If it becomes apparent that your existing e-commerce website can no longer make your customers happy, the task arises to find a replacement – and one of the most difficult projects in digitalization begins: e-commerce replatforming.
The most dangerous mistakes when exchanging your e-commerce platform are:
- You get delayed and run out of budget.
- You lack priorities.
- You struggle to make tough decisions.
- You want to do everything perfectly at once.
- You lack skills.
Here's how you can avoid those:
E-commerce replatforming risk #1: Delays and budget
If an e-commerce replatforming project is delayed, you not only need to invest more time and material in the project, the staff and overall resources, but on top of that you miss opportunities to sell!
There are many reasons for delays and budget overruns, but all of them can be addressed. Here are examples:
- Compare the actual progress with the forecast. Does the team deliver results before or after the milestone data? If not, ask why this is the case and how the deviation can be corrected.
- If new requirements arise or the implementation team encounters unforeseen problems, acquire additional budget as soon as possible.
- Keep the old platform running to keep the cash flow up. Do the e-commerce replatforming as a side project. Here's an example from Dynapac.
E-commerce replatforming risk #2: Lack of prioritization
The business requirements for a new e-commerce website vary from one company to another. Sometimes the publicly visible storefront looks like a standard product, but you don’t know what kind of “magic” is going on in the backend!
Challenges can arise for example, when other applications such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, an Order Management System (OMS) or fulfillment software needs be integrated. If the set deadlines cannot be met, features with lower priority are often omitted. In such cases, make sure that all the necessary features are still available when you go live. This strategy is called MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
E-commerce replatforming risk #3: Indecision
A platform migration can become an overwhelming project. But time is valuable: decisions shouldn’t be left pending – the bigger the project, the more results rely on each other. Quick decisions are critical for smooth processes – which mostly lead to a better project result. If you struggle to make tough decisions, discuss them with your team or your integration partner. Often, such hurdles can be overcome in teamwork. Or, the other way round, don’t just expect everything to be handled by your partner, but take joint responsibility. Find out how to overcome indecision during the replatforming process.
E-commerce replatforming risk #4: Perfectionism
A demanding project like moving to a new e-commerce platform should significantly improve the value you present to your customers. In every sprint of the project, put the customer benefit in the center of your actions. Will they find what they are looking for? Is the conversion easy? Cross- and up-sell opportunities placed? Do you have an after-sales action plan? The attempt to implement a version 1.0 that is perfect down to the last detail can lead to lengthy discussions about user journeys that are not really critical to FIRST success. The Proof Of Concept method helps to stay on track.
E-commerce replatforming risk #5: Skill gaps
Today's consumers and B2B buyers have very high expectations of suppliers – not only regarding the product, but also in terms of sales design and service. In addition, the hurdles that have to be overcome when using e-commerce technology are decreasing day by day. Keep your people on track!
Of course, when opting for a cloud-based SaaS commerce platform, your IT won't be as responsible as they used to be – the software vendor takes care of having specialists on the job – but your online marketing, shop management or customer service needs to be able to make the most out of the new platform.
- Schedule training for all employees who will work with the new e-commerce platform.
- Create a test environment in which employees can familiarize themselves with the new platform at their own pace.
Replatforming a legacy e-commerce solution can be done without much risk. In our whitepaper, we tell you how to gradually transition to a new e-commerce platform, run two solutions in parallel and/or retain fundamental parts of the old solution and incorporate them smoothly into the new system. Download it now!