It’s become trendy to criticize legacy commerce platforms. They call me slow, out of touch and resistant to change. But all of these rude critics do so without realizing one important thing: It hurts my feelings.
What’s so wrong with being slow or resistant to change? Not everything needs to be high-speed internet or the Sega Genesis. Sometimes, the best path forward is the one you’re currently on.
You can always search for something better, faster or stronger. But whatever “modern tech” you find, the benefits probably don’t outweigh the risks. Legacy tech is legacy for a reason — I get the job done, eventually. Don’t believe me? Here are four reasons you’re fine where you're at.
1. People Can Still Buy
When you start hearing nonsense phrases like “API-first or “headless commerce,” step back and think: Can customers buy our products? If the answer is yes, then why are you so stressed about new tactics? It was bad enough when they put TV on computers — don’t let them put AI in your website. Let’s be reasonable.
The way some of these techies talk, you’d think they invented commerce. But it already existed, and people can still buy things just fine. You can’t “miss out” on sales you don't want from customers who should know how to find you elsewhere. “Social commerce?” Unsubscribe.
2. Patience Is a Virtue
“Now, now, now!” That’s all I hear from customers these days. My advice? Don’t cave. Someone has to teach this new generation that good things come to those who wait — and legacy commerce platforms can be that voice.
Product rollouts can wait. New promotions? Take your time. Platform updates? What’s the rush? There’s no need to scramble just because some entitled customers want things instantly. We get to decide when things happen, and they can wait. It’s good for them anyway. They’ll have time to catch up on a show or call a friend — they may even thank you. The next time someone complains about long load times, let them know that waiting builds character.
The best restaurants have the longest lines. Some force you to wait weeks, even months, to get a table. Now, that’s patience. If your customers can’t handle a wait, they didn’t really want your products anyway.
3. APIs are Overrated
Did you know that API stands for “A Preposterous Idea?” Just kidding — I don’t actually know what it stands for. All I know is that they have no place in commerce. These software connectors were made for nerds to tinker with, not to help people buy things.
People love to criticize legacy platforms like me for being slow and “monolithic.” You know what else is slow and monolithic? The Rocky Mountains. And they are beautiful. So nice try, APIs.
If you really can’t escape the API craze, I have a secret tip for you. Just tell customers you’re API-first! Don’t know what that means? It doesn’t matter. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve said it many times, and people believe me. Just don’t tell anyone I told you that.
Don't worry, when you’re a legacy platform, an API here or there doesn’t change you anyway. It’s just like wearing a fun new hat. And I look great in hats — mark that as another argument against headless.
4. Don’t You Like Steak?
People considering switching from older commerce platforms seem to forget that these commerce newbies aren’t going to wine and dine you every month. That’s right: No holiday gifts, no flower bouquets, no steak dinners. I know, I know. It’s gotten ugly out there.
Commerce shouldn’t be about high-tech gadgets or fancy software or uploading nanotechnology to the cloud in 5G. It should be about the relationship between commerce platform sales reps and CTOs. Microservices can’t offer a firm handshake, ask about your kids’ soccer game or buy you the house red. Just saying.
New commerce companies will try to tell you headless commerce is “table stakes” in modern retail. I don’t know about that, but legacy platforms are table steaks. Do you want “next-generation commerce” or do you want a nice ribeye? To me, the answer is clear. Medium rare, please.
Settle Down With Legacy
What’s wrong with your existing commerce platform? I’d guess not much. If people can buy your products and your data center isn’t on fire, I don’t see what the rush is to change everything. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. And if it is broken, fix it but change nothing.
There’s no proof that the customer is always right. You can’t let other people make demands about how to run your business — you’re fine where you are.
Now who wants dinner?
For more legacy commerce wisdom, follow @naysayallday on Twitter.