Dotdigital blog

5 things to consider when replatforming for ecommerce

There are no second chances at first impressions.

Ecommerce epitomises this ideology. As a merchant, you have to invest in your marketing arsenal – a plan of attack that ensures the customers you acquire remain customers for life. Quell any temptation they might have to go elsewhere.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Is your technology up to scratch?
  • Do you have the right strategy in place?
  • Are you utilizing the right data to optimize both?

Technology, strategy, and data are the holy trinity of customer loyalty. Nail these elements, and you’ll be well on your way to transforming customers into lifelong brand advocates.

Choosing your tech-stack can be difficult, so let’s try to make this as easy as possible. There are several platforms and ‘add-ons’ out there; but if you can’t store the right data you need to power your revenue-generating campaigns, your results will suffer.

So, what data do you need?

1. RFM modelling

Combining RFM and persona modelling will help you deliver relevant campaigns that improve performance. The key is understanding your customers – both potential and existing – without being too creepy in the process. For those customers who have already started shopping with your brand, you’ve an armoury of historical data at your fingertips – so use it!

Recency – the time since a customer’s last purchase

Why: Use this information to target customers at the right time. If they’ve purchased with you in the last week, maybe don’t send them that 30% discount you’re launching. Likewise, if they’ve not placed an order in the last six months, tempt them to buy with a win-back offer.

Frequency – how many times a customer has placed an order

Why: This data helps you co-ordinate your campaigns. If your customer is a frequent low-spender, you could recommend products (with a similar price tag) regularly. However, if your customer is an infrequent high-spender (let’s say they make a big order twice a year), lessen the frequency of your campaigns and catch them at the right time.

Monetary – the monetary value of customer purchases

Why: This data helps you identify your low spenders from your VIPs. You can segment based on average order value (AOV) or lifetime value. Enrol high-spenders onto a loyalty program that rewards and incentivizes their custom, and tempt customers with a low AOV to up their spend. Want to know how you to adopt RFM in your marketing? Check out this blog.

2. Make the decision easier for customers

Ultimately, you want to make the customer’s choice easier to make. The psychology of ecommerce teaches us that excess choice can overload the consumer. Think about an overcrowded inbox. How will you stand out from the crowd?

In today’s fast-paced world, markets are maturing quickly and becoming more saturated. Time-poor consumers will find it increasingly difficult to reach a decision on the product they need, the price they’re willing to pay, and the retailer to buy from.

This uncertainty doesn’t bode well for marketers or consumers. Retailers should let data drive their decision-making – because consumers will, sooner or later, respond to campaigns that complement their behaviors and indulge their interests.

3. Apply a holistic approach to data

Aside from purchase history, remember to continue using basic data like name, age, and location. All of this information increases the relevancy of your marketing messages.

What’s more, preferences can go a long way. Sure, behavioral data is a sure-fire way to drive product recommendations that will resonate with customers. But you can’t ignore the explicit information that a customer has handed over to you. If they say they like diffusers, sell them your best scents! If they prefer not to be contacted by email, suggest SMS as an alternative.

Once you have all of this data in one place, you’ll be able to paint a clearer picture of your customer. You can use your customer insight to create various personas and target lookalikes.


  • Name: James
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Edinburgh
  • Preferences: blazers, jeans, t-shirts and vests, trousers, shirts
  • Last purchase date: 04/03/19
  • Purchases in last six months: 3
  • AOV: £95 • Lifetime value: £2,072
  • Marketing preference: email

4. Make customers feel at home

We know that driving timely, relevant messages will engage, convert, and retain customers at scale. Above all, they’ll make a lasting impression. But it all starts with the first meeting: a well formulated welcome series should breathe life into the customer relationship. It should set the scene and apply a standard for your wider marketing automation programs.

Welcome-program musts:

  • Set the tone of the relationship
  • Define they key benefits of signing up
  • Showcase your USPs – what are you about?
  • Ask customers who they are – what do they like?
  • Offer an incentive to spur the first purchase

The best way to tailor future campaigns is to leverage both explicit and implicit data. This maximizes the relevancy of your message.


During the welcome program, a customer fills in your preference center. They tick the boxes against any products they’re interested in – namely, vegan snack bars.

You’ve already captured basic information, like their date of birth, during the email sign-up process. Later, the customer starts engaging with you on email. As a smart marketer, you track their web behavior to keep on top of what they’re interested in.

Leading up to their birthday, you send them a special offer to redeem online – a standard practice. To enhance the relevancy of the message, you pull in hyper-relevant product recommendations, based on either the previous browse or preferences. These might be superfood smoothies or protein vegan boxes. Delighted with their birthday treat and the products on offer, the customer places an order. They might not go on to remember what you did or said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.

5. Strive towards customer loyalty

The customer-driven experience exemplified in the above example is what every marketer should be aiming for . It sets the foundation for customer loyalty.

Providing such an experience requires an optimal flow of data, the right technology, and an informed strategy. Consider the following customer lifecycle programs when re-platforming:

  • Welcome
  • Nurture
  • Birthday
  • Post-purchase
  • Cross-/upsell
  • Loyalty/VIP
  • Win-back/re-engagement

Ask yourself: do you have the data all in one place to make these triggered campaigns work?

Are you thinking of migrating ecommerce platforms? Check out our integrations here.

Back to top

Recommended reading