Many online retailers aren’t happy with their current e-commerce platforms, as nearly half of them say they are in the market for a new one.
In an exclusive survey included in the first-ever Internet Retailer Quintessential Guide to E-Commerce Platforms, merchants say not only do they want to switch, they are moving quickly to do so. Nearly 17% of retailers surveyed say they are in the midst of a replatforming, while more than 72% say they plan to switch within the next two years.
That could come as great news to the e-commerce platform providers out there, many of which are likely to benefit from the $2.1 billion predicted by Forrester Research Inc. to be spent on commerce platform technology by 2019. Much of that spending comes from merchants outgrowing their current systems and switching to a platforms.
Increasingly, retailers are opting for the software as a service model, where the provider hosts the software and it is accessed by the retailer via the web. The largest percentage of retailers surveyed by Internet Retailer—40%—say they’d like to switch to a SaaS platform. That’s a marked increase from the 25% of retailers that now use SaaS.
A web-based platform typically offers retailers access to faster site upgrades, often automatically added by the vendor, and requires less in-house technical staff because the vendor manages the underlying infrastructure.
Making life easier was a big priority for Costume SuperCenter, which in January 2015 switched to SaaS e-commerce platform provider WebLinc Corp. from its eOne web commerce platform it had been using for seven years. Weblinc charges the retailer a fee based on monthly traffic to its handful of e-commerce sites, including CostumeSuperCenter.com and BirthdayInABox.com.
In general, the retailers’ sites are now much easier to update, says vice president of marketing Jim Moore. “If we want a new landing page, we just go into WebLinc and create it,” he says. “If we want to change navigation and add the word ‘Christmas’ in the header, we can add it in minutes; and on Dec. 24, we can remove it. Before, it would need to be scheduled as part of our next release and take two weeks to code and get on the site.”
Moore especially likes WebLinc features that save him time, like a site planner tool that allows staff to schedule updates for a specific date and time rather than having to push changes to production at the exact time they want them to go live.
More details on Costume SuperCenter’s new platform, as well as in-depth interviews with technology providers, experts and other merchants that have recently switched platforms, is available in the Internet Retailer Quintessential Guide to E-Commerce Platforms.
Also included in the $199 report is the following:
- Detailed profiles of the top 10 e-commerce platform companies powering the country’s leading retail websites
- A directory of 50 North American-based platform vendors
- In-depth analysis article on current trends in platform technology
- Exclusive survey results of e-retailers’ platform spending plans
- 5 must-have features for a competitive e-commerce platform
- A list of the Top 500 merchants’ current platform partners
- Tips on how to vet your next platform provider