The Jibe: 3 Ways to Determine If You Should Replatform

The Jibe: 3 Ways to Determine If You Should Replatform

Tuesday, November 8, 2016Lauren Macdonald Online retailers today face the unique challenge of satisfying the needs of the modern day consumer and keeping up to date with rapidly changing technological advances as the eCommerce market continues to grow. 

In addition, the eCommerce industry is now a trillion dollar market and according to Forrester is projected to grow at a compound yearly growth rate of nearly 10 percent throughout 2018. 

To keep up with new competition, shoppers demands, and business growth initiatives, online retailers must support international markets, technologically savvy customers, and evolving sales and marketing channels; meaning, eCommerce platforms have to perform many different functions.  

However, there is no one-size-fits-all eCommerce solution. All eCommerce platforms come with their own unique set of functions; serving the needs of different retailers. 

A large problem that occurs for online merchants is when they’re set up on the wrong platform. If you’re a small business using an enterprise platform with complicated features, you’re going to find it extremely difficult to navigate. Likewise, if you’re a medium sized business on a small, elementary platform, you’re going to have trouble scaling up. 

While replatforming may sound a bit scary, what’s even scarier is an online store on the wrong platform, which can hold a retailer back from reaching their true potential. Or worse. Their eCommerce store becomes out of date and in turn obsolete. 

Knowing when your eCommerce business needs to go through a platform change can be difficult to pinpoint. However, through research and experience, we at The Jibe have identified when a new eCommerce platform should be considered. Here are our top 3 reasons. 
1. Omnichannel Ability 
Omnichannel means integrating all your digital–and offline–channels seamlessly. No matter what device a shopper is using to access your online store, the experience must be optimized. 

Modern day consumers path-to-purchase has changed immensely in so many ways. Shoppers now go through multiple touch points before buying that include things like: reading a brand’s content, engaging with their social media outlets, and/or downloading an app. And they demand that all such channels are unified. 

Did you know: 

90% of shoppers using their phones in-store  
70% of U.S online shoppers said that they have used buy online, pickup in-store services.
54% of shoppers use their devices to compare prices, while others, 48.4%, search for product information and 42% for reviews 

While an eCommerce platform that provides omnichannel features is important for strictly eCommerce merchants, it’s even more imperative for merchants that have a brick and mortar location.  

These retailers need the ability to bridge the gap between the digital and physical space through  optimized design, cross-channel inventory management, and real-time product consistency. 

However, this can (and should) go beyond that. Retailers should be providing features like “buy online, pickup/return in-store” or vice versa. 

Or if a shopper is browsing an online store and find an item they like, they should be able to look up which stores near them are carrying that product. 

This is the kind of user experience consumers are demanding, as the technology to offer such features already exists and is being used. 

In the long run, the retailers unifying all channels of their business are the ones that will be around for years to come. 
2. Scalability 
If your existing store is still using old and outdated third party systems, chances are it’s severely limiting the potential to scale up your business. Many old legacy eCommerce technologies weren’t built with omnichannel ability, have limited functionality, and aren’t set up with insightful data or analytics. All features that today’s retailers’ eCommerce platform must have. 

In contrast, modern eCommerce platform technologies are built with well-integrated third party systems, as well as built in features that allow for complete customization, flexibility, and testing that allows retailers to personalize their customers shopping experience and make educated business decisions in order to scale up their company. 
3. Old Technology 
The technology powering eCommerce platforms gets more sophisticated every year and while yes, replatforming can be a pit of a pain, the software being produced is helping drive the constantly evolving market. For online retailers, this means they must adapt and adopt to stay up to date and relevant. 

Before replatforming it’s best to look at the market as a whole–how consumers are shopping–as well as your business goals. A modern eCommerce platform could provide new capabilities, integrations, and features that your business needs to reach said goals. 
Takeaway 
At The Jibe, we’re platform agnostic, meaning, we’re not set in our ways. We believe, and know, there is an array of eCommerce platforms that complement business owners of all size. 

We’ve seen many such businesses being held back from growing because the platform simply wasn’t the right fit. As such, we aren’t keen on using any one platform. 

Adaptability is the name of the game in this rapidly evolving technological world we’re privy to. And while replatforming isn’t always a walk in the part, it is absolutely essential for business longevity.  
About The Author
Alicia is the Marketing Strategist at The Jibe - a growth-driven eCommerce agency. While other agencies talk in terms of features and trends, The Jibe focuses on providing real value. 

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