The National Retail Federation recently predicted that online retail will grow three times higher than the growth rate of the industry as a whole. It is clear that digital sales are a major driver of retail success. With so many digital commerces, you are probably wondering what your business can do to attract consumers to your site and encourage them to spend? It has to be easy and convenient; even better, it has to be intuitive on every device. This "reality check" is forcing many e-commerce leaders to take into account an important conclusion for their companies: replatforming is now essential.

#Why is Replatforming Good for Your Business?

Replatforming saves you money. A good digital commerce platform can lower your operational expenses on call centers and costs of order processing. It is an inexpensive way to provide a better experience to customers, increase self-service, and reduce infrastructure.

When I say “replatforming,” I am not referring to an upgrade on your old platform. Over the years, you've probably modified, upgraded, and patched up your old digital platform. Now it’s cluttered, slow and clunky. Starting from scratch with a fresh, new platform gives your customers a seamless, attractive, and new experience, and you won't have to deal with the hassle of incorporating new capabilities to old technology, which further adds complications.

A replatforming will update your internal process and fuse it with innovative, new ideas and efficiencies. Your current process is tied to your current platform, and it is probably also cumbersome, inefficient, and old-fashioned in a variety of ways. A new platform will give you a chance to rethink and improve your internal process, and the format of the new platform can give you ideas about how to improve efficiency. Efficiency drives sales, and offering this capability enhances your ability to satisfy the customer quickly, which leads to sales.

Technology is always advancing rapidly. If your platform doesn't keep up, you'll be losing market share to businesses that do have the latest features and capabilities. With an aging platform, you'll also find it increasingly difficult to connect with third-party systems and business partners. Modern platforms are often equipped with the plug-ins you need for these capabilities so you won't have to waste time and money developing your website every time you need to integrate with a new system.

After all, the e-commerce market is showing signs of migrating from traditional licensing to the SaaS model. According to Forrester, the investment of virtual stores in SaaS providers will increase from 44% in 2013 to 66% in 2019.

#Avoiding Common Replatforming Risks

There are many benefits to replatforming, but there are also a few risks. Here's what to watch out for:

Lack of Future Vision

Be very clear about what capabilities you want out of your new platform. Think about what’s important in the present, but focus on what’s important for the future. Make sure the platform supplier knows exactly what you need now and in the near future.

A good sign is the analysis of how frequently the platform is being updated. At VTEX, we launch updates daily, with an average of 10 thousand updates per year, which is a clear cut measure on how fast we are moving into the future of handling e-commerce needs.

Hidden Costs

Make sure that you understand what the platform provides in their basic products and what features cost extra. Clear communication is key.

Platforms like VTEX, which is based on cloud commerce and multi-tenant architecture, will eliminate 98% of possible hidden costs. At VTEX, we understand this challenge, and want to talk about how we can increase your digital revenue while lowering your operational expenses to improve your digital value model.

Weak Customer Service

When choosing a platform provider, customer service is key. As you adjust to your new platform, you'll have questions, and you certainly need a responsive and helpful provider who will deliver excellent customer service throughout your use of the platform. Ask and evaluate the communication channels for it.

At VTEX, we service clients in more than 20 countries, and they trust us to support them thoroughly in all of their digital retail needs using a variety of channels, such as online chat, voice, the ticket system, along with an open community.

Existing Customers & Adaptation to New Technology

If you’re considering the pros and cons of replatforming your website, we understand the position you’re in, and we fully understand that you want the best services at the best prices for your customers. If you intend on replatforming, be sure to have a plan in place to help reluctant customers transfer to your new system. Some people grumble at anything new. Yet, despite their complaining, almost no one would want to be using the internet of 10 years ago, with its slow speeds and limited capabilities.

#Replatforming Isn't As Scary as Your Think

If the idea of replatforming scares you, remember that companies like VTEX can help you implement an end-to-end platform that is highly customizable to the needs of your business. We make it easy to manage your products and provide your customers with a tailored shopping experience. We can help you with cross-selling, while making promotions easy. We support one-click and password-free ordering to reduce shopping cart abandonment and to make sure your customers have a great experience with your business. Additionally, we have an array of tools that allow you to easily manage shipping and inventory.

The cost of replatforming has gone down significantly in recent years, and companies like VTEX, with no set-up or license fees, are remarkably affordable in the world of cloud-based platforms. With the offering of so many innovative and unique features, VTEX is a serious option worth checking out for any e-commerce company in need of quality replatforming.

While you may be wary of change, the digital world is changing. The wisest advice we can offer to help you to keep up is to change with it. Keep yourself and your business flexible to these possibilities, as staying on point with market changes will allow you to offer the very best services to your customers. This, in turn, will equate to greater sales and efficiency down the road. Replatforming is key to success in the modern-day e-commerce field!