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Why Digital Marketing Considerations Play a Big Role in Commerce Platform Selection- Here’s Why #271

Digital Marketing Considerations Play a Big Role in Commerce Platform Selection

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a commerce platform for your business.

In the first part of this two-part series, Eric Enge and Justin Racine, Senior Commerce Consultant at Perficient, discussed the technology considerations.

Now, in this video, they dive into the business and digital marketing factors you need to evaluate before deciding on an e-commerce platform.

This video is the second in a two-part series on choosing a commerce platform. If you missed the previous video, watch it here: Why Technology is One of the Big Keys to Picking the Right Commerce Platform.

Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.

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Eric: Hey, everybody. Eric Enge here. I’m the Principal for the Digital Marketing Solutions business unit here at Perficient, and welcome to another episode of “Here’s Why.” Back with me again for this episode is Justin Racine. Justin is a Senior Commerce Consultant at Perficient, and he works with clients to figure out how to leverage their technologies to deliver awesome digital experiences. He’s just a great wealth of knowledge around all things about commerce platforms. And we’re going to do the second part of a two-part series discussing how to pick the right ecommerce platform. In the first part, we covered the technology considerations, but in this one, we’re going to cover the business and digital marketing considerations.

So, looking forward to doing this again with you today, Justin. Say, hello.

Justin: Thanks, Eric. Glad to be back. Definitely looking forward to diving into part two of this series and exploring some interesting topics here with you today. So, thanks for having me again.

Eric: No, absolutely. Let’s get to it.

Eric: So, I always urge people to think about the digital marketing side of things when they’re going through these kinds of transitions. So, the obvious one is SEO, where you need to look at and consider whether or not you’re doing the right things through the implementation process, and really, in your plan for the overall process to at least preserve your SEO, and then also, set the stage for growth going into the future.

But it gets a little broader than that, too. It gets into the analytics and CRO side of things. And there’s a lot of opportunities you have once you’re doing some sort of migration or re-platform because the patient is basically open at that point. It’s going to be far more cost-effective to do some of those other changes at the same time that you’re making a larger-scale change, and you just don’t want to miss that opportunity when you have it. But, with that in mind, what’s next?

Justin: Well, you brought up some interesting points there, Eric, so I think I’d like to kind of stay with some of those. And I think you definitely know SEO very well, right, and digital marketing, so you know the importance of getting the right type of customer to your site. And there’s two sides to that coin.

The one side is you want to attract the right type of customer through SEO and digital marketing, that’s relevant to what your business or what your e-commerce instance is trying to do. That’s half the battle.

Once you get them there, you have to get them to convert, right? So, that’s the other side of the coin is, how is this commerce platform going to allow you to do that? And also, as I was alluding to prior, how is this commerce platform going to allow you to iterate and grow as customer expectations change? You know, 2020 was a crazy year, right? COVID, everyone knows that story there. But one of the biggest things that changed is that there were new types of customers that were using e-commerce capabilities and buying new categories of products that they never purchased online before. And what that did is it changed the experience or the expectations of those customers in new categories of product.

So, if you were a business who sold certain types of items that typically weren’t purchased by one demographic, but because everything was closed down, you’re now in that space, then the experience on your platform probably needs to be changed, because you had previously designed it for a different set of customers.

So, the next phase here, if the technology and business align, is looking at a platform that’s going to allow you to grow and change those experiences when unfortunate events like COVID arise. And COVID isn’t the only thing. There’s constantly things that are occurring within the market, within business, that are creating these demand changes for customers and their expectations.

You have to pick a platform that has a roadmap that aligns with your business, aligns with your technology, but also is constantly creating new features and workflows and enhancements that allow you to extend that platform, to really meet and exceed those ever-changing customer expectations, because they’re constantly changing. And you need to keep up with it, otherwise, your competitors will slide in and take your customers right from you.

Eric: Right. Well, at the end of the day, too, you’re making the platform switch for a reason or maybe many reasons, and you really need to take the time at the very beginning of the process. And then, really, the various stages through the process to ensure that you’re actually meeting the goals or the things you were trying to accomplish with making the switch. So, let’s keep going. What else you got for me?

Justin: I think there’s two other key things that I think we could probably touch on here, and one of which I alluded to earlier is that, once you have the business, the technology, and alignment, and you have the platform piece as well as far as the vision of the future, you really want to start to look at your key performance indicators.

And the KPIs, the best way that I can describe them is, it’s like when you were in school and you got a grade on a test. So, if you got an A+, that’s a key performance indicator of how well you knew the information, whereas if you got a D, you really didn’t know the information that well. And within e-commerce, there’s tons of key performance indicators that are out there that can be leveraged to determine success.

So, will the platform help you meet or exceed these KPIs from day one? What other KPIs would you need to potentially build as you’re upgrading this platform, to realize and determine what success looks like, and to continuously track those as time goes on? If we’re looking at conversion rate, or we’re looking at bounce rate, all of these play into that. And Eric, I’m sure you as well, from the digital marketing side, there’s probably a ton of key performance indicators that you look at from an SEO side of things that are extremely important to the success of digital marketing platforms, that are probably in alignment here as well, right?

Eric: No, absolutely. And, you know, I think everybody needs to remember, as they go through this process, that the website exists for a variety of reasons. But, generally speaking, to attract, engage, and convert customers, right? And you just need to be mindful of that through the whole process. People are unable to discover your website, for example, and it’ll be an empty store, right? And a poorly executed migration can be a digital marketing disaster.

In all of this, it’s also important to have the right expectations. So, it’s common when you make some sort of major platform change or site migration where you will see some short-term loss in organic search traffic. And you just have to prepare for that and know that. And maybe what you want to do is for the few weeks while that’s taking place, before Google understands the new site and gets you back hopefully to where you were, just put a little more money into your paid media budgets to keep your customer acquisition rates at the levels that you want them to be. But, with that in mind, let’s bring it home. Any other considerations, Justin?

Justin: Well, I think the last one that I would call out here, and you alluded to it as well, is total cost of ownership, right? So, how much is it going to cost you to choose this platform and to implement it versus what you have today, and what other considerations go around that?

I mean, Eric, you were just talking about the power of SEO and losing two-thirds of your traffic because they didn’t follow certain SEO recommendations through this site migration process. So, perfect example, you have a site today, you’re putting it on a different platform. It’s not just getting the integrations built out, it’s all of the SEO work that you’ve paid and done prior to get that good organic ranking. And if you don’t take certain things into consideration, your total cost of ownership might look okay from just the platform-to-platform basis, but if you don’t account for things like SEO, or CRO, and customer experience, then that total cost of ownership will increase above what your expectations are today.

So, the final thing I’d really touch on is that when you’re migrating to a new platform, yes, you want to make sure that the cost of ownership is in alignment with what your budget allows for, but that you’re also looking outside of the scope of what is really the platform cost and the implementation fees and the licensing, and looking at other areas that could potentially be negatively affected by not taking into account the right steps through this migration process.

And obviously, that all aligns back to the return on your investment and how can you drive more revenue through this platform? How can you create a better customer experience? And how can you set the foundation, again, for the future of your business, that will be successful for you, for your employees, and for the customers who are shopping on this platform? So, that would be the final piece that I’d say, as you’re looking at all of this, making sure that you really understand the total cost of what you’re looking to achieve.

Eric: This has been great, Justin. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Justin: Absolutely, Eric. Thanks for the time.

Eric: Absolutely. And thank you all for watching this episode of “Here’s Why.” Hopefully you enjoyed it. If you did, please click the button below to subscribe to our channels, so you won’t have to miss any future episodes.

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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