Have you outgrown your ecommerce platform? As your online store scales, replatforming can expand your site’s capabilities, fuel business growth, and accelerate sales goals.
Here’s what to expect before, during, and after an ecommerce replatform, and what you can do to streamline the process.
Before Ecommerce Replatforming
Preparation is key to a smooth replatforming experience.
Gather Stakeholder Feedback
The first step in a successful replatform is to gather feedback from the relevant stakeholders. What are the challenges and barriers of the current platform? Is there any new functionality needed to facilitate growth? What are the desired outcomes and objectives of replatforming? Document your needs and goals to inform project decisions and priorities later on.
Your choice of ecommerce platform has the power to make or break your customer experience. Do your research, read reviews, and seek out recommendations from fellow retailers. Once you have a shortlist of preferred solutions, prepare a list of questions and schedule some demos. Make sure to record and compare details on pricing, functionality, and levels of support to share with project decision-makers. Due diligence at this stage will serve you well when the replatform is all over.
Prepare Your Data
Clear, well-structured data is arguably the most important factor in a smooth replatform. Allocate time to clean up your product data, naming conventions, and attributes for a fresh start on your new system. For more complex data migrations, a third party specialist may be beneficial to lend expertise. Schedule an audit of your site content, too. Do you have duplicate pages? Broken links? Outdated content? Leave these problem pages behind when you replatform.
Determine Your Timeline
Is there ever a “good time” to replatform? A certain amount of business disruption is to be expected, so plan your project timeline around key dates and initiatives. Avoid replatforming during – or just before – peak sales periods like Black Friday. Aim for your quietest time of year to alleviate pressure and allow for any glitches or bugs to be ironed out post-launch.
During the Ecommerce Replatform
Ready to get things underway? Here’s what comes next.
Development and Design
In an ideal world, you purchase a new ecommerce platform, migrate your data, and continue with business as usual. In reality, most replatforming projects involve some development and design work before launch. This step maintains the look and feel of your current site and ensures seamless integration with your other systems.
Before your new platform goes live, plan for extensive user testing of both the front and back end. Check for any changes to the buyer journey or user experience, in particular. For best results, enlist new team members to review the staging site with fresh eyes. Communication is key throughout the testing process, so implement a system to centralize feedback and clarify progress.
After Ecommerce Replatforming
Almost there! Here’s what to keep in mind at the end of the replatform process.
Congratulations! Your new ecommerce platform is live. Celebrate by repeating all your testing in a live environment. If possible, make the switch to the new platform outside of core sales hours to minimize the impact on shoppers. Ensure all hands are on deck for the big moment, and make sure your technical teams are available to respond quickly to any problems.
At this stage, your ecommerce team is probably intimately familiar with the new platform. Still, accept the offer of training from your customer success team to get the most from your investment – they should have helpful tips and best practices to share. If any other teams or stakeholders are affected by the migration, make sure to update them, too.
As a final step, review the goals and objectives you set all the way back at the beginning of the project. Have you achieved the desired outcomes? What tangible impacts can you analyze and measure? Are there any learnings to share with project stakeholders? Update your existing KPIs and reporting structures to reflect changes to the site. In particular, keep a close eye on SEO and take action if the replatform impacts search engine visibility.
Successfully Replatform Your Ecommerce Site
A replatforming project can seem overwhelming, but with effective planning and project management, you can avoid the most common pitfalls. To learn more about preparing for an ecommerce replatform, don’t miss our Successfully Replatform Your Ecommerce Site webinar!