Replatforming

With a great number of retailers looking to upgrade legacy systems, many are moving to new or upgraded eCommerce platforms. Some have even transferred services to the cloud in an attempt to improve their agility.

When a retailer is going through a period of technology transition such as this, managing the customer experience is more critical than ever. This is the time that unforeseen website issues can impact revenue and damage retailer reputation.

At best, a transition to a new platform can cause momentary lapses in service or minor usability issues. At worst, it can cause significant outages and degradation in customer experience that have immediate and longer lasting impacts. There have been multiple cases of retailers being embarrassed as their customers suffer during these changes when the consequences were not adequately considered.

During this time, it is critical to have visibility of the actual customer experience, be able to identify key website issues and prioritize these issues according to their revenue impact. These are key capabilities provided by the UserReplay solution and why our customers find it invaluable during re-platforming efforts.

Areas to be mindful

There are three mains areas of consideration retailers need to be mindful of during a re-platforming process. There are three mains areas of consideration retailers need to be mindful of during a re-platforming process:

1. Understand outgoing platform challenges.  A new platform project will typically take many months.  Hence it is key to continue to discover and quantify revenue impacting issues on the old platform.  This has the added benefit of using this insight to “design out” bad CX in the new platform.

2. Pre-release of the new platform.  Testing is key when migrating to a new platform.  UserReplay can provide great insight into issues discovered during testing and soft launch of the new platform, ensuring you minimise disruption after “D-Day”.

3. New platform release.  It is key to have the ability to act at speed on challenges that surface when the new platform is live.  As well as having the ability to proactively discover issues,  it is also important  to be able to respond to inbound information through channels such as Customer Services and social media.  Teams  within the business will already be under immense pressure so they need  to have facts and insights quickly to speed their efforts.

Given the points above, this is why a number of our customers have confirmed that it is more important than ever to closely monitor customer experience during these periods with a solution such as UserReplay.

Ensure a smooth transition whilst keeping your eye on the ball

In order to transition efficiently whilst avoiding costly mistakes, UserReplay’s CX Analytics provides a number of key benefits:

a) Identify issues quickly – using UserReplay’s CX Analytics, proactive alerting and automated discovery tools.

b) Prioritise these issues based on their possible impact on revenue and reputation – using UserReplay’s Monetisation capability.

c) Rapidly reproduce any issues and reduce root cause analysis – using UserReplay’s high fidelity session replay with detailed technical data.

Understandably, during large projects such as re-platforming, technical resources are firmly dedicated to the process and do not have much bandwidth to be distracted from the task at hand. Fortunately, the effort required to implement UserReplay on a website is minimal – a small piece of JS is simply added to the site. UserReplay’s own consultants will then ensure the solution is configured to the customer’s own needs.

Common avoidable issues during re-platforming

There are numerous examples of retailers running into issues during their re-platforming.

One retailer we worked with spent millions on re-platforming, the project taking over a year. When they switched, ecommerce revenue started to drop like a rock. It was at this point (and probably a little too late!) they implemented CX analytics and soon found a technical issue that was affecting 30% of customers. With the data now available to the dev team they were able to fix it in 15 minutes. In retrospect, they said they wished they had CX Analytics in place as a “safety net” to help “watch” the re-platforming. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

In another example, one of our retail customers discovered an issue during their re-platforming that was impacting customers trying to use their account management section. IT had been unable to re-produce it but once they reviewed some relevant journeys in UserReplay, along with the deep technical insight provided, they were able to quickly diagnose the issue. The issue only occurred when a certain cookie was present in the user’s browser. This problem was quickly resolved, thus avoiding valuable and loyal customers receiving poor experience.

Closing thoughts

In summary, implementing Customer Experience Analytics such as UserReplay in advance of re-platforming can provide the following benefits and, crucially, avoid unwanted outages and degradations to customer experience:

Protect Online Revenue – before and after.  Moving to a new platform is the most dangerous time for the website and can introduce issues that can impact online revenue.  UserReplay identifies these issues quickly and prioritises them so the most revenue impacting issues are addressed first.

-Protect Brand Reputation.  There are numerous stories of web re-platforming projects going wrong.  It is essential to avoid delivering bad customer experiences that damage the reputation of your brand.  Be able to identify and address these CX issues quickly and efficiently. Read our case study with SSFCU to learn more.

-Prioritise efforts based on outcomes (revenue) impacted – Revenue and Margin are the two key KPI’s for any retail business and losing either is detrimental to the business as a whole.

-Reduce Time and Cost of Re-producing website issues by over 50%.  Re-producing and finding website issues is typically a time consuming process and sucks IT resources from more value added projects.  UserReplay typically reduces this time by as much as 50% (many of our customers see an even higher percentage).

If you’re planning or considering re-platforming, speak to one of our team to ensure you avoid the common issues discussed.

Darren Ward

Darren Ward