Whether a business started with a website designed specifically to host a product catalog or invested in a platform geared toward content management and marketing, commerce experience initiatives evolve, and platform requirements must be upgraded as the business matures. In many instances, these enhancements may be accomplished through customizations and integrations. Yet, extending the capabilities of legacy systems can be costly in terms of time and money.

As a business matures, it is critical to ensure that investments are allocated effectively before sunk costs and technical debt inhibit future growth.

If you are considering changing experience platforms, it’s essential to consider the what, why, and when of this decision. Specifically, what key factors are influencing the change, why it is important to replatform, and when is the ideal time for your company to implement this change.

The goal is to achieve the least friction during replatforming with the highest reward toward your ecommerce strategy.





The Key Dimensions Impacting Your Commerce Solution

Experience platform requirements are never static. As your brand expands its revenue goals and customer base, the underlying processes, integrations, and platform must stay ahead of the curve.

When we look at the scale of business, five key dimensions impact an optimal commerce solution:

  • Visibility & revenue (size and traffic)
  • Go-to-market strategy (channels, languages)
  • Commerce capabilities
  • Content complexity
  • Digital team size

Many of these dimensions are impacted by the current stage of your business.

For example, there is typically a lower need for content management for companies in the nascent stage. Often, a simple B2B website or basic D2C platform will suffice. For these brands, an ordering-only portal is often where it all begins.

For companies in the basic and emerging stages of growth, traffic and revenue begin to grow exponentially, as do the number of campaigns and channels required to support this growth. At this point, the amount of content you need to manage is increasing, requiring more than just a simple ordering platform.

Companies in these stages often begin to use content for traffic acquisition, focusing more on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). At the same time, these businesses’ digital teams are growing, especially on the traffic acquisition and campaign management side. This means more people will be involved with content management and marketing strategies.

As business complexity grows, the challenges of working with multiple sites and systems increase. Potential errors can occur from overlapping changes, and low re-usability means time wasted on double work.

This point in a brand’s journey is when the business case for replatforming your commerce and experience solution emerges.

Related Reading: The Business Value of Adobe Content Management


Replatforming – 6 Signs the Time is Now

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already thinking that you need to replatform but have been putting it off, as many do because it seems overwhelming and expensive. However, the more you put it off, the more issues you may notice on your website. Here are six clear signs that the time to replatform is now.


1. Updates are hard to implement

It’s estimated that website downtime can cost between $427 – $9000 per minute.1 During peak sales seasons, if your website can’t handle the traffic, your business is losing money. But you’re also losing money if simple updates and new features take loads of time to implement. Custom updates may offer a short-term fix but are not sustainable in the long run.

2. TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is growing

Without proper updates or new features, you’re no longer able to optimize processes because your platform is a patchwork of quick fixes. You’ve invested in custom modules which have increased your operating costs. And when you look at your business as a whole, your total cost of ownership (TCO) is no longer sustainable.

3. Security may be an issue

Customers trust that when making purchases on your website, their personal information will remain secure. However, if your platform is near the end of its lifecycle, you could be dealing with security gaps that must be filled. And since you’re already having issues with updates, you’ll need to invest in more custom updates that only temporarily fix the issue and do not improve the overall security of your website.

Related Reading: Ecommerce Security: A Comprehensive Guide

4. UX is poor

If your website isn’t responsive or you’re receiving calls about other issues on your site, like not being able to check out, it’s time to replatform. Customers are looking for a positive user experience, and you must be able to deliver this to make sales and attract customers. Customers will very quickly look for a better online shopping experience; don’t let your competitors be the ones to offer it to them.

Related Reading: How to Mitigate D2C Channel Conflict?

5. Admin is time-consuming

You’ve got tons of great ideas for website improvements, but for the reasons mentioned above, you’re unable to implement them. It is also taking hours to publish content, add new products and manage returns. A CRM, ERP, or PIM could be the solution, but these cannot be integrated with your current platform.

6. Your ecommerce platform has reached the end of its lifecycle

The lifecycle of an ecommerce platform is from five to seven years. If your provider is not up to date with emerging trends, has stopped releasing updates, or no longer supports your platform, they are useless to you. Ultimately, all the signs mentioned above lead to excess costs and loss of sales. It’s time to replatform.


