Is it time to replatform?

December 28, 2022

When you initially choose a platform for your e-commerce store, that choice is final, right?

While the platform you select for your store is an important decision it’s definitely not final. Businesses can (and do!) change platforms, migrating from one to another. Selecting the correct platform for your store will allow your business to grow and develop for years to come. 

However, if changing platforms seems like a non-option, it’s probably because e-commerce business owners know that there are plenty of ways that replatforming can go wrong. If you’re not prepared, the process can cost you time and money. We’ve put together a guide to walk you through the two essential questions to consider: how to tell when it’s time to replatform, and some common mistakes to avoid if and when you do.


When you first launched your business, you probably chose a platform such as; Adobe, Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, including others. Every platform offers different benefits and drawbacks for your business, so the process of choosing which one to start with is difficult. You’re working with limited information about how your business will operate, and how customers will interact with your site.

Because this first decision is based on a limited understanding of how your business will function, there are multiple other factors that can go under the radar. Sometimes problems present themselves immediately, and others can creep up on you over time.


5 Signs It’s Time to Replatform

1: Maintaining your current platform is costing you

For some businesses, this will be an immediate sign that it’s time for a change. When they see how the cost of operating their current store compares to their profit, replatforming becomes a no-brainer. However, “maintaining” can have multiple meanings. If you’re spending more time and money on fixing platform issues than you are on benefitting from your platform’s functionality, that’s a detriment to your productivity.

While the occasional problem is to be expected, keep an eye on how often you have to fix something. If it’s so frequent that it becomes part of your schedule, it’s a sign that this problem isn’t going away and you should consider replatforming.

2: Struggling to optimise for mobile

With mobile e-commerce sales projected to reach around £600 billion in 2025, it’s clearly a factor worth considering. Although desktop purchasers have a slightly higher conversion rate than mobile users, almost half of shoppers use smartphones to compare pricing and investigate options.

That means that even if purchases are being made primarily via desktop, customers are making that decision because of their mobile experience. If you can’t create a mobile UX that works for your customers, it can seriously impact your potential growth

3: Multichannel e-commerce integration is difficult

Integration is one of the most common challenges that businesses face. If your website is out of sync with your e-commerce business’s structure, there can be major losses to productivity and potential profit. Managing data, fulfilment, and inventory efficiently is something that all businesses have to deal with.

But your platform should be helping you manage this issue, not hindering you. If you’re putting regular effort into keeping up with it, you could be missing out on features that other platforms offer.

4: You can’t access the best third-party systems

Platforms usually have access to selected third-party systems, and which options are available can spur or limit your growth. Third-party apps are an added level of customisation that you can use to tailor your business’s operations on multiple levels. If you feel like you’ve hit the ceiling of what your platform has to offer, it could be an indication that you need more options.

5: Your platform isn’t scaling

This is one of the most common reasons businesses look into replatforming. Often, a platform is a perfect fit for a business up to a certain point, but then that business hits a growth spurt. Although the platform played a part in getting that business to a growth stage, that doesn’t mean it can accommodate the business’s new scale. When your business grows beyond a platform’s capabilities, trying to keep up with a limiting system isn’t worth the effort.


5 Mistakes to Avoid

If one or more of these signs sounds familiar, you’re in luck: replatforming could bring you some huge benefits! It can also be a difficult, costly, and stressful experience if you’re not prepared. So we’ll share with you some of the top 5 mistakes some businesses make when replatforming.

1: Relying on outdated data migration

Poor transition based on out-of-date strategies can result in lost data or slowed sales during data migration. Some platforms offer data migration services as part of the package, but you can also rely on an in-house team or external partners to ensure a smooth transition. Whatever you do, make sure it’s the right strategy for your needs.

2: Unrealistic timelines

Replatforming is something you should take your time with. Setting too early of a deadline can result in rushed, sloppy work, which can make the transition more difficult. Give yourself some breathing room for the best experience.

3: Limited understanding of your new platform

Getting to know a potential platform is a step many businesses miss. You’ll probably be on the lookout for how a platform compares to yours, but there might be some assets or limitations that you don’t expect to see. Take time to look at each platform’s unique merits and challenges, and you’ll be able to strategise more effectively.

4: Being reactive, not proactive

This idea is at the root of a lot of the other issues. When you change platforms, you should be moving towards new benefits, not away from old problems. This reactivity can make businesses hyper-focused on certain details and neglectful of others. Make choices for your business’s growth, instead of reacting to issues as they come up.

5: Inexperienced decision-making

This is definitely a case when investing right the first time will save you time and money in the long run. If you’re not 100% comfortable that your team can handle the transition with minimal complications, it’s worth considering turning to experts. This investment can save you in the long run!


Is Replatforming Right for You?

You might still be on the fence about replatforming, and that’s actually a great place to be at. Being aware of both the benefits and challenges that come with this process should give you some good arguments for and against migrating platforms. While migration can mean big things for your growth, it can also be a complicated, difficult investment.

Making the choice to replatform can and should take time, so you can explore your options. And, if you want to be sure that you’re aware of every element, it never hurts to go to the experts! At ITQ Digital, it’s our job to help businesses make big decisions like this to ensure their long-term success.

If you want more information about what replatforming could look like for you, we’d love to hear from you. Just get in touch with us about your questions and concerns, and we’ll talk about how you can pick the right option for your business.