidna’s expertise in creating strategically sound, well-designed MVPs is supported by Spryker’s capacity for quick implementation and scaling. Together, they offer a unified vision and optimized user experience. Their combined capabilities ensure that your MVP not only sees the light of day but also evolves into a full-scale, successful digital commerce platform.

Ready to Learn More?

If you’re considering an MVP approach for your enterprise-level e-commerce platform, now is the time to get started:

  • Audit Your Current Platform: Understand the gaps and opportunities in your existing e-commerce system.
  • Assemble Your Team: Gather stakeholders, from product managers to developers, and align them on the objectives.
  • Consult Experts: Reach out to specialized partners like Echidna for strategy and Spryker for technology, to ensure you’re making the most informed decisions.
  • Start Small, Think Big: Implement an MVP with core features and use the data gathered to refine and scale your platform.

Taking these steps immediately will not only set you on the right path but will also significantly minimize time-to-market, cost, and risk associated with large-scale changes to your digital commerce platform.

About Echidna

Echidna is a global agency specializing in modern digital commerce service solutions. With locations in New York, Bangalore and Dubai, we provide comprehensive digital services that range from strategy and implementation of eCommerce and marketplace technology to system integration, user experience design, and digital marketing. Our multi-disciplinary team of strategists, technologists, designers, and marketers is committed to delivering unparalleled quality and service excellence—all on a predictable timeline and budget. At Echidna, we don’t just implement solutions; we engineer breakthroughs, empowering our clients to innovate, achieve, and drive measurable results in an ever-evolving digital landscape. Learn more at

About Spryker

Spryker is the leading composable commerce platform for enterprises with sophisticated business models to enable growth, innovation, and differentiation. Designed specifically for sophisticated transactional business, Spryker’s easy-to-use, headless, API-first model offers a best-of-breed approach that provides businesses the flexibility to adapt, scale, and quickly go to market while facilitating faster time-to-value throughout their digital transformation journey. As a global platform leader for B2B and B2C Enterprise Marketplaces, Thing Commerce, and Unified Commerce, Spryker has empowered 150+ global enterprise customers worldwide and is trusted by brands such as ALDI, Siemens, Hilti, and Ricoh. Spryker was recognized by Gartner® as a Visionary in the 2023 Magic Quadrant™ for Digital Commerce and was also ranked as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022. Spryker is a privately held technology company headquartered in Berlin and New York. Find out more at

Spryker Website