As business complexity grows, the challenges of working with multiple sites and systems increase. Potential errors can occur from overlapping changes, and low re-usability means time wasted on double work. This point in a brand’s journey is when the business case for replatforming your commerce and experience solution emerges.”

image of charles heal

Charles Heal
Commercial Director


What to Consider Before Replatforming


For businesses that have reached the point where a new platform is a worthwhile investment, it’s key to ensure they spend the right amount of time evaluating a platform switch.

As you evaluate this investment, take into consideration the following key factors:

  • Integration Requirements: Make a note of any business requirements to integrate with other internal or external platforms, which might include ERP, CRM, PIM, or WMS platforms to create real-time order flows, updating pricing, and automating the addition of products.
  • Global Accessibility: Consider the potential necessity for adding multiple languages onto the site and managing numerous price lists, multiple VAT/tax environments, and different shipping options by country.
  • Intelligent Inventory: Inventory is a key cost driver; look for a platform that can add in a new inventory source and manage inventory in an intelligent and automated manner across multiple countries or regions.
  • Complex Reporting: Choose a platform that will allow your team to add more complex reporting needs. This can be critical when expanding reporting to C-level stakeholders and business partners.
  • Payment Options: Opt for a platform that allows you to offer various payment methods to drive global commerce and meet all your customers’ needs.
  • Experience and Commerce Integration: To improve future scalability, businesses need to consider experience and commerce solutions separately. The Experience layer focuses on the customer experience vs. the commerce layer, which is your core rules engine for the channel. This is important for your business as you start to have more complex content needs which a pure commerce-focused platform can’t manage.


Exploring A Decoupled Solution

As your business grows, a new need becomes evident — the ability to decouple the customer layer of your ecommerce strategy and the internal commerce engine.

A modular solution helps in many unique aspects. To begin with, a decoupled solution allows companies to adopt a content-first strategy, which you can then tightly integrate into the commerce journey. This is a critical component of a robust commerce strategy in a world where customers constantly consume content. By decoupling the internal commerce engine from the content management side of the house, teams can work more efficiently with less risk of stepping on each other’s toes.

Additionally, as the business scales, providing a decoupled engine allows you to scale significantly faster and with far less risk. Rather than relying on development teams to handle every change, a decoupled solution empowers marketing, customer service, and sales teams to work independently toward the same goal.

By decoupling complex routines from the customer experience, the loading of core systems is reduced, and data is only accessed as needed and when required. This can have huge implications for site speed and usability.

Through a decoupled platform, businesses have the chance to target new markets. Multi-channel ordering becomes a risk-free reality, enabling your team to tightly integrate store ops, B2B sales ops, and partner sales through a single channel.

The good news is that today, platform choices that were once limited to a few big names have now expanded to include numerous business types, such as B2B, D2C, and hybrid marketplaces. Many more options are on the horizon, allowing businesses across all verticals to reinvent their ecommerce strategy.

As you look to replatform, it is important to consider your current needs and where your commerce strategy will take you in the future. Ideally, the option you pick should meet your immediate needs while allowing you free reign to grow your brand and innovate in the future.


Scaling Before You Are Buried In Technical Debt

In contrast to replatforming, you can continue trying to scale your existing system. However, this can be fraught with issues, as well as be extremely expensive for two main reasons:

  1. Your site was ultimately not designed for integrations, limiting the power of the API layer and necessitating a lot of remedial work. Messy code and an inefficient system are often the results. In many cases, this happens at no fault of the digital team but rather as the result of growing pains. Digital teams did not design your ecommerce platform for future needs but instead built a platform to meet immediate requirements.
  2. Business growth is capped due to an inability to cope with manual order volumes and large catalogs in the current system. Propping up a system with custom-built tools to bridge ERP or other integrations at the backend is not organic and, ultimately, is extremely costly.

If you wait too long to admit that it’s time to make a platform switch, your technical debt will only continue to accrue. Pulling the trigger on a new platform might not be easy, but continuing to invest in a non-scalable, non-strategic platform is limiting and costly.


How Vaimo Can Help

As your business matures, it is critical to ensure that investments are allocated effectively before the sunk costs and technical debt inhibit future growth. You need to manage this transition with the least friction to the existing business.

As today’s ecommerce conversions rely heavily on seamless customer journeys and experiences, legacy systems fall behind more quickly. If your team is in the process of evaluating new platforms and you are running into more questions than answers, our team is here to help. Reach out for a consultation today.



1 – The True Cost of Downtime – trillio.io