Your eCommerce site launch is an exciting (and exhausting) time. You’ve spent months planning your upgrade, you’ve mapped out the implementation steps, and your hard work is about to pay off. It’s a great moment for any company, but don’t get so caught up in the excitement of your new platform that you lose sight of your marketing goals! It’s certainly possible to migrate to a new platform without disrupting your well-oiled machine, provided you go about it correctly.
Although more eCommerce providers are taking a “partners in the process” approach to mature eCommerce implementations, it’s still common for businesses to tackle the eCommerce planning process on their own. While any involvement from the user side is always helpful and necessary, involving the technical team as much as possible for planning is important.
Important considerations for the technical team:
Awareness around the traffic patterns and peaks on the site. Does the hosting provider understand the load and hosting requirements?
Is there a plan and schedule to provide training on the new platform before go-live?
Are there any plans to mitigate disruptions to marketing channels? Pausing of email marketing, disruptions to PPC links?
Proprietary eCommerce builds are great for carving a niche in your industry and serving a very unique need, but they tend to lack scalability or integration features that can support your goals in the long-term. If you’re planning an eCommerce launch on the back of one of these systems, you’ll need to pay extra attention to how you integrate these features into your existing ecosystem. Your short term results and long-term marketing goals depend on it.
If you’re maintaining your customer-facing experience and simply swapping eCommerce platforms. Your sales channels and marketing programs can inadvertently suffer the consequences of the change. Navigation, site structure, and more all need to be maintained for consistency or there will be consequences for your search optimization efforts. You might be tempted to use the integration as an opportunity to correct many of the eCommerce issues that have been giving you grief. And for the most part, you’ll be able to. But don’t fix what isn’t broken! Avoid getting too broad in your implementation goals, and work to identify the site elements that contribute the most to your marketing funnel.
Naturally, preserving your marketing goals during a migration means understanding which functions offer the best potential for a stronger ROI. For example, one B2B customer survey showed that 45% of customers believed that retailers failed to deliver multi-channel experiences rapidly—a common challenge in eCommerce marketing. With that in mind, you might be interested in specific functions that support multi-channel order management across web and mobile, or maybe more advanced CRM data collection features that let you better tailor your engagements to each customer’s preferred channel.
An important part of any eCommerce migration is having access to the analytics and reporting tools you need to manage your marketing goals. Ideally, these tools will be extensive enough to provide 360-degree visibility across all eCommerce functions, from lead generation to conversion optimization to customer experience management.
Just because you’re switching eCommerce platforms doesn’t mean your KPIs should change, in fact, they should be more important than ever as your track and measure the success of the new platform. If improving a specific KPI was an important factor in deciding to move forward with a platform upgrade, begin to measure against those indicators as soon as you launch.
Keep tabs on growth metrics like your website traffic, engagements, individual page click-through rates, and conversion rates for each channel. If you’re planning larger changes to your eCommerce experience, benchmark these metrics before making any changes and track improvement progress over time.
A common integration challenge with new eCommerce experiences is conversion path disruption. Before an eCommerce upgrade, your customers had a set path to convert and purchase. Perhaps they were used to the experience or it was tried-and-tested and worked consistently over a long period of time. With an upgraded platform infrastructure, you’re going to be disrupting that flow and replacing it with something that (you think) is better.
Beyond the user flow and conversion, you’ve likely introduced new changes to product assortment, redesigned shopping cart pages, updated landing pages and much more. In short, a lot has changed and you’re going to want to measure performance against expectations for improvement and previous site performance.
By analyzing the traffic to the site in the past through either email marketing, pay-per-click or other paths, you were able to drive businesses and scale, so predicting and measuring the impact you expect to those pages will help.
As part of the replatforming purpose, you may have been looking for a solution for customer experience problems or negative customer feedback. All too often, we see that once a rebuilt customer experience and platform are launched, the marketing team fails to follow up on and measure on those experience issues. Essentially, have we solved the issues our customers complained about? Are we in a better place than we were previously?
Key Questions To Review:
Are there marketing opportunities that we’re missing out on as a result of an existing platform challenge?
What are the challenges our customers have told us that we need to solve for?
What are the internal fixes we know we need to make? How can we measure against those to know we have an adequate solution?
What does the roadmap look like after the platform launch? What’s our plan for continuing to improve?
If the results of a platform upgrade are only viewed from a technical perspective (beyond “Does it work?”) - you’re overlooking the bigger picture.
There’s a lot to map out for a smooth migration, but it’s a necessary part of upgrading to a more comprehensive eCommerce solution. Make sure your eCommerce experience is set up on a strong technology foundation that complements your marketing goals rather than detracting from them.