Platform Implementation: Tips for Success in Enterprise Commerce 

Key Concepts and Strategies

35% of companies plan to update their commerce architecture in 2024 (Snyder, 2024). As technical leaders navigate the complexities of scaling and implementing commerce platforms, understanding the critical pillars for success becomes essential. Effective planning, thorough vendor evaluation, and preparing internal teams are crucial for a smooth transition to a new digital commerce platform. Growth is generally positive news for online retailers, but if your platform isn’t prepared to scale alongside your customer base, numerous issues can arise. 

  • When you outgrow your current platform and provider, you might experience: 
  • Long load times or site crashes during high-traffic events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday 
  • Complaints about slow, inconsistent shopping experiences, requiring constant technical troubleshooting 
  • Delays in launching new products or features that could enhance the customer experience 
  • Increased abandoned carts indicating poor checkout performance 
  • The challenge of managing multiple storefronts across different websites and platforms 
  • Difficulty modernizing the shopping experience to include omnichannel buying, personalization, and more due to cost constraints 
  • Effective platform implementation requires addressing these potential issues and ensuring your commerce architecture can support sustained growth and innovation (Shopify, 2024). 

Create a Comprehensive Plan 

Implementing a new platform is more than a simple website migration. The larger and more diverse your eCommerce offerings, the more complex the process can become. Nevertheless, it’s possible to get implementation right the first time with thorough planning. 

Create Your Timeline and Assemble Stakeholders 

  • The first step is building a detailed timeline. Be realistic when setting milestone dates, considering the overall time needed. Once you have a rough timeline, identify all your internal stakeholders to ensure your proposed schedule works for them. 
  • A new platform impacts many departments and functions, making a cross-functional implementation team essential. This team might include members from IT, engineering, customer service, sales, marketing, and supply chain. 
  • When working with cross-functional groups, fostering a positive team culture from the start is crucial. Gartner® recommends encouraging an open-communication culture within the team and urging members to ask questions and seek clarification promptly, ensuring everyone stays aligned throughout the project. 
  • Socialize the timeline with your proposed team, ensuring their availability throughout the process to avoid delays. Gather stakeholder feedback and adjust the timeline to keep it actionable and realistic.

Take a Close Look at What Your Customers Want 

  • One of the main reasons for moving to new platforms is to enhance the ecommerce experience for customers. However, each customer base is unique, and larger retailers may have varied customers for different products and services. Notably, 52% of online shoppers report shopping internationally, indicating a need for platforms that support diverse markets (Snyder, 2024). 
  • Given the significant impact of a new platform on your customers, it’s vital to analyze your current customer base and their buying behaviors. Gathering proactive feedback to understand desired improvements can be highly beneficial. 
  • This data helps explore new features and functionalities for your new platform, and informs the addition of new goals and objectives to your implementation plan. 

Create a Comprehensive, Future-Proof List of Requirements 

  • Documenting your existing solution and its current configuration is critical. Avoid launching on a new platform without a critical capability you didn’t realize you relied on. Note what you like about your current platform and list must-haves for the new platform, while also addressing any limitations of your current solution. 
  • Consider your future needs for expansion, growth, or buyer experience innovation. For example, with mobile commerce sales expected to account for 62% of all retail sales by 2027, ensuring your new platform is mobile-friendly is crucial (Snyder, 2024). Once you have all current and future requirements mapped out, add them to your goals and implementation timeline. 


Evaluate Vendors Thoroughly, with an Eye Toward Future Growth 

  • Once you have your requirements, plan, and timeline in hand, it’s time to shop for a vendor. If you’ve already chosen your provider, you can skip this step, but it’s wise to ensure you won’t be locked into a lengthy contract or a highly specific tech stack. 

  • Your platform must be the right technical solution, and the provider should support your long-term needs. Ensure their suite of solutions can handle your current requirements and future needs. Given that 34% of shoppers shop online at least once a week, scalability and reliability are critical considerations (Snyder, 2024). 

  • When comparing vendors, review their reliability, performance, and ecosystem. Consider the following questions: 

  • Beyond subscription fees, what is the total cost of ownership? Will the new platform increase or decrease your costs? 

