In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, those that are slow to adapt and innovate won’t just fall behind, they’ll struggle to survive. Global ecommerce sales have grown year-on-year, and the impact of COVID-19 has radically accelerated this trend. With new competitors frequently emerging, brands must replatform to avoid such risk.
The rapid evolution of technology has seen customer expectations of platforms grow at the same rate, or perhaps even faster. Retailers cannot afford to ignore this alarm bell – and recent indicators suggest they are not. According to the 2020 ecommerce Leaders Survey by eComm Insights, digital brands are taking significant measures to make their platforms more engaging and profitable, with 51% of those surveyed investing in improving site performance, and 42% investing in replatforming core technologies.
How can replatforming create value for my business?
At first, replatforming might seem like a daunting initiative. Be under no illusions, it can be a substantial and expensive undertaking. However, when planned and executed correctly, it provides value beyond measure. Its objective is to address pain points unique to your business, such as slow and pedestrian User Experiences. However, more often than not you will find that decisions are driven by industry and market developments.
For example, you might decide to replatform to ensure your service offering equals or exceeds your competition, or to promote personalised products or services using customer data and smart insights. By adopting an agile framework, you can lay the groundwork for a flexible service offering, allowing your business to easily pivot your platform when faced with future market disruptions or changing customer tastes.
Your replatforming strategy checklist
Adopting a replatforming strategy is a start, but adoption alone does not guarantee value. Your strategy needs to be carefully crafted, with goals agreed and defined from the outset. These objectives will inform decisions and milestones throughout the process. As such, an effective replatforming strategy typically consists of three key stages:
- Structuring a project team
- Determining platform architecture and ecommerce solutions
- Migrating to new systems
Your replatforming strategy impacts your entire organisation, both in the short and long term. This means it requires a coordinated approach and input from a number of stakeholders and various departments. A strict team structure, with roles and responsibilities directly assigned to certain stakeholders, is the most important consideration when selecting your replatforming team.
Decisions regarding the architecture and type of ecommerce platform adopted necessitate just as much consideration. Types of architecture range from microservices, a collection of individual services linked via APIs, to all-in-one packages containing all systems and functionalities used by a business. When it comes to selecting your ecommerce solution the most suitable frameworks depend on your project’s goals, as well as your business’ unique proposition and preferred market approach.
The final stage is migration from old systems to new solutions. You should aim to make migration a straightforward process and minimise any disruption on day-to-day business operations. The latter is particularly important to maintain momentum for your replatforming project.
How to establish an optimised and effective replatforming strategy
Replatforming is an essential requirement for retailers operating in an industry characterised by innovation and advancement. Devising an effective replatforming strategy enables your business to perform better and react to industry changes faster.
The principles of a replatforming strategy are relatively simple, but your decision-making process should be unique to your business, with the detail and structure of this initial phase determining your success. Our headless ecommerce professional development programme provides you and your business with the necessary guidance to devise a bespoke and optimised replatforming strategy.
Find out all this, and more, in module 2 – available from 27 May 2020.