How do you know if your commerce platform might need replacement? In practice, we see five 'red flags' indicating that it is time to switch to a new system.
- Inadequate functionalities
Do you offer the shopping experience your customer needs? If not, which functionalities are missing and can the current platform deliver them? You need a solution that can synchronize data in real time between your commerce platform and all channels and devices your customers use.
- Growth limited by scalability issues
In B2B, the digital sales channels are getting bigger and bigger. An outdated system can no longer handle the increase in the number of products, visitors, orders and transactions. But also adding new touchpoints, countries or brands can lead to problems. If you plan to scale, invest in a new, more flexible system.
- Integration problems
Your e-commerce solution needs data from other systems, such as inventory, payment and CRM systems. If this is not running smoothly, you increase the risk of errors in order and customer data, product descriptions and inventory information – or you may lose important information completely. Automatic synchronization is therefore an important condition that an e-commerce platform must meet.
- Unstable performance
There are two preconditions you have to meet to offer a good digital user experience: continuous accessibility of the website and short loading times. If the page load exceeds 3 seconds, web shop visitor will drop out. Not only the e-commerce solution itself but also the way it is hosted has a lot of influence on this. Be sure the server hardware can handle this – or switch to a cloud-based solution.
- Cost of ownership
The total cost of ownership of a new platform can be lower than that of your old system. For example, do you have to pay each time a system from another provider calls your e-commerce solution via APIs? Is more customization required than previously thought? How long will your commerce system be supported? These are all aspects that increase the total costs and therefore make it interesting to look at a new platform.
Best Practice Example Alpheios
As a perfect example for taking the step to e-commerce, let’s take a good look at Alpheios. The company started out as a wholesaler of cleaning products and materials. These are still being sold, but gradually Alpheios also developed into consultancy. For Alpheios, the decision to implement a new commerce platform was prompted by the changing market, says Leon Hermse, business development manager at Alpheios. "We see that our customers have become used to talking, choosing and buying through every available channel. We firmly believe in advice, but we also see that transactions are increasingly taking place online. And customers also want to be able to orientate themselves online for advice and training.”
The lesson they learned from their prior, very basic web shop is that offering products and services digitally ads value, both in actual sales and customer satisfaction. They analyzed their customer behavior in the phase of their orientation as well as which items sold well under which conditions. Starting from that, they specified what a perfect commerce platform really for their customer needs. With a focused approach they already went live after a project time of six months. Gradually they now will add functionality according to customer demand and business growth.
Take a few minutes for the video and see what you can learn from Alpheios. Or download our free white paper on replatforming.