Migrating between e-commerce platforms may be daunting and cumbersome, but eventually, it becomes inevitable to maintain a market edge and continue growing your business. Despite what seems like an avalanche of information, there are a few key points to keep in mind to make the transition easier. The main goal is to pick the correct platform to optimize your business needs and to ensure the platform grows with you.
Technology is moving forward, the industry becomes more competitive by the day, and your business needs to continually be mobile and ready for future trends. Generally, re-platforming isn’t part of the original plan, rather there tend to be several issues that drive the decision to change, such as financial, technical, or marketing issues. It’s possible that your product count has outgrown the navigation on your website, and slow loading pages are death to an online company. Another factor would be whether or not your business is mobile-ready. Everything is moving towards being highly accessible on phones and tablets. If you aren’t part of this game, you’re dearly missing out—not to mention that Google searches tend to favor mobile-friendly sites. Finally, maybe your business is swapping from B2B to B2C, fixing third-party apps is becoming overly difficult to manage and upgrade, or you’re simply positive that improvements will greatly benefit your company.
When searching for the appropriate platform, remember to ensure that it caters to your needs, and the process of switching over doesn’t leave you calling for outside aid constantly during the first few months of transition. Decide if it’s best to work with a fully customized site, a customized template, or the minimum viable template possible. Hand-in-hand with the template choice is who you wish to work with for the most seamless transfer of information. Do you want to keep the effort in-house? Would it be easiest to transfer this work to a contracting agency? Or, do you engage in professional services?
Be ready with a Request for Proposal. This is the ultimate map of how you want your website to function and potentially grow. RFO’s that aren’t well set up can cause severe financial issues in the future. Writing up your RFO means you need your numbers locked down, knowing exactly where you’re at and where you’d like to be. A good rule of thumb is to create a three-year forecasted improvement table based on that information. Invest in mapping out each aspect’s redirection and the initiation of each step as it will help determine the scope of the replatform project and what is viable. Then, meet with potential stakeholders so they have the chance to express their requirements and business process input.
There are many great e-commerce solutions now, so take your time to make the best possible decision. Always keep future innovation and upgrades in mind. Change is the main constant in e-commerce and your site needs to be ready to continue to evolve with the times.