Upgrading your eCommerce platform is a lot like picking your first eCommerce platform, but with one major difference. When you are brand new to eCommerce you can only assume what you want vs. what you don’t need. Much like a first time home buyer, you don’t know what you don’t know. For those that have been selling online for a while, you know what it is like to use the platform you are already on so you have a good baseline to determine what features you like, what you don’t like and what features you want to have in the next platform.
What to consider when upgrading your eCommerce Platform
What a lot of businesses fail to do is consider all aspects of an eCommerce platform when they choose to switch. Most people just go for the popular eCommerce platform that they’ve heard about. Others just trust the first web firm they talk to, not realizing that they are probably being sold a platform which that firm is comfortable developing in. What companies need to do is take a step back and identify their short term and long term eCommerce goals are. By mapping this out, you can then figure out what platforms will work and which ones won’t meet your business needs. That way you can pick the web firm that is putting your best interest in mind and not their own.
PRO TIP: If you are getting a quote from a web firm and they start pitching a specific platform before asking you questions about your products, inventory size, product types, required features and long term goals; move on to the next firm.
There are too many questions and too many scenarios to simply create a matrix which will tell you which platform you should use. This is why I spend a lot of time helping clients to pick the best platform for their new eCommerce needs. My goal is not to sell you a platform, but rather to work with you and educate you so you realize which platform is best for you and your business.
Consider your overall eCommerce ecosystem
One thing to keep in mind when you are upgrading your eCommerce platform is if you are at the point where you are thinking about upgrading platforms, you are also probably at the point where you are using various systems to run your business (CMS, CRM, IMS, POS, etc.) or you are using an ERP system. Make sure you take your entire eCommerce ecosystem into consideration and not just the eCommerce platform itself. Picking the right platform not only impacts how your website functions, it also impacts how the rest of your eCommerce ecosystem functions as a whole.
Need help figuring out what eCommerce platform you should use?
I’ve developed a 22 question assessment that can help you figure out which eCommerce platform(s) meet your business needs.