It’s the dreaded side effect of succeeding in eCommerce—eventually the well-meaning but clunky platform that gave you your start will begin to show its age. It’s kind of like an old lover. You look back on the good times you had together and feel a bit of nostalgic attachment. But without a doubt, you know you couldn’t have stayed together. When it’s time to move on, you can feel it.
This feeling has cropped up more quickly than expected for enterprises in some industries as a result of the pandemic. From online Food and Beverage to Athleisure Fashion to MedTech eCommerce, certain sectors have boomed while others scrambled.
If you’re suddenly getting that queasy, knowing feeling in your stomach as you read along, here are five bright red flags to confirm it’s time to replatform. And if this post confirms what you think is the worst, don’t panic. Migration can actually be surprisingly seamless with the right planning. And the results—they’ll make your heart skip a beat.
Red Flag 1: Slow as Molasses
This is perhaps the most straightforward sign that it’s time to break up with your current platform. Slow speed site is a killer when it comes to sales. According to a Google report from 2018, “As page load time goes from 1s to 3s, the probability of bounce increases 32%.” That percentage increases to 90% when a page takes 5s to load.
Post-pandemic, people are even more impatient online. Since that’s where many have been conducting the majority of their transactions, their expectations for a flawless, digital customer experience are unprecedented.
In turn, consumer behavior feeds Google’s data about your eCommerce site. When slow speeds are noted, pages typically drop down in the rankings, becoming less searchable for the audience you’re trying to reach. Morbidly curious about where your site clocks in? You can check your speed right here.
Now, even once you’ve identified the issue, correcting it can be a problem. If you are using a self-hosted platform, like Magento or WooCommerce, you’re likely paying a premium fee to have things taken care of for you. Addressing continuous speed issues just incurs more cost and sucks up more time.
Or maybe you chose a hosting provider and planned to handle all the technical aspects yourself, but you’re out of your depth. Your site has slowed down; you’re not sure why or you don’t know how to fix the issue; and you’re losing sales. Either way, you’re not in good shape, and you’re not alone when it comes to many of these common platforms. Though they make big promises, they often cause big hang-ups, too.
A 2021 review by TechRadar put it plainly: “Magento is not easy to set up, install, and customize even if you're competent with HTML and CSS, as the template system is very user-unfriendly and requires advanced developer skills to generally customize the shopping cart platform.” And that leads us right to our next pitfall.
Red Flag 2: No Flow
Another major reason potential buyers may be leaving your site is because you have a checkout flow that isn’t user-friendly and can’t be remedied. When you’re stuck with a templated checkout that doesn’t actually meet your needs, it shows.
A 2019 report from SaleCycle found that “Overall, 84.27% of website visitors abandoned a purchase, quote or booking in 2019.” That’s a staggering number to work with, and you definitely don’t want to be working at a deficit.
What you need to reroute those abandoned carts back toward checkout is a process that feels seamless and responsive. With all that has evolved in eCommerce in the last couple years, that can only be accomplished with a flexible eCommerce platform, like ZiftrShop. You need a tool ready to propel your business now and built for any opportunities that come your way.
The cutting-edge platforms that eCommerce leaders are migrating to are built specifically to handle change, including new channels, devices, subscriptions, products, services, and payment methods. As more brands go global, these platforms are also prepared to meet any compliance needs that arise, even for highly regulated industries, like MedTech eCommerce.
If your current platform doesn’t allow you to stay agile, add new features in a flash, and innovate to your heart’s content, it’s time to say goodbye.
Red Flag 3: Integration Failure
We already mentioned all the new ways in which shoppers expect to access brands, from various devices and channels to the latest forms of payment. Any bumps in the road will send them packing. For instance, issues like duplicate data entry stop the flow of data within your site, limiting your enterprise and frustrating consumers.
One of the key ways accelerating industries, like MedTech eCommerce, are meeting demand is by upgrading to headless architecture. By separating the front-end and back-end elements of their websites, it allows them to be nimbler and respond to customer needs more fully.
That might look being able to manage and maximize all of your content in a single, high-performing platform, taking advantage of automated workflows that move shoppers effortlessly through the purchasing process, or having simple but powerful ways to track and optimize sales at your fingertips.
Does that sound like an impossible dream? Red flag! Because a cutting-edge platform, like ZiftrShop, was built to remove obstacles and create digital experiences that drive conversions, instead of hindering them.
Red Flag 4: Not Cloud-Native
Life in the cloud may also sound dreamy, but it is a non-negotiable as this point in the eCommerce landscape. Many platforms are still not cloud-native and must be installed locally. This means that upgrades and new features require a big lift.
In contrast, a nimbler, cloud-native SaaS platform, like ZiftrShop, enables you to roll out features daily. In a recent article, the Forbes Tech Council described, “Cloud-native systems embrace rapid change and provide resilience.” As technology moves full-steam ahead, it’s become clear that any enterprise that wants to compete in the limitless future of eCommerce will need to be cloud-native.
Red Flag 5: Scaling’s but a Dream
Still not sure if you’ve outgrown your eCommerce home? Ask yourself this question: Is your current platform driven by the lowest common denominator? To clarify, did it work well when you only needed the basics and then start to fall down right as things were taking off?
Shopify is an example of a platform often called out for this unfortunate outcome. On many of the old-school platforms, as a business scales, the ability to customize and do what they need to enhance sales is constrained. This usually happens for one of two reasons—either it’s too expensive or it simply can’t be done.
In contrast, today’s platforms (and the ones ready for tomorrow), should honestly do a great deal of the scaling for you. They should intuitively grow and expand with your business. That’s exactly what ZiftrShop’s designers made a priority. Because eCommerce enterprises need robust, flexible, and powerful capabilities to reach the next level of profitability and growth.
If you think your enterprise is ready to reach that next level but the thought of migrating platforms makes you groan, take a beat and imagine. We’ve streamlined the process (through many successful migrations) and brought together the steps you need to take for a headache-free experience.
Find it all here in our Migration Whitepaper. And when you’re ready to talk with an eCommerce expert who wants to help you plan, perform, and grow—don’t hesitate. The next eCommerce success story could be yours. Contact us here to start now.