Last Updated on January 21, 2022

Are you thinking about re-platforming your eCommerce website? Well undoubtedly, it’s a big decision and it seems to be quite tough to upgrade to a new eCommerce platform.

What do you think, is it worth the risk?

Well, don’t stress much as we are here for you. Today, we have come up with a post that will help you with everything you need to know for conducting eCommerce replatforming.

What Is eCommerce Replatforming?

what is eCommerc ReplatformingWhen an online retailer develops a new technology or chooses a 3rd-party service that provides an updated or distinct eCommerce platform, it’s known as eCommerce replatforming.

This process needs a jump from one 3rd-party service to another, or it may lead to the development of an in-house, custom solution from scratch.

Most often, an eCommerce platform incorporates a shift from an in-house solution to a 3rd-party service, such as WooCommerce, and more. Usually, both paths lead to essential changes in the operational model of the company.

Generally, enterprises demand an eCommerce platform that integrates smoothly with their existing tech stack, incorporating high-priority 3rd-party plugins.

What Is The Need For eCommerce Replatforming?

Obviously, our first eCommerce website provides all the basic features with the required performance. But, with time, as our eCommerce website expands, we find this platform to be poorly designed, slow, and incapable of fulfilling customer needs. Also, you witness a hike in your costs or you start paying for worthless features, this may lead to increased expenditure. In fact, you will notice that maintenance and upkeep are becoming tough for your team.

When it comes to replatforming, it is a big job that demands your time and effort. Besides, it will affect your whole eCommerce website, including admin navigation, design, performance, functionality, and much more. That’s why the process of replatforming needs to be accomplished at the right time and for the right reasons.

Well, let’s check out the reasons when you should migrate your eCommerce platform:

Security Issues With Current eCommerce Platform

After coming up with a breach of some form, or vulnerability, some online retailers have decided to re-platform. This has often led to a decision of moving to a hosted platform, SaaS, to a great extent as it lowers down risks associated with self-hosted or legacy systems that need a lot of support.

Customer Experience & Site Performance

Today, online shoppers expect connected and sophisticated retail experiences. Similarly, eCommerce businesses are anticipated to provide their consumers an innovative experience with out-of-the-box features, top-notch technology, and smooth multi-channel integration. Here, replatforming comes into play. It assists businesses in improving customer experience by enhancing their caliber to be more creative and unique from the crowd.

Platform Stability and Scalability

This is the most common reason for replatforming, which affects major deployments or releases, upgradeability, maintainability, and stability of integration with heavy customization or technical issues.

Poor Admin Functioning

A terrible admin panel leads to poor navigation that lowers down the pace of your team and finally leads to increased frustration and less output. Switching onto a simple, intuitive admin, it will make sure your team has an amazing tool and it can perform more effectively.

Increasing Maintenance Cost

If your current website needs costly, regular, or time-consuming maintenance, then replatforming may help you with this. It enhances the performance and chooses a third-party solution to hand over this whole burden.

Smooth Accessible Analytics

With no proper ecommerce analytics, you can’t get meaningful insights to conduct important improvements. So, you need to be sure that you accumulate, measure, and exhibit data that performs best for your teams who are dependent on this data.

Repetitive Tasks

On replatforming with improved interfacing or increased functionality, you may eliminate repetitive, duplicate tasks that you generally need to perform manually and regularly.

Site Responsiveness & Speed

As about 40% of the shoppers abandon a website if it takes too long to load, more than 3 seconds. Here, a responsive, fast website is important. You should use a top-quality website hosting service and also restrict your plugins to make your website stay efficient and run flawlessly.

Signs That Indicates It’s Time For You To Replatform Your Ecommerce CMS

Expenditures For Running a Website Increases

When it comes to a website, various areas lead to an increment in cost. Let’s take a few points, maintenance costs, which go a long way, license renewal fees, migration cost, and more. This makes the website owners replatform their eStore.

Technological Improvement

The most common technical issue is the load time of the website, which can also be an issue of cart abandonment. Also, the lack of a decoupled CMS or a headless CMS leads to zero presence on the touchpoints. Apart from that, the older systems are more prone to cyber-attack. All such technological problems increase the need for data migration to a new store. A examples of the few technological issues you might be facing due to your current ecommerce platform are:

  • Bad site performance under peak traffic
  • Database unable to handle large number of product SKUs
  • eCommerce platform able to hold limited attributes
  • Too difficult to add new custom features due to restrictive features and increasing cost

Marketing Issues & Signs

Well, the marketing department may also instill the need for replatforming. If the marketers fail to perform necessary tasks related to the website, like updating website content, integrating social media tools, and more, this again arouses the need for data migration. Migrating to a better ecommerce platform would yield the following benefits

  • GTM execution
  • Improved Site Search
  • Personalization of Content based on Buyer Persona
  • Mobile Commerce Optimization (Better Funneling & Mobile First Web Design)
  • Social Media Capabilities (Improved Shareability & Integration with Social Media)
  • Better Tag Management

What Things Are Worth Considering While Replatforming An eCommerce Website?

