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The Utah DMC Blog

Rob Johnson | DMC 2015


Rob Johnson

The Top 5 Mistakes I Made Replatforming A Multimillion Dollar eCommerce Website
During one of our breakout sessions, we had the pleasure to hear from Rob Johnson at Deseret Book. Rob’s presentation was titled “The Top 5 Mistakes I Made Replatforming A Multimillion Dollar eCommerce Website.”
Rob was in charge of transitioning the 10+ year old Deseret Book eCommerce platform to a new one—one from this century. So far in 2015, they have had their hands full of different tasks to get this new platform up and running.
So far in 2015 they:

  • Replatformed a 10+ year old eCommerce platform
  • Changed email service providers - twice
  • Developed a new data warehouse
  • Updated Oracle systems integration
  • Replaced call center order entry system

His presentation was focused on the top 5 mistakes that he made during this transition, and ultimately what he learned from them.
Mistake #5
- Not realizing the impact of switching from http to https
This switching caused a problem with the 301 redirects and caused the campaign to lose visibility during this process. His takeaway was to ensure 301’s retain campaign parameters, reconfigure Webmaster Tools website, and ensure all page assets start with https:// or //
Mistake #4
- He didn’t obsess over redirecting old external and internal links
He waited until it was reported by Google Webmaster—don’t do that. Instead, make sure that you index the old site to grab old URL’s and check each url against the new site in Screaming Frog, then create an event that triggers on 400 pages with referring URL as a label.
Mistake #3
- The marketing team didn’t have a good understanding of the new promotions platform
Another problem was the marketing team didn’t understand the new promotions platform or how to leverage it successfully. You’ll want to work with your marketing team to configure and do QA on each promotion. Also, be sure to verify orders with the accounting and fulfillment departments.
Mistake #2
- Performance/load testing was not performed on checkout specifically
The checkout screen and the confirmation screen are probably the two most important pages on an eCommerce site. Make sure that you test these thoroughly. Rob didn’t and overall site speed was down 7 percent and checkout page load was down 20 percent.
Mistake #1
- Dedicated quality assurance & a stable staging environment did not exist
One of the keys to any good site overall is a good quality assurance program. Because of this oversight the first month revenue on the new platform fell 42 percent YoY.
Even with making all of these mistakes these mistakes, Rob made sure to look on the bright side. They lived by the quote by Thomas Edison, “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 that don’t work.”
It is nice to know what not to do, but Rob made sure to leave us with some pointers on what did work. Here are Rob's 5 takeaways:

  • Create a culture of around revenue impact
  • Implement event tracking on all revenue impacting transactions
  • Apply revenue estimate for each issue and bug
  • Try to prove yourself wrong as you A/B test
  • Perform your own benchmarking

https://twitter.com/slcsem/status/639171793664667648 https://twitter.com/tylerheaps1/status/639171816150315008
Thanks again Rob for the great advice on transitioning an eCommerce platform over. Before leaving, he left us with a great quote about continuing to improve and always trying to better our work, our clients, and ourselves.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” - Winston Churchill
You can check out the full SlideShare presentation by Rob Johnson
here. You can follow Rob on Twitter @robkellas.

Topics: Event Recaps