A non-developers guide to e-commerce replatforming

Michael Gabrian

by Michael Gabrian on 06/01/2016

Knowing why and how to change your e-commerce platform

E-commerce replatforming is a dangerous venture. But with the hard work and the hours on hours poured into the project, there is so much to gain. There could be plenty of reasons why your company might be considering a platform change; the need for some new and modern features, maybe you’d like to integrate with complex third party systems, or maybe you just want a fresh new look and feel. Either way, to tackle a task like this, you’ll need to consider a few things.

“For you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs.”
-Bryan Eisenberg

Think about what you want or need from the change

Fun Fact! Mobile commerce accounted for about a third of e-commerce in the US in 2015! So let’s be real, if your site isn’t mobile friendly, that could really hurt you. Don’t believe me? Imagine those mobile shoppers having to deal with the pinching and scrolling. Just trying to navigate around the images that simply won’t fit on the mobile screen. Just saying.

Are you happy with your customization options? You can always try add ons, but they are costly and could lead to a slower load time. Did you know that if a site takes longer than two seconds to load, the user will most likely abandon it? 79% of that group won’t return to buy again, and 44% will tell a friend. Well, gee, that escalated quickly… The moral is, replatforming will give you a smooth way to customize your site and integrate features that you desire.

You might want to consider replatforming if you develop new business goals, plan on growing, would like to sell globally, etc. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to go through with it, it’s just a good idea to sit down and think about what you might want or need from this change.

Have a budget

Estimating the costs for a project is very difficult. Each project has unique combinations of features, integrations, errors that need to be corrected, etc. Another factor to consider is the partner you choose.

  • How long do they estimate the project to be?
  • What’s their hourly rate?
  • What types of fees do they charge?

I know that this process can be expensive and that might make you hesitate. But just think of the value you expect to receive. You have these current issues that led you to the most optimal solution, you need to replatform. So this investment should ultimately have a positive impact on sales and image, paying itself off.

Build your A-team

Quality Assurance Specialist: Knows all of the critical scenarios, funnels, and customer types for the target markets. They’re able to step through these scenarios in existing system in detail and with ease. They are able to apply the same principles to the new system to ensure that the same outputs can be achieved given the same inputs.

Data Expert: Data Experts prepare the data in the old system for a clean, beautiful export into a new system. They perform the data migration and ensure that the same data exists in both systems.

Project manager: Responsible for keeping the team on schedule. Facilitates daily meetings and makes sure that obstacles for any of the team members are removed as fast as possible.

Project owner: Works closely with QA to make sure that the company stakeholders' interests are adequately represented during all phases of testing.

Support specialists: Make sure that adequate training and support materials will be available to both internal and external users of the new system.

For a smooth transition it is best for the team members to have a daily scheduled call and follow some form of agile development methodology.

If you think it’s time to change up your platform, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email. We’d love to talk with you about your options and goals.