Well, getting started with ecommerce migration may seem to be overwhelming, but as you know, it will influence all the aspects of your retail business, starting from customer interactions with your eStore to sophisticated working behind delivering their orders.

However, with the right plan here, you can supervise an eCommerce replatforming project. To assist you in targeting this plan, we have emerged with a list below that retailers may consider to catch up with a flawless replatforming process.

Conduct Technical research

Before your ecommerce development team of experts starts with the process of replatforming, it’s important to understand the needs of the company by conducting technical research. You may find this an extra step, but let us tell you that it’s like a robust base for all other actions in our list.

Through this process, your team will become capable of examining entire possible solutions for your company, even for the long term. It’s like a blueprint for an eCommerce house you are about to develop.

Impact Of Website Migration On Your Business

Replatforming would be beneficial for you if you implement essential improvements to the performance, functionality, and output of your eCommerce platform. Moreover, you need to be sure that you will get all those benefits from migration that may prove to be worth the additional cost and effort.

Total Costs Of eCommerce Migration

Well, the actual cost of ecommerce replatforming is not limited to the cost of the new platform, it also includes the migration process, the downtime (during the transfer), and maintenance costs that are linked with the new eCommerce platform. Also, it incorporates the cost of training your staff for the new platform. So, project the total costs that are involved and plan accordingly.

Features and Capabilities Of The Upgraded eCommerce Platform

When migrating to a new eCommerce platform, its features would be an important factor to decide. You need to compare the features that the new platform has with your existing eCommerce platform, and pick the most essential features that your business needs to develop, grow, and improve.

Integrations With Existing Legacy Systems

Before we migrate to a new solution, you should make sure that the solution to which you are switching should support the integrations that are already in use, with no loss of performance.

Future Needs and Improvements

One of the long-term investments that you make in your business is replatforming. You should take care of the capabilities and the initial features that a tool should have as you know it’s going to have a long-term impact. Be sure about the adaptation of your tool that may modify as per the market trend and meet your business needs.

Ability & Skills Of Your Current Team

When it comes to performing replatforming, the technical expertise of your team plays an important role. It should hold the caliber to adapt to the change as quickly as it can be. This also includes the proficiency of getting going with the new platform and migrating data.

Customer Support & Services

Well, whichever be the solution you decide to pick, it should offer the best customer service and support. This will ease you in resolving errors properly and quickly, right at the moment they occur. While developing your solution, your team would be liable to provide the required support. So, if you will get full support from your platform, you will become capable of keeping your eCommerce store up and running perfectly.

Suitable Time for Website Migration

When you think of replatforming, you should ensure the best time to perform it. Mostly, the best time to migrate store data is believed to be the lowest traffic moment. This time, if any issues arise, it will have the least impact on your business conversions and revenue.

Crawl Your Website before Migration

Well, crawling through your website will make sure that none of the important data gets slip through the cracks that you want to migrate. For this, you should also address the complete data of your store before you start the migration.

Avoid The Common Pitfalls Of Data Migration

Of course, in data migration, there are numerous common pitfalls. So, to maintain a smooth customer experience be sure that you avoid all sorts of glitches related to data migration.

Define The Data You Want to Migrate To Your New Website

If you don’t know, there are three chief components of data for online retailers namely product data, customer data, and order data. Before replatforming, you need to thoroughly understand what data is important for you and your consumer to access your new website.

Transfer Only Up-to-date Content To The New Site

Through replatforming, the retailers get the opportunity to look into every aspect related to your business, this includes content also. So, first of all, you should review the entire content of your website and determine what is inessential. You need to replace your older articles with the new and improved ones and the ones that are not SEO optimized. So, this is the right time to remove such data before you start with replatforming as this will save your future time that you will need to clean such worthless content.

Pick A Data Migration Plan

data migration while repltformingObviously, the reason behind every successful ending is thorough planning. If you forget to plan from the starting, it will lead to various obstacles on the way towards the expected outcome. Deep and well-defined planning will make your project up on time and within your budget.

Develop Content Migration Plan & Ensure It Maintains SEO Settings

As we have discussed above, data migration planning is essential before we start with replatforming, the same is true when it comes to website content. So, your team should have a plan to get rid of last-minute confusion. Post auditing your old website content and developing a content migration plan, don’t forget to consider your SEO settings. Your SEO seetings needs to be migrated with the help of your development team.

