When acquiring the digital competitor with its customer base, we also acquire our competitor’s legacy system with its pertinent business logic. Since acquired customers have already been accustomed to doing business through the competitor’s front end and have established business practices tied up to the legacy system you acquired, it would be unfair to change that system overnight by imposing your own store’s front end (or perceptions about doing business). In case you try to force your new customers to accept the new platform, you risk losing the fair share of an acquired consumer base. If even a tiny design change requires adaptation, imagine what it takes for customers to adjust to a new B2B ecommerce platform.
To avoid any objections and keep customers happy (if not oblivious) with the change of ownership, you need to have an adequate plan with a less invasive strategy and start implementing it slowly.
To leave everything as it is, on the other hand, is not an option either – the support for any legacy system brings additional overhead costs.
Such a predicament might seem like a Catch-22, but there is a solution – let the customer keep the familiar front end (at least for a while) but dispose of the legacy system.
If you adopt this strategy, you can acquire several competitors a year without experiencing adverse side effects. If, on the contrary, you leave the legacy systems untouched, you risk losing control over the spread-out webwork of diverse systems and supporting teams, and eventually, the acquisition costs would far outweigh the benefits.
As discussed above, the only viable solution is to leave the front end as it is and attach it to your back end.
It becomes possible if you address and solve a few problems.
You need to have a B2B ecommerce platform capable of decoupling the front end from the back end and translating the relevant business logic to the new front end. This way, the only overhead costs you will incur are those associated with keeping your competitor’s front end. The platform that can separate the facade from the hindquarters needs to be headless. The headless platform can attach an unlimited number of front ends (channels) to a single back end, which is capable of translating business logic back and forth between the channels.