I interact with lots of people wanting to upgrade their platform. Here is the list of questions I find useful to begin the process of identifying the right solution for them:
What is your business size (small/mid/large)?
What do you sell?
Who is your competition (top 3 in your market)
Whom do you sell to?
How is your business organized? (departments, who does what – high level details)
How many backend users do you have (small team everyone does everything, many teams, specialized)?
This will give you an idea about the analysis process and the challenges you will be facing during the implementation of the project.
Which platform do you currently use?
Which features where custom-made for your business?
Is your platform integrated with other systems (ERP, Product Management Tools, Tracking Tools, Analytics, etc)?
Website Design – will you use the current look and feel or do you have a new layout?
Is mobile a priority for your business?
These customisations might be critical for the business and sometimes this means custom development. Impacts the estimation for the project length and gives you a hint about the work volume required.
Please name 5 priorities for your new platform? (speed, features, usability, 3rd party integrations, etc)
Which part of your platform do you believe it has the most impact on your revenue (features/marketing, stability/speed of the website, the design, the products, others)?
Customer’s priorities are your priorities. Make sure you understand them and when the project starts you and the customer have the same goal and expectations about the platform.
The analysis process for e-commerce platform upgrade is a more in-depth one and usually involves between couple of days to couple of weeks of discussions and documentation. The end result is a clear requirements document that can be used to get quotes from multiple vendors without the need to go through the analysis process (and/or many marketing/pre-sales/sales presentations) with all of them.