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How To: Ecommerce Replatforming

In simple terms, ecommerce replatforming refers to switching the platform on which your online business is based or functions. For many businesses, the switch to ecommerce will have taken place either gradually as the potential for online business became apparent, or suddenly in response to a situation such as a Covid-19 lockdown. In both cases it is likely that the platforms being used for the business are less than ideal, with gaps in functionality or customer experience that can impact directly on the performance of the business. 

If you feel that your ecommerce business is operating at less than maximum effectiveness – perhaps because the business has grown too large to work well using the online choices you originally made – then it may be time to think about ecommerce replatforming.  

What is ecommerce replatforming?

While the principle of ecommerce replatforming is fairly simple, the practical reality is a little bit more complex. The first choice any business has to make when replatforming is whether to shift to a third-party platform or build their own ecommerce solution in-house. For the majority of businesses, particularly sole traders, the option of building an ecommerce site from scratch will be too costly and time-consuming. 

The process as a whole consists of four basic stages:

  • Compare the platforms you’re thinking of using

  • Install the system that offers the best platform for your particular business

  • Transfer your data to the new system

  • Set up the new ecommerce site

When would ecommerce replatforming be the right choice?

There are several signs that it’s time to think about ecommerce replatforming. The most obvious focus is likely to be on poor customer experience, and you may already be getting feedback from them about how your ecommerce platform isn’t operating as smoothly as possible. In the world of online trade a poorly functioning ecommerce site – one that is difficult to navigate, takes too long to load and looks unattractive – can make all the difference between success and failure. 

You might also choose to replatform if you find that your costs are driven too high by having to pay for features on your existing ecommerce platform that you simply never use.    

An ecommerce replatforming checklist 

Before setting out on the process of ecommerce replatforming you need to be aware that it is a major project that will transform the design, performance and functionality of all aspects of your ecommerce site. You need to be certain that the benefits will outweigh any disruption the process might cause. You can also minimise any possible disruption by breaking the process down into more easily managed steps: 

  • Gather data from your team to identify the issues with your current platform and the ways in which you’d like the new platform to deal with them. 

  • Calculate the total costs of any ecommerce replatforming and compare these to the possible benefits to ensure that the decision is being made at the right time and for the right reasons. 

  • Request a demo from the platforms that are best suited to your requirements.

  • Analyse the results of the various demos before selecting the ecommerce platform that delivers the features and improvements you’re looking for at the best price. 

  • Back up your existing ecommerce data before designing the new ecommerce site.

  • Migrate the data through a third-party data migration service that has experience of working with the ecommerce platform you’ve chosen.

  • Connect a checkout platform to the ecommerce platform and run extensive tests on functionality, ease of use and the SEO functionality of the new site. 

  • Launch your new ecommerce platform

We Can Help

If you’re interested in finding out more about ecommerce replatforming, or any other aspect of your business finances, then get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

GoCardless is used by over 60,000 businesses around the world. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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