Replatforming – seems pretty simple right? In theory, it is. In practice, not so much.
In our experience, replatforming can take anywhere from as few months to a year or so. Planning, development, integration and testing all take time. More often than not, businesses will underestimate the amount of time, money and effort required to complete such an engagement.
Reaching anywhere from small start-ups to multi-national corporations, retail e-commerce platforms are difficult to implement, difficult maintain and even harder to upgrade.
All these negative factors draws to a head the question that is now running through your head – ‘Why bother?’ If upgrading your platform is such an expensive and time intensive procedure, surely you should be spending your precious resources elsewhere?
You will need a business case to assess the viability of replatforming because changing your platform will invariably impact, to some degree, all aspects of your business. Although seemingly fraught with painful experiences that will test both your patience and your pocket, listing these advantages will provide your business case with powerful motives to spur ecommerce platform change.
- Giving customers an empowering customer experience
- Delivering mobile optimized experience
- Improved business agility
‘Pay attention to the details and the big picture will handle itself’ – But what if you can’t edit the small details?
Replatforming should improve your customer experience by adding new features to the customer journey – the ‘bells and whistles’ of ecommerce. Improving seemingly trivial aspects of a transaction with the customer undoubtedly adds value to the overall user experience (UX) on the site.
Replatforming could add or advance site features like:
· Site speed and performance
· Increasing business agility (improving reactiveness to marketplace, reducing time for implementation of campaigns)
· Personalisation and digital marketing integration (Dynamic content based on pre-set user information, automated dynamic marketing campaigns)
Apart from a few higher-end (also known as tier-one) solutions, you would be struggling to find a product that upgrades all of these features to an enterprise performance level. Like all things ecommerce, the pay off is in the amount of money you are willing to sink into the project. Chances are, the less money you are willing (or more likely, able) to put down for CAPEX and OPEX, the less likely the platform will meet ALL of your requirements (although most will meet the majority).
Regardless, improved customer experience should be a key KPI offered by your new web platform.
Greater UX is a guaranteed way to realise higher conversion rates and increased overall transaction value for your website. Time and time again, the relationship between improved UX and a bigger bottom line has been established and proven1,2,3.
Moving to a Mobile First Experience
With a doubling in the number of adult smart phone users across the US in the past five years, combined with a 233% increase in m-commerce (mobile commerce) retail transactions from Q3, 2014 to Q3, 20154, there has been a massive increase in the need for mobile functionalities to remain viably competitive online.
Replatforming allows your business to reconsider your current mobile strategy. Are you adaptive? Are you responsive? Are you adaptive-responsive? What does the future look like for mobile and your business? Do you even know the answer to any of these questions?
Your new platform choice should give you a strategic (long-term orientated) answer to this question.
Mobile is no longer considered an optional extra: it MUST be a considered, carefully developed and thought-out element of your platform roadmap, because it has significant impact on the performance of your online business.
Replatforming affords you the ability to choose an ecommerce solution whose future m-commerce strategy pairs well with your customer’s demand for mobile solutions.
Any reputable platform should have a scaled m-commerce roadmap directed into both the near and distant future. Question any platform that offers minimal information on this solution.
If they aren’t looking at m-commerce (the fastest growing sector of the ecommerce industry) you have to ask yourself: how are you going to keep up with the solutions (and competitors) that do?
Increased Business Agility
We truly are living within the era of information. The rate at which we process and adapt to information within business (especially ecommerce) has the greatest impact on our bottom line.
Business agility, or the rate at which your business can adapt to its business environment, plays a crucial role in developing a competitive edge in your market.
Rather than having to cut code for months designing a campaign that is yet to be launched, your web platform should allow your business to create your own custom campaign, unique to your customers, within the platform. In a matter of weeks (rather than months) you should be able to measure, cater and produce new marketing materials that match your consumer’s changing behavior.
Much like improving the user experience on your site, dynamic marketing content that keeps pace with changing consumer behaviors is proven revenue coming from your site.
Getting approval to replatform your eCommerce website will involve making an exceptional business case. It will be essential to present solid research and financial forecasting.
Improved user experience, an up-to-date mobile strategy and solid ROI forecasting will spearhead your board presentation and kick-start what will be a new era in online sales for your brand.
Hitworks can help you forecast profits, gather requirements and choose providers that both suit your business and enable your platform to increase revenue and margin. We’d love to hear your questions or comments. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
1. Laja, P. (2016). Great User Experience (UX) Leads to Conversions. Retrieved July 8, 2016 from ConversionXL: http://conversionxl.com/great-user-experience-ux-leads-to-conversions/
2. Mombelli, S. (2015, November 9). Talk Business to me: The pitch for investing in UX. Retrieved July 8, 2013 from The User Zoom Blog: http://www.userzoom.com/roi-of-ux/talk-business-to-me-the-pitch-for-investing-in-ux/
3. Spillers, F. (2014, July 24). Making a Strong Business case for the ROI of UX. Retrieved July 8, 2016 from Experience Dynamics: https://www.experiencedynamics.com/blog/2014/07/making-strong-business-case-roi-ux-infographic
4. Mobile Strategies 360. (2016). Growing Mobile. Retrieved July 8, 2016 from Mobile Strategies 360: http://images.internetretailer.com/M360/2015_Mobile_Strategies_111015.pdf
5. Zmags. (2015, May 15). Agility in E-commerce — the Key to Unlocking Revenues for CMOs. Retrieved June 11, 2016, from Zmags: https://zmags.com/blog/digital-marketing-platforms-agility-ecommerce