what-is-an-ecommerce-platform-accelerator

What is an eCommerce Platform Accelerator?

 
When you evaluate an enterprise-scale “re-platform” project for your eCommerce technology, you’ll undoubtedly evaluate multiple criteria before making your final decision. One of the primary criteria you’ll evaluate is time-to-market. In other words, how long will it take to design, build, and deploy your new website on each potential eCommerce platform?

As you begin your evaluation, you’ll find a wide range of answers. Some projects can be completed within a couple months, some take several months, and some can take more than a year. The answer depends on the platform itself, your scope of requirements to be included, and your internal capabilities that can be leveraged to keep the project moving forward.

During your evaluation, the concept of an “accelerator” might come up. But what is an accelerator?

Highly sophisticated agencies develop advanced expertise on specific eCommerce platforms. By way of their advanced expertise, they are able to identify parts of the project that are common to a majority of their clients. The agency will then pre-build those common parts of the project one time and package them into something called an accelerator. An accelerator is essentially a chunk of pre-built code. Instead of starting your project from 0%, the pre-built code (“accelerator”) starts you at something like the 30%-40% mark. This allows for your project to be completed in a shorter amount of time and might possibly reduce your costs as well. The caveat to this is that the code is necessarily pre-built, reducing your flexibility to construct a website that is uniquely you. You must accept that some features are not available, or that they are pre-built in a way that doesn’t quite fit what you need. You must sacrifice in order to go fast.

Still, an agency with accelerators has a competitive advantage over agencies that don’t have accelerators. They can offer you a shorter timeline and a lower cost than their competitors.

Accelerators are great! Unless they aren’t.

At Echidna, we believe that accelerators are an old, antiquated, approach to eCommerce re-platform projects. In reality, every competent agency has accelerators today. It’s no longer a differentiating factor. Agencies who don’t have accelerators are antiquated, and they likely don’t have the sophistication to help you. Agencies who have accelerators are current, but no different than their competitors.

We’ve moved past the accelerator era of the past. Instead, we leverage our own proprietary asset, CloudCore™.

Here’s the difference. Accelerators are envisioned and engineered specifically decrease your time-to-market. They help you go fast. But what if fast isn’t good enough? Since every sophisticated agency has accelerators, one isn’t any faster than the other. They are all fast.

Let’s look at this with a fresh perspective.

When you envision an awesome re-platform project, fast is one of your goals — not the goal. You also require a robust feature set, feature flexibility, a high standard of quality, and transparent progress tracking. You envision CloudCore™.

CloudCore™ combines the benefits of an accelerator with pre-built features and third-party integrations, a flexible architecture that allows for custom features, robust testing processes, and integrated project milestone updates.

If you’re thinking that CloudCore™ is more like a cornerstone to a palace while an accelerator is more like a pop-up camping tent, you’re absolutely right. CloudCore™ has the speed of an accelerator but has been engineered into a robust service — ensuring you can check all of the boxes in your evaluation criteria, not just one of them.

 
Adam Roozen
Adam Roozen
Adam comes from 20 years of eCommerce and technology experience, including leadership roles for Walmart's Sam's Club eCommerce division. His diverse background includes strategy, marketing, site experience, program management, and technology design and development.