You’ve decided to take the plunge. After months of deliberation and strategy sessions, it’s become clear it’s time to replace your current Ecommerce Platform. The reasons for replacing the customer-facing element of your digital ecosystem can range from the obsolescence of your current system to dissatisfaction with the vendor, or perhaps you’ve outgrown your current environment.

Whatever the reason may be, once you’ve decided to upgrade the front end – don’t forget to spend adequate time and resources evaluating how (and maybe if) it fits with your integrations.

It’s easy to get caught up in the front end/customer facing elements such as personalization, product recommendations, on-site search, promotional capabilities, etc. Unfortunately, it’s also just as easy to make assumptions about the compatibility between the Ecommerce platform under evaluation and the integration needs for your organization.

There are three important elements when it comes to evaluating a solution and integration partner:

  1. Proven experience and partnerships: When asking a potential ecommerce vendor about their APIs ability to integrate with third parties such as your PIM and payment gateway, dig deep. First and foremost, provide vendors with a full list of your integrations and current technology, including whether or not there is a customization that will need accommodation. Ask for specific examples of customers with the same or similar integration needs and use them as references.
  2. New features and technology: The introduction of a new platform can often-times bring new ideas and functionality to your ecosystem. It’s not uncommon for these features to require integration with a third party.
  3. Alternative solutions: With a new solution, there may come new third-party opportunities. Perhaps you’ve been stuck in a relationship with a particular vendor in spite of poor service and increasing costs because it’s the only integration option supported by your current Ecom solution. If so, be sure to mention this fact during the evaluation process and discover what alternatives are available.

Not only will in-depth conversations about background integrations enable you to select the right solution. They will also contribute to more accurate investment estimates in both time and dollars spent. All too often, glossing over the complexities and importance of the front and back-end integrations can lead to projects being over time and over budget.

Start your ecommerce re-platforming initiative off on the right foot by evaluating and selecting the best integration partner as a part of your criteria.