A fundamental and far-reaching change in a company, such as the choice of a new e-commerce platform, represents a classic dilemma. On the one hand, the project aims to improve performance and the competitive position in the market. On the other hand, such a serious decision causes spontaneous discomfort for many people: They think of stress, risks, endless processes, masses of data that have to be migrated - and of course high costs.
But rather than fearing the “necessary evil” and complexity of replatforming, companies should embrace migration to a new e-commerce system as another step in their digital transformation. In fact, delaying a long-overdue migration project can cause lasting damage to your business - for example, if you are unable to digitize your sales and service processes, optimize your workflows, or cater to new demands because your system is outdated or functionally inadequate, or if it prevents you from reaching defined business goals.
To avoid this, you should always evaluate your platform against the following 5 factors:
1. Growth and scalability
Rapidly developing companies are growing out of their existing e-commerce solution. Additional products, more visitors and an increased volume of orders and transactions have to be processed and burden the system in a way it is not designed for. In this situation, you should decide for a new solution that gives your business room to breathe, instead of holding on to your old system at the expense of costly and time-consuming customizations.
2. Inadequate features and connectivity
Does your e-commerce solution lack features that your customers take for granted and use when shopping elsewhere? Do your customers complain that your shopping experience is not what they expect from a modern digital business? If so, this poor online experience will inevitably undermine customer loyalty, ultimately leading to a loss of revenue and reputational damage. To avoid this, you should critically review your current setup and ask your customers specifically about the features they expect and the ones they consider essential.
3. Integration problems
If your current solution is unable to share data automatically with external systems - e.g., enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, payment, or logistics provider - there is a risk of inconsistent information, which will confuse and irritate your customers and staff. In this kind of scenario, replatforming can deliver major efficiency benefits. If your new platform comes with the necessary APIs as standard, you can also avoid costly development effort.
4. Instability and performance problems
Have you had situations where your current e-commerce solution was unable to smoothly scale to your needs? Or where it could not keep up with your business growth? Then it’s time to switch to a new e-commerce product that supports demand-based use of additional resources and can handle spikes in traffic without the need for major investment or time-consuming implementation or customization. Otherwise, you run the risk of repeated system outages, resulting in huge losses of revenue as well as damage to your brand.
If the total cost of ownership for your current e-commerce software is higher than expected, migrating to a new platform could save you money. It is possible that your existing solution requires more customization than you anticipated, if your original analysis was flawed, resulting in unexpected modification and testing costs plus significant maintenance outlay. Overall, you should consider all aspects of the solution throughout its useful life, obtain transparency into all costs, and monitor costs at all times.
To put this in a nutshell: Investing in new e-commerce technology will pay for itself many times over - even if you don’t have all the features you want right from the start. A far greater risk is failing to act.
Choosing a new shop platform is about more than just satisfying your business’ current e-commerce needs. Rather, replatforming should be viewed as a wider strategy that enables your organization to maintain its position as a competitive, profitable, and successful business - and ideally to become even better. Don’t miss the chance to use your potential and don’t be left behind by your competitors!