Searching For Digital Commerce Solutions: The Replatforming Imperative
An estimated $3 billion was spent on commerce servers in 2015, according to Forrester Research, making the redefinition of the customer experience through the use of digital commerce software one of the biggest investments e-retailers are making.
If you’re one of the 50 percent of e-retailers planning to replatform in the next two years, this post will provide you with up-to-date information about the realities of replatforming in 2016. With new vendors popping up all the time, it is essential to ask the right questions before making your investment.
Digital Commerce Priorities:
What e-retailers are saying
According to the 2016 Guide to E-Commerce Platform Selection, e-retailer priorities are:
- Mobile functionality (see our post on Mobile Responsiveness)
- Easy integration with existing software
- Vendor reliability
Finding the right vendor
The main concern, however, is finding the right vendor. Before making that choice, you have to take a good look at what you’re working with and what you need. It’s also a good idea to have a budget in mind- the latest research from Internet Retailer suggests that over a third of companies don’t know what it will cost to replatform.
In-house or SaaS?
Some digital commerce companies have the ability to develop, implement and maintain software in-house; in this case, count on a huge investment of funds but complete flexibility.
Another option is to go with a ready-made solution, like those provided by software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors. In this model, retailers pay a flat rate or a percentage of sales to the vendor. The benefit of a revenue-sharing model is that it can encourage vendors to update the system- this means more profit potential for both retailer and vendor.
Still, companies anticipating rapid growth can be turned off by the revenue-sharing model. If they don’t have the funds to invest in-house, they can opt for flat-fee SaaS vendors, which gives them both flexibility and unlimited growth potential.
VTEX, our true cloud-based digital commerce solution, has a pricing model that reduces costs according to customer growth, giving you the best of both worlds.
Keep maintenance in mind
No matter what your vendor choice is, Forrester Research advises companies to set aside 20% of the initial purchase price of the e-commerce software for annual maintenance fees.
The Internet Retailer Executive Report on e-commerce platforms is the ideal resource for businesses looking to replatform in 2016/17. Use the knowledge and experience of top digital commerce retailers to your advantage.