A quick-guide for a painless re-platform
Does the thought of having to re-platform your site fill you with dread?
Re-platforming is famous for being a complicated process which can often result in critical issues. These may cause new potential barriers which could hinder conversions.
We’ve created a guide to help you understand the important elements of your re-platform and the strategies you should follow to ensure complete functionality, usability and security post-re-platforming.
The guide includes:
- How to implement web testing for a successful re-platforming
- Why a post-launch ‘always on’ testing philosophy is critical
- A handy testing checklist
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3 out of 4 major businesses plan to switch content or ecommerce platforms within the next 12-18 months. Why are so many organisations choosing to take on such a large program of work? The key reasons behind this desire to change are:
- The business is transforming digitally and needs innovative ways to win, service and retain customers
- The cost of running the current platform is too expensive
- The platform is not agile enough to keep up with rapidly evolving customer expectations
- The platform has fallen behind what the leading competitors can offer
Re-platforming — or the process of moving from one platform to another — brings with it undoubted benefits such as better functionality and superior developer agility. You can expect to both increase revenues and make operational efficiency savings.
However, it’s also a complicated process that can be fraught with problems. Issues introduced to your payment gateway, broken links throughout the purchase journey and key web form errors are just a few of the many things that can go wrong during a re-platform. According to research from Salmon 69% of decision makers claim that customer experience was negatively impacted during the re-platform process.
Even with an attractive and modern website design, problems with the payment gateway and broken links can lead to poor first impressions once visitors explore the new site or app. The consequences of functional defects are increased bounce rates and falling conversions. The very metrics the program was supposed to improve. It is little wonder why migrating platforms is such a highly stressful time for all IT and business stakeholders involved.
69% of decision makers claim that customer experience was negatively impacted during the re-platform process.
One way to reduce this stress of re-platforming is with broad and comprehensive web testing. Web testing identifies all critical and conversion issues that can arise before, during and after you go live with your new website or mobile app. This means that you can be 100% certain that you have covered all areas and make the necessary fixes.
Web testing done right will help you minimise visitor friction and potential loss of sales. A variety of tools and services can help you achieve this, such as, functional testing, usability testing, automation testing, cloud based testing, crowdsourced testing, as well as the ever increasingly important security testing.
Whatever your choice, it’s important to approach re-platforming correctly by ensuring that web testing is planned and implemented properly. We’ve created this guide to help you work out what’s important for your re-platform testing and what strategies you should follow to implement a successful re-platform.
What should be tested?
Here are some of the key areas to consider testing during your re-platform:
Confusing site architecture, which is not easily accessible, is a huge red flag if not dealt with during a re-platform. Ensuring navigation such as menus, sub-menus and internal site links are self-explanatory and provide fluid functionality to the user.
Testing both current and old/alternative browsers will eradicate any incompatibility issues between your platform and your customers browsers. This extends your potential conversion and revenue growth.
There are thousands of devices in the world and the number is only growing. Using Google analytics you can identify which devices your customers are using and diagnose any issues on these devices. High bounce rates and cart abandonments will be indicators.
Load times & performance
Testing load time and speed ensures your site is attractive to the search engines and can handle the load at peak periods. The last thing you want is a crash in a peak sales window. This is particularly important if you have streaming media in multiple countries.
Making sure all your critical conversion points and payment gateways receive heavy testing rounds as these are key to customer experience, ensures no loss of sales or conversions during your re-platform. Errors can lead to revenues losses of an eye-watering £30,000 each week.
Ensuring languages have been correctly translated, time zones, postcodes, currency, pricing and taxation are all correct. Without localisation you could be excluding, offending or confusing users from different countries without realising it. In turn this reduces your revenue and brand reputation globally.
Forms & buttons
Thoroughly testing all of your forms and submission buttons will ensure that your sales and marketing teams are utilised with valuable strategic information. Additionally, B2C sites should be fully functional to ensure information isn’t missing or incorrect. This is primarily important during payment forms.
Errors & broken links
Frequent errors can be a source of frustration for users and create an unnecessary loss of sales. But it’s not just users that get frustrated with these – Google does too! Google does not properly index websites that include broken links, which could result in a loss of traffic and ultimately, revenue!
Navigation, site architecture, ease of customer journey are also critical items for testing. You should aim to test your usability with real life users who reflect your target demographics. Conducting these types of tests prior to re-platforming can help you rectify any issues before you launch.
Ensure passwords, authentication, cookies and confidentiality are tested thoroughly. Security of a website often includes credibility to users so without these areas being tested prior to a re-platform, visitors may have issues placing their trust (and money) in your website!
Testing each of these individual areas can cost a lot of time and money. Is this a feasible option for you during your re-platform? Can your testing team cope with this? If not, it might be time to bring in the experts.
The digital testing experts
Given a single tester can only test across a maximum of 3 devices before they become screen blind consider what resource your agency or internal team has
available to deliver comprehensive testing across all the area’s discussed above. Will your agency really identify all bugs that they need to fix for free under your warranty?
This is one of the top secrets to achieving a seamless re-platform. Get the specialists in. With evidence of the coverage achieved by a number of real devices and man days spent testing you can be confident you and your team have done all they can to ensure your part in the success of your organisations strategic re-platform.