Refresh the Right Way: A Total Overhaul or Gradual Upgrade?
A competitive, successful business is one that periodically assesses the effectiveness of its e-commerce platform. Are the tools available for you to meet the demands of your customers? Is the design user friendly? Can you make changes quickly, either to the front-end or in the back office? If not, it may be time to update your e-commerce platform.
However, what if after assessing the effectiveness of your current site you realize that, while updates are needed, a complete overhaul isn’t feasible or appropriate in the short term? Is it better to stick with what you have and hope it lasts, or look for a solution that allows you to gradually update your site and systems? Your course of action will stem from how your site is functioning, and the reasons you want to update.
Reasons to Replatform Now
- Time-consuming to manage. The size and complexity of your site mean even basic design updates or simple inventory actions demand significant staff resources.
- Aging systems. Systems you've relied on to operate your business are no longer meeting the demands of your growing business.
- Back office efficiency. You need to improve the efficiency of your back office to save your staff time and business money.
- Outgrown technical capacity. Your business has grown beyond the technical capacity of your existing platform and you cannot grow further without replatforming. Working with a scalable e-commerce provider will ensure you can and will continue to grow as e-commerce evolves.
- Detailed business objectives. You've spent time and thought outlining current and future business needs, as well as goals you hope to achieve through replatforming. The more detail you have about what features you need in an e-commerce platform, the more successful your replatforming will be.
Reasons to Update Gradually
- Site needs minor improvements. Your site works largely as designed but needs minor performance improvements; your back-office systems meet demands and are used effectively by your customer service team.
- Migration of mission-critical systems. If you're using external programs for mission-critical tasks, it's crucial they're set up correctly, which may require significant time and effort. Taking the time to effectively integrate these systems into your new platform will save frustration down the road.
- Evolving business needs and goals. If your business goals and objectives are evolving, it may be difficult to effectively articulate specific reasons for replatforming. Well-formed business goals are central to a successful redevelopment project.
- Limited resources. Even if replatforming is the better option, you may be restricted by available resources. In this instance, find an e-commerce provider that can work with you to meet your short-term and long-term goals within your resource constraints.
Any time is a good time to consider the effectiveness of your current e-commerce site. Updating your site can improve traffic, increase conversions and average order value, reduce abandoned carts, and generally help your business grow. The right platform will provide you with the tools your business needs to engage your customers, respond to the continued shift towards mobile, and capitalize on the new ways people are shopping online.
Whether your business is ready to commit time and resources to replatform your e-commerce site, or if your situation needs a more gradual approach, take time to consider the benefits a new site may bring you. The right platform can help you meet your current and future needs — and help you grow in ways you may have never considered possible.
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