October 21, 2014 Leave a Comment
As the end of the year approaches, merchants are looking past the frenzy of the holiday season to top 2015 priorities — and for many, the future holds the challenging prospect of replatforming.
In fact, more than 40% of merchants are currently underway with a project or planning to start by the end of this year. As merchants survey the landscape of eCommerce solution providers, flexibility is likely to be a common refrain.
After all, supporting an online commerce business has never been more demanding. The pace of change is accelerating, driven by the increasing connectedness of consumers who are now as accustomed to shopping on their phones as in retail stores, and who are empowered by social media to influence brand success through word of mouth.
When evaluating eCommerce platforms, merchants need to tease out how solution providers can accommodate these ever-shifting needs — whether the core platform is intended to provide every feature, whether technology partners integrate their offerings with the code, and whether it’s possible to take advantage of plug-in-like “agile” solutions that solve a focused need. MarketLive, for one, offers an array of out-of-the-box solutions, paired with extensible technology that integrates easily with both established and new partners.
In this process, merchants must not only ensure compatibility with existing iterations of their site, but attempt to predict what integrations and add-ons might be needed in the future — a tricky exercise to conduct without having a crystal ball, but a crucial one nonetheless, as the consequences of failing to plan for at least the forseeable challenges are significant. With eCommerce playing such a central role in the business, Web site failures are now high profile affairs that can cost companies millions – as when The Finish Line launched a new site in November 2012, only to experience outages that led to missed quarterly earnings projections. And headlines from this year about multiple instances of hacking at eBay serve as a chilling reminder that brand reputation and trust, and years of potential lost sales, could be at stake if systems become vulnerable.
To avoid the potential pitfalls of replatforming gone awry while still embracing innovation, merchants must strike a balance between flexibility and stability. The spectrum of eCommerce platform options is vast. Ultimate flexibility but also a high degree of complexity and risk can be found in the “wild West” of open-source solutions on one end; on the other, some hosted platforms offer technology that’s so rigidly controlled there’s no room for individual sites to innovate.
MarketLive’s new eBook on replatforming examines how to navigate between these two technology extremes and outlines the 30 most crucial questions to ask when evaluating new technology vendors. The questions fall into three crucial categories:
- Flexibility: the ability to get started quickly with a full set of features out of the box, and integrate further cutting-edge technology in the future
- Performance: the ability to scale both for seasonal spikes and for long-term growth
- Security: the ability to proactively fend off attacks and comply with industry standards
Download the eBook today for a comprehensive look at replatforming considerations, along with a matrix worksheet.