The beginning of the year is the perfect moment to assess your ecommerce business with a fresh perspective. Since an ecommerce billing platform is essential for success in 2021, it might be time to consider if your current platform will propel or hinder your business this year.
Even before the ball dropped and fireworks illuminated the sky, you might have suspected your current ecommerce platform was holding your business back. Or perhaps switching platforms is a more abrupt initiative and you need to get up and running fast. Whatever your situation, migrating to another ecommerce platform is a big decision, and should be approached thoughtfully and strategically.
As you prepare to move your business forward, consider the following indications it is time to move to another ecommerce platform.
Far too many platforms turn out to be a one-size-fits-all tool with limited capabilities. Agility should be the cornerstone of any ecommerce platform, especially for brands and merchants launching or expanding a subscription program.
A key clue your current platform lacks flexibility is if you are unable to offer subscription billing, straight sales or a combination of both. Issues also arise when merchants cannot create tailored upsell, cross-sell and discount offers, which could have a direct impact on Average Order Value and Customer Lifetime Value.
Sometimes the very architecture of an ecommerce platform can stifle agility. A platform that pairs frontend and backend website architecture could be a major sign it is time to upgrade. On the surface, combining the front and backend seems like a good idea — everyone loves a combo deal. But much like the number-two combo meal on a fast-food menu, packaged deals are designed to please the masses, not for tailored experiences.
Decoupling the front and backend architecture, known as “headless commerce,” gives brands and merchants full control of consumer-facing experiences. Your team can develop web workflows that align with your sales goals and customer expectations on the frontend. Then choose specific tools and systems that complement your existing (or envisioned) technology stack on the backend.
Businesses do not exist in a silo and neither should an ecommerce platform. Connecting different applications to a platform gives brands and online marketers a centralized location for all the ecommerce action. Plus, integrations and plugins save time and reduce redundant work.
While it is common for ecommerce platforms to offer integrations and cartridges for outside applications, a cumbersome integration process can be a big red flag — especially if the integrated application is essential to your business.
The platform provider you want in your corner should have hundreds of native integrations that seamlessly share data back and forth. With the right integrations, merchants can automatically send customer emails based on purchase history and other factors, manage fulfillment, connect with payment gateways, enable customer service representatives to easily manage orders and much more.
Before migrating to sticky.io, one of our customers described his former ecommerce platform as “just a real big spaghetti mess of different apps.” If this sentiment feels relatable, it could be time to consider upgrading platforms.
It is no coincidence that the ecommerce platforms that leave a lot to be desired also leave a lot of money on the table. The ecommerce space is becoming more competitive and businesses cannot afford to let revenue slip through the cracks with an underperforming platform.
Consider switching platforms if chargebacks are out of control. You want a platform that helps you get ahead of chargebacks as soon as a customer disputes a charge with the credit card company. You will have more time to fight the chargeback and keep money in your pocket.
Another way your ecommerce platform should be protecting your profits is by offering a robust anti-fraud solution. Brands and online sellers must be able to block fraudulent transactions before they occur with AI-powered prescreening. Plus, businesses that rely on affiliate traffic should be able to pinpoint fabricated traffic sources or bogus clicks with the right platform so they only pay for genuine clicks and traffic.
For businesses that rely on subscriptions to generate revenue, a platform with Smart Dunning is a must. Smart Dunning retries declined credit card transactions at optimal times based on artificial intelligence, recovering more recurring revenue each month.
It is difficult to even know if you are leaving money on the table without the right data. In the section above, we highlighted how chargebacks can be detrimental, but many brands and merchants do not have reliable data signaling a chargeback problem.
It is the same story with ecommerce fraud. A recent study we co-published with Kount and Modern Retail uncovered that 33% of surveyed brands and retailers answered “I don’t know” when asked which type of ecommerce fraud their company experienced the most in 2020.
Brands and merchants need full visibility into the health of their ecommerce operation to strategically scale and grow revenue. If your current ecommerce platform does not generate detail reports mapped to workflows, cannot provide cohort data to help illustrate trends over time or cannot offer a granular view to grow your business, it is time to migrate.
To excel in the competitive ecommerce space, brands and merchants need a platform that will not hamper progress with constant downtime, excessive bugs or a convoluted interface. But a true partnership goes beyond the actual platform. Consider switching providers if you are not getting the support and expertise needed to gain the most value from your ecommerce platform. Warning signs of inadequate support include help tickets that take weeks for a resolution, an outsourced support department or in a worst-case scenario — no support department at all.
A truly reliable team will listen to your sales objectives or other goals, then guide you with expert consultation. They will take the time to understand your business needs and help you use the ecommerce platform to achieve those objectives using a tailored approach.
Moreover, you should be able to count on a platform and provider to support credit card processing regulations and policies. Adhering to these rules can be challenging and merchants need to partner with platform providers that are compliant and continuously strive to protect merchants and customers.
Change can be overwhelming and sticking with your current ecommerce platform might seem like the path of least resistance in the short term, but your competitors are thinking long term. If your current platform cannot provide the flexibility, personalization, security and support needed to deliver results in 2021, your business will not rise to its full potential this year.
See how the sticky.io platform drives success for brands and merchants in 2021 and beyond. Request a demo today.