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Your E-Commerce Platform is Obsolete What Now
Jan 19, 2024
e-commerce platforms

Your E-Commerce Platform is Obsolete: What Now?  

The e-commerce landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, driven by technological advancements, shifting consumer behaviors, and dynamic market trends. Hence, a solid online presence is mandatory for businesses to succeed in uncertain times. One critical factor that determines the success of an e-commerce company is its website.    

However, the challenge is that there are already 24 million e-commerce websites globally, and every year, the market is growing by 23%. This surge highlights the gaining popularity of online shopping, resulting in many businesses infiltrating the online market.   

Therefore, staying ahead of the competition, attracting new customers, and building customer loyalty are becoming extremely challenging. This heightened competition often leads to higher customer acquisition expenses, price wars, and lower returns on investment (ROI). Because of these factors, 22% of e-commerce businesses tend to fail within the first year.  

As businesses strive to stay competitive in this rapidly changing environment, maintaining an up-to-date e-commerce platform cannot be overstated. Failure to adapt to emerging technologies and meet evolving customer expectations can result in significant consequences for your business.  

In this article, we’ll look at the challenges associated with outdated e-commerce platforms and give you a detailed understanding of the next steps.   

But before that, let’s discuss the common signs that indicate your e-commerce platform is obsolete.  

Signs Your E-Commerce Platform is Obsolete  

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, e-commerce platforms must adapt to meet the growing demands of consumers and businesses alike. However, several indicators suggest that your e-commerce platform may fall behind the curve, compromising performance, security, and user experience.   

  • Outdated User Interface and Experience: A clunky, obsolete user interface can deter potential customers and undermine user engagement.  
  • Inefficient Backend Operations and Slow Loading Times: Poor performance and slow loading times can frustrate users, leading to decreased sales and customer dissatisfaction.  
  • Lack of Mobile Optimization and Responsive Design: In today’s mobile-centric world, an e-commerce platform must offer seamless experiences across devices to cater to a diverse customer base.  
  • Inadequate Security Measures Leading to Vulnerabilities: With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, robust security features are crucial to protect customer data and maintain trust.  
  • Inflexibility in Integrating with Other Modern Tools and Platforms: An inflexible platform hampers scalability and limits opportunities for innovation and integration with emerging technologies.  

Now that we have identified the indicators of an obsolete e-commerce platform, it’s crucial to understand the consequences of maintaining such outdated systems.  

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The Consequences of Maintaining an Outdated E-Commerce Platform  

Your website’s main objective is to present your business, showcase your services, and sell your products to your target audience. Hence, your business website needs specific features and functionalities.  

However, as time progresses, the effectiveness of your business website may wane. To determine whether your website aligns with your evolving business goals, it becomes essential to address and rectify problems with outdated websites. Otherwise, it can lead to consequences such as those mentioned below:  

1. High Bounce Rates and Low Lead Generation Results  

The bounce rate is the duration a visitor remains on your website after viewing a single page. A bounce rate surpassing 50% indicates that half of your visitors leave without exploring additional pages — a common pitfall for outdated websites.  

Numerous factors contribute to elevated bounce rates, encompassing bot traffic, design inadequacies, and flawed information architecture. And ignoring user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) during website development can elevate this rate, signaling the urgency for a website redesign. Visitors are more inclined to place trust in and buy from a well-designed website than an obsolete one. If your website fails to generate adequate leads, it’s a warning sign that a redesign is much needed.  

2. Non-Mobile-First Website  

Failing to prioritize a mobile-responsive design is a prevalent issue among outdated websites.  

Is your website accessible and user-friendly across various devices? If not, users are likely to exit your website, causing you to lose a significant segment of potential customers right off the bat!  

Statista‘s findings indicate that US adults dedicated an average of 263 minutes daily to non-voice mobile activities — a substantial leap from the 63 minutes logged in 2014.  

Hence, your website must adopt a mobile-first approach, ensuring seamless access across all devices, irrespective of screen dimensions. Leverage tools like Google’s mobile-friendly test to evaluate and enhance your website’s compatibility.  

3. Increased Cart Abandonment Rates  

Cart abandonment rates escalate due to usability flaws, navigation complexities, and inefficiencies such as slow page load times, cumbersome checkout processes, and lack of transparency in pricing or shipping information. In 2021, the cart abandonment rate was 69.82%.    

