If you are battling a slow-loading eCommerce store or a product line that has outgrown the website capabilities, it might be time to move to a new platform. And in this stead, the concept of eCommerce platform migration comes to the forefront.
eCommerce platform migration or eCommerce re-platforming is the process of transferring your eCommerce website from one platform to another. Now here, you might even do so between website builders, say, from WordPress or Shopify to another. Another possibility is to move your site from an eCommerce platform to a custom-built site and vice versa.
In essence, re-platforming involves migrating from one technical system to another. And mostly, this is done to enhance the performance and capabilities of the eCommerce store. Even more so, to improve the usability of your business.
Irrespective of how good the initial system is, it will eventually run out and become outdated. This followed by getting it upgraded or replaced. Since re-platforming is inevitable, you must do it right! Make sure to conduct an evaluation of the current system. Many businesses go for platforms that render basic features and performance. But as time elapses and the eCommerce site grows, it calls for a change.
Remember, re-platforming is a gigantic task that takes time and effort. Once done, it stands to change the entire eCommerce site, including the design, admin navigation, functionality, performance and other aspects.
So when is the best or optimal time to migrate your store data? The unanimous answer is when your eCommerce site witnesses the lowest traffic.
However, apart from the lowest traffic, other triggers can also be deal-breakers.
Lack of agility
eCommerce sites rely on flexibility. For businesses to thrive and survive, they must adapt to market trends. In essence, the platform must enable you to make quick and easy changes. Be it a campaign launch or revamping the homepage with new content and products, the eCommerce platform must make it simple.
Another aspect of agility is the facilitation of collaborative working among different departments. So, listen to the concerns of all users and understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Significant technical debt
By technical debt, we mean an outdated platform. Sustainable growth cannot happen without the latest or advanced technology.
Technical debt is a given and natural for the website lifecycle. If you find yourself spending increasing amounts for overcoming short-term ‘quick fixes’, it is time to change. Also, note that technical debt goes beyond maintenance. It stands to impact the website speed, scalability and stability. It can result in poor customer experience and be detrimental to your bottom line.
Inability to handle heavy traffic
Here’s the thing! Avid shoppers know when to expect sales periods. And as such, they tend to wait for the best bargains. Globally, the primary shopping sprees occur on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas. The ability to handle these shopping loads can make or break the deal for the business. For instance, in the last two years, the closure of non-essential retail outlets amid the lockdown meant that all the spending went online.
If you plan to scale up the business, the eCommerce platform must be able to handle the increased online traffic. No enterprise wants to be at the mercy of a crashed website.
At the outset, this might sound vague and unreal. But, it is an essential trigger. The platform should help you delve into the future. Often, corporations switch eCommerce platforms due to a technology change. The possible reasons are growing in different directions or a desire to enter new markets. Other possible considerations may be that the current platform is not optimised for mobile or tablets.
The chosen platform for migration is a crucial decision in the eCommerce re-platforming process. Businesses must ensure that they pick the appropriate one to make the changeover worth their while. What’s more, they must gain the most value from the change.
Below are the factors that determine choosing a new platform:
Input from various stakeholders
Enterprises must interact with the interested parties, including other departments, and gauge their desires and expectations from the eCommerce platform.
Features and capabilities
One must compare the features and capabilities that each platform has on offer. In essence, corporations must assess the platform that best fits their company goals and objectives.
These are ancillary and cater to the pre-and after-sales service processes. They determine the overall UX and UI score.
Before moving anywhere, brands must take stock of what they have and require. In doing so, they must identify the gaps and shortcomings of the platforms. A good starting point is the “must-haves”. In this, speed and volume are the most significant considerations, especially for enterprise-level stores. For some businesses, coping with erratic business spikes is a priority. Yet, for others, it might be to handle rapid growth during both traffic volume and the quantity of SKUs.
The steps involved are below:
The platform must be best for the business
For enterprise eCommerce, you can look for SaaS options with an open API that leverages the built-in functionalities.
Send RFPs to the Finalists
An RFP or a Request for Proposal comprises hundreds of queries that shall help determine the final platform choice.
Revenue and TCO forecasts
Experts posit that businesses must plan their projections for three years ahead. To be conservative, do not plan for growth in the first six months. Also, use the Total Cost of Ownership calculators available online for cost estimations.
Integrations, Functions and Third-Party Apps
Enterprises must determine which apps to keep and withdraw. The reason is that some apps might be deemed outdated. Doing so helps map out every touchpoint between the new platform and every other system at the company.
Take inputs from stakeholders and test platforms
Stakeholder inputs and viewpoints help gain a holistic perspective on the platforms. This prevents you from overlooking crucial features. Once a list of semi-finalists is made, brands can begin testing the platforms.
The subsequent step is determining a migration service that can handle data migration intricacies. It is now time to transfer all the data to the new platform.
Relaunch the site as a test
At this point, businesses redesign the site, test its functionality and review all the bugs before going live. Here, too, brands must take inputs from all departments. Also, test that the URLs are in sync with every application.
eCommerce platform migration is inevitable and paramount. Therefore, it must be undertaken sooner rather than later. In this stead, brands must continuously test and review the current systems. So bid good riddance to the traditional silos and engage in regular feedback from all the stakeholders.
If you are contemplating eCommerce platform migration, then look no further. We at Apexon have completed over 30 successful eCommerce implementations. Our team of professionals shall guide you through the entire process from:
And in doing so, we shall find you the best fit that reduces your technology investment risks.
Contact us today to know more.
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