eCommerceDisruption
Spend Smart to Avoid the Replatforming Trap

This is a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty. But that doesn’t mean you need to stop innovating. The key is to avoid the expensive trap of replatforming and focus on smart spend strategies for innovation instead.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual finances and the global economy has been staggering. Overall unemployment rates have reached levels unseen since the Great Depression.

The retail industry has been hit particularly hard. A recent report from the U.S. Labor Department found that 1 in 10 jobs lost from the current pandemic were in the retail sector. Venerable brands such as Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have been forced into bankruptcy.  And that could be just the start. Analysts at USB are predicting that as many as 100,000 retail stores could close by 2025 as a result of the pandemic.

But this crisis isn’t restricted to retail. A wide swath of consuming-facing industries including travel, transportation, and entertainment have suffered similar dips. Even B2B companies have not been spared as disruptions to the global supply chain take their toll on the oil and gas, automotive, construction, and tech sectors.  

The economic fear and uncertainty are understandable. And it’s not surprising that many companies see this as a sign to hunker down and wait for things to turn around. Across the board, major players in all industries are cutting back on their spending – particularly on technology.

ECONOMY STALLS BUT BUYER EXPECTATIONS GROW

But now is not the time to hide under a rock. Even though buying patterns have changed – the need for products and services remains strong. And waiting until the whole situation to “blow over” is a risky strategy. The current timeline for the virus is so uncertain that you could easily find yourself out of business before we receive a definitive “all clear” signal form the government and global health community.

The one thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that the future of commerce (for both consumers and business buyers) will be increasingly digital. All of the forecasts predicting a shift to digital processes and transactions have been given a turbo boost by COVID-19. Even before the current pandemic, most companies were aware of the digital imperative with more than 70% of companies reporting that they were pursuing a digital transformation strategy.

The current crisis should encourage companies to double down on this digital strategy. Organizations can achieve huge benefits and set themselves up for long-term success (and easier migrations in the future) by investing in technology to enhance their existing eCommerce or marketing platforms today.

13TH LABOR OF HERCULES: REPLATFORMING

Unfortunately, digital transformation is an immensely challenging task in the best of time, let alone during a global recession.

Many companies are saddled with monolithic, out-of-dates technology platforms for managing their eCommerce, marketing, and content management processes. A huge percentage of these solutions are one-size-fits-all suites that lack key capabilities or have a limited extensibility – making it hard for them to scale or adapt to changing requirements. Few of these legacy platforms support more flexible modern architectures – including support for headless delivery and microservices.

To make things even worse, many companies chose to customize their solutions extensively, which can cause enormous migration headaches when upgrading to a new software version. That’s assuming that they even can upgrade. Intensive consolidation of the eCommerce and CMS market have left many companies high and dry as their suppliers get acquired and legacy platforms are retired or left to languish in development limbo.

Industry analysts agree that replatforming projects are notoriously difficult and expensive. Anyone who has been in the IT industry long enough can cite stories of projects that took years to complete and still failed to deliver on their goals – even after spending millions (or even tens of millions) of dollars. 

And, a great deal of the cost and effort in any replatforming project is consumed by integration – making it all the more critical to find ways to ease the burden on internal or outside development teams.

SPEND SMART NOW TO BUILD A PLATFORM FOR INCREMENTAL GROWTH

But all is not lost. There is a way for companies in all industries to prepare for the digital future today without disrupting their business and getting themselves mired in the spiraling costs of a major migration or replatforming project. We call it the “Smart Spend” approach to digital transformation.

Most companies don’t need to immediately replace or upgrade their eCommerce or marketing platform in order to transform their business. By leveraging CoreMedia Content Cloud’s flexible content management platform and deep productized integrations to leading commerce and marketing tools, companies can spend smart on optimizing and extending the value of their current digital platforms to achieve massive ROI in much less time. And by incrementally transitioning key business logic and content assets to CoreMedia, they prepare themselves for a much smoother and more cost-effective migration to any new platform they might choose in the future.

In this model, CoreMedia’s role is to access content and turn it into great digital customer experiences by blending it with product information and transactional capabilities. CoreMedia acts as a digital experience creation and delivery layer that connects and orchestrates content and product data from your legacy commerce systems – and allows marketers and merchandisers to publish these hybrid experiences to innovative online flagship stores that seamlessly blends branded content and transactions.

CoreMedia Content Cloud provides companies with a flexible set of tools for:

  • Orchestrating content from multiple sources
  • Managing digital content is a flexible headless repository
  • Creating and previewing digital experiences that seamlessly combine content and commerce in an easy to use drag-and-drop interface
  • Injecting those experiences into existing online stores and marketing touchpoints – to make branded content shoppable and eCommerce experiences more engaging
  • Personalizing the experience
  • Delivering it to any digital touch point and any stage in the customer journey
  • Measuring and optimizing the experience

The benefits of this approach are enormous. Rather than putting your business on hold as you spend millions of dollars on a complete rip-and-replace, companies can spend a fraction of that amount on an incremental strategy that can produce measurable results in months not years. They can take things at their own pace and introduce new functionality a bit at a time to minimize spend and maximize impact.

The benefits can be enormous:

  • Start delivering new functionality in weeks rather than months
  • Spend a fraction of the cost of a full replatforming project and start seeing tangible ROI is less than 12 months
  • Increase your flexibility and agility by taking advantage of CoreMedia’s modular asset architecture and headless delivery technology
  • Free your marketers from the tyranny of the IT team and allow them to create and publish digital experiences directly
  • Incrementally transition your front-end business logic and critical assets to CoreMedia and make it easier to migrate or replatform later

To find out more about how CoreMedia can help companies achieve a smooth and affordable digital transformation – even in these challenging times – check out the details on our website.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug HeiseDoug Heise

Doug Heise

Vice President Marketing

Doug Heise leads CoreMedia’s global marketing efforts with special focus on Strategy, Product Marketing and Analyst relationship. Doug Heise started his career at CoreMedia as Global Director of Product Marketing. Before joining the company, he served as Head of Strategy for BBC Technology’s North American digital media team and led product marketing efforts for Hewlett-Packard’s Digital Media Platform. As an independent consultant, he has worked for a range of Fortune 100 companies including Visa, Microsoft, and Cisco. Doug Heise holds a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He is married and father of a son.

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