Is your ecommerce store not performing as well as you’d like? Are you wondering if it’s time to re-platform and breathe new life into your business? If you’re still on the fence, here are 5 fundamental improvements that re-platforming could make to your store.
What Is Ecommerce Re-Platforming?
Let’s start by going over what re-platforming is and how it works, starting with the basics. Ecommerce Re-platforming refers to the process of moving your ecommerce store from one platform to another. eg moving from Shopify to BigCommerce.
This process includes migrating your data across to the new platform, including products, customers, orders, etc. Depending on how large and complex your store is, this can be quite a complicated and lengthy process which is why it’s usually best to get an agency to assist you.
How Re-platforming Works
First of all, you need to assess what changes you need to make to improve the your store. Based on your requirements, your e-commerce agency will advise you as to the right platform for your business.
In addition to your store’s data, you’ll also need to migrate your domain name and SSL certificate. Your domain name is what people type into their browser to find your store (www.example.com). Your SSL certificate ensures that all data exchanged between your store and visitors is secure.
But exporting and importing all of your data, isn’t the really exciting part. Replatforming doesn’t just mean moving all of your data over to a different space, it also means getting to reimagine and rebuild your store using the architecture of the new platform. This means you can fix niggles, you can streamline parts of the buyers journey that were causing holdups, you can integrate new apps that provide better functionality. The functionality and complexity of your new store will be dictated by the platform you have chosen to move to.
Finally, you’ll need to test everything to make sure it’s working correctly on the new platform. That includes testing the checkout process, shipping, taxes, and more. Once you’re confident that everything is working correctly, you can launch your new store!
Why Re-Platform Your Ecommerce Store?
There are many reasons why you might want to re-platform your ecommerce store, here are five of the biggest improvements you can make to your business by re-platforming your store.
1. Improve the User Experience
One of the most common reasons for re-platforming is to improve the user experience for your shoppers.
Over time, user expectations and needs change. If your store is still using an outdated platform, it might not be able to provide the same level of aesthetic or functionality that shoppers have come to expect.
Re-platforming to a newer, more modern platform can give your store the update it needs to provide a better user experience. A better user experience will lead to a higher conversion rate and a loyal customer base.
2. Increase Sales
By improving the user experience, re-platforming will help you increase sales.
If your current platform is outdated or difficult to use, it might be turning potential customers away. A fresh, user-friendly platform can make it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for and comfortably complete their purchase.
In addition, a new platform can offer features that encourage shoppers to return and buy more from your store. Seamlessly offering related items at checkout can increase upsells, while abandoned cart recovery features can help recover lost sales and boost your bottom line.
3. Integrate New Technologies
As ecommerce evolves, new technologies are constantly being introduced. If your current platform doesn’t support these new technologies, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities for your business.
Buy now pay later services such as Klarna, for example, are becoming increasingly popular. If your platform doesn’t support Klarna, you could be losing out on sales from customers who want to use this payment method. Particularly if you sell goods with a higher price tag, offering installment payment plans could help persuade customers on a tighter budget.
4. Administer Your Store More Easily
If you’re finding it difficult to manage your store on your current platform, it might be time for a change.
A new platform can offer an improved admin interface that makes it easier to manage your store. It can save you time and money by making it easier to process orders and keep your store running smoothly.
Upgrading can take some burden off you and your staff, freeing up time to focus on growing your business rather than daily admin. A new platform can offer features such as automated order fulfilment which will make it easier to manage your store.
5. Legacy Platform Issues
In some cases, re-platforming is necessary simply because the current platform is no longer supported. As platforms evolve, they typically stop supporting older versions sooner or later. This means that if you’re using an older platform, you might not be able to take advantage of new features or integrations.
In an industry where plugins and integrations are constantly being developed, your business could be at a serious disadvantage compared to your competitors if you aren’t able to keep up with trends. Social commerce, for example, integrating shoppable Instagram galleries, is a growing channel for e-commerce sales.
Additionally, using an unsupported platform can leave your store vulnerable to security risks. If the platform is no longer being updated, it might not be able to protect against new threats. That could lead to a data breach or other serious issues for your business.
When Should You Re-Platform Your Ecommerce Store?
Knowing when to re-platform your ecommerce store can be tricky. If you migrate too late, you might not get the full benefit of your investment before it’s time to re-platform again. It is a big decision for any company, but the return on investment is worth it if you carefully consider you options and move to the right platform that will support your needs and help grow your business.
In general, you should re-platform as soon as you realise that your current platform is no longer meeting your needs. That might be because it’s outdated, difficult to use or doesn’t support new technologies.
As for when to do the actual re-platforming, there’s no perfect time. However, it would be best if you considered the seasonality of your business when making a decision. If your business is seasonal, such as garden centres, for example, you might want to re-platform during the slow season, allowing you to get everything set up on the new platform before things get busy again.
It’s also important to consider the cost of re-platforming. While the upfront cost can be significant, it’s important to weigh this against the long-term benefits of a new platform. In many cases, the benefits of re-platforming will outweigh the cost.