The ever-changing nature of the internet requires businesses to constantly evolve to remain relevant and thrive online. As eCommerce continues to grow, businesses often need to migrate their online stores to new platforms or systems.
It is because of many myths around eCommerce migration, most businesses hesitate to migrate their eCommerce services to a different platform. However, with correct understanding and planning, eCommerce migration can help your business grow better.
In this article, we will discuss useful strategies to ensure a smooth and effective eCommerce migration process. These tips will help you to achieve a successful transition and maintain a high-performing website.
Table of Contents
Myths Around Site Migration
Many businesses are skeptical about site migration or the eCommerce business migration process, as many myths surround it. So today, let’s debunk some of the most common myths around site migration:
Reality: Even while site migration necessitates backend labor and rigorous testing before going live, it doesn’t mean that you have to take a break from business. You may transition to a new platform and redirect your clients there on the same day with careful preparation and execution. This promotes a smooth transition and lessens the impact on your sales.
Reality: Nowadays, you can easily find countless templates that can easily replace your native design and allow you to improve it. Most eCommerce platforms allow for customization. With careful preparation and design migration, you may keep the same or even a better design on the new platform.
Reality: While it is true to some extent, it is just one side of the coin. You will lose website traffic if you do the migration process incorrectly. The goal here should be to look at the bigger picture. You can maintain a significant portion of your traffic with proper technical preparation, including SEO-related tasks such as setting up redirects and mapping URLs. New platforms may also offer improved SEO capabilities, providing better search engine optimization opportunities and potentially even higher traffic levels.
Reality: Site migration can significantly impact SEO if not done correctly. Changing URLs, content structure, and other website elements can result in broken links, lost rankings, and decreased organic traffic. Planning and implementation of proper SEO strategies, such as 301 redirects, canonical tags, and URL mapping, is essential to preserve SEO equity and maintain rankings. Ignoring SEO considerations during site migration can result in losing organic visibility and traffic.
Reality: Many eCommerce businesses have in-house developers who oversee the site. While that can be an advantage in many cases, there are better strategies for site migration. You must understand that site migration is a complex process requiring technical expertise and experience. If your team has prior experience with site migration and is well-versed in the specific platforms involved, you can handle it in-house. However, if site migration is a new and unfamiliar task for your team, seeking professional assistance becomes vital to reduce risks and ensure a successful migration. Remember, a poor migration strategy or execution can lose all your traffic and sales overnight.
When to Migrate to a New Platform
Many businesses continue to operate with their original eCommerce site and host without making any changes or evolving to new standards. This results in stagnant growth, loss of traffic, and poor customer review. So when should a business consider an eCommerce migration? Here are a few signs that indicate to migrate to a new platform:
- Your site has a significant performance lag: In the modern world, where customers have a very short attention span, you can’t grow with a slow-loading site. If your site takes too much time to load, customers will move on to the next one. That is your sign of migrating to a new platform.
- Your current site lacks many features: The eCommerce business, as we know, comes with a lot of advanced features like omnichannel integration, multiple payment options, and personalized product recommendations. If your current eCommerce platform lacks these features, you should start looking for new options.
- Your current eCommerce platform is preventing you from scaling: The end goal for any business is to scale and grow. If your current eCommerce platform is preventing you from it, you need to find a platform that offers less downtime and can process thousands of orders simultaneously.
- You have difficulty managing everything at the backend: Many of the B2B eCommerce platforms only focus on the front end and customers’ needs and offer poor admin controls. It is vital to understand that you will also be interacting with the store equally as a customer. An intuitive, feature-rich Merchant Center will ensure maximum output and productivity.
Tips to Make Your eCommerce Migration Process Successful
Now that you know all the myths and when to migrate to a different eCommerce platform, let’s look at how to make the eCommerce migration process successful.
Plan and Strategize
The entire migration process depends on careful planning and strategizing for success. A good place to begin is identifying the reasons for the migration, such as outdated technology, scalability issues, or a need for improved functionality. It is vital to define your goals and objectives for the migration. Then you can create a comprehensive project plan that includes timelines, resources, and responsibilities.
Choose the Right Platform
Your migration process will be pretty much unsuccessful if you choose a similar eCommerce platform as your current one. Make sure to do a proper SWOT analysis of all the eCommerce platforms you are considering. Also, consider factors such as scalability, ease of use, customization options, integrations, security, and cost. It is vital that you do not rush this process. Make sure to do thorough research and compare different platforms to identify the one that best meets your business requirements and aligns with your long-term goals.
Conduct Thorough Testing
This might be one of the most important steps of any successful eCommerce migration. No matter how good you try, there are always some bugs and issues with new sites that only reveal themselves in testing. Thorough testing on a staging environment is vital to identify and fix any issues. Make sure that you test all aspects of the website, including product pages, checkout process, payment gateways, shipping options, and customer accounts, to ensure they are functioning correctly.
Secure Data Migration
Increasing customer awareness and strict online privacy regulation warrant data security. Since customer data is an integral part of any eCommerce business, it is vital that the data migration is done safely and correctly. Data migration is a critical aspect of the eCommerce migration process. It involves transferring all the data, including product information, customer data, order history, and other relevant data, from your old platform to the new one. That is why data backup is also an important aspect of the migration process, as it helps get customer data in the event of data corruption or loss.
Train and Educate Staff
Ensure your staff is trained and educated on using the new eCommerce platform effectively. Provide them with the necessary resources, documentation, and training sessions to familiarize them with the new system. This will help your team quickly adapt to the new platform and ensure smooth operations after the migration.
Monitor and Optimize
Many businesses make the mistake of just leaving the migration process as soon as they move to the new host or platform. You should avoid this mistake. After the migration is complete, closely monitor your website for any issues or glitches. Use analytics tools to track traffic, sales, and other key metrics to ensure your website performs optimally. Regularly review and optimize your website to improve its performance, user experience, and conversions.
Communicate with Customers
Apart from your business, the migration will significantly impact your customers. Communication with your customers is crucial during and after the eCommerce migration process. Keep your customers informed about the migration process, potential downtime, and any changes that may impact their experience. You can send out notifications via email, social media, and on-site banners to keep them updated and address any questions or concerns they may have.
Despite myths surrounding the process, many businesses are hesitant to switch to new eCommerce platforms. However, migrating is a necessary step for growth and improvement. By carefully planning and executing the migration, it is possible to avoid any negative impact on sales or traffic. All you need is a robust eCommerce platform.
Check out VARStreet’s website for more details on a value-added reseller eCommerce platform.