E-commerce Replatforming: Is It Worth The Cost?

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With the high demand for online shopping,  businesses must stay ahead to thrive. Sometimes, that means making big changes, like re-platforming your e-commerce site. However, e-commerce re-platforming requires great time, money, and effort. 

In this blog post, we’ll dive into e-commerce re-platforming to see if it’s worth the cost. We’ll explore the advantages and challenges, helping you decide if re-platforming is the right move for your business. Join us as we break it down, so you can make a smart choice for your online success.

What is E-commerce Replatforming?

E-commerce re-platforming (or e-commerce migration) is the process of moving your store from one e-commerce website to another. This includes setting up the new system and transferring all its components and data to the new provider.

When it comes to e-commerce re-platforming, there are three different strategies, but we won’t discuss them in detail in this post. 

Switching platforms: This includes migrating from one monolithic platform to another with additional integrations or functionality. A well-known case is the migration from Magento to Shopify. This may involve a redesign of your store.

Phased migration: Rather than a complete re-platforming, you can transition gradually by phased migration. With this strategy, you can tackle specific components, such as updating the content management system (CMS), while keeping certain existing features on your website. 

Monolithic to microservices: Some businesses choose to move from a unified, all-in-one platform to a modular one. They leverage microservices to handle specific functionalities, breaking down the application into smaller sections. Businesses can effectively address various customer or product journey aspects by layering platforms and integrating third-party applications. This is especially beneficial for stores operating within a headless commerce framework.

These e-commerce re-platforming methods can vary in numerous ways, as each type of migration requires different approaches. Identifying your requirements for your new platform and consulting migration experts before proceeding with any planned updates is crucial.

Why Need E-commerce Replatforming?

E-commerce businesses operate in a dynamic digital landscape that demands continuous adaptation to stay competitive. One strategic move that entrepreneurs must consider is e-commerce replatforming. Replatforming involves migrating to a new e-commerce platform or upgrading the existing one to meet evolving market demands. Understanding the reasons behind the need for replatforming is crucial to thriving in the online marketplace.

High Maintenance Costs

If high maintenance costs burden your business, re-platforming is the solution. Choosing a new platform with more features and affordable service proves cost-effective for many businesses. The initial investment may seem costly, but you’ll see a better return on investment in the long run. Using tools that make your website load faster can also lower hosting costs. 

To ensure everything goes smoothly, it’s essential to work with a trustworthy web agency that can train you to manage your online store. This way, you can avoid paying them for small changes or updates in the future, saving you money in the long term. 

Poor Performance 

Sometimes, businesses realize that their current e-commerce website could be operating better. It may be slow, have limited features, and need help to satisfy customer needs. This leads to continuous delays and greatly affects your web’s performance. 

To boost business, they need to upgrade to a better website platform. A new platform can offer tools to attract customers and make them buy more, such as relevant add-on products, bundles, higher-order discounts, and special offers. Each e-commerce platform is different, so it’s important to find one that is both high-quality and works well for your business.

Limited Scalability

As your business outgrows the e-commerce platform, your site may not handle high amounts of traffic during busy times. This means you might lose money. 

Additionally, your current platform can only deal with limited storage and a number of users, which can be an obstacle to your business goals. To fix this, you need to outsource e-commerce and move your online store to a more scalable solution that can handle more traffic and offer more features. 

Lack of Security

When your website has security problems, customers’ information can be at risk, making them lose trust in your brand. Some security issues, like leaking payment card details, can cause big issues. Your team might have to make particular fixes but not fully solve the problems. Moving your online store to a new platform is a chance to make it more secure and protect your business and customers’ data. 

Bad Customer Experience

If your website is slow or outdated, it can lead to a bad customer experience. You want to make sure their visit is easy and enjoyable. Choose an eCommerce platform that works well on mobile devices and has attractive designs.  People want a website that is fast and easy to navigate. By moving to a better platform, you can improve the search and navigation features, make the site load faster, and simplify the checkout process. These changes will make your customers happier and more likely to return, maximizing your business revenue.

Challenges of E-commerce Replatforming

Budget Limitations & Time Inefficiency

Replatforming your eCommerce platform can take a long time and cost a lot of money. It’s like starting your online store all over again. If you make mistakes during the process, fixing them will take even more time and money.

