Is your eCommerce platform future proof?

19-08-2019 Suzanne Jense

You have had an eCommerce platform for a number of years and so far it has been satisfying. So far so good. But you want to grow, expand the range, internationalize and optimize the shopping experience to the wishes of your customer. Is your eCommerce platform actually ready for this?

Nothing is more annoying than following the facts and certainly when it comes to selling your product. If you respond too late to the growth ambitions of your organization with your e-commerce platform, you will immediately see this reflected in the sales figures. That is why it is good to think ahead a few years. Where does your organization want to be in 5 years? What do you want to radiate? We explain a number of considerations to determine whether it is time for replatforming:

Shopping experience

Time does not stand still and neither do the wishes and needs of your customer. This actually means that you cannot stand still either, because you miss out on opportunities. To keep a good connection with your customer, it is advisable to periodically ask how they experience the webshop and also ask what your customer needs.

The shopping experience is very important for both B2C and B2B. Customers want to be inspired by blogs and videos, see relevant products for them and make comparisons based on product information. In addition, they want to view the stock, delivery time and shipping costs before they decide to order the product. If this information is missing, the choice to go to a competitor is made in no time.

International ambitions

If your organization has international ambitions, it is important to investigate whether your current eCommerce platform has the option for this. You need multiple shops for internationalization. Do you want these to have different domain names or do you want to work from one main domain with multiple language variants? The last option has the advantage that you need to build SEO authority for only one domain authority and any future expansion with an extra shop benefits from this.

With international web shops you also have to take into account multiple currencies and VAT rates. Does your eCommerce platform offer this functionality or does this have to be added as customization? If it is customized, it is advisable to inquire about the consequences this will have for future updates to your eCommerce platform. Consider the costs involved in the update, but also the lead time for implementing an update of the platform.

Expansion of brands

You currently have one webshop in two languages, but there may be plans to put a new brand on the market with the same or part of the existing range. Would this mean within your current platform that you have to manage two separate shops or can you log in from one environment and indicate per product in which shops it should be offered? What if eight more brands were added in the next 5 years. Can it still be managed from (the design of) your current platform?

The outcome of the above question has an impact on the efficiency of the internal work process and therefore the costs of managing the shops. Do not forget the error sensitivity factor and the consequences of this on costs and shopping experience.

Integrations with existing systems

You probably manage your customer data in a CRM platform and order data in one ERP-system. Product information may already be managed in a PIM system, but we often also see our own customized solutions or Excel files. The management often costs a lot of time and therefore money and you miss out on sales opportunities.

For an efficient working method it is very valuable if these systems are linked to your eCommerce platform. That way you can display extensive product information, the delivery time and stock of a product in your webshop. You can also easily add up- & cross-selling on a product page by showing which products fit this product or what other customers bought.

Ambitions eCommerce supplier and platform

In addition to your own growth ambitions, it is important to monitor those of your supplier and e-commerce platform. Do your ambitions still match and are you the right partners for each other in the next 5 years? Does the development of the platform go fast enough for the development of your organization and how much influence does the supplier have on the development of the platform?

It has been announced about Magento 1 that the end-of-life is officially coming. Since the release of Magento 2 in 2015, there have been no more updates for Magento 1. From June 1, 2020, no more security updates will be implemented. This means that you have to make a switch well before that time to guarantee the continuity of your webshop. Taking into account the duration of a replatforming project, you have work to do if you have not yet taken steps.

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