Since the pandemic hit the world, customers have been shopping online more often than at the store.
The eCommerce market is booming and is poised to reach a market value of $5.5 trillion in 2022.
The old and new players are finding new ways to acquire, engage, and retain customers. Continuous innovation and customer experience have become non-negotiable criteria to thrive in this hyper-competitive landscape.
eCommerce companies are opting for re-platforming to build a seamless customer experience and boost sales.
eCommerce re-platforming is a process of migrating the existing online store from a legacy platform to a new platform. The transition helps companies enhance customer experience, become more scalable to meet the increasing customer demands, and be more secure.
In this article, we will dive into the different aspects of re-platforming so you can make an informed decision while re-platforming your eCommerce business.
When Should eCommerce Companies Re-platform Their Site?
- Major issues with the site: Gone are those days when customers would wait for minutes for a site page to load. Today, a customer will move to the competitor’s website if the page takes too much time to load. 47% of customers have abandoned a site if it took more than three seconds to load. A delay of even a single second in page response can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions. Imagine the site crashing continuously during the holiday season. That could lead to huge revenue loss for the company. Site speed and scalability are very important for eCommerce success. Legacy platforms are not capable of handling traffic spikes or page loading speed. Re-platforming will help eCommerce companies manage the speed and traffic effectively.
- Integration challenges: Integrations are important to help eCommerce companies gather customer data from different systems into a unified platform. It gives them a holistic view of the customer and enables them to personalize their experiences. Payment gateways, CRM, and logistics are a few integrations that every eCommerce site needs to streamline its operations and enhance customer experience. If the existing platform is not well-equipped to handle multiple integrations, it’s time to shift to a modern platform.
- Bad customer experience: 59% of shoppers have reported that personalization influenced their purchasing decisions. From responsive sites to seamless navigation, and ease of placing, paying, and receiving the products, customers expect a personalized and frictionless experience throughout the buyer’s journey. If the existing platform does not provide an option to personalize the customer’s experience, it’s time to make a switch.
What are the Factors to Consider While Re-platforming?
- Roadmap: Start with creating a roadmap. Determine what features and capabilities are important in the new platform and the long-term and short-term impact on the business. What new skills would the employees require to adapt to the new platform, and what are the goals that the company plans to achieve by using the platform.
- Nature of business: A fashion website might need functionalities that allow you to upload different sizes and colors of the same product. A manufacturing or an electronic site would require more complex features to sell the products and accept payments. The platform should be able to support the different nature of businesses and allow the companies to sell their products and generate revenue without any hassles.
- Budget: The cost of the eCommerce platform would depend upon the business size, features, and overall solution. However, apart from that, there are also additional costs such as the development cost, maintenance fees, transaction fees, subscription fees (if applicable), hosting charges, etc. Some platforms may apply hidden charges too. So, know all the costs that might be applicable before choosing the platform.
- Duration: Re-platforming is a time-consuming process. It could take anywhere more than eight weeks, depending upon the level of customization, business complexity, etc. So, consider the duration while choosing the platform.
- Cloud vs. On-premises: There are different platforms available for re-platforming. On-premises and cloud-based are the most common types of platforms. Both have their pros and cons. For example, on-premises gives complete control over how the source codes and customizations. They are relatively safe too. There’s little dependency on third-party for making any changes. However, cloud-based platforms are more scalable and cost-effective. Evaluate the pros and cons before choosing the platform.
- Current ERP & backend systems: While choosing a platform, ensure that the new platform is compatible with the existing systems. There should be no loss of functionalities or performance during the integration. A thorough audit of the existing and new platforms and systems will help make the right decision.
How to Select the Right Platform?
Here are a few factors to look for while choosing the right platform:
- Suitability: The first step for choosing the right platform is to assess its suitability. Do extensive research on the available options. Don’t choose a platform because it offers a few shiny features. Take a long-term perspective while selecting it. The platform must be future-ready and allow the company to scale and grow. It must meet the business goals, help overcome the current challenges, and be compatible and integrate with other systems. Build a business case for re-platforming to get clarity on whether the move will aid the company in achieving the goals.
- Requirement mapping with the new Platform: Make a list of all the requirements from the new platform and evaluate the options based on that. The requirements could be frontend functionalities, backend features and integrations, security frameworks, customer support, and any other specific requirements. Involve all the key stakeholders to help make the right decision.
- Business and technical benefits: A new platform must not only help meet the business needs, but it must also offer technical benefits such as fewer downtimes, more security, and the ability to scale without any interruption. Outline the current technical and business limitations of the existing platform. Check if they stop the company from earning profits or disrupting the customer experience and choose a platform that can address these challenges.
- Ease of business: A new platform comes with additional or improved functionalities. However, that should pose a challenge in completing the tasks. The company must ensure that the employees can focus on doing their tasks as usual without learning new skills to adapt to the new platform. While choosing the platform, ensure that it’s easy to set up and navigate. The employees should be able to set up workflows for taxation, payment processing, etc., without any hassles. Ensure that the platform provides 24/7 support to troubleshoot the issues.
How To Measure the Success of Re-platforming?
The purpose of eCommerce re-platforming is to enhance customer experience and boost revenue. However, to know if it has worked well, eCommerce companies need to measure their success short-term and long-term. They need to choose a few important metrics and determine their KPIs to mark them as successful. Here are a few metrics that companies can measure regularly.
- Conversion Rates: Conversion rates are calculated by dividing the total number of sales by the total number of sessions. If the conversion rate increases after the re-platforming, the migration has been successful.
- Average Order Value (AOV): AOV is the average price the customers pay for the products when they checkout. Once the re-platforming is completed, companies must measure the AOV to check if it has increased. The higher the AOV, the better the chances of earning more revenue.
- Cart Abandonment Rate: High cart abandonment rate is a concern for every eCommerce company. Almost 80% of the online shopping orders were abandoned in March 2021 and did not convert into sales. There could be several reasons for cart abandonment – bad checkout experience, technical issues, complicated checkout or payment processes, etc. re-platforming could help solve these issues. A frictionless checkout experience could reduce the cart abandonment rate.
- Website Traffic: Website traffic is measured by the number of visits or sessions by the customer. It indicates the website’s popularity, how long do customers stay on the website, how many of them made a purchase, etc. The success of an eCommerce website depends on several factors such as UX and UI, content, searchability, page load speed, etc. Re-platforming will help in improving the performance of the website. Companies must check if the number of sessions or visits has improved after re-platforming to know if it’s working.
Choosing the right platform for re-platforming can be an arduous task. That’s why we at Sapours help eCommerce companies with end-to-end re-platforming to enable them to achieve their business goals, enhance customer experience, and become future-ready to thrive in a hyper-competitive industry.
For more information, contact us.