The process can also pause your current store’s operations, which means you have to stop making money for a while and lose out on great revenue.

Another problem is that the re-platforming process can go over budget. It might cost more than you planned, which can upset the parties involved. They might limit your budget and prevent you from finishing the project.

To avoid these issues, work closely with your web agency and team from the beginning. Plan everything carefully and be prepared for what’s to come.

Employee Training

When you migrate to a new eCommerce platform, you and your team will need to learn how to use it all over again. It’s important to fill any skill gaps by providing training for your employees. To make the transition easier, introduce them to the new platform in a test environment before the official launch. This will help them become familiar with it and be prepared to use it in real situations.

Risk of Losing SEO Values

When you re-platform to a new eCommerce platform, your website’s SEO value is in danger. The work you did to improve your search engine ranking with the old platform may be lost during the migration. Plus, any downtime during the transition can hurt your SEO. Even if your ranking stays the same, you still need to redirect your old URLs to the new ones. Making a small mistake in this process can make your customers understand. Make sure to plan your SEO strategy carefully and set up the necessary redirects to avoid problems with visibility and traffic.

Data Loss

When you switch to a new eCommerce platform, you’ll need to set up your old features and integrations again. Some features and integrations you used before may not be available on the new platform, so you’ll have to find alternatives for them. This process can be time-consuming.

Another concern is the risk of losing data during the re-platforming process. Inadequate preparation can lead to data loss, making your business vulnerable to hackers. This can cause problems for your company’s operations and reputation, especially if customer data is hacked. Work with your web agency to establish strong security measures to prevent data issues. Before launching, test everything thoroughly to make sure nothing is missing.

Internal Resistance

Replatforming your eCommerce site can face internal resistance. It requires a lot of time, money, and resources and significantly changes your business’s operations. To overcome this resistance, clearly communicate the migration benefits to all stakeholders involved. Show them the advantages of moving to a new platform outweigh the drawbacks.

To gain full support from your team, present a simple and clear business case. Highlight the costs, benefits, and risks associated with the migration. Also, have a plan in place to manage any disruptions to your business during the transition.

By addressing internal resistance, presenting a compelling case, and securing executive support, you can increase the chances of a successful eCommerce platform migration.

How to Choose the Best E-commerce Platform?

Choosing the best e-commerce platform requires careful consideration. Here are some factors to keep in mind when making your decision:

Gather Input From Multiple Stakeholders

It is crucial to involve various departments and stakeholders in the decision-making process. Consult with sales, marketing, customer service, and IT teams to understand their specific needs and preferences. Discuss key features, integration requirements, payment gateways, shipping options, and inventory management. By including input from all parties, you can ensure that the chosen platform addresses everyone’s concerns and avoids conflicts.

Assess Platform Features And Capabilities

Compare the features and capabilities offered by different platforms and identify those that align with your company’s requirements. When choosing an eCommerce platform, compare the features and capabilities offered by different platforms and identify those that align with your company’s requirements. Look for a platform that seamlessly integrates with your existing tools and can accommodate future tools as well. For example, considering large e-commerce or B2B businesses, Shopify Plus and Magento Commerce stand out. Both platforms offer robust features and functionality necessary to handle the demands of a large-scale online store. But if your business is on a smaller scale, consider more affordable options such as Magento Open Source or Woocommerce.

Consider Your Team’s Abilities

Consider your team’s skills and knowledge when selecting a platform. Choose an option that is easy to set up, user-friendly, and offers useful features. Additionally, consider the platform’s interface and how intuitive it is for your team to use. Opting for a platform with good support can also empower your team to successfully migrate and effectively manage your e-commerce operations.

By considering these factors and involving various stakeholders, you can make an informed decision and choose the e-commerce platform that best suits your business needs.

Conclusion

Deciding whether to re-platform your e-commerce site is a big decision. This process takes a lot of time, money, and resources and brings up many challenges for your stores. But platforming can help your business grow, improve customer experience, and stay up-to-date with technology.

It’s important to plan carefully and talk to everyone involved. You need to understand the challenges and have a clear strategy. The choice to re-platform depends on your business goals and the potential benefits. Consider the costs and benefits, and decide if it’s right for you. 

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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