Market StatusE-commerce enterprises are strategically optimizing their operations to enhance profitability while minimizing costs. As the expenses associated with platforms like Shopify continue to rise, many merchants are actively exploring alternative solutions. Moreover, a considerable number of businesses are currently engaged in re-platforming endeavors, driven by persistent issues arising from outdated platforms.
According to Deloitte’s 2022 Retail Industry Outlook survey, an impressive 67% of respondents identified e-commerce platforms as a primary investment priority. Furthermore, Digital Commerce 360’s 2023 report revealed that 27% of e-commerce companies express a desire to transition to different e-commerce platforms. In line with these findings, Statista predicts that the re-platforming trend will generate a market worth $7.4 billion by 2023.
Determining the Right Time to Re-platform:When considering an upgrade to your e-commerce platform, several common factors influence the decision. Enhancing your platform’s capabilities can lead to improved user experiences, increased conversion rates, and easier website management. Firstly, if your current platform lacks support and is limited in functionality, it may be time to make a change. As your e-commerce platform ages, you may experience increased maintenance requirements, performance inconsistencies, and the overall total cost of ownership becoming unsustainable. Outdated technology can impede progress and result in a poor user experience. Additionally, inflexible technology can hinder custom and agile development. A user-friendly digital experience is vital for revenue growth. If your current platform is causing frustration and pain, embarking on a re-platforming project may be the solution. Legacy technologies also bring security risks, data siloes, and other challenges that can be overcome with a fresh start. Strategic changes within your business can also trigger the need for re-platforming. Whether expanding into new markets, undergoing acquisitions, launching new product lines, rebranding, or prioritizing customer experience, these factors may warrant a platform upgrade.
Challenges of Re-platformingOnce the decision to re-platform is made, merchants should prepare for potential challenges that may arise during the process. Time and financial considerations often deter organizations from switching platforms, especially when significant investments have already been made. However, it is crucial to view re-platforming as an opportunity to improve performance and long-term cost-efficiency, outweighing the initial upfront costs. Re-platforming impacts various business processes and involves stakeholders responsible for e-commerce operations. Consequently, some processes may need to be modified or newly implemented, and employees may require retraining to ensure smooth business operations. Integration is a critical aspect of the re-platforming process. Designing a well-structured software architecture becomes essential, particularly when dealing with complex integrations between legacy systems and the newly acquired platform. Ensuring scalability and consistency is crucial to avoid future problems. Data migration poses its own set of challenges. A well-designed strategy is necessary to mitigate risks and prevent issues such as data loss or incompatibility. Seamless transfer of all data to the new platform is paramount to maintaining business continuity and avoiding disruptions. Understanding and anticipating these challenges can help organizations navigate the re-platforming process more effectively and ensure a successful transition to a new e-commerce platform.
Successful case study: Yeti CyclesHaving explored the definition and challenges of re-platforming, let’s examine a real-life example of a business that underwent a successful migration to a new platform. Yeti Cycles serves as an excellent case study, showcasing their partnership with BigCommerce, and ConnectPOS, and the valuable lessons we can learn from their experience.
About Yeti CyclesYeti Cycles is a renowned bicycle manufacturer headquartered in Colorado, USA. With a global presence, their high-end mountain and racing bikes have gained recognition worldwide. Yeti Cycles has expanded its offerings to include bicycle parts and premium apparel, catering to the needs of ambitious racers.
ChallengesYeti Cycles faced a challenge in upgrading its digital infrastructure due to the limited capabilities of its current Magento platform. They also encountered difficulties in maintaining their omnichannel model, particularly with their existing POS system, which was incompatible with the new platform.
SolutionsTo address their challenges, Yeti Cycles thoroughly researched various options, including the option to migrate to BigCommerce platform, Magento 2, Shopify, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. After careful consideration of factors such as price, API capabilities, and guidance from their web consultant, ZaneRay, they selected to migrate to BigCommerce platform. By opting for BigCommerce’s headless commerce solution and its composable architecture, Yeti Cycles combined the design flexibility offered by a robust Content Management System (CMS) with the advanced commerce functionality and stability inherent in the BigCommerce platform. To migrate to the BigCommerce platform smoothly, another significant concern for Yeti Cycles was maintaining their omnichannel model and finding a suitable POS system. Previously, they used Magestore for their online-to-offline (O2O) operations, but it was not compatible with BigCommerce since it was built exclusively for Magento.
AchievementsThe partnership between Yeti Cycles, BigCommerce, and ConnectPOS yielded remarkable results. Comparing performance metrics between two periods—July 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019, and July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020—demonstrates significant growth. They experienced a remarkable 53% increase in users, a 44% increase in sessions, and an impressive 36% increase in page views. Undoubtedly, the BigCommerce platform played a pivotal role in this growth.
Integrating with ConnectPOS led to substantial improvements in transaction efficiency for Yeti Cycles. ConnectPOS seamlessly synced with BigCommerce, enabling faster checkout processes and saving at least one minute per customer.
Tips & actionable insights for carrying outA re-platforming project can be a complex and challenging task, but here are some tips and actionable insights that can help:
- Define your project scope and goals: Before starting the project, it’s essential to clearly understand the project’s scope and the goals you want to achieve. This will help you stay focused and ensure your efforts align with your objectives.
- Assess your current platform: Conduct a thorough assessment to identify its strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. This will help you decide on the new platform you want to adopt.
- Choose the right platform: Take the time to research and evaluate various platforms to find the one that best fits your business needs, budget, and long-term goals. Consider scalability, flexibility, security, and ease of use.
- Plan your migration strategy: Develop a comprehensive plan with a timeline, milestones, and contingency plans for potential issues. Consider hiring an experienced migration team to ensure a smooth transition.
- Test and validate: Once the migration is complete, thoroughly test and validate the new platform to ensure it meets your business requirements and performs as expected. Involve key stakeholders in the testing process to get their feedback and input.
- Train your team: Provide comprehensive training to ensure they can effectively use the new platform and processes. Consider creating training materials, conducting workshops, and providing ongoing support.
- Monitor and optimize: After the migration, monitor the new platform’s performance, track key metrics, and adjust as needed to optimize your operations and achieve your goals.