1 Risk: how to protect your Shopify store from failed projects

Back when I would build custom software for ecommerce stores I would be tempted to use a lot of new technology that was constantly coming out.

Some of it was innovative and let me build something not possible before. The problem was that often that new technology would fail or not live up to its hype, putting the project at risk.

After a few years I developed a “1 Risk” process for my clients.

1 Risk means that a given project can take on a single major risk as long as there was a backup option (e.g. older, working technology).

That meant if the client wanted to try a new technology (e.g. animation library) then we could but everything else would have to remain the same. No fancy new database. No new testing process. No new design framework.

This also applied to business risks. If they wanted to bring buyers and sellers together in their store to create a marketplace but they’ve never operated a marketplace before, that’s their 1 Risk. We’d have to use stable technology options, already tested processes, etc.

Not every change was classified as 1 Risk options. Some small things carried such low risk that they didn’t matter (e.g. one server company vs another, vaulted credit cards vs card reentry). Only the really big risks, the project-killers, were ones that we worked to limit.

This 1 Risk plan really shifted project success. In an industry where you’re considered average if only 90% of your projects fail, I had over 90% of projects succeed.

Applying this 1 Risk plan to your Shopify store can prove useful.

When planning any project or major change, be explicit about what 1 Risk you’re taking on and keep everything else the stable and tested options.

Want to try out SMS marketing? Go ahead but keep your messages the same and use your email marketing vendor to deliver them.

Expanding with a 3rd party fulfillment provider? Keep your packaging and shipping carriers the same.

Setting up abandoned cart emails? Use your existing design template and written voice.

Optimizing your product page conversion rates? Keep your current theme and brand colors

One the new risk proves itself, then you can start experiment with changing the other parts.

And don’t forget to have a backup option if it fails completely.

If you haven’t installed Repeat Customer Insights yet, it’s an easy way to get a detailed look at your customer behavior like ordering timelines, amounts, and products that create the highest LTV.

Eric Davis

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