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The Ultimate eCommerce Checklist: Why Re-Platform & Go Headless?

Makayla Adams

When preparing to re-platform, dotCMS and Raak are here to help. Raak understands the process can be overwhelming, especially when considering a re-platform during economic adversity and a rapidly changing eCommerce landscape. Additionally, dotCMS is a great CMS tool for recession proofing your tech stack.

In BigCommerce’sRoadmap to Re-platforming’ report, they recommend several steps to consider when preparing to re-platform.

We have summarized the various steps in the following section.

Start by answering these 5 questions:

1) What is the age of your technology and is it holding back some of the overall eCommerce strategy?

2) Are your website and store underperforming due to poor database and technology lags?

3) Is your current technology stack holding back your ability to update or improve your eCommerce capabilities?

4) Is your design and usability scope limited by the current eCommerce setup?

5) Is your website SEO underperforming due to the technical limitations of your web presence?

Next, assess your business requirements in order to get the project going:

6) Who is providing input into the re-platforming process, and how much input do you need to get the decision over the line internally? 

7) Has the project been signed off or do you need internal buy-in?

8) Have you audited your user experience, marketing, and technology stack and have a good sense of what you need from your new stack?

Then, begin the re-platforming audit process:

There are certain things your business will need to consider when planning to re-platform to a headless solution. Raak has been through this process with clients many times, and the dotCMS solutions makes the process seamless.

These are the questions that you need to answer in order to decide whether to re-platform to a headless architecture.

9) What is the cost of the current platform?

10) What is the opportunity cost of not upgrading?

11) What are the limitations of the current platform?

12) What do you want to do that you can’t do right now?

13) List out all the current pain points with the current platform (e.g.: Poor site speed affecting conversion and scaling, design limitations and below-par UX/UI, high cost of development & maintenance, limited SEO performance, security exposures)

14) List out all the benefits for a headless upgrade (e.g.: Opportunity to scale, improved conversion rates, better user experience, limitless personalisation and customisations, reduced overhead and costs.)

Write a plan for your headless migration (before, during, and after) by considering the following questions:

15) What is your overarching eCommerce strategy, and does your budget meet your headless plans?

16) Are you clear on what you like and don’t like from your current platform and the costs of getting what you want?

17) Create a timeline that is both realistic and drives outcomes.

18) Understand your current stack and all the data that needs to be migrated.

19) Identify the web design and functionality that you like and ensure it's communicated into the new design plan.

20) Create a content plan of what you’ll bring over and what new content you’ll need.

21) Commence development, implement the design, migrate data, test checkout, integrate 3rd party apps, test launch, and seek feedback.

22) Create an ongoing support and kick-off marketing plan

23) What are your key statistics now, and what are you aiming for after implementing headless?

a. Monthly revenue

b. Conversion rate

c. Average order value

d. Page load time

e. Customer ratings

Once this audit and review process is underway, a key question around what technology stack to choose for your business will arise. This is when it is critical to assess the eCommerce solution best suited for your business.

The options become either 1. a headless or 2. an out-of-the-box eCommerce solution.

A headless architecture will allow your business to prioritise the key objectives:

1. Creating a unique customers experience; while also

2. Optimising the transaction outcome for the retailer.

A headless architecture enables the business to have total creative and design scope while also allowing them to use any applications they require to optimise their own specific business needs. In short, a headless eCommerce solution enables the business to:

  • Solve business objectives and use cases more easily;

  • Create a highly creative, customised, and personalised experience for customers;

  • Respond flexibility to any new technologies and system demands;

  • Explore all eCommerce strategies without constraint.

Read more on The New State of eCommerce and Headless eCommerce.

Image Credit: Lucrezia Carnelos
Makayla Adams
Digital Marketing Coordinator
August 28, 2023

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