Why change ecommerce platforms?

Among the greatest parts of being an ecommerce consultant and storeowner is corresponding with all of the awesome entrepreneurs that have found their niche and disrupted it. This time of year is particularly rewarding to connect with other merchants, as many are embarking on development projects to better their stores. When it is a seasoned merchant or someone seeking to enhance an Etsy store, everybody, seemingly, is attempting to innovate and evolve.

Among the more popular topics I’ve been hearing lately is people seeking to modify cart providers.The holiday madness is over. Now’s a fantastic time to take a look at where you have been and where you are headed.

Our shopping cart provider is Bigcommerce. We switched to this platform, from Volusion, in late 2013. Since that time, many people have asked me why.

While I have my reasons for making the change, I usually flip the question back to them and ask how they landed with their existing supplier or why they’re thinking of a change.

Most often, they will tell me that their platform was recommended to them by a consultant or it was popular at the moment. The latter is always most interesting to me because it shows the ability of perception and trends.

The principal reason I chose Volusion in March 2012 was because a colleague was using it. I also had noticed lots of my favourite online stores — those I bought products from — were using it. It seemed like the thing to do.

In November 2013, I got a cold call from a Bigcommerce worker, inviting me to take a trial run of this platform. By that point, I’d heavily customized my Volusion shop. The notion of replatforming was not on the top of my list of things to do, especially with the holidays approaching. I was, however, living with a few features that were less than desired. The biggest issue I had with Volusion, definitely, was the coverage. It took my bookkeeper a few hours to reconcile financial data, and we’re considerably smaller then, versus now.

The demonstration went really smooth. Replatforming, I believed, could be a chance to revisit my whole ecommerce infrastructure. Despite the fact that our product catalogue was much smaller than it is now, the procedure for migrating was still a huge undertaking.

When merchants tell me that they’re contemplating shifting on or from a shopping cart provider, I typically ask them”Why?” In this world of conversion rates and driving revenue, it’s easy to find flaws in a platform. It is also frustrating when another platform is releasing new features at a faster pace than your present one.

Next month, I will address my approach to determining whether or not to change platforms. Until then, read a terrific post by my fellow columnist, David Sasson, about his company’s switch, at”Lessons from altering ecommerce platforms.”