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6 Strategies for a Successful eCommerce Replatforming

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What is an eCommerce Platform?

An eCommerce platform is software that helps online store owners manage their businesses. While eCommerce platforms come in at least four different flavors, many businesses opt for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that allows online sellers to manage orders and inventory, accounting, merchandising, marketing, financials, and customer service within a single managed system. SaaS eCommerce platforms fill the role formerly served by on-premise eCommerce software, which often requires extensive setup and management efforts. In the SaaS model, the provider handles all software management and upgrades, and some offer ongoing technical support and advice as well, making SaaS a time-saving choice for businesses that want to avoid the IT headache of managing software and servers on-premise.

Why Choose to Switch Platforms?

Choosing an initial e-Commerce platform can be a challenge, because businesses can’t always anticipate what features they will need or how much (and how quickly) they will grow. While it’s always best to start out with a platform that’s a great fit and can grow with your company, many e-Commerce businesses find themselves in need of a new platform at some point.

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Managing More SKUs

When your inventory is growing to include many more SKUs, you may outgrow the capability of your current platform to handle them all. Certain industries, such as automotive, will tend to hit that ceiling sooner because they need to stock so many parts and denote their variations with new SKUs.

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Struggling to Reach Goals

Many e-Commerce companies struggle to hit goals in marketing, finance, and customer retention with their current platform—if it lacks needed features or is difficult for your teams to use collaboratively, for example.

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Growing Costs

Some businesses discover there’s a formidable jump in monthly costs to upgrade from basic to premium features in their current platform—and even at the higher level of service, they might not have access to the customer service they need.

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Lack of Customizations

Some platforms don’t allow for many customizations, keeping businesses from molding the platform to suit their processes—and forcing them to shoehorn their workflows into an external model.

There’s truly a number of other risks related to platform migration

Losing traffic, SEO positioning, sales, and other issues are among them. Our team will make sure that you are completely protected from anything of the kind.

What to Ask When Selecting a New Vendor

When considering a new platform, it’s worth spending significant time asking questions, requesting product tours, and talking with other customers who use the service. If the platform can’t provide other customers for you to talk to, that’s a red flag. Here are a few essential questions to ask any potential vendor:

Is it scalable?

Every business hopes to grow, but goals may differ and some platforms that can support massive inventories and SKU numbers also require more internal oversight and management—so make sure you find a platform that can support your current and future needs.

Is the platform customizable?

Be sure to ask about specific features and functions and how they can be adapted to your existing business processes.

Will you have access to ongoing support?

Some platforms claim to offer ongoing support, but make it difficult to reach an actual human. Look for a platform that links you to real people to help with technical support and advice, particularly as you’re importing all your data.

Does it have the integration capabilities you need?

Beware of easy answers and “headless” eCommerce platforms, which promise to link disparate systems effortlessly. In the real world, integrations always involve some time and work investment—but they are simpler in some platforms than in others. Take time to find out what’s involved and how long the process typically takes. (One of the best ways to do this is to ask the platform’s other customers about their experiences.)

Jeff Cohen
Jeff Cohen Principal Evangelist of Advertising API at Amazon

Jeff Cohen has over 15 years of eCommerce experience. Currently, Jeff is Principal Evangelist of Advertising API at Amazon and a regular keynote speaker at major conferences. As an International speaker, Jeff is regarded as an industry expert who is constantly asked to share actionable intelligence on how to sell and be successful on Amazon and beyond.

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