Ecommerce sites re-platform about every three to four years and, according to a Forrester survey, over half of ecommerce operators queried plan to re-platform this year.
What’s driving the charge to transform?
- Mobile and Social: The growth of mobile and social media as commerce channels is forcing businesses to re-evaluate speed and performance. As opposed to making costly changes to existing platforms, many businesses opt to move to an updated platform.
- Omni-channel Retail: Integrating physical and online business processes to deliver seamless customer experiences is essential for retailers who play in multiple channels. One failure between the website and a brick-and-mortar store could result lost customers due to easy-to-fix system inconsistencies.
- The Joneses: Keeping up with Joneses of your industry isn’t necessarily the healthiest reason for transformation, but is often the initial driver of a re-platforming project. When competitors introduce new features or services, the scramble to keep up often leads to a re-platforming project.
Success Tips for Your Next Ecommerce Re-platforming Project
Say you’ve decided to re-platform, here are some tips to make the project a success:
- Evaluate both infrastructure and system. Making drastic changes at either layer must be done with consideration to the impact on the other. Having a powerful ecommerce system running on top of maxed out resources can result in sluggish performance and frustrated users.
- Set realistic timelines and budget. Start off with a solid requirements document incorporating all tasks and resources needed, including common project busters that can add time and budget to the project like stakeholder signoffs, testing, site population and admin training.
- Avoid getting locked into a provider’s infrastructure. A common re-platforming pitfall is jumping on to restrictive infrastructure that limits options down the line. Seek open platforms that allow maximum customization, control and freedom.
- Be vigilant about scope-creep. Once the requirements document is in place, out-of-scope additions should be carefully evaluated for their impact to budgets and timelines. A last-minute, exciting UI enhancement may look great at first, but it may deliver little user value, drag down performance and eat away at the budget.
- Seek expertise. Complexity and integration issues introduced by a re-platforming project can be mitigated with the assistance of experienced ecommerce platforming experts that help you sort through your options, discuss implementation issues and take the heavy lifting off of your plate.
If you’re embarking on or planning an ecommerce re-platforming project, read through the “Ecommerce Re-Platforming Basics” whitepaper for more guidance and tips to make your new platform launch a success.
For more resources on ecommerce hosting and platforms, visit http://www.rackspace.com/ecomm or contact one of our ecommerce hosting experts to discuss your needs.
This week, Rackspace will be attending the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention (Retail’s Big Show, #NRF14) in New York City. We look forward to seeing you there!