Most eCommerce sellers fear migrating their webstores to a new platform. It seems too risky. It takes time, costs money, and requires you to move all your data. There’s so much that can seemly go wrong. They think migrating eCommerce platforms is a fast-track way to ruin sales!
So, merchants often avoid it for as long as they can. But, you really shouldn’t. Migration isn’t going to ruin your sales. Not upgrading to a new platform though could. Your current platform could be holding you back from growth, improving your business processes, and providing a better customer experience.
Let’s take an honest look at your business and see if you’re showing any of these signs that you need to replatform your eCommerce store.
Top Signs That You Should Replatform Your eCommerce Store
When sellers make a switch between eCommerce platforms, it’s usually for reasons like these. It doesn’t matter how old or new your site is, sometimes an upgrade is the best solution.
Lack of Features or Outdated Software
When first starting out, merchants are drawn to free or inexpensive software to set up a basic store. At the time, that’s all you needed. However, these beginner platforms might be holding you back now.
They often don’t have the apps or advanced features you need for your customers. There’s not an enthusiastic community around the platform helping to improve it. In these cases, you get what you pay for.
The platform itself could also be outdated. Technology changes fast. There’s always something better coming along. Outdated software prevents you from providing a customer the experience your customers demand. If you haven’t updated in quite a few years, it might be time to take a look at what else is out there.
Too Much Maintenance
A common issue is your current eCommerce platform just requires too much maintenance. Your dev team is in a constant cycle of fixing bugs that cause more bugs. Not only does this cost money, but also valuable time. These small fixes that have little impact waste too much time and resources.
Every platform will have its share of problems and frustrations. Sometimes things break, but you shouldn’t spend the bulk of your time fixing new problems repeatedly. Overall, your website should consistently work the way it’s supposed to.
The structure of your software determines this though and some platforms are built better than others.
Every business has a budget and you should evaluate what you’re currently spending. Some merchants spend thousands of dollars on their website every month. Costs include subscription fees, hosting fees, security fees, dev teams, and maintenance, among many other things.
There are all different kinds of eCommerce platforms available at different price points. They each charge fees differently. Take a good look at your budget and see where all your money is going. If you think you could be paying less for a better site, there’s a good chance you’re right.
Manual Process Take Too Much Time
Some eCommerce platforms rely on manual processes to complete orders and communicate with customers. There’s a lot of steps between when a customer completes an order on online and its delivery. Merchants also must frequently update inventory counts and product information.
Manually keying in this data takes time and is prone to human error. Some eCommerce platforms have processes in place to automate inventory updates, order processing, and communicating shipping/tracking information. If you have dedicated teams spending their whole day doing manual processes, it’s probably time to look for a different platform.
Running a successful business often takes more software than just your eCommerce platform, especially if you sell across multiple sales channels. Larger companies work with ERP, POS, order management, and inventory management systems. These systems add more functionality and robust capabilities.
To automate your business processes between all these systems, you need integration. Your systems need to be able to talk to each other and pass data back and forth.
Unfortunately, not all eCommerce platforms handle multichannel integration the same. The architecture of your eCommerce platform can dictate the speed, reliability, functionality and cost of your integration to other systems. It’s not uncommon to replatform your eCommerce store in preparation for integration.
If you want to see what eCommerce platforms are better built for multichannel integration, check out our Multichannel Implementer’s Guide. It helps you determine the best platform for your business based on important multichannel selling functionality.
Scalability and Growth
Overall, eCommerce sales are continually rising worldwide. And so are your sales. Rapidly growing companies often simply outgrow their platforms.
While your current platform got you started, it isn’t going to take your business to the next level. As you grow to tens of thousands of SKUs, thousands of transactions a month, and hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, your platform must scale with you.
If you’re growing rapidly, it could be time to upgrade to a platform that better handles your volume.
A constant worry of eCommerce sellers is keeping their customer data secure. Site hacks and compromised customer information happens too often now. It’s frustrates your customers and initiates a lack of trust. If it’s already happened to you, you don’t want to let it happen again.
There are best practices when it comes to data security. It comes down to where your data is hosted, how it’s encrypted, and who’s responsible for it. Some eCommerce platforms host data in their own environment, while some merchants host data on their own servers.
Even the big guys get hacked, but you want to provide your customers with the best security you can. This is an important reason to switch eCommerce platforms.
How easy is your platform to use? Another good reason to switch platforms is for the sake of its usability. You spend hours within your eCommerce platform making changes, updating information, and processing orders. Some platforms have a bigger learning curve than others. It’s okay to admit that the software itself is just too hard to use on daily basis.
Suffering Customer Experience
All of these problems together can affect your customer experience. Buggy, slow sites due to maintenance or software issues turn off potential buyers. Lack of features lead to cumbersome checkout pages and order processing. You spend so much time on maintaining your software, you can’t even focus on your customer experience.
Today’s shoppers spend their money with sellers who consistently delight them. Your current platform’s issues could prevent you from doing that. At the end of the day, your customers come first. Every decision you make should be about them.
Don’t let your eCommerce platform stop you from providing the customer experience you want.
What to Do Next: Choosing a New Platform and Migrating
Realizing that it’s time for an upgrade is just the first step in migrating your webstore. Next, you have to choose which platform to migrate to. See our article on making the switch between Magento and Shopify Plus. These are two popular platforms that merchants often move back and forth from, but it’s all about what’s right for your business!
It doesn’t matter which platforms you’re migrating from and to, the actual hard part is moving your data between those systems. Migration can seem like a really daunting task. That’s why we put together a guide on everything that you need to know about eCommerce migration. See our top tips on how to migrate your eCommerce data between systems and how to overcome and avoid your fears about migration.