  • Does the vendor lock you into a specific architecture or long contracts? 

  • Can the vendor scale beyond your current requirements? Are they successfully hosting larger clients? 

  • What is the vendor’s underlying infrastructure? How scalable and high-performing is it in key markets? 

  • What integrations does the platform offer? Will you need to change other systems you are using? 

  • What does the platform offer out of the box? Will customization be necessary? 

  • Will this platform accelerate your go-to-market strategy? 

  • It’s essential to speak with current customers, especially those in your industry. Visit customer community forums to gauge the vendor’s commitment to support. Consulting with external experts can also provide valuable insights. 

Before finalizing, understand their customer support operations and service-level agreements (SLAs). Gartner® recommends testing potential platforms in a live environment: “Conduct live testing with shortlisted vendors to verify the platforms’ features and suitability with your environment. Additionally, leverage the testing period to evaluate necessary plugins upfront to avoid potential escalations in the overall cost of ownership in the future” (Shopify, 2024). 

Get Your Internal Team Trained Up and Ready 

  • A new platform brings new ways of doing things, necessitating a comprehensive training plan for those who will use it daily. 

  • Without full training on new processes and technology, issues can arise. Colleagues might struggle to get up to speed, slowing order processing and negatively impacting customer experience. There’s also the risk of platform misuse, potentially leading to costly support issues and dissatisfied customers. 

  • Identify “in-house experts” on your implementation team. Ensure your plan includes thorough vendor training for each member. The implementation phase is ideal for training, as vendors are eager to set you up for success and provide ample resources. 

  • During training, establish a process for documenting what is learned. Use recordings of training calls, shared documents, or self-made screen recording videos. 

Remember You Don’t Have to Launch with Every Functionality Already in Place 

The larger your eCommerce business, the longer your implementation process will likely be. However, if your new platform addresses critical issues affecting your bottom line, it may be wise to go live sooner with the essential features and add less urgent functionalities iteratively. This approach not only resolves immediate problems but also provides opportunities to reengage with your customers by introducing new features over time. 

For instance, 20.1% of retail purchases are expected to take place online in 2024, highlighting the growing importance of a robust ecommerce presence (Snyder, 2024). Providers like Shopify offer extensive ecosystems of resources that can help you continuously improve your storefront. Shopify stores are up to 2.4 times faster than stores on other platforms, making them the fastest in the world. This is supported by publicly available data from Google Core Web Vitals, demonstrating that speed translates directly to sales. Faster stores provide a better shopper experience, leading to higher conversion rates (Finkelstein, n.d.). 

Shopify’s core infrastructure, constant investment in modernizing cloud infrastructure, and partnerships with industry leaders mean you don’t have to allocate significant resources to speed up your site. Shopify’s server speed is up to 3.9 times faster than the competition, making it the fastest in commerce. This advantage ensures your site remains fast and efficient without requiring extensive efforts on your part. 

Additionally, the vendor’s ecosystem will expand over time. Regular check-ins with your vendor will ensure you stay informed about new resources and offerings. Gartner® recommends planning for global customer reach early on by leveraging multi-language functionality from the outset, which helps create a more efficient and scalable platform (Shopify, 2024). 

A Proven Platform for Enterprise Ecommerce Success 

If you’re outgrowing your current platform or need a new ecommerce partner to drive your business goals, Shopify is a reliable and robust choice. The platform supports more than 10% of all ecommerce in the United States and partners with numerous enterprise brands to provide everything needed for rapid scaling and innovation. In 2023, Shopify processed 40,000 checkouts per minute, totaling 5.5 billion orders from over 675 million unique customers. 

Choosing Shopify means joining a community of thousands of retailers in more than 175 countries. When you’re ready for implementation, our expert support team is prepared to assist. 

To learn more about Shopify, schedule a call with us today. 



  1. Finkelstein, H. (n.d.). Shopify stores are up to 2.4x faster than stores on other platforms. 

  2. Snyder, K. (2024). 35 e-commerce statistics of 2024. Forbes. 

  3. Shopify. (2024). Understanding enterprise ecommerce architecture: Key concepts and strategies. Shopify. 

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