8 Key Considerations for Replatforming
In the rapid-fire field of eCommerce, one thing is certain: everything will change. The most successful companies today continue to be the most proactive as they’re quick to embrace change, work nimbly, and respond to new challenges with enthusiasm. This could sometimes translate to creating a whole new platform for doing business.
Replatforming can be a daunting task. At Convert Digital, we are constantly working with retailers to replatform and allow them to deliver world-class eCommerce experiences. We’ve created a list of the key considerations that are key to a successful replatform project. Check it out:
What is your current traffic like, and has it changed dramatically since you launched your site? Choosing a platform or hosting provider to accommodate your specific volume is a key factor to being successful. Does your store experience traffic spikes and does this affect your uptime, or site speed and performance? If so, you’ll need to consider a platform that scales for high traffic periods.
No one wants to lose money, and you’ve already invested resources on your current platform. Why then would you choose to keep spending more?
Surface costs aren’t everything. If your current platform doesn’t meet your needs, and isn’t actively innovating, it may be holding back your business back. Consider your mandatory requirements, and the ones that are considered “nice to have,” before getting caught up in the exciting features, as that will have an impact on your team and your customers’ experience. Is your team able to work seamlessly with the platform you choose to employ, and are your customers happy? Or could you be investing that money better on third-party features that better serves your customers?
Growing pains are real and scary, too, especially if unexpected costs come up. Does the new platform’s roadmap align with yours, and will it be able to sustain consumer demands, or will it let you down?
Evaluate your goals, your company size, and where you aim to be in the next 3 to 5 years. Consider the capabilities you rely on most and the potential needed for your future goals in terms of marketplaces, currencies, multi-store views and functionality. Think about how far your online business has come, and discuss it with the key members of your team. Growth can be difficult, making it important to embrace it honestly and realistically
Devise a plan on how to manage your product range, as platforms are not one-size-fits-all. The perfect fit for a low-volume artists’ gallery will differ greatly from a high-volume fashion retailer. Some platforms make it extremely simple to manage vast product ranges, while others focus on customisation and boutique presentation.
Some platforms present plug-and-play solutions with countless integrations that don’t always meet your needs, even though each platform offers APIs that are flexible enough to craft the exact outcome you need. What functionality and capabilities are truly essential to your business? Will your platform easily allow integrations to your systems, or will it require a well-thought-out scope and overview of your eCommerce ecosystem?
To evaluate this, break down your requirements for performance with regards to needs, wants, and wish-lists. Take a look at each platform’s APIs and integration capabilities and shortlist the ones that align best with your needs.
Features & Functionality
Today’s digital landscape is wildly capable. There are literally thousands of apps, extensions, and third party solutions that promise to enhance your website. It’s important to be aware of what you really need and how much it will cost.
You may need to examine various pricing options and ongoing expenses. That may include upfront development, monthly maintenance or ongoing costs, or a combination of these factors. Be sure to keep a close eye on performance, as well. There’s a tipping point where too many features can decrease website performance, rather than enhancing it. We love integrating lots of capabilities, but they come with the risk of added glitches or even breakdown.
Will you be managing your site with an in-house team? Do you have a dedicated developer or project manager? How much maintenance does your platform need, and how much of this management can be entrusted to internal personnel?
Every team’s situation is unique. Don’t forget to take your internal resources into account, while you paint a picture of your platform needs.
What are the marketplaces that you currently publish products on, and what kind of audience do you hope to reach in the future? All platforms are capable of integrating most marketplaces, but each platform handles the process differently.
At Convert Digital we help companies embrace new platforms that take their business to the next level. Reach out to one of our experts today for more insight on making the switch.