Replatforming? Now is the Perfect Time to Rethink Your Mobile Presence

Every ecommerce brand reaches a point where it needs to replatform. While it’s a big undertaking, it’s also the perfect opportunity to address your customers’ mobile experience.

Due to the cost and time commitments of replatforming, many ecommerce professionals shy away from taking on other projects at the same time. However, it’s for these exact reasons that retailers can’t afford to wait until the replatform is complete in order to prioritize mobile.

Mobile traffic has now surpassed desktop, and that gap is growing at an astounding rate. Mobile is – or soon will be – your busiest storefront. But these customers have high expectations, and immediately leave a mobile site that doesn’t meet their needs. In the months (or years) it takes you to complete a replatform, they’ll have gone somewhere else.

Why the Push Back?

When we speak to retailers, we hear two concerns around starting a mobile project while replatforming:

  1. Technology objection: We can’t start working on our mobile front-end until we’re ready to scrape the HTML.
  2. Business objection: We don’t have the time or resources to add another project to our plate.

Before addressing these objections, let’s clarify what a mobile-optimized front-end entails – and why responsive falls short.

Going Responsive is Just the First Step

You may think you’ve got mobile covered if you’re going responsive. Think again. While this may have been true a couple years ago, technology has evolved and so have your customers’ expectations.  

Responsive web design supports mobile screens but it doesn’t optimize for them. Every customer is given the lowest common denominator experience. By ignoring customers whose devices are capable of a more advanced experience, you’re inviting them to go elsewhere.

New innovation has unlocked traditionally native app features (such as cameras, touch ID, and bluetooth) for use on browsers. Google’s Progressive Web App technology leverages this innovation to provide a truly optimized, “app-like” experience for your larger mobile web audience, going far beyond what responsive web design (RWD) can offer on its own.

It’s not that you shouldn’t go responsive. This approach does solve many challenges, but has become the bare minimum of what customers expect from a mobile experience. By combining tried and true responsive techniques with new progressive concepts, you can deliver a high-converting mobile commerce experience that customers truly love.

Technology Objection: HTML Needs to be Done First

So is it even possible to fix your mobile front-end during a replatform (without causing major headaches)? In short, yes.

This wasn’t the case a couple years ago, but thanks to API-driven commerce, you can decouple the two projects and fix your mobile commerce experience in tandem with a replatform. The shift towards APIs removes the need to scrape HTML, ensuring a faster development process.

Business Objection: Time and Resources

Replatforming is a big project, and time and resources can be stretched thin. But addressing your mobile front-end while replatforming could save you a lot of time and money down the road.

There’s a big opportunity cost to delaying improvements to your mobile commerce experience. With a Progressive Web App, Mobify customers see mobile conversion rates increase 50% – do you really want to put off such a significant bump in revenue?

The average replatform takes 4.2 months longer than planned. Waiting until the lengthy process is complete to optimize your site for mobile will mean delaying revenue from increased mobile conversions. Imagine coming out of a long, expensive replatforming project and not seeing a return on investment from mobile – your busiest storefront. That won’t look good in the project retro.

While implementing both projects alongside each other, you can use the UX expertise from your mobile project to inform your desktop design. This ensures that mobile doesn’t become an afterthought that sucks more time and resources after the fact.

Still have concerns? Contact us and we can help you determine if addressing your mobile commerce experience during a replatform makes sense for your brand.

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