If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it is that eCommerce is here to stay. Website migrations are more common than ever after the 2020 pandemic. The world saw a dramatic rise in demand for online shopping for just about everything. Global eCommerce retail sales rose to an astounding $26.7 trillion or 19% in 2020, up 16% in 2019 (UNCTAD). No wonder in 2021, we are still witnessing massive scaling up online! The rise in online shopping has added more product lines and fiercer competition. To keep up, many store owners are upgrading their websites or hiring professionals for eCommerce migration services.
ECommerce Platform Migration: Steps for Website Migration
Before migrating your eCommerce site, it is important to remember that it is a huge job. Keep in mind that moving an entire site, whether to a new server, domain, or host, requires significant planning, time, and resources. This eCommerce replatforming guide covers everything you need to know about moving your online store to a new platform.
This guide helps you to:
- Know what eCommerce platform migration means
- Decide whether to migrate your eCommerce site
- Choose an eCommerce platform by comparing the best
- Decide whether to migrate by yourself or avail of eCommerce migration services
- Take the necessary steps for migrating your eCommerce website to a new platform
What is eCommerce replatforming?
ECommerce replatforming is also known as eCommerce platform migration, and it is the process of transferring your eCommerce website from one platform to another. It sounds simple enough, but there is a lot of thought, planning, decision-making, design, and development.
Some of you may want to transfer your site from one website builder to another. For example, you may want to switch from a Shopify to a WordPress website builder. Alternatively, you can move your site from an eCommerce platform, such as WooCommerce, to a custom-built site or vice versa. Whatever your preference, the first question you would be asking your eCommerce migration services provider is:
Should I migrate my eCommerce site?
You will answer this if you know why other eCommerce businesses switch their online stores to new platforms. Migration is a huge decision, and not only is it expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive, but it also comes with risks of losing your data and customers. However, if your existing platform is doing more harm than good to your business, then go ahead and weigh the pros and cons before deciding to migrate.
Pros of eCommerce replatforming your website:
- Faster performance – your existing site may load too slowly
- Outdated technology
- Growth in products or business
- More efficiency
Costs (cons) of eCommerce replatforming your website:
- Buying a new eCommerce platform is expensive
- Hiring experts for eCommerce migration services are expensive
- Site maintenance costs
- Website migration is time-consuming
Normally, eCommerce replatforming takes anywhere from 8 weeks to a year, depending on the business’s rollout strategy, scope, and complexity.
Which eCommerce platform should I choose?
The platform you pick is a crucial decision in the eCommerce replatforming process. Choosing the right platform is half the work done, and it ensures you get the best value out of your eCommerce platform migration.
Keep these factors in mind when picking a new eCommerce platform:
- Take feedback from multiple stakeholders.
- Compare features of every platform and how they fit your needs.
- Check compatibility and integrations of the tools you use with the new platform.
- Consider how well the platform will suit your team members.
- Take a long-term view, so your site keeps up with future technologies.
- Check how accessible customer support is for each platform.
What are my options for the best eCommerce platform migration?
Here are four of the most well-known eCommerce platforms and what makes them stand out.
- WordPress is a popular eCommerce platform that is easy to use for beginners. It is scalable, customizable using plugins, and has an in-built blog SEO.
- Magento 2 gives eCommerce retailers complete control over their website design and management. It is designed to scale with business perfectly and provides endless flexibility with design and customization.
- WooCommerce operates on WordPress, has a built-in and simple SEO, and top-quality security.
- Shopify is an amazing app store with plugins and extensions. It is easy to use, gives excellent security, and includes web hosting.
Once you’ve compared your options, you can decide on the best eCommerce platform for your business with your store in mind.
Should I migrate it by myself or hire third-party eCommerce migration services?
It all depends on how comfortable and experienced your team members are with the many steps of migrating data. It may be best to leave it to the experts. Hiring a data migration services company is an excellent option, especially if they also do website design.
10 steps to follow for eCommerce platform migration
Look at this eCommerce migration checklist of the eCommerce platform migration process:
Develop a plan for your eCommerce platform migration
Migration will take up a lot of time and planning, so establish the scope and timeline. Create a checklist of all the changes you want to make. Give your team time to communicate. Managers, developers, SEOs, copywriters, editors need to determine who will lead and support the migration project.
Catalog your existing content
Save a list of all your content and its location on your existing site before moving it.
Perform an SEO audit
Consult your in-house SEO team before a site migration. Their advice will make sure you don’t lose traffic, leads, or long-term sales.
Design your new site
Before data migration, your website design, structure, style, and layout should all be ready so that your data can load into a new platform. Work with your design and development team to create new updates. You can use templates but try to give your new site that “wow factor” new customers crave.
Backup your data
Always make a backup of everything on your site before starting data migration.
Migrate your data
You can begin by migrating only a part of the site and testing it to ensure it is free of errors. You can use FTP software, such as FileZilla to transfer static files.
Connect plugins, email, and other tools
After completing the migration, start to connect the rest of the tools you use, like email, chatbot, checkout, and shipping platforms.
Launch and Test your new site
Launch your site early in the morning when only a few customers are online. Testing throughout the eCommerce replatforming process is vital. Thoroughly test your new website’s key pages, email, checkout, search, filter, and navigation.
Communicate your migration to existing customers
Even before migrating, you should start promoting the new website via emails and social media. Build a ‘coming soon’ landing page and warn customers that some links may be updating. Inform your top customers about your eCommerce platform migration, the new URL, and how your site’s new look.
Monitor your results
Ask your team to keep track of the rankings and site traffic post-migration. For example, if you do not set up redirects, it can hurt your page ranks. Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor and track your rankings. You can also use paid tools, like Ahrefs and SEMrush, to review your site performance.
Take home message
eCommerce platform migration is a big job that requires time, money, and patience. On the flip side, moving your outdated website can have enormous benefits. If you plan carefully, do your research and follow this guide, you’ll be on your way to success.
If you decide to migrate and upgrade your eCommerce store, try to hire an eCommerce development company. They can help you make data-driven decisions, compare pre-and post-migration site performance, test for errors, monitor performance in real-time, integrate payment gateways, design, create content, improve SEO, and more.
Still not sure where to begin? Don’t worry!
Whether you need help with building a new eCommerce site, seek eCommerce migration services, our end-to-end eCommerce solutions will take care of it.
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