Ecommerce Replatforming: When and How to Replatform Your B2B Ecommerce Store

17 April 2024

B2B ecommerce is becoming more complex by the day. As technology evolves, so do customer expectations. With AI-powered chatbots, data-driven personalization, and digital commerce here to stay, customers want their shopping experiences faster, more convenient, and more secure.

Keeping up with technology and customer preferences is vital to survive and thrive. As most B2B ecommerce organizations (around 28%) see themselves at the middle stage of ecommerce maturity, there’s still plenty of opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

But your online store is only as mature as the ecommerce platform that powers it. If it fails to satisfy customers and fulfill your business needs and goals, an ecommerce replatforming might be necessary.

This guide explores the signs indicating it’s time for an ecommerce replatforming and the factors to consider while choosing a new ecommerce platform.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

What Is Replatforming?

Ecommerce replatforming is moving legacy systems to a different technology platform while maintaining functionality. From a single chat app to migrating your online store from one ecommerce platform to another, replatforming is vital to prevent stagnation. 

Sometimes called an ecommerce platform migration, ecommerce replatforming is often done to help businesses meet increasing demand, improve customer experience, or access new technologies and features their current ecommerce platform may lack. Reducing costs is another driving factor in most cases. 

An ecommerce platform handles all core functions that enable businesses to sell goods over the Internet. This is why switching platforms is a big decision that can impact your ecommerce business in a big way.

The replatforming process can be simple or complex, depending on your business’s size and goals, current tech stack, and ecommerce infrastructure. Many migrations allow a move to a new system without completely redesigning the original online store or requiring an in-house development team.

Either way, your ecommerce replatforming initiative has a greater chance of success if you carefully plan your online store’s data migration and thoroughly assess your business goals and marketing strategies.

6 Signs It’s Time to Replatform Your B2B Ecommerce Store

How do you know when it’s time to make the switch? There are six major signs it’s time to switch away from your current platform.

 Replatforming costs

Maintenance Costs Are High

Knowing the initial costs of procuring an ecommerce platform is important. However, ongoing maintenance costs can become a bigger concern over time. 

These maintenance costs may include: 
  • License fees
  • Hosting fees
  • Ongoing technical support
  • Upgrade packages
  • Platform updates and upgrades
  • Compliance requirements

 To find out if you’ve been spending too much on your ecommerce platform, calculate your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Make sure to factor in initial costs, maintenance costs, and hidden costs to get a more accurate estimate of how your ecommerce platform is impacting your ROI.

If your TCO is so high that you’re getting low, or even negative, ROI, you have a good case for convincing stakeholders that it’s time for an ecommerce replatform.

Customer Experience Is Lacking

B2B decision-makers and buyers are also B2C consumers. Whether selling microwave ovens (B2C) or a project management tool (B2B), your customers crave B2C experiences like a smooth checkout experience with rewards and freebies.

In fact, 90% of B2B buyers want their online shopping experience on a B2B ecommerce website to be as customized and friendly as a B2C website. 

And like any B2C customer who encounters friction in the shopping experience, B2B buyers are equally likely to abandon a problematic online store and take their business elsewhere.

To give B2B buyers a customer experience that keeps them coming back, make sure they’re getting these functionalities. 

  • Faster delivery
  • Customer-specific pricing
  • Repeat ordering
  • Faster checkout
  • More product choices
  • Hassle-free returns
  • Real-time information 24/7
  • Support for B2B and D2C

Your Ecommerce Platform Can’t Scale With Your Business

Businesses that don’t grow risk stagnation. Successfully scaling your ecommerce business requires an ecommerce platform that can support your growth initiatives regardless of your business goals, supply chain challenges, and market conditions.

An ecommerce platform with improved scalability can:

  • Handle increased traffic.
  • Automate tasks such as notification emails, marketing automation integrations, and workflow automation to optimize resources and save time.
  • Support seamless integration with third-party systems and tools, social media platforms, and legacy systems.
  • Facilitate international expansion by supporting multiple currencies, languages, and shipping options.
  • Optimize for mobile users.

 If your existing platform lacks the above features, it’s time to switch to another solution.

ecommerce platform security

Your Platform Has Security Vulnerabilities or a History of Breaches

As an ecommerce business, you have to collect sensitive customer information (e.g., names, addresses, and credit card information) to process transactions online.

To earn the trust and repeat business of your customers, implement robust security measures to keep customer data safe. After all, a 2024 McKinsey survey reports that enterprise buyers cite cybersecurity as their most pressing concern when buying tech equipment and services.

If you haven’t already, conduct a security audit and look for signs of trouble like unauthorized access attempts or suspicious activity on your ecommerce website.

A lack of robust security measures can damage your reputation, result in financial losses, and leave you at risk of legal liabilities.

Your Platform Lacks Adequate Support and Updates

Regular updates and support from the platform provider are vital to ensure smooth operation and security. Without them, your online store is vulnerable to technical glitches and security breaches.

A provider that doesn’t roll out regular updates may lack the commitment to improve the platform’s functionality and address emerging threats in the long term. That could leave retailers with outdated and vulnerable software in the future.

Look for release notes and change logs on your platform’s website, along with subscribing to your provider’s newsletter to stay informed of updates on new features, fixes, and enhancements.

If updates from your provider are few and far between, an ecommerce replatforming project might be necessary.

Technical or UX Issues

User experience (UX) is critical to a successful ecommerce business. If customers experience cumbersome navigation, awkward visuals, and overcrowded web pages, they’ll leave your online store faster than you can say “abandon cart.”

Technical and usability issues like slow loading times, frequent downtime, and checkout errors also create disruptions that frustrate customers, decrease conversion rates, and damage your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings.

Addressing these issues can be time-consuming and lead to additional costs spent fixing these glitches. 

An Ecommerce Replatforming Checklist: 5 Factors To Consider When Switching

Once you’ve decided to replatform, your next step is to choose the ecommerce platform that will take your online business to the next level.

But how do you find the ecommerce platform that best suits your needs?

Here are five factors to help you make an informed decision.

Total Costs

When switching to a new platform, ensure that the total costs align with your budget and business objectives. That way, you can avoid or minimize surprises that could damage your financial health.

Again, calculate your TCO to better understand the expenses involved. Then, choose the platform that offers the most value for your investment.

Integration Capabilities

Your B2B ecommerce business must be part of an ecosystem of interconnected tools and systems to give it the flexibility it needs to thrive in the market.

Choosing an ecommerce platform with seamless integration to your existing systems via APIs, including your ERP software, CRM, payment gateways, and other relevant apps and plugins, helps ensure that flexibility.

With the right software interactions, your ecommerce platform can leverage data to provide a more cohesive experience for both you and your customers.

B2B integration capabilities

Features and Capabilities

Your chosen ecommerce platform should include features that will support your business goals and align with your roadmap.

When evaluating ecommerce solutions, whether they are SaaS platforms or open-source alternatives, make sure they include essential B2B ecommerce features like:

  • Quick order entry
  • Flexible payment options
  • Quick reordering
  • Email and push notifications
B2B customer support

Customer Support

Every second counts in online sales, so your platform’s customer support must be reliable and capable.

Assess the level of customer support for each provider by:

  • Reading reviews from reputable review sites
  • Looking for testimonials or case studies.
  • Checking if they offer different support channels, including phone, live chat, ticketing, and email.

Secure and Reliable Payment Options

To close the B2B trust gap, make your customers feel safe and secure when filling their shopping carts and during checkout by using an ecommerce platform with integrations for major payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Square, and Skrill.

The platform must also comply with industry standards for secure payment processes, especially PCI DSS compliance. Additionally, ensure the platform offers additional security layers, such as fraud detection and two-factor authentication.

Final Thoughts: When and How to Replatform Your Ecommerce Store

Replatforming your B2B ecommerce store is an important decision that requires careful consideration.

At the end of the day, the best ecommerce platform for your business is the one that enables you to achieve the outcomes and goals you’ve set for your business.

 At k-ecommerce, we ensure that your B2B online store helps drive growth for your ecommerce business by exceeding customer expectations.

Contact us today or check our demo to see how k-ecommerce can help you replatform.