  • Audit your current Site Hierarchy & Structure
  • Make a plan for Content Migration or if you have plans for Content Overhaul
  • Optimize your URL’s & check for necessary Redirections
  • Review your Metadata
  • Implement schema markup
  • Check for duplicate content
  • Generate and ReSubmit your XML Sitemap
  • Ensure Google Analytics tracking code is working
  • Check links in emails and downloadable assets
  • Use annotations in Google Analytics to track all changes to the site

What Are The Top Options For eCommerce Replatforming?

Choose an eCommerce platform for ReplatformingIn recent years, eCommerce has been found redefining the way of shopping with 50% and more online shopping being done through mobile. Today, you will catch up with various eCommerce platforms from which you may choose.

While picking the right eCommerce platform, you need to check if the platform will meet your business needs, its weaknesses, strengths, and associated costs.

Now, we will put forwards a list of some leading eCommerce platforms that are available in the market. You may pick any as per your business needs. Let’s start.

WordPress

WordPress comes with various available integrations that allow you to add design, features, elements, and more to your eCommerce website. One of the popular eCommerce platforms, WordPress comes with various pros.

  • Free to use
  • Simple and easily accessible for beginners
  • SEO optimized
  • Customizable using plugins
  • Scalable and can include features as per the need
  • In-Built blog crafted for SEO

Magento 2

Crafted to be feature-packed, Magento 2 offers advanced functionality and features to offer eCommerce retailers complete control over their website design and management. It has the below advantages:

  • Build user-friendly eCommerce stores
  • Designed to perfectly scale with business
  • Open-source platform
  • Limitless flexibility with design and customization
  • Have a large community of users

WooCommerce

Operates on WordPress, WooCommerce uses its available integrations and tools. It has the following benefits:

  • Built-in and simple SEO
  • Top-quality security
  • Crafted for professional use
  • Comes with clear admin navigation
  • Free basic services
  • Flexible to customize websites with templates and themes

Shopify

A full-service solution, Shopify includes amazing functionality, features, and performance. It has the below advantages:

  • Amazing app store with plugins and extensions
  • Top-quality security; SSL certificate and PCI DSS compliant
  • Easy and simple UI and navigation
  • Includes web hosting, managed through a Shopify account
  • Easy to use

What Are eCommerce Migration Services To Ease Your Job?

You can perform eCommerce store replatforming by yourself manually, or by hiring a leading eCommerce migration services, or even by using a data migration app. A data migration app is the best solution for replatforming when you are not tech-savvy or experienced when it comes to data migration.

We are here with a list holding a few data migration solutions:

LitExtension

It eases eCommerce store migration by providing a step-by-step, guided process to follow. It demands little to no technical expertise to start, that’s why it is best for beginners also.

  • Best Features: Reliable, secure data migration for beginners.
  • Cost: Starting at $59.00 and the rest depends on the platform.

Cart2Cart

An eCommerce migration tool, Cart2Cart allows eCommerce platform migrations. With 80 and more compatible store migrations, Cart2Cart is known as a popular app for replatforming.

  • Best Features: Simple, Automated eCommerce store data migration
  • Cost: Base fee – $49; rest depends on platforms.

Next-Cart

It allows a secure, smooth store migration in just a few simple steps. It comes with 24*7 support, one can get the help relevant to migration whenever required.

  • Best Feature: Guided migration process
  • Cost: Starting at $49.00; the rest depends on the platform.

How Long Does It Take To Do eCommerce Migration?

It takes from 8 weeks to over a year to eCommerce replatforming, depending on a rollout strategy of an enterprise. Well, complexity and scope may vary, but the entire process stays the same.

For example: if a small enterprise picks a Shopify platform with a current theme, it may take 8-12 weeks, which depends on the number of 3rd-party integration and customization levels.

For larger enterprises, inherently, the process demands extensive customization, as the current systems are more complicated. This indicates that the process may take a year or even more than that to complete.

Hire ecommerce developers

14 Steps For eCommerce Replatforming/Migration?

Now, let’s check out the steps that we should follow for our eCommerce store migration to a new platform. These steps will offer you an idea of how much time and effort the process of migration is going to take. These steps are generalized for ecommerce website migration and if you want the exact process we have also written a few replatforming guides for selected platforms.

#1. List Out Benefits & Needs Of Replatforming

Firstly, you should prepare a list holding shortages of your existing platform and your expectations from a new system. You should emerge with the biggest flaws, features you want the most, and what you need from replatforming. Also, you should communicate with your teams and different departments about their requirements and should set the priorities for that.

#2. Communicate With Stakeholders

After reviewing the efficiencies and areas of improvement, it’s time to communicate with stakeholders. This way you will know about the needs of distinct teams, and balancing their requirements fairly to offer them what they expect from migration.

#3. Shortlist eCommerce Platforms

Now, as you know why you need to replatform and what your team wants from it, next, you can start with research on viable options. You may shortlist some eCommerce platforms that you may use, sort them by their costs, features, and more.

