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Six signs you need to replatform

Six red flags that signal it's time to bid farewell to your current e-commerce platform.

Mark Konig, Unsplash

Think of your e-commerce platform like your phone. A new phone works brilliantly for a couple of years, but then you have to install the latest software update, and now the phone is glitchy and slow, and your user experience has fallen off a cliff. 

At this point, it still works, but for the best experience, it’s probably time to upgrade.

The same logic works for your e-commerce platform; it will probably still work, but at some point, it just isn’t going to function the same way it used to.

So, how do you know when it’s truly time to review your platform? What are the telltale signs that your platform isn’t performing how it should? And when should you take the plunge and shift to a new e-commerce platform?

Reasons to replatform

Key figures show that by 2026, a quarter of all retail sales will be made online. Businesses need to put their e-commerce platform at the top of their priority list to stay competitive and relevant.

A poor e-commerce platform impacts everything from the initial customer interaction to the final sale, as well as ongoing customer engagement and retention. 

While it could seem like the safe and comfortable option is to stick with your legacy e-commerce system, remaining on an outdated platform can pose risks

and challenges.

Here’s six telltale signs that you should consider replatforming.

1. Your costs are spiralling

The older your platform gets, the more likely it is to break down, leading to unexpected downtime and lost sales. 

Maintenance costs start creeping up, too, as developers are forced to patch up outdated code and workarounds. Older systems often lack the efficiency and automation of modern platforms, requiring manual interventions that eat up your team's time and resources. 

Security vulnerabilities also become a threat, risking costly data breaches and compliance fines. 

And don't forget the opportunity cost – sluggish performance and outdated features can drive customers away, impacting your revenue potential.

Upgrading might feel like an upfront hit, but it can be a strategic move to escape the escalating costs of your outdated platform.

2. Your poor UX is costing you sales

When older systems get less efficient, they slow down the shopping experience and frustrate customers, who will likely head to a more user-friendly site. 

If a customer has difficulties navigating the website, finding products, or completing transactions, it can lead to abandoned carts, decreased conversions, and dissatisfaction. 

Issues like slow page loading, complex checkout processes, or limited search functionality can negatively impact the user experience and harm your sales.

3. You’re struggling to keep it updated

As technology evolves, older e-commerce platforms become outdated and unable to keep up with emerging trends or industry standards. 

You might notice things like lack of support for mobile responsiveness, poor integration capabilities with third-party systems, or outdated security protocols can affect your ability to provide a modern and seamless shopping experience.

In addition, older platforms tend to have intricate coding and dependencies that have piled up over time, making it tough to introduce new features.

And since these platforms aren't modular, like modern counterparts, updating one thing can unexpectedly affect something else, turning it into a tech version of whack-a-mole. 

All these hiccups add up to a longer update timeline, leaving you behind as the competition speeds ahead with modern storefronts.

4. You’re finding it difficult to scale

If your business is experiencing growth or you are planning to expand operations, your current e-commerce platform may lack the scalability needed to handle increased traffic, higher transaction volumes, or additional product offerings. 

If this isn’t addressed before scaling, it can lead to performance issues, slow loading times, and a poor user experience.

5. You can’t customise your platform

If your current e-commerce platform has limited customisation options, it can hinder your ability to create a distinctive online shopfront with unique branding, design preferences, and specific functionality needs. 

As well as this, older platforms have limited flexibility in adding new features or integrating with other business systems, which can hinder growth and innovation.

6. You don’t have marketing & analytics functionality

Your e-commerce platform should support your business with marketing tools and comprehensive analytics capabilities. 

Without these functions, it makes it challenging to bring in effective marketing strategies, track performance, and make important data-driven decisions.

If your platform doesn’t have in-built analytics, it should at least have the flexibility and compatibility required to integrate with the latest third-party apps, payment gateways, and marketing tools. 

If not, it can lead to clunky workarounds, data transfer issues, and functionality gaps. Making an outdated platform communicate with cutting-edge tools can be a frustrating and time-consuming endeavour.

Sounds familiar?

If any of the points you’ve read are sounding alarm bells, it is probably time to think about replatforming.

Today's consumers expect a seamless user experience, personalised recommendations, secure transactions, fast and reliable shipping, and convenient return policies when shopping online. And if your e-commerce platform isn't helping you deliver on those expectations, they will buy elsewhere.

Our e-commerce replatforming audit investigates every aspect of your current setup to highlight strengths, identify weaknesses, and pinpoint opportunities for growth.

Speak to our specialist team to find out how we can help you develop a personalised replatforming strategy that aligns with your business goals and budget.

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