How to Evaluate Your Existing Platform against the New Selection.
As mentioned earlier, the migration of an ecommerce store requires thoughtful consideration and strategy. If you’ve analyzed your position and reached the point where migration is the only viable solution, it’s time to take to the next phase of planning.
The first step of the migration would be to revisit the first steps of your store’s launch. Now is the time to analyze your store’s requirements again to choose a perfect platform that fits.
The important part of this phase is that you have to make sure that the demands of everyone related to your business are met. These include the:
Who contemplate a significant increase in the number of click throughs, conversion rates, better store ranking etc.
This is the staff who is responsible for effective merchandising, creating product parameters, search engine optimization, product facets and effectual order management.
These are the ones who have their focus on better store security, compliance with various regulations, enhanced performance etc.
The center of the process who expect easier accessibility to quality products and content, enticing store functionalities and seamless shopping experience.
Ensure that you have a clear list of expectations of each and a clear understanding of them. This way, you’ll be able to analyze your options a lot better.
Once you have the demands all set out, you then move on to lay down a list of features for your platform. Make a list of key features with areas of differentiation from your previous platform. Also include the new ones you would prefer. To start you off, here are a few common functionalities you might want to ponder on:
How do you want your platform to personalize your website content? Would you prefer a third party tool or a built in function in your platform?
Is your existing platform a Hosted Solution or a Software As A Service like Shopify, BigCommerce etc. List down the things you do not like in your existing system as a SAAS or Hosted platform.
What kind of front end would you like your store to have? Based on your history, how often would you make changes to the front end? How often do you expect these to be changed in the near future; considering your growth plans. Evaluate it against your inhouse technical capabilities. If those are low then do you have a cost effective service provider who can provide you with regular maintenance?
Who are your major audience? Would you create a different portal for each? How do you plan to differentiate visitors?
Do you plan to expand your operations? What kind of shipping options would you prefer? Would you like to implement any changes specific to each region?
Do you plan to implement highly customizable features for your website? What kind of customizations would you require?
How do you want each page to look and feel? How do you plan to improve on page SEO? What tools do you want each page to have?
What kind of other systems do you need your platform to integrate with? Order management system, Inventory Management systems, content management systems etc. Do you wish to have it all in-built or prefer using a third party?
What kind of security measures do you want your store to have? Do you plan to include a third party organization to monitor the security of your website?
Based on your past performance, how soon would you have to expand your platform to compensate for growth? Do you plan to expand your operations or product base any time soon?
After you establish a detailed specification list catering to the above, you can look through your options, weigh each of them and find the platform that perfectly fits your needs. There are a plethora of options for ecommerce platforms that are available for you to use. With the help of the analysis above, you’ll be able to narrow down your options to those that will suit your needs more perfectly.
Don’t feel compelled to make a decision right at this stage. There are a lot of other criteria of your existing store that will help you to narrow down your options further. Each of these will be looked into in detail in the coming articles.