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Replatforming: Don't Digg Your Own Grave

REPLATFORMING DON'T digg YOUR OWN GRAVE Replacing back-end systems remains a big challenge for any online business. While there are many factors that contribute to replatforming, the decision often comes down to one or more of three reasons. 1. 2. 3. Existing Platform Falls Short of Promised Capabilities Need to Stay Competitive Customer-Driven Pressures 72% of e-commerce businesses plan to change their platform technology solution within the next three years. Believe it or not, there are plenty of lessons that e-commerce businesses can learn from the demise of Digg, one of the original social news-sharing websites, especially when you consider the amount of replatforming expected to occur in the near future. FOCUS ON ITERATION AND EVOLUTION. AVOID REACTIVE REPLATFORMING. FRIEND LISTS NEW CATEGORIES COMMENTING digg After launching in December 2004, Digg did a great deal of iterating, including the release of features like friend lists, commenting, and new categories. Around the end of 2008, iteration appeared to stop in favor of larger releases. In 2009, Twitter traffic eclipsed Digg. Digg started redesigning its interface once Twitter became a threat. Soon after, users started complaining that Digg was “becoming Twitter." CONDUCT USER TESTING AND LISTEN. MANAGE SCOPE TO AVOID BURNOUT. While Digg was known to invite top users to be part of user testing, the feedback they provided often fell on deaf ears. Digg 4.0 launched in August 2010 with site-wide bugs, glitches, and many popular features missing. "There were no changes made from the private alpha to launching V4 publicly. They ignored everything we said." "We were so burnt out by all the work we were doing that we couldn't see straight. We knew (version 4) was going to flop; the management didn't care that we were warning them that this wasn't going to be the right solution." Amy Vernon, Digg power-user Former Digg employee DON'T MAKE UNPROVEN, IRREVERSIBLE CHANGES. CONSIDER REPLATFORMING SEPARATE FROM A REDESIGN. A big reason why replatforming projects falter or fail is the desire to combine the project with other initiatives. Digg seemed to be forced into this predicament because its backend was antiquated. Perhaps Digg's biggest mistake was deciding to overhaul everything at once. YES NO These changes are irreversible. Do you wish to continue? "We've got a new backend, a new infrastructure layer, a new services layer, new machines-everything. That's scary." Around the same time Digg 4.0 was released, TechCrunch reported that Digg leadership refused to revert to a previous version of the site despite user dissatisfaction. Jay Adelson, Digg CEO, in Wired (March 15, 2010) Ecommerce businesses also plan to include other initiatives along with their replatforming projects: 71% 52% 47% 46% 41% 32% Metrics/analytics solution Segmentation/ targeting solution Order management A/B, multivariate, or optimization solution New website Mobile-optimized design software website When additional-and often unnecessary-complexity is added to a replatforming project, e-commerce businesses can expect delays that could have a negative impact on business. AVERAGE DELAY WHEN REPLATFORMING REPLATFORMING DELAYS OFTEN CAUSE KPIS TO DROP 1 to 3 months O3 to 6 months 6 months or more 95% -35% 50% of e-commerce businesses indicate a negative impact on key performance indicators (KPIS), such as load time, average order value, and conversions. 15% REPLATFORMING DONE RIGHT Test the site features, technology, and business tools relentlessly. Focus on technology integration up front, leaving less to chance. Get a deeper understanding of the platform technology solution up front. Learn more by downloading “Getting the Most From Your Replatforming Project," a Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper commissioned by Monetate. SOURCES: BLUEGLASS I FORBES I FORRESTER RESEARCH I MONETATE I WIRED monetate Follow @Monetate on twitter!

Replatforming: Don't Digg Your Own Grave

shared by ColumnFive on Aug 02
Replacing back-end systems remains a big challenge for any online business. While there are many factors that contribute to replatforming, the decision often comes down to one or more of three reasons.


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