February 24, 2023

Mary Sullivan

From legacy systems to modern platforms: The evolution of enterprise ecommerce

Enterprise eCommerce has come a long way since the early days of the internet. When eCommerce was in its infancy, many organizations relied heavily on proprietary legacy systems to manage their online storefronts. However, these systems were often quite cumbersome, difficult to update, and costly to maintain. As technology has advanced over time, and the demands of online shopping have changed, we have seen a huge emergence of modern platforms that are more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective. 

In this post, we’ll explore the evolution of enterprise eCommerce from legacy systems to modern platforms. We’ll also take a look at some of the main challenges that companies faced with legacy systems, the main benefits of modern platforms, and some of the key factors that have driven the transition over time. 

The Challenges of Legacy Systems

Legacy systems were once the only option available for enterprise eCommerce, before the days of modern, flexible eCommerce platforms like https://virtocommerce.com. These systems were typically built in-house and required a significant investment in hardware, software, and qualified employees. They were often very highly customized and difficult to upgrade or modify, making keeping up with the rapidly changing demands of the eCommerce landscape a challenge. 

One of the main challenges of legacy systems was their lack of flexibility. Since these systems were so heavily customized, it was not always easy to adapt them to new business models or industry trends. As a result, companies found it difficult to stay competitive in a quickly changing landscape. 

High maintenance costs also posed a challenge for organizations using legacy systems. Specialist, experienced employees were often required to maintain these systems, which could be very expensive for a company. What’s more, they also often required huge investments in hardware and software upgrades, which may have ended up being a waste of money as they became obsolete due to the evolution of technology. 

The Benefits of Modern eCommerce Platforms

Modern eCommerce platforms have emerged as a solution to many of the main challenges that were faced when using legacy systems. These platforms are often cloud-based, meaning that it’s possible for employees to access them from anywhere. They don’t always require big investments in hardware, or even in specialized employees to maintain them. Many are highly customizable and flexible, allowing companies to adapt to new business models or emerging industry trends easily and quickly. 

The scalability of modern eCommerce platforms is easily one of their biggest benefits. As most are cloud-based, scaling them up or down depending on business needs is a breeze. Companies can easily, swiftly expand their eCommerce operations as they grow without the need to invest in expensive software upgrades or new hardware. 

Modern eCommerce platforms are also easy to use, which has been transformational for many businesses that use them. Most are designed with a user-friendly interface, which makes it easy for employees to manage the online storefront even if they do not have a huge amount of technical expertise or special training.

Key Factors Driving the Transition from Legacy Systems to Modern Platforms

The transition from legacy systems to modern eCommerce platforms has been driven by a range of key factors. One of the main factors was the need for better flexibility and agility in the eCommerce industry. As technology continues to evolve and new business models emerge, companies are finding themselves in increasing need of platforms that can easily and quickly adapt to these changes. 

The need for cost-effectiveness has also played a huge part in the transition. Legacy systems were often very expensive to upgrade and maintain, which led to a significant drain on company resources. On the other hand, modern eCommerce platforms are generally cloud-based, meaning that they require much smaller investments and are a cost-effective solution. 

Mobile Commerce

The rise of mobile commerce has also had a part to play in the transition to modern eCommerce platforms. With more and more consumers choosing to shop online using mobile devices, companies need access to platforms that are optimized for mobile commerce. Many modern platforms are designed with mobile commerce at the forefront due to its growing popularity. This makes them a more effective solution for companies that want to ensure they reach mobile consumers. 

Personalization and Data Collection

The increasing importance of data analytics and personalization in eCommerce has paved the way for the transition to modern platforms. Modern eCommerce platforms are often designed to collect and analyze data on customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history, in a way that legacy systems may not have been able to do, as they did not have the same level of sophistication in terms of data management. This information can then be used to provide a more personalized and relevant shopping experience. 

The Role of Omnichannel Commerce

Omnichannel commerce is another trend that has significantly contributed to the growing popularity of modern eCommerce platforms. Omnichannel commerce refers to the practice of providing a seamless shopping experience across a range of channels including online, mobile, in-store, and in some cases, on social media. Modern eCommerce platforms are designed to support omnichannel commerce by providing one single, centralized platform that can be used to manage all sales channels. As a result, companies now find it easier to provide a seamless shopping experience for all customers regardless of how they choose to shop. 

International eCommerce

The increasing importance of international eCommerce has also led to the rise of modern platforms. With an increasing number of companies expanding their eCommerce operations to new markets around the world, the need for platforms that can support multiple languages, currencies, and payment options is expanding. Modern eCommerce platforms are designed to support international online shopping, making expanding operations to a new market an easier experience for companies around the world. 

Overall, the transition from legacy systems to modern platforms in the world of eCommerce has been driven by a combination of factors. Today, companies no longer rely on bulky, expensive systems, with a huge range of scalable, user-friendly, and easily customizable platforms available.