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What to expect during the first three months
Sales Expectations for the First Three Months after Replatforming to the IRP
The most important question about replatforming is: how will it affect your sales? For companies of all turnovers, the four-stage sales pattern is the same: possible dip, recovery, stability and then growth.
Author
28 February 2019 - 7 min read

Whilst in the long term, ecommerce success means hitting your annual Sales Target at your Target CPA%, this article will focus on the initial three-month period after replatforming.

Overview

After replatforming to the IRP, sales typically progress through four stages:

  1. Natural traffic and sales dip in week one.
  2. Sales recovery to former levels in month one.
  3. Sales stability or gentle growth in month two.
  4. Sales growth pattern in month three.

Introduction

A typical IRP deployment runs for three months and this covers replatforming, training and educating your ecommerce team. At the beginning of a deployment project your IRP Deployment team will analyse your current business including traffic, conversion rate, average order value and sales. Based on this analysis, expectations will be set for the first three months and a forecast given for projected sales.

The most important question is: how will replatforming affect your SALES? A typical hypothesis we hear from potential clients is: “Redesigning my website will give my customers a better experience and therefore sales will go up from day one”. However there are many factors – website traffic in particular – that impact the sales figure. And due to the rollover of channels and inbound traffic, initially there may be a dip in sales as traffic resets. The site then recovers and sales should increase above former levels by months two and three.

This article explains what to expect during the first three months.

Four phases post go-live

Success ultimately is based on things that are not related to technology – the state of the market, business capability, pricing, product data and other factors. Without these, growth in a competitive market is very hard to achieve. If these are all in place, growth – although not inevitable – is highly probable on the IRP.

On the day of go-live, your IRP Deployment Team will be on hand to ensure that the switchover runs smoothly and will check that customers are navigating throughout the website and purchasing as normal.

Phase 1: Week one – post go-live, traffic resetting can cause sales to dip by 20%+ for a week

Due to the scale of a replatform project we would recommend a soft launch of your new website for the first two days to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that your team are happy with the system and new processes. Days one-to-three may see the most significant impact.

If you have already been running marketing channels such as Google, Bing and Facebook, we recommend switching these on again on day one. For companies that have not been running these channels, we recommend a slower, phased approach of switching these on five-to-seven days after go-live. This ensures that each channel is tracking and providing quality traffic to your new website.

From three days in, we recommend ramping up your email marketing again with targeted re-launch emails.

Phase 2: Month one – sales return to former levels

Based on client analysis, by the end of the first week we expect daily sales to be back to where they were averaging on your previous platform and traditionally we see sales in month one within 10% of our forecasted total.

Month one is all about mitigating risk, reviewing the functionality and ensuring that it is matching or exceeding all users' expectations.

Phase 3: Month two – stability and gentle growth

With the website now running optimally, the work carried out during deployment is starting to pay dividends as you will start to see an increase in traffic, conversion rate and average order value. These three factors combined will result in an increase in sales towards the end of month two.

At this stage your ecommerce team and account manager will be able to review performance and provide guidance on any changes or improvements needed in your ecommerce business.

Phase 4: Month three – growth begins

Standard strategy and tactics become key to the growth curve of your site.

Conclusion

For companies of all turnovers, the four-stage sales pattern is the same: possible dip, recovery, stability and then growth.

The exact mechanics of the traffic flow changes will depend on the split of your channels (email, social, PPC, affiliate, organic and so forth). Companies that are reliant on PPC, affiliate and organic channels will be impacted the most and will require in-depth research and preparation during the deployment.

Not everything is under anyone's control and outside market factors can play a part. If you build a solid platform for growth by maintaining your previous sales levels in month one, this is a clear success. The vast majority of clients – 90% – will then see considerable growth by month three.

Replatforming to the IRP and following our proven deployment plan to mitigate risk ensures that you get off to the best possible start on the IRP. A strong start means that you have a firm foundation for long-term profitable growth. Although sales might dip for a few days, as traffic levels increase, they quickly return to the expected levels.

A successful go-live comes down to ensuring that you resource the deployment project, have quality product data and take on board the guidance given to you by the IRP Deployment Team.


For a detailed overview of the IRP replatforming process, see Replatforming to the IRP: Best Practice and Mitigation of Risk.

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