The world of web design is always changing, and ecommerce systems are no exception. New platforms enter the marketplace every year, each with pros and cons. If the platform you’re currently using isn’t releasing new features as fast as it once was, or your requirements have changed over time, perhaps it’s time to look for a new solution.
One of our longtime clients recently hired us to migrate their ecommerce site from the outdated Yahoo Store platform to Shopify. Despite enjoying great ROI from their previous web design, which we rebuilt within their existing Yahoo platform as a quick fix in 2013, they had a number of store management pain points that they wanted to address. And new ecommerce technology had become available that promised improvements over their old setup.
This also provided a convenient chance to update their website’s visual design and make it responsive—particularly important as, according to comScore, 65 percent of all digital media time is now spent on mobile devices.
So what are the benefits of updating your store from an older ecommerce platform to a more modern one? Let’s take a look:
- Better Reporting
When you log into your store’s backend, what’s the first thing you see? Is it a plain navigation menu leading to other pages, or is it a robust dashboard with graphs and other useful information to give you a snapshot of store performance? While most ecommerce platforms of any age include reporting, some make it much more accessible than others. If your store suffers from a sudden drop in sales or traffic, having a reporting dashboard could help you notice the day it happens, instead of a week later.
- Better Backend UI
Being able to add new products easily doesn’t translate directly to better sales, but it does translate to less frustration and less time spent on store management. An easy-to-use UI can also give you more options for configuring the store to meet your needs, make it easier for employees to manage the system, and generally let you concentrate on more important things than wrestling with image uploads or product features.
- Better SEO
Does your current ecommerce solution allow you to configure your products’ meta tags and descriptions? What about adding alt text to the product image? Does it have a well-written internal linking structure that search engines can read easily? And if the platform is self-hosting, how are your load times? These are all things that affect SEO, and some may not be offered at all on older platforms. Newer ecommerce platforms offer these things in varying degrees, and if it’s not built-in you can usually find an app to add those features for you.
- Expand Your Options
Is your current platform limiting what you can do with your site? Does it have the option to host a blog and create other types of flexible content pages that add value to your store? New ecommerce platforms are moving more and more in the direction of a true CMS (content management system) that allows great flexibility in the type of site you can build. Some, like WooCommerce, integrate robust ecommerce capabilities into an existing CMS. Beyond that, many new platforms have built-in social selling integrations, options for automated marketing and coupon codes, and more. If you’re using an outdated or barebones platform, moving to a new one could unlock some great new features to expand your marketing opportunities.
- App Ecosystem
We saved the best for last here—the huge wealth of apps that are available for modern ecommerce can be a real game-changer for your store if you take advantage of them. The major players in the current ecommerce arena all have app stores with hundreds of apps that can provide in-depth user tracking, product management, fulfillment, upsells, cross-sells, sale options, and more. Just browsing through the app stores of these services can give you ideas on new marketing strategies to implement on your site, and the tools to do so. Even better, many of these apps are free, or available for reasonably priced subscriptions. App integration is where the true power of a modern ecommerce platform shines, and is one of the most compelling reasons to upgrade.
You’ll notice we haven’t recommended a particular platform here—each one has pluses and minuses, and we don’t believe any one platform is right for all customers. At Ridge Marketing, we have the web design and marketing expertise to help you choose the right platform for your business and set up a custom designed storefront tailored to your market. If you’d like to take the first step towards improving your ecommerce store, let us know.