#4. Arrange Demos With Your Top Picks

After shortlisting, you can schedule demos with the top choices. Reach out to the platforms you are interested in, and ask them for a demo. This will offer you an idea regarding their strengths and weaknesses.

#5. Choose An eCommerce Platform

Next, it’s time to make a decision. You may use the details that you have gained through demos to finalize a selection. Be sure that you pick a solution that holds the caliber to offer you the improvements and features at the best price.

#6. Backup Data Of Your Old Store

Before you begin the replatforming process, you need to take a backup of your old eCommerce store. Well, after much hard work, your migration process may go seamlessly, but in case an error occurs, you should be all set with your data saved to resolve that error or go back to restart the process. It’s good to be confident about your migration, but backing up your data will save you from experiencing unexpected situations.

#7. Craft Your eCommerce Website

Before data migration, you should be all set with designing your complete website structure, style, and layout, to allow your data to get loaded into a new one. This is the best time ever to offer an advanced look to your website. You may use various downloadable themes and templates and style or customize them as per your choice. Even with the help of a developer, you can develop a new website from scratch.

Editors Note: Keep in mind that you should always set up a staging site to perform all the ecommerce migration and when everything checks fine then you can push the staging site to live site.

#8. Opt For A Data Migration Service

Well, this is an optional step, as you can migrate the data of your eCommerce store manually.

But, in case you have a 3rd-party app, then you may ease this process of replatforming. For that, you will need to hire a leading data migration service. This would be the right step when you lack technical skills. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the best service that holds the caliber to conduct migration securely, accurately, and yes, completely.

#9. Migrate Your Store Data

Post making the best selection, now, it’s time to migrate your data. Whether you perform this manually or using a perfect migration app, or with a third-party team, this process includes migration of store data from your existing eCommerce website to the new one.

#10. Connect With Checkout Platform & Optimize Payment &Checkout Experience

Before you start running your new store, you should have a checkout platform that will allow you to process payments and complete the orders. Pick a platform that offers customers a secure, fast, and efficient checkout experience. Moreover, you should have a system that prevents, detects, and protects against fraudulent behavior and accepts more valid orders.

#11. Perform SEO Audit Before Launch

When migrating eCommerce platforms, it’s necessary to retain domain authority as much as possible. For this, you will need to perform a complete SEO audit of your website before launching your website. Be sure that you optimize on and off, both the page content for SEO. Also, don’t forget to set up redirects and retain the traffic from your old website.

#12. Test, Test & Test: It’s Crucial

So, after replatforming your eCommerce website, you are almost all set to launch. But, before that, you need to test your new ecommerce platform. For that, you should conduct various tests, locate the issues that may arise at some time. Be sure that your new eCommerce website is up and performing perfectly as it should be. Don’t forget, that this is the right time to correct everything that is not working as per your expectations. Here are some questions that you should answer beforme making your migrated site live:

  • Data Migration: Is all your ecommerce product data imported without any issues?
  • Data Organization: Are all of the collections set up in the right manner?
  • Site Navigation: Does all the menu items work properly?
  • Site Structure: Are all the pages migrated and interlinked properly?
  • Web Design: Does the site design work seamlessly on desktop, mobile and other devices?
  • Responsive Design: Does the design work on Android/iPhone/Tablet?
  • Third Party Apps & Other Integrations: Are all connected apps, Enterprise Research Planning software (ERP), Point of Sale (POS) working as required?
  • Product Shipping: Are your shipping rules and labels working?

#13. Launch Your New eCommerce Website

After you’re done with testing, now your website is ready to launch. You can publish your new website and start selling from your new eCommerce website.

#14. Let Your Existing Customers Know About The Platform Migration

Post-launch, you should communicate with your existing, loyal customers about the migration. Communicate through social media, email, and whatever methods perform well to inform your customers about your transformation to a new website. You may give them a link to create an account or register an account on the new platform.

eCommerce Replatforming Checklist: A Quick Way To Go Over Site Migration Tasks

  • List out all the flaws of your current ecommerce platform
  • Make a list of all the advantages you hope to get by migrating to new ecommerce platform
  • Consult stakeholders, your ecommerce consultant and teams regarding your decision of replatforming
  • Calculate the budget for replatforming, training your team for the new platform & other dependencies
  • Research available ecommerce platforms that fits your requirements
  • Finalize the choice of an ecommerce platform for replatforming
  • Backup current ecommerce store data
  • Hire an ecommerce data migration service or download a data migration app
  • Design & develop your ecommerce site on new ecommerce platform on a staging site
  • Migrate all ecommerce store data
  • Connect third party checkout platform and optimize checkout design
  • Pair integrations, extensions, and plugins
  • Run an audit on your entire site for SEO
  • Test out your entire store for performance, design, and structure
  • Train your team members to use the new store admin
  • Communicate