Strategy

Ecommerce replatforming: Overcoming resistance to change

Lalo Aguilar
Lalo Aguilar January 14, 2022
Ecommerce replatforming: Overcoming resistance to change

Companies, like people, can sometimes be reluctant to change. The proposition of oncoming uncertainty can be pretty unnerving for companies when their bottom line is at stake. Change, nonetheless, is sometimes inescapable, and companies should arm themselves with the information they need to make these changes at the optimal moment.

Some of this information might seem evident, but certain aspects might not be so clear for brands and retailers that haven’t undergone an ecommerce replatforming process in a long time. This is easily solvable by contacting an evaluator that can show a company that it’s not all bad news.

Here are three main points that businesses might be surprised to find out when exploring an ecommerce replatforming project — and that you can leverage to overcome resistance to change.

“Replatforming is a way to future-proof your business”

The main reason for replatforming should be the possibility of what you can get out of the technology solution if you decide to switch providers. The main obstacle for most online retailers is the length of the platform migration, which is usually time-consuming, but this can be shortened if every aspect is analyzed and set up in advance. 

“When there’s a new project we have the hand-off from Sales to a new partner and our Professional Services team installs the apps that we think you’re gonna need. Branding-wise, we try to make it as close as to what the customer has, and then we show the way that it would work on VTEX so that the client can decide what it wants to do regarding the features that need to be incorporated.” 

Michael von Bodungen, Chief Customer Officer at VTEX

Von Bodungen highlights that this fit-gap approach is better than a blue-sky one because, in the long run, it usually brings down the total cost of ownership, while still allowing you to take advantage of more features down the road. This is possible because the apps that VTEX offers are maintained by the team, so they often get upgraded without the need to involve the client’s tech team, saving time and money.

Keeping the project simple can also make it easier to undergo future ecommerce replatforming efforts, since the internal team would have to devote less time to migration preparation, such as cataloging assets, setting up filters and SEO.

“Customers are not engaged enough in the process, and they’re usually throwing it over the fence to the system integrator (SI) or the solution architect who don’t understand their business at the level that they do. Customers get too tied up to having a go-live by a certain date, and when they do it they have a huge project in front of them because they didn’t do the work to get it right.”

Gwen Bennett, US Customer Success Leader at VTEX

“There’s an opportunity to save costs!”

Once the company understands that there are benefits to working within a framework, it can work with timeframes and budgets that are closer to reality. The next step is to identify the cost of staying on the current ecommerce platform or other existing systems. 

“Over time, platforms get customized to the point that the change is almost like you have to do a replatform to keep up. This crossroad is what I think should trigger customers to go out and find out how much has changed since their last replatform.”

Gwen Bennett, US Customer Success Leader at VTEX

Benett thinks online stores tend to choose between being trendsetters or fast followers. This change might affect the speed with which they look for a replatform, but it doesn’t change the fact that all of them will need one eventually, especially when “the next big thing” happens, whether that is Live Shopping or different payment methods

“If somebody comes to your ecommerce site to check a product and then bounces back to Google to do a search and buy somewhere else, that means you didn’t really do your job. You need to keep making that funnel be as fast and frictionless as possible.” 

Gwen Bennett, US Customer Success Leader at VTEX

“Have you seen the data?”

When it comes to ecommerce — and most businesses, for that matter — numbers are king. In order to have a compelling argument for a company to make a drastic change, it is vital to have the data that reflects just how profound of an impact a replatforming process would have on profitability. 

Migrating to an all-in-one solution that’s also composable can help reduce maintenance costs, while also easily adding new elements to the customer experience and user experience. This, itself, can also help keep customers happy and prevent unexpected rises in bounce rates or plunges in conversion rates. 

The sooner C-levels understand the benefits of an ecommerce website undergoing replatforming — or the risks of staying put — the faster companies around the world will flock to evaluate their own ecommerce strategies. The choice is theirs: adapt and overcome or snooze and lose.

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