Platform migration myth-busting: 4 things the C-level gets wrong
Technical and business knowledge work hand-in-hand when talking about digital transformation. The recent COVID-19 crisis and the consequences that led up to new consumer habits have proved that the marriage between business and tech needs to be successful.
That is why it’s so important to ensure that not only IT executives are involved in digital commerce decisions, but also C-level stakeholders from different areas of the company.
One of the biggest digital projects that showcases the importance of this partnership is when ecommerce companies are faced with the challenge of building a platform migration strategy. It is a complex and detail-oriented process that needs to be well planned in order for it to work seamlessly across all areas in the long term.
In this article we will cover four common mistakes from the C-levels when making decisions in a replatforming project.
1. “It’s too expensive, do we really need it?”
There are a lot of financial and strategic decisions directly related to replatforming due to resource allocation. It’s key to calculate the impact and the return on investment (ROI) not only on the IT and ecommerce fronts, but also for teams such as legal and marketing.
These teams, for example, can be impacted by new data privacy rules and campaign management changes and will have to generally develop new strategies depending on how the migration will go. Asking the team for a complete dashboard, roadmap and SWOT chart with information comparing the old platform to the proposed new one is the first step in that regard.
As obvious as it may sound, calculating the total cost of opportunity and acquiring long-term financial projections is also fundamental. Make sure to ask the right questions and research the industry beforehand, as well as predictions and other digital commerce trends that may add up to your list of priorities.
2. Fear of innovation
Research is not only for approval of budget or special projects, but also for understanding how far a new ecommerce platform can take the business. Consider platform scalability, core features and new technologies and how these affect your goals for revenue growth, higher brand awareness and an overall good end-consumer experience.
For example, C-level and other non-IT professionals may be under the impression that, when building a website, the desktop version must come first. In reality, new consumer habit research has shown that most transactions start on mobile devices, putting the mobile-first experience in the spotlight.
Don’t be scared to try and experiment with moderation through time. Enjoy removing any kind of friction on the current website structure using innovative and state-of-the-art technologies.
VTEX Tip: Ask yourself: “Will this platform be able to help me reach the places I envision for the future?”.
3. Disregarding talent and available tools
There is no carrying out a replatforming project without talent and the right tools necessary to keep the old website going without losing on ecommerce performance and organic search results. The last thing digital business owners need is to lose sales because of overworked teams and not enough resources.
Consider how dependent the team will be on the new platform implementation, how much training employees will have to go through and every possible touchpoint that will be affected by the process. Aligned with team goals and milestones, this approach can bring a clearer vision of the future for everyone.
Trust the team, rely on them for feedback and promote transparent conversations. This will be really helpful for understanding what is possible and what isn’t at several moments.
4. Having unprepared teams
In an environment where everyone needs to collaborate, alignment should be the keyword. A migration plan requires bigger goals for the entire business operation from hiring teams, partner agencies, digital marketing campaigns, product pages development and migration… The successes of each one of these aim to assure excellent performance and sales KPIs, during and after replatforming.
When migrating important data and catalog information, IT teams need to have straight communication with paid marketing campaign staff in order to inform what new pages are going live and what links to remove or add to any ongoing campaigns in different platforms.
No customer will be happy with incorrect links to product pages and that may increase bounce rate, downgrading the website on sites like Google. Always be prepared for issues such as this one to arise. By connecting goals, making teams work closely and sharing constant knowledge are good motivation strategies.
Migration is the way
As complicated as it is, every ecommerce website will go through replatforming or migration at one point. Whether it’s migrating data or moving to the cloud, replatforming is important for companies that aim for constant digital transformation and important details such as data security.
That is why we have an entire series about the topic with the goal of helping out during this complex process — don’t forget to immerse yourself.