Hidden costs, like unclear shipping fees, handling charges, or taxes at checkout, can also lead to abandoned shopping carts and customer frustration. However, by optimizing the checkout page experience, you have the potential to boost the conversion rate by 35.62%.  

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E-commerce businesses can reduce cart abandonment by simplifying navigation, streamlining checkout, ensuring transparent pricing and shipping, and using retargeting strategies to reengage users. 

4. Negative Impact on Brand Reputation and Customer Trust  

A suboptimal e-commerce experience characterized by poor performance, security vulnerabilities, and usability issues can tarnish your brand’s reputation, diminish customer trust, and erode brand equity. These adverse effects impede customer loyalty, discourage repeat purchases, and deter potential customers, hindering market penetration, brand differentiation, and competitive advantage.  

To avoid this, enhance platform security, optimize user experience, prioritize customer feedback, and develop transparent communication strategies to rebuild trust, strengthen brand perception, and foster long-term customer relationships.   

5. Difficulty in Scaling and Expanding Operations   

Inflexible architectures, legacy codebases, and outdated technologies constrain scalability, impede innovation, and inhibit the seamless integration of new features, functionalities, or third-party services. These limitations hinder growth prospects, slow down market expansion initiatives, and undermine strategic agility, compromising your ability to capitalize on emerging opportunities and competitive landscapes.   

In such cases, companies can adopt modular, scalable architectures, embrace microservices, APIs, and containerization techniques, and prioritize platform extensibility, flexibility, and adaptability to facilitate growth.  

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6. Higher Technical Debt Due to Inefficiencies  

A McKinsey survey revealed that 10-20% of technology budgets are allocated for technical debt, which amounts to 20-40% of the entire technology value, translating into hundreds of millions in unpaid debt for larger organizations. Despite 70% of C-level executives recognizing that technical debt limits IT innovation, many companies still hesitate to modernize functioning legacy systems to avoid resource allocation.  

E-commerce businesses can save resources by automating tasks, streamlining operations, adopting cloud-native architectures, and leveraging analytics. Additionally, to counter the drawbacks of outdated platforms, they must strategically migrate to modernized solutions. 

Steps to Transition to a Modern E-Commerce Platform    

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the need for businesses to transition to modern e-commerce platforms has never been more critical. 

As technological advancements continue to redefine customer expectations, market dynamics, and competitive landscapes, maintaining an outdated e-commerce infrastructure can lead to significant challenges, including declining sales, operational inefficiencies, security vulnerabilities, and diminished customer experiences.   

Recognizing these complexities, here are 7 steps to facilitate a seamless transition to a modern e-commerce platform.   

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Platform Audit   

Evaluate your existing platform’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement to inform your migration strategy. Rectifying these issues in advance prevents them from surfacing as problems post-migration.   

For instance, if your e-commerce website currently features broken product images due to default WordPress image sizes, resolving these issues beforehand ensures a seamless transition to the new platform without disruptions to sales.     

2. Define Clear Goals and Objectives for the New Platform   

Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals and KPIs to guide your platform selection and implementation processes.   

Utilize predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and business intelligence tools to help you predict demand trends and understand customer behaviors. They also assist in estimating revenue and identifying operational efficiencies. This, in turn, facilitates informed decision-making, strategic alignment, and resource optimization throughout the platform selection and implementation lifecycle.  

3. Research and Evaluate Potential E-commerce Platforms Based on Business Needs   

Identify platforms that align with your business requirements, scalability needs, and long-term growth objectives. Conduct in-depth feature comparisons, technical assessments, and cost-benefit analyses to evaluate the platforms’ suitability and alignment with your business objectives. Engage with platform vendors, attend webinars, request demos, and seek clarification on customization options, support services, pricing models, and contractual obligations.  

Next, consider factors such as platform architecture, extensibility, community support, roadmap, and ecosystem integration to assess long-term viability and alignment with emerging technologies and market trends. By adopting a data-driven and customer-centric approach to narrowing down e-commerce platforms, you can make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and position your organization for sustainable growth.  

