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Making the Right B2B Ecommerce Platform Decision: Evaluating a Re-Platform

The B2B ecommerce market is expanding at an unprecedented rate, with global sales expected to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027, up from $14.9 trillion in 2020​ (Payback Group)​. This explosive growth underscores the importance for manufacturers and distributors to stay ahead of the curve by upgrading their ecommerce platforms. For many, this means confronting the challenge of re-platforming from an aging system that has been heavily customized over the years. Despite the significant investments already made, the limitations of outdated technology are becoming increasingly apparent. Modern ecommerce architectures offer more native functionality and greater flexibility, essential for sustaining growth and competitiveness.

Understanding the Need for Re-Platforming

Infographic - Top 10 Signs Its Time To Replatform B2B Ecommerce

The Top 10 Signs It’s Time To Replatform Your B2B Ecommerce Infographic

Legacy ecommerce platforms often struggle to keep up with evolving business needs and technological advancements. These systems can be costly to maintain and lack the agility required to adapt to new market demands. Re-platforming to a modern ecommerce solution can provide numerous benefits, including improved performance, enhanced user experiences, and the ability to leverage advanced features such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. [Download The Top 10 Signs It’s Time to RePlatform Your B2B Ecommerce Infographic.]

Forrester reports that B2B companies that keep their eCommerce platforms updated with current technology see a 30% increase in customer satisfaction and a 20% boost in conversion rates. Staying ahead with the latest tech not only enhances user experience but also drives higher engagement and sales performance.

The Rise of Composable Commerce

One of the most compelling approaches for re-platforming is adopting a MACH-based (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless) composable commerce architecture. This strategy allows businesses to choose and integrate best-of-breed components tailored to their specific needs, providing unparalleled flexibility and scalability. Unlike monolithic platforms, composable commerce enables organizations to innovate and evolve quickly without being constrained by a single vendor’s ecosystem.

According to Gartner, organizations that have adopted a composable commerce approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation. This shift towards modular, flexible architectures is driving significant growth and enabling businesses to innovate faster than ever before.

Evaluating Modern Ecommerce Platforms

When considering a new ecommerce platform, it’s crucial to evaluate options that align with your business objectives and technological requirements. Here are some leading platforms worth considering:

Adobe Commerce (Magento)

Adobe Commerce, formerly known as Magento, offers robust functionality and extensive customization capabilities. It supports a wide range of integrations and has a strong community of developers. Adobe Commerce is ideal for businesses that require a scalable and flexible platform with comprehensive content management and personalization features.

commercetools

commercetools is a leader in the MACH architecture movement, providing a highly modular and flexible platform. Its API-first approach allows for seamless integration with various third-party services, making it an excellent choice for businesses looking to implement a headless commerce solution.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce offers a cloud-based platform that combines ease of use with powerful features. It supports B2B-specific functionalities such as bulk pricing, customer segmentation, and custom pricing lists. BigCommerce is known for its scalability and ability to handle large catalogs and high transaction volumes.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is designed for high-growth businesses, offering a scalable platform with advanced customization options. It provides robust B2B capabilities, including wholesale channel support, automated workflows, and extensive integration options. Shopify Plus is praised for its user-friendly interface and powerful analytics tools.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud delivers a comprehensive suite of ecommerce tools, integrated with the Salesforce ecosystem. It excels in providing personalized customer experiences through its AI-driven insights and marketing automation capabilities. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is suitable for businesses looking to leverage customer data across sales, service, and marketing functions.

The Platform Evaluation Process

Selecting the right ecommerce platform requires a systematic evaluation process. Here are key steps to consider:

1. Define Business Objectives

Clearly outline your business goals and what you aim to achieve with the new platform. Consider aspects such as scalability, customization, integration capabilities, and cost.

2. Conduct a Needs Assessment

Assess your current platform’s limitations and identify the specific requirements for your new system. This includes evaluating your existing tech stack, operational workflows, and customer experience needs.

3. Research and Shortlist Platforms

Based on your business objectives and needs assessment, research potential platforms and create a shortlist of those that best meet your criteria. Consider factors such as functionality, vendor reputation, and community support.

4. Request Demos and Trials

Engage with vendors to request demos and trial access to their platforms. This hands-on experience is crucial for understanding the user interface, ease of use, and overall capabilities of each solution.

5. Evaluate Total Cost of Ownership

Consider both the initial implementation costs and ongoing operational expenses. Factor in costs related to licensing, customization, integration, maintenance, and support.

6. Analyze Integration Capabilities

Ensure the new platform can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, including ERP, CRM, PIM, and other essential business applications. Strong API capabilities are a key factor in this evaluation.

7. Check References and Case Studies

Request references and review case studies to understand how other businesses have successfully implemented the platform. This can provide valuable insights into potential challenges and best practices.

8. Make an Informed Decision

Based on your evaluations, make an informed decision that aligns with your strategic objectives and provides the flexibility to adapt to future needs.

Conclusion

Re-platforming your B2B ecommerce system is a significant decision that can drive substantial business growth and operational efficiencies. By considering modern platforms like Adobe Commerce, commercetools, BigCommerce, Shopify Plus, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and following a structured evaluation process, you can ensure a successful transition to a more flexible and scalable ecommerce solution.

At McFadyen Digital, we specialize in helping businesses navigate the complexities of re-platforming. Contact us today at info@mcfadyen.com for expert guidance and support with your platform evaluation or re-platforming project.

Ready to take the next step in your ecommerce journey? Reach out to McFadyen Digital for personalized assistance in evaluating and implementing the right ecommerce platform for your business.

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