Are your eCommerce sales in a slump? Are slow page loads and inadequate content frustrating you and your customers? These are just a few signs that it’s time for eCommerce replatforming. Some signs that a replatforming is in order are obvious. But others are subtle. Are you getting mixed signals? Maybe you need a new design, and your platform is fine. But maybe your platform is so antiquated no design change will help it. Here are 5 signs you need eCommerce replatforming.
Failing in the Customer Experience Department
Do you have a great strategy for improving your customer experience, but your current eCommerce platform isn’t up to the task?
Don’t rethink the strategy. Customer experience is the name of the game in B2B eCommerce these days. Instead, rethink your platform.
For example, if your customers want the ability to easily customize products, then make sure your platform allows matrix order forms and a large number of customizations. Consider this, if you are a manufacturer of medical apparel, just one line of scrubs that comes in 6 sizes, 10 colors/prints, and 5 different fabrics mean you need 300 variants for the product. Does your existing eCommerce platform handle this many variants?
Or, what if you manufacture heavy equipment and customers want access to troubleshooting videos, maintenance guides, and user manuals? If your platform doesn’t include a content management system that supports a wide variety of content, you need to replatform.
Are you providing live on-line chat or chatbots for support? That is the type of content you need because that’s a feature customers expect you to have.
If you are lucky, your customers will tell you they think your website stinks. That means they care enough about the relationship to speak up. Unfortunately, most will just do their product research and shopping elsewhere.
Today’s customers want a self-serve model. Make sure your website is delivering. Let customers electronically place a request for quotation and even convert the quote to a sale digitally. If your website doesn’t give customers a personalized catalog and price list, access to order history and invoice copies, the ability to track shipments, and the power to customize their own account with user-defined roles and permissions, it’s time to replatform and not just redesign.
Other Customer Signs
Other customer signs that you need to replatform are:
- Increased on-site search
- Calls/emails asking for the same information
- High bounce rates
- A large volume of calls to customer service/sales asking for order status or tracking information
Failing in the Integration Department
Are your website and eCommerce platform lonely? If your platform isn’t integrating with your other business systems, it is definitely time to replatform.
Systems that not integrated are inefficient and frustrate customers and employees alike.
For example, if you can’t integrate with your ERP, WMS, or 3PL how will customers ever know the status of their order?
Do you find that duplicate data entry is just assumed to be a fact of life (or business)? When your eCommerce platform integrates with your other business systems, data should flow. It should not be entered again and again and again.
Speaking of data entry, are you maintaining two separate websites with two different backends for B2B and B2C sales? If so, it is certainly time to replatform. A modern B2B eCommerce platform will provide you the ability to set up multiple front-ends from a single backend. So, enter your pricing data only once. Let the eCommerce platform display the appropriate price depending on the type of customer. And if your platform can’t handle B2B and B2C or B2B2C, it’s definitely time to move to a new platform.
And your eCommerce platform should provide the ability to customize and define digital workflows. If your eCommerce platform requires you to conform your business practices to the software, it’s high time to find new software.
Failing in the Marketing Department
Sometimes it’s not the customers that are doing the complaining, it’s the employees.
Do the marketing people tell you they can’t segment customers and leads as they would like? Is an omnichannel experience impossible?
These are all clear signs that it’s time to replatform to a more robust B2B eCommerce platform.
Technology changes fast, and an effective marketing department needs access to the most up-to-date technology to stay competitive. And speaking of technology, the eCommerce platform you used to create your existing website 5 years ago probably can’t support the modern website design customers expect today. If marketing is demanding a new website design, do you have the technology to pull it off?
Does your existing solution provide the reports marketing needs to A/B test and launch effective campaigns? Do you have integrated access to Google Studio reports on your eCommerce dashboard?
If the answer is no, you need to replatform!
Marketing needs to know how their efforts are stacking up against the competition and how quickly your website is loading. These reports and many other marketing tools are available through Google Studio reports and they should reside as an extension on your eCommerce dashboard. If they don’t, replatform with a solution that gives marketing real, actionable data.
Failing in the Cost-Effectiveness Department
Let’s face it, older technology just costs more to maintain. If what may seem like a minor update has a cascading effect through widgets, plugins, and add-ons you cobble together to create the appearance of a functional system it’s time to replatform.
There may be increased costs for support as well. And, as the technology grows older, keeping the architecture cohesive gets more costly too. Security is harder and costlier too.
When the costs are going up and the returns are going down, it’s time to look at replatforming.
Another clear sign to replatform is rising costs and fees. Some vendors continue to raise prices for legacy systems that everyone knows are outdated. They prey on your fear of replatforming.
If you are paying like new prices for old technology, it’s time to break free and replatform to a solution that provides modern features and functionality at the appropriate price.
Finally, Listen to IT
Unfortunately, too many times the IT folks are ignored. Whether earned or not, often these tech experts are accused of always chasing the next shiny thing. But when it comes to technology, these are your in-house experts.
If they tell you it’s time to replatform, it’s probably past time to replatform. Your IT people know the advantages and disadvantages of your existing platform. And they probably fear moving to a new platform more than any other department in the company.
So, if IT tells you for maintenance, security, integration, or other reasons that replatforming is a good idea, trust them. Replatforming is a good idea.