When your business relies on your digital commerce platform, ensuring that the platform provides a seamless experience for customers (as well as the functionality your team needs) becomes a core business goal. In the same vein, a failing digital commerce platform can become a burden too heavy to shoulder. Because your platform is so intertwined with your business, it’s paramount that you don’t let a subpar platform overtake your entire company.
Signs it’s time for an upgrade
But how do you know when you’re due for a platform upgrade? In many cases, a change within your company will prompt this.
For example, imagine you’re preparing to launch new products or brands or expand into new markets.
Will your legacy platform allow you to convert new customers? Maybe in some cases, but likely not at all. Like any endeavor, prompting change requires you to do something new — you’d need to compare your site’s content and operations to your new customers’ buyer personas to ensure they match up, and you’d need a marketing program to reach them (otherwise, that investment is wasted).
Maybe you’re focused on a recent or impending merger or acquisition. You should be looking for ways to consolidate operations, which could include searching for a new, more robust digital commerce platform. The upfront cost of the move will likely be offset relatively quickly by the efficiency boost it provides.
Perhaps you’re just looking to cut maintenance costs. If your current solution has grown unstable due to increases in peak traffic, or a backlog of IT projects has become unmanageable or cost-prohibitive, then your digital commerce platform should be evaluated regarding those financial goals.
Again, an internal change is often — but not always — the reason for a platform upgrade. Maybe you’re simply not seeing the conversions you’re wanting. That’s just as good a reason to update your platform as any of the above scenarios.
Creating a Goals-First digital commerce platform
Once you know it’s time for a change, you need to determine your course of action.
To do so, you must keep your business’s specific goals top of mind. These goals — whether they’re focused on decreasing load time or increasing page visitors — are the lens you’ll use to evaluate your current technology and any new solutions you’re considering.
Study the factors driving business in your space, and match them to your business objectives. Make a list of the challenges and obstacles that would hinder you from accomplishing them. The right digital commerce solution will provide the features, functionality, and tools that allow you to overcome those challenges and enable growth in the future.
While upgrading your digital commerce platform, these goals become your guiding light. Most companies choose to partner with a third-party provider, and if you do, it’s crucial your partner understands your goals (if you feel your partner doesn’t, it’s time to jump ship). The right implementation partner will understand your specific challenges and use them to drive decision-making during the implementation process.
When we worked with Burkes Outlet, for instance, the company had well-defined long-term initiatives. However, its digital commerce platform posed some challenges: low conversion rates, high page-load times, and steadily growing maintenance costs.
Using the company’s business objectives as our point of reference, we set goals to tackle each of these challenges. And with the initial project (the upgrade itself) complete, we continue to provide Burkes Outlet with 24/7 application monitoring so the digital commerce team can focus on long-term initiatives that will ultimately drive growth for the company. It can be difficult for partners to know every in and out of a client’s operations, so this long-term partnership proves valuable.
Live happily ever after with your new digital commerce platform
The benefits of a good digital commerce platform are inevitably worth the cost of redesigning a failing one. A customized solution will specifically address those challenges that stand between you and your business objectives and differentiate you from the competition in your space. Moreover, a customized solution will allow you to better engage customers, encouraging them to spend more time on your site and return to make future purchases.
To achieve these benefits, be clear about the goals of your business, and design your platform around these. When all the right pieces are in place, breaking up with your old platform won’t hurt a bit.
If you’re considering a digital commerce platform change at your organization, Luminos Labs would love to chat. Please contact us for a no cost, no commitment consultation so we can learn more about your organization’s challenges.