4. Develop A Migration Plan with Timelines and Milestones   

Create a detailed migration plan outlining milestones, resource allocation, and contingency measures to ensure a smooth transition. Assign specific timelines to each phase, considering factors such as data migration, system integration, testing, training, and deployment.  

Adhering to this structured approach can streamline the migration process, optimize resource allocation, minimize disruptions, and achieve your desired outcomes within the stipulated timelines and budgetary constraints.  

5. Ensure Data Migration and Integration with Existing Systems   

Facilitate seamless data migration and integration with existing systems, ensuring data integrity, continuity, and operational efficiency. Begin by thoroughly assessing your current data landscape and identifying critical data assets, formats, structures, and dependencies.   

Next, implement robust data migration strategies, employing industry best practices, automated tools, and validation protocols to facilitate secure, accurate, and efficient data transfers while maintaining data integrity, consistency, and compliance.   

Establish seamless integration frameworks, API endpoints, middleware solutions, and synchronization mechanisms to facilitate real-time data interchange, interoperability, and system harmonization, thereby minimizing operational disruptions and optimizing business continuity throughout the migration process.  

6. Train Staff and Stakeholders on the New Platform   

Provide comprehensive training and support to staff and stakeholders to familiarize them with the new platform’s features, functionalities, and best practices.   

You can develop comprehensive training programs encompassing hands-on workshops, tutorials, documentation, and support resources tailored to different user roles, proficiency levels, and functional requirements.   

7. Monitor Performance Metrics and Optimize for Continuous Improvement  

Continuously monitor performance metrics, gather user feedback, and iterate on your platform to optimize user experiences, drive conversions, and achieve business objectives.   

Implement agile methodologies, A/B testing, user feedback mechanisms, and iterative development cycles to foster innovation, responsiveness, and adaptability, thereby driving continuous improvement, competitive differentiation, and customer-centricity in your e-commerce operations.  

By adhering to these steps, organizations can mitigate risks, optimize performance, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and position themselves for sustained success in an increasingly competitive and dynamic digital commerce ecosystem.  

What’s Next?  

Behind any thriving online e-commerce business that meets customer demands lies the technology responsible for delivering exceptional experiences. However, even successful enterprises face limitations with their e-commerce platforms, resulting in deteriorating site performance, mediocre user experiences, and high operational costs eating into profit margins.  

That said, the only option is transitioning or re-platforming your current e-commerce site to a robust platform equipped to sustain continuous business growth and meet elevated buyer expectations.  

Working with a partner like TechBlocks will streamline this transition, no matter how complicated your e-commerce website is. At TechBlocks, we abide by principles that prioritize business problem-solving, ensuring operational ease and future-ready adaptability.    

Furthermore, TechBlocks’ strategic alliance with BigCommerce signifies more than just a collaboration; it embodies a shared vision to redefine the e-commerce landscape with groundbreaking solutions that drive unprecedented growth for online businesses globally.  

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If you’ve outgrown your current digital commerce platform, our ecommerce experts are ready to help. Join TechBlocks’ journey to leverage the potential of BigCommerce and elevate your ecommerce business to global success!  

About the Author

Michael Chu

Michael is our VP of Digital Product & Strategy and has over 20 years of experience as a Solutions Architect, Product Manager, Technical Architect, and Digital Architect for companies globally, with a passion for creating delightful digital experiences and driving positive change using technology. It's a love affair that started because of his keen interest in understanding what drives people.  

Michael is a proven digital leader who joined the TechBlocks family in March 2023. He oversees digital transformation efforts and ensures our client's visions are brought to life. He also has extensive experience building ecommerce and healthcare technology solutions. He focuses on seeking the root cause to solve business and technology problems rather than just fixing symptoms.    

His thirst for knowledge keeps him at the forefront of technology and has translated well into conceptualizing and designing innovative tech solutions. Michael has built a reputation for being a 'creative technologist,' whether they're life-changing health tech challenges, developing new ways for consumers to discover and purchase goods, or building other enterprise solutions for complex use cases. 

Michael brings a wealth of experience from tech companies like Mekkano, Bowstreet, and Streebo. Before joining TechBlocks, he was a Digital Architect at Vasa Digital, helping enterprise customers realize business value via enterprise architecture and digital transformation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Dalhousie University and an International Master of Business Administration degree from York University, among other certifications.   

Michael Chu