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Understanding Ecommerce Replatforming

UNDERSTANDING ECOMMERCE RE-PLATFORMING Over 20% of Online Businesses plan an Ecommerce re-platforming in 2013. An additional 10% already have a re-platforming program underway. WHY ARE BUSINESSES RE-PLATFORMING: In the ever-growing e-commerce sphere with an ever- changing e-commerce landscape, businesses feel compelled to reinforce their online business platform. Increasing Web Complexity Multitude of e-commerce channels and rapid growth in number of 3rd party solution integrations challenge currently implemented platforms Customer Requirements Current Platform cannot facilitate growing customers' functionality and performance requirements. THE ESSENTIAL BUSINESS GOALS ACHIEVABLE WITH RE-PLATFORMING: Competitive Pressures In order to survive the business race, businesses need to align platform capabilities. • Conversion Rate Increase • Average Order Value (AOV) Increase • Total Cost-of-ownership (TCO) Decrease • New Customer Acquisition Increase • Customer Retention Increase Vendor Conflicts Platform vendors not supporting current versions and trying to impose costly migrations. STRONG E-COMMERCE PLATFORM - THE KEY COMPONENTS: Re-platforming should support a major shift from a channel-specific effort to an operation-centric effort that crosses all channels. Performance Scalability Optimization of Page load time, Stable accommodation of large number of concurrent users (at peak - holiday - times), Maximization of site up-time Multi-Channel Integration Serving customers across all utilized channels: Web, Mobile, Shop, Catalog. Social etc. Enhanced User Experlence Providing usable navigation and content - checkout process, shopping cart, search etc. Solid Integration Smooth functioning of POS, Web Services, Reporting and Analytics, fraud detection tools etc. Platform Flexibility Ability to grow and adapt to future market needs and limitations Back-end Management Capabilities Efficiently handling the ever-growing administration necessities with back-end UX in mind Support and Malntenance Access to platform support, updates and upgrades SERVING CUSTOMERS WHENEVER, WHEREVER & HOWEVER THEY WANT DIAGNOSIS & AVOIDANCE: The vast majority of large E-commerce site owners find it critical or important to conduct usability testing of the current site before re-platforming. If you don't know where you stand, you cannot wisely decide if, when and where your business can go. Re-platforming may be temporarily avoided if: • Platform is "alive" and evolving - Platform isn't or isn't planned to be discontinued in the near future • 3rd party open source solutions are available and easily integrated • Current service provider is performing well or can be replaced • Platform is flexible and allows adjustments for ongoing user experience optimization HOW TO SUCCEED WITHE-COMMERCE RE-PLATFORMING: Define Objectives Diagnose your current platform and clearly understand the reasons for embarking on your re-platforming program - What is not working properly, and specific objectives to be achieved in order to justify re-platforming. Prioritization Be sure to prioritize the defined objectives: With the right priorities in mind you will be able to monitor the process and take the lead on any necessary reductions in scope. Technology to Fit Understand that there is no perfect technology platform. Choosing the technologies which best fit your requirements is essential to fulfilling business goals. Organizational Focus Plan and implement the program across the entire organization, not just within IT. Assemble a strong and responsive cross-organizational team that can re-assemble during the process for review and decision-making. Proof of Concept Test your functionality and technical assumptions with your target audience before development begins. Acquisition of Expertise Don't hire just any service provider for your program development and integration. Ensure they have all the appropriate expertise and the capacity to accompany you through the process. Agility Plan and implement changes in a way that allows small adjustments which may be needed due to new insights and discoveries throughout the process. Managing Expectations Communicate realistic goals and success metrics with all parties involved, internally and externally. Planning When to Launch Consider cycles, as KPIS are known to be temporarily affected by re-platforming. r the best time to launch based on season and sales Roadmap Know where you're headed. Construct a roadmap that addresses all required processes to achieve objectives. Testing and Analytics Conduct comprehensive testing (performance, UX- front- and back-end, 3rd party solution integration) on all implemented elements to verify consistency with planned objectives. Consider A/B and multi-variate testing methodologies and utilize analytics tools for consistent optimization. Budget and Timetable Have a clear budget and timetable, but allow for some flexibility where possible to account for unknown constraints and necessities. WHAT TO EXPECT: KPI's • Business KPI's are known to be affected roughly 90% of the time when re-platforming. • Nearly 50% of affected businesses claim it has taken up to 3 months for KPI's to return to pre-program levels. Others reported 6 months or more. WHAT NOT TO EXPECT: Time to ROI • Expect your KPI's to take a temporary hit, and plan program integration accordingly. Projecting ROI immediately or a few months after re-platforming is a sure recipe for disappointment. Your re-platforming program is meant to take your business towards a multi-year growth, and realistic ROI should be measured in 1-3 years rather than months. Delays • Industry studies indicate an average re-platforming delay of 3-4 months. • We found no company reporting zero delays • Chances are you will have to endure some delay as well. Plan accordingly. No Lifetime Guarantee With the growing pace of technological evolution you should perceive a re-platforming program to serve your business for a number of years. Don't expect a new platform to fit your needs until 2025. Scope Reduction and Modification • Nearly 40% of companies end up reducing scope in order to stay within budget and timeline. • Re-platforming program scopes often change during the process (regardless of budget and timeline) when requirements are refined Clean-Slate Fantasy A too common false expectation is for an e-commerce platform to "save" the business merely because it is NEW. Businesses erroneously rush to re-platform just for the sake of a fresh start. A new cooking set does not make you a better cook. It is merely an enhanced tool which needs to be wisely utilized. The same is valid for an e-commerce platform. Your organization must also change and adapt with the technology. You may be compelled to change gram due to budget, timeline and other consideration yet unknown in the planning stage. reduce scope during the pro- SUCCESS: THE COMMON METRICS • Conversion Rate: % increase. • Average Order Value (AOV): % increase. • Site Performance: % decrease in load time & % increase in site up-time • Stickiness: % increase on average time spent on site. • Customer Service: % Decrease in number of cases. • Marketing ROI: % increase. • Cross-Channel Interactions: % increase. CHOOSING AN E-COMMERCE PARTNER If you've decided to go for a re-platforming program, you will need to make a smart selection of your service provider. Read our detailed Whitepaper on Choosing an E-Commerce Partner - How to Succeed. ECommercePartners is an eCommerce and interactive agency headquartered in New York City. We provide eCommerce Strategy, Design & Development, Online Marketing and Hosting & Support.

Understanding Ecommerce Replatforming

shared by ECommercePartners on Apr 30
Ecommerce technology and trends are ever-changing, and you have to adapt to keep pace with the competition. Ecommerce re-platforming is the process of moving your website and data from a legacy system...


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