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27 JUL

Signs That it’s Time to Replatform a B2B eCommerce Site

by Kris Harrington

Getting into eCommerce is an essential step for all manufacturers. Whether a site is built in-house or with a partner, implementing a digital sales channel is a great way to improve customer experience and increase sales. But simply having eCommerce isn’t enough. The digital space is becoming increasingly competitive, and standing out from the competition is important for future growth. How do you know when it’s time to replatform? Whether your website is not meeting customer expectations or underperforming on business goals, there will be signs that signal it’s time to make a change.

The decision to replatform is a challenging one. The new expense and the resource time commitment is something most organizations would like to avoid. It’s important to instead reframe this discussion and think about the value that’s being missed out on by a subpar site. According to a Copperberg survey, “97% of B2B buyers claim they will make a purchase in an end-to-end digital self-service model, with the vast majority very comfortable spending $50K or more online.” The only way to capture this immense online value is to offer a high-performing, intuitive eStore that keeps customers coming back. We’re going to explain how you can tell that it’s time to make a change and replatform—along with the value an enhanced site provides.


Reasons to Replatform:

1. Customer Experience

The main focus for any eCommerce project should be the experience for customers. The goal is to provide them with an easy, self-service way to safely make purchases and learn more about the products you offer for sale. When customers begin complaining about a site it’s a signal that their expectations aren’t being met and it could be time to make a change. B2B buyers are consumers in their personal lives as well, and they are used to the ease that most B2C eCommerce sites provide. If you’re offering an outdated site, they won’t hesitate to go elsewhere to make a purchase. Outdated websites can reduce confidence in the brand and can limit the buyer’s belief that they are getting the exact product they need for the job that needs to be performed.

If customers are not taking the time to complain, there are some other ways to measure if your site is not meeting expectations. The following key metrics can demonstrate customer dissatisfaction:

  • High Bounce Rate: As we touched on earlier, if a customer comes to a site they deem outdated they’ll be quick to find what they’re looking for somewhere else. A bounce rate above 70% is a definite sign that customers are not finding what they need quickly and easily.
  • Low Repeat Orders/Traffic: B2B buyers are extremely busy, so if they find a site they like and can easily make purchases, they’ll keep coming back. This is why if the repeat order volume is down you know that people are making one purchase and not coming back. They may have disliked something about the eCommerce experience you provided and went somewhere else for their next purchase.
  • Losing Market Share: An optimized eCommerce site should be growing your market share and making customers see you as the one-stop shop for their purchasing needs. If you notice a drop in market share, that means customers are choosing competitor sites over yours and this is a major sign that it’s time for a change.

If your organization is facing any or all of the items above, your customer experience is suffering and you are at risk for losing future business.

2. Scalability

A common reason behind replatforming is brand and global expansion. Often a company gets started with eCommerce to test the waters or maybe sell one product line. If the full product line is never integrated or the site is not expanded to the entire organization, teams end up limiting what can be offered online. In this scenario, there is room to grow either by selling more products online or selling in another area of the world, but the current platform isn’t able to scale to meet the online business goals.

This also shows up when a company acquires another, and due to limitations of the current platform, they struggle to bring the acquired company’s products into the eCommerce solution. There’s missed value in the acquisition if an organization is not able to capitalize on its online potential. A more robust eCommerce solution will solve these issues and allow for seamless integration with all facets of a business.

If your organization is missing opportunities to scale, it may be time to make a change.

3. Site Performance

The best ability is availability. That expression is even more true when it comes to an eCommerce site. Customers won’t wait for a site to be back up and running—if it’s down they’ll go somewhere else and you’ll miss out on the chance to turn them into a repeat customer. Even just a slower load time is detrimental to success. Every second delay a site takes to load leads to a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

This is why it’s so important to hold an eCommerce site to high performance standards. Even the smallest issue with site performance leads to a loss in sales and decreased customer engagement.

If your site isn’t able to meet high performance standards it could be time to replatform.

4. Security

As an eCommerce site expands globally it’s important to think about the new security measures that are required. Some different regulations and standards must be met as an organization expands. For example, your eCommerce platform should comply with the following:

  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
  • CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)
  • PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

If you’re not working with someone who understands the ins and outs of these requirements it will cause problems as you try to sell products in new locations. In addition to that, there will be a large influx of new customer data that you are responsible for protecting.

If you are not sure about the data security of your site or how it is being monitored, talk to your provider. It may be time to review alternative options if security and monitoring of your website are not key priorities for your current platform provider.

The ROI of Replatforming

Small issues can have a major impact and as the B2B landscape continues to shift digitally, an optimized online channel needs to be a priority. The buyer demographic is changing and digital savvy buyers will soon be the ones making the majority of purchases. Providing them with an eCommerce site that safely and securely meets or exceeds their expectations is the key to success in the future.

If you’re looking for an experienced partner to help you replatform schedule a free demo at GenAlpha.com so you can see the benefits an optimized eCommerce platform provides.

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