It’s too expensive to maintain. It’s too slow. It gets down when the traffic is high. Sounds familiar? The time has come. Time to replatform your e-commerce solution!
What is replatforming?
Replatforming, is simply said moving from one platform to another. But it’s easier said than done : ) This process is usually required when your e-commerce business is growing and you need extra functionality, extra speed , scalability or no down time. Or maybe not all of the features you have on the list are supported by the current technology stack the site operates on? Time to move forward. Replatforming is calling.
How to understand your current platform has reached its limitations? Or the software you use has a better alternative on the market? Find our hints and recommendations below.
Signs you need to replatform
It’s not a common scenario for a business to spend a year or so on planning their site’s replatforming, to allot budget and define clear goals. Most often, behind the process of replatforming, there is a driving issue - or even a number of them - that force the business to migrate:
Your marketing team is usually the one that is pushing for e-commerce replatforming. The reason - features and capabilities the marketers are looking for are quite often missing from the current legacy software in use. Old e-commerce platforms can prevent marketing experts from converting visitors at the highest rate possible. Even more - because of some missing enhancements in the platform, your business may lose the competition in key areas. For example: no improved site search - either faceted, or direct search might be missing; no option of content personalization; no mobile devices funnels; no tag management; no social media hooks;
One or more of these present in your case?
Time to replatfrom!
When it comes to money, every business tries to reduce cost and increase income. If the existing e-commerce platform leads to high maintenance costs your brand, obviously, cannot afford to continue doing business with the existing solution.
Time to replatform.
If your e-commerce solution does not provide seamless customer experience, you risk losing trust and getting disconnected with your users.
Enter your customer's shoes. The work day is over, you are back home. No time for cooking, you want to order something online and have it delivered. Fast. Go to the site of your favourite restaurant. Click to open. Nothing. The site is down. Five minutes later you try again. Logged in successfully this time, great! Last step - just to check out. Click the button. Nothing. “An error occurred”. The site is down again. Enough!
Shall you spend time trying again? Neither would I. Any technical inconvenience your customer experiences in their journey is a potential threat to your business future growth. Some examples for common technical issues are unstable solution under peak traffic conditions; a limited call volume on APIs supported; long time required till a new feature is developed.
Time to replatform!
Unfortunately, all of these signs are often ignored by businesses. The inevitable consequences are to follow.
Opportunity cost of not switching your platform
If you do not take any steps to replatform your e-commerce business on time, get ready for substantial financial loss. What from? Some food for thought:
If you are experiencing a high rate of shopping cart abandonment, try to pinpoint the bottlenecks and estimate the amount of lost conversion.
Take your average daily revenue and multiply it by the number of (accumulated) days of site downtime. So you can roughly determine the lost revenue.
Support Hours and Fixes
Whether internal or external, the number of man-hours required to handle recurring system issues should be included in your calculation.
If new content uploads or database updates are grossly inefficient and require much of your staff’s time, then this excess labor cost should be taken into consideration.
Add some other issues that your team has reported. Try to calculate the loss. Sum everything up. This is the cost of sticking to your current solution. Don’t like it?
Time to replatform.
If you have already made up your mind and headed for the knocking change, below you may find a list of some useful hints to consider in the process of/before replatforming.
Practical tips to take in mind when replatforming
If you opt for a hosted option, don’t forget the ongoing costs. Consider scalability - is it supported by the chosen platform? If not, how would your traffic affect the level of hosting costs? In case you go for a fixed priced solution, make sure you build with contingency in mind.
Before starting any type of custom development, before entering any negotiations with suppliers, make sure you know what you want. Make a detailed list of the features you want to be included in your site - now, as well as in the future. Your platform should be one that can easily adopt to your needs. Choose it with your requirements in mind.
Review your current processes
Sometimes, instead of finding a platform that matches your internal processes exactly, it is easier to modify your processes to fit the new platform. Change of an established workflow is what usually scares team members and managers. However, this may be looked at as an option to sit back and reexamine how your business functions and if it could be improved. The earlier the stage this one is done at, the better.
Be very clear about what functionality comes as part of the platform and what has to be added on. Work out the payment model - consider here the relation between the requirement of a new feature and the time it to be developed.
Investigate all the options
From low cost SaaS options to bespoke built and open source, there is an array of different options for e-commerce platforms. Make sure you consider them with your business requirements in mind. The time invested in the initial research may save you a lot of extra costs in the future.
If chosen correctly, the e-commerce platform you opt for is the key to your successful business. Consider the current state of your operating solution. Estimate the potential of your business. Make a plan of where you’d want your business to be in several years’ time. Choose the adequate technology stack and focus on business growth. If replatforming is part of your way, go for it and do it!
When considering a new solution for your business, check if it scales. If it is developed with omnichannel features in mind. If it is cloud-native. Check the technology stack it is built on and the developers’ skills required for its maintenance. Everything matters. Check what the Nemesis platform may offer you.