Your current ecommerce platform isn’t working out the way you thought it would or has become outdated and unsupported by the vendor. Does this sound familiar? Time to for an ecommerce migration? It is important to consider all the options before taking the plunge. Many business owners have found that changing business systems and software can be a real headache. Staff training, data migration, and setup costs are some of the factors that contribute to that end decision. Is the big change really worth the effort?
Without substantial planning an ecommerce migration can have the opposite effect than originally intended costing retailers thousands of dollars in sales. Before taking the leap to migrate your store to potentially greener pastures, it’s important to consider all factors.
1. Customer & Order Data
Maintaining your ecommerce store’s customer and order data from one online store to another is key to any successful ecommerce data migration. When enlisting the help of a developer or agency to migrate your store’s data between ecommerce platforms make sure that it means all of your data.
Many services concentrate on migrating product data however this is only a single piece of the puzzle. Yes, it gets your products online but have you considered the issues that missing your current customer and order data would cause? Returning customers would have to sign up for new accounts, and lose any wish list items or order history they may of had from your previous store. This essentially resets your relationship with your current customer base and as a result may encourage them to shop elsewhere.
Customer and order data is also an integral component for targeting your digital marketing campaigns. So losing this data between ecommerce solutions will have a dramatic effect on campaign performance.
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Another common flaw in many ecommerce migrations is what impact an incorrect migration will have on your current SEO. Just because the domain name of your store isn’t changing doesn’t mean you’ll have the same search results post migration.
Every ecommerce platform handles search engine optimisation differently. The main culprit when transferring between platforms is URL paths. Not setting up relevant redirects that translate your old store’s web pages to the new store’s can cost you many customers and SEO rankings for pages, products and, categories. Customers that click into your site via an old link and encounter a page not found error or content that isn’t relevant will likely bounce off your store resulting in lost sales.
When migrating ensure your migration path has a provision for a redirect map and broken link check once your new store in launched to negate any negative SEO impacts.
3. Store Features
Maintaining all the features from your current store that your business relies on is essential to any ecommerce store migration. When assessing potential new ecommerce platforms make a checklist of all the features your store currently utilises and review if the same features are available on the new platform. You can do this yourself or consult a solution architect to perform an audit. This will ensure integral features don’t go missing once you’ve migrated.
- Promotional Rules
- Product Merchandising
- Handling of complex products
- Wishlist & Product Comparison
- Multiple Stores
This audit process is also a great opportunity for reviewing what current features aren’t required and assessing new functionality to improve your store’s workflow and customer experience. Once a functionality audit is complete you will have a better indication of what ecommerce platforms are viable alternatives for your business.
Software integrations are key to any modern business’ workflow, especially for online retailers. Payments, shipping, inventory tracking, and marketing automation are just a handful items that rely on business systems that operate externally to your ecommerce store. Map out all the business systems you currently use to operate on a daily basis and consider how these will integrate with your new ecommerce solution.
- Payment Providers
- Freight / Shipping & Logistics
- Accounting Systems
- Point of Sale (POS) Systems
- ERP & CRM Systems
- Marketing Systems
Integrating with your business systems can save hundreds if not thousands of hours of manual data processing and allow you to focus on marketing to your customers and fulfilling orders. Compatibility with integrations can be a major blocker to any ecommerce store migration. Be aware that integrations can be costly to build if custom development is required. This can end up costing more than the ecommerce store itself in some instances. Ensure the ecommerce platform you’re assessing meets your integration requirements.
5. Maintenance & Support
Being stuck on an ecommerce solution with little-to-no maintenance and support will dramatically affect your ability to operate and stay competitive online. This is why having a maintenance and support agreement with your ecommerce solution provider is a must. As part of the service terms make sure the provider meets the criteria to manage your store.
- Email & Phone Support Levels
- Security Patches & Updates
- Service Uptime
- Feature Updates
Plan Before Undertaking an Ecommerce Migration
Rushing into an ecommerce migration without the right checks and balances can be catastrophic. Methodically plan and consider all aspects of your current business operations to ensure a smooth migration.