A Necessary Step With Expansion
Over time, your e-commerce platform should expand. There are certain thresholds of success you should expect to surpass, and you need to be prepared for them when they come. This is something virtually all businesses contend with at some point. It’s called “scaling out”.
The fundamental importance of “re-platforming” is centered in this business reality. As your organization develops, you might have to select some sort of new tech to act in a facilitation capacity. Many businesses start with a COTS, or a Commercial Off The Shelf, option. This is basically like a third-party portal which is a one-size-fits-all solution.
Developing Your Strategy
You’re going to have vendors, clients, marketing needs, and management requirements that may predicate hands-on solutions that could change at a moment’s notice. This is where re-platforming comes in. Basically, you’re increasing functionality your business can lean on by augmenting the technology it primarily relies on for sales, etc.
However, you might have started off with a humble software solution used in-house and created on-demand by a local web designer. It could be that migrating to a COTS is re-platforming for you. Well, you will likely have to move on to something even more “higher caliber” than that, after a time.
The key is determining what you have now, what is acting in your interests as an e-commerce business, what isn’t working for you, and where to shift things. When you shift is also quite important; ideally, this should be done at periods of low traffic during the year. Guidance is helpful, follow this link for a commerce strategy that works.
Calculating Replatforming Requirements
There are a few other things you want to think about as regards re-platforming. How extensive will the change ultimately be? Maybe you’re migrating from a unique e-commerce option to a COTS, and from there to a more high-powered e-commerce site hosted on servers managed on-site. Maybe you move to the cloud; that’s a popular shift for many.
If you’re at the enterprise level, easy interface solutions are necessary. Smaller enterprises tend to have in-house systems, others go the “end-to-end” approach; follow this link for more details on all three methods.
In a nutshell, you need to define what your present needs are, what is working, what isn’t working, and where trends defining your business will likely launch it in the coming years. It’s sort of like that old game recently reinvented as “Angry Birds” on mobile devices.
With “Angry Birds”, you launched an avian projectile with a slingshot. The bird-shaped projectile made an arc based on the “force” you used for launch; with time you could learn to hit specific targets. With e-commerce re-platforming, data is the level of force behind the “slingshot” of momentum, carefully examining it shows where you can expect numbers to be.
When you have an idea where your business will “land”, you want to prepare the e-commerce “ground” where it lands. You need to know what levels of flexibility must define your online portal, associated staff needs, bandwidth needs, and the like. For best results, you want to know what all your options are and choose carefully.
For most businesses, there is the COTS approach, on-site management of a platform, and having one made that is hosted elsewhere; either by local tech pros or a cloud platform. What works best is going to be different for all businesses; kind of like different sized “birds” have different “abilities” and “trajectories”.
The importance of re-platforming is, in a nutshell, bound up in the precise needs of your business. Some e-commerce platforms sell “swag” or goods that function in a sense like confetti, others sell vehicles, firearms, survival supplies, or legal services.
Know who you are, where you are, what you need, where you’re going, and when to make the shift. With this data, you can effectively triangulate a re-platforming shift to most efficiently serve your business.