Webinar Recap: The 10 Key Benefits of Upgrading Your eCommerce Platform

0 min read

Francis Pilon

If you’ve ever upgraded your online store to a new eCommerce platform, you know how challenging it can be. There’s a lot at stake -- your entire business flows through your online store, and getting it wrong can be extremely costly. But getting it right can give you a leg up on competitors and build a foundation to propel your business into its next phase of growth.

That’s why we hosted a webinar with The Jibe on How And Why To Upgrade Your Online Store in 2016. It’s a must watch for any retailers considering a move to a new platform.

We covered everything you need to know upgrading your eCommerce platform, from deciding if replatforming should be your priority, to some of the common pitfalls to look out for, and wrapping it up with what to look for in an eCommerce solution partner and agency partner.

We kicked off the webinar by looking at the top priorities for online retailers in 2016.

I know what you’re thinking. Only 18% of retailers listed replatforming as a priority? Shouldn’t we be talking about Mobile or Omnichannel? A successful replatforming actually addresses every one of these priorities, enabling you to launch an omnichannel strategy, improve SEO, and implement a new responsive design.

I’m going to focus on the benefits that replatforming can have on your business, and the opportunities that upgrading your online store can create.

Provide a mobile optimized experience

With the share of mobile eCommerce transactions being as high as 30%, retailers simply cannot afford to ignore mobile. For the late adopters, moving to a new eCommerce platform is a great way to launch a responsive design and start driving more revenue from mobile shoppers.

Tap into international markets

A move to a new eCommerce platform can pave the way for an international expansion strategy. This doesn’t necessarily mean global expansion; this could be going from selling goods only within Canada to expanding into the US and UK markets. Multi-currency support and limited payment gateway integrations can be hangups when trying expand internationally, both of which moving to a new platform could address.

If you’re on a cloud-based eCommerce platform, you’re solution could be holding you back from expanding. Some platforms have aggressive pricing tiers that make it tough to take your business from $500k to $2 million without exponential increases in your monthly subscription costs.

Offer true omnichannel retailing

Omnichannel is growing rapidly, and it’s not going away. It’s only a matter of time before we stop talking about ‘eCommerce’ and start talking about commerce in general and working towards a fully integrated experience between brick and mortar and the online experience.

Speed up and quantify marketing initiatives

An ideal eCommerce solution should integrate with marketing tools such as email marketing, landing page builders, conversion rate optimization tools, and bring them together under one centralized hub with your CRM. If you’re marketing tools don’t integrate with your eCommerce platform, you could be slowing down marketing processes and missing out on opportunities to convert more prospects to customers.

With so many online shopping choices for retailers, it’s critical to ensure you’re doing everything you can to get found. If your current platform doesn’t have built-in SEO capabilities, it might be time replatform.

Move forward for modern merchandising techniques

With increased competition across every eCommerce vertical, online merchandising is advancing rapidly. Retailers everywhere are pushing each other to create a better shopping experience. This is great for consumers, but if you don’t step your game up, your business could suffer.

Video, personalization, and content are growing trends within eCommerce, and if you’re not using these tools to help push consumers through the buyer’s journey, you’re likely to miss out to your competitors.

Update your design to meet current trends

Long gone are the days where you could have the same website design for 10 years in a row. That cycle is shortening and within even a year or so, many of the best brands will rethink and refresh aspects of their web design and online presence.

An outdated design could turn new visitors off before they even have a chance to start browsing your products.

Increase reliability and speed

It’s every retailer’s worst nightmare to have their site go down on Cyber Monday. It’s the busiest sales day of the year for many eCommerce retailers, yet year after year we hear horror stories of sites going down. Moving to an eCommerce platform with better hosting capabilities can help mitigate this issue.

Even load times can make a significant impact on sales. With so many options out there, customers won’t stick around on your site if your product pages aren’t loading fast enough.

Lower operational and ownership costs and risks

How much does it cost to make changes on your legacy platform? For more complex sites, even pushing simple updates can be extremely risky without the help of a developer.

This is common for retailers using self-hosted open source solutions, and can also affect those using cloud-based platforms if your site was poorly implemented.

Keep up with competitors’ functionality

Brand loyalty only goes so far. If your competitors are delivering a better shopping experience, it’s only a matter of time before your loyal customers become their loyal customers.

Improve business agility and speed

Are you integrating all your business systems into one platform? Working with an eCommerce platform that doesn’t integrate your ERP, warehousing, and marketing systems is extremely inefficient. You might be getting away with it now, but it will catch up to you in the long run.

Watch the full webinar here to learn more about the benefits, opportunities and pitfalls of replatforming.

Jake O'Brien is the Marketing Specialist at LemonStand, the eCommerce platform built for fast-growing brands and the web agencies they work.

Image courtesy of Hybris