5 Things to Think about When Replatforming Your Ecommerce System Pt. 1

Replatforming Your Ecommerce System

Don’t let the cute video disarm you!

Almost every organization, at some point in time, will have  to move off their current ecommerce solution to a new one. There can be a multitude of reasons why this occurs; from a vendor sunsetting a product, to functional gaps, to even outgrowing the performance metrics of the current system. 

Regardless of the underlying reasons, here are 5 considerations you can, and should, take to heart. This will help you, and your organization, transition to a solution that is best for your immediate and future needs.

1. Why?

As improbable as it may sound, understanding the ‘why’ of transitioning from one ecommerce solution to another, does not always get the proper attention it deserves. I have found that, in far too many cases, there is a “straw that broke the camel’s back”, driving the impetus for change.

While it may be true that some event can draw the attention of senior decision makers to approve the effort,  there is never, ever, one underlying shortcoming that drives this change. 

Take the following story for example:

Rebecca, the ecommerce director for a fashion retailer, has seasonal peaks and special sales, which constantly impeded the functionality of her online store. Shoppers would experience page load issues and not be able to access the storefront, inability to navigate the storefront efficiently, and even timeouts that prevented her customers from placing orders. 

She had her team add additional system resources, optimize images and layouts where possible, and a plethora of similar actions to mitigate these issues, but alas, to no avail.

At first glance, the defect here could just be the platform performance metrics. However, while the system execution may have suffered during these periods, there are most likely other issues that should be addressed as well:

  • Does the CSR (Customer Service Rep) team have any problems?
  • Does the marketing team have all the promotional tools they need for an effective campaign strategy? 
  • Are the  OOB (out of the box) reports useful, or do they require considerable massaging in order to be consumed? 
  • How well does the platform perform downstream, with your logistics team, and other integrated systems and services? 
  • Ask your ecom management team do they have challenges that affects their abilities to be effective that also needs addressing? 

In order to know the ‘Why’, it is extremely important to conduct the proper discovery sessions with ALL stakeholders and get buy-in on priorities prior to doing anything else! Personally, I strongly encourage an Agile approach, but as long as you focus on the user stories of your stakeholders, that will provide a far more useful picture then just gathering a detailed list of requirements. More on that next.

Part 2. Requirements and Needs

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