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What to Consider Before Switching Platforms
By Kendrick Woolford
6/10/2010 9:53:00 AM  

ShopVisible attended a re-platforming seminar conducted by Eli Katz, President of Ashford.com at the 2010 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition and shared a few thoughts on how the ShopVisible e-commerce platform stands up to some of the biggest challenges retailers face in re-platforming their business.

The discussion centered on some of the critical issues retailers should consider when going through a re-platforming for their ecommerce business. Mr. Katz has launched a beautiful new and robust site for Ashford.com, but pointed out some cautionary tales of common issues the businesses face. When your site requires five (or more) different systems that require additional resources, time and money to do what one system should do seamlessly, re-platforming may be the right solution. But be careful that the new system does not end up requiring five new ones, and many new resources in the process.

Also, speed is crucial to the success any re-platforming process because time is money. Have you noticed how all the additional customizations push back your site launch weeks sometimes months longer than anticipated?

When Ashford.com made their switch from their original open source platform provider, they expected the aforementioned inefficiencies would be resolved with their re-launched platform powered by their new enterprise solution. However, with even the best of plans and intentions, there can be forks in the road and an aggressive 6 month launch plan can take 4 times that time. Mr, Katz mentioned a few specific common stumbling blocks that etailers should watch out for…

(1) Often, the catalog and data structure more complex than anticipated

(2) More third party tools needed to be implemented than originally planned that may introduce more time, complexity and risks than anticipated

(3) Projects can frequently run over budget and behind schedule

(4) Migrations can leave small, but important details overlooked potentially breaking tracking, disrupting existing business processes, and losing marketing traction in search

ShopVisible’s re-platforming process is efficient, in most cases requiring one-third of the time to market compared to our competitors. Because we build and implement our own sites for our clients, there is great attention to detail of how the site, the business, and the underlying technology synchronizes. To ensure seamless and non-disruptive migration ShopVisible’s platform utilizes automatic 301 redirects to preserve search rankings and existing traffic sources and our suite of platform migration tools to ensure smooth launches. While we understand that re-platforming can be scary business, don’t get trapped into a lengthy process that is more complex than what you started with. Just ask AbsoluteBarStools.com, whose site we launched in 45 days!

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Tags: IRCE Replatforming Internet_Retailer Ecommerce ShopVisible
Categories: Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2010, Commerce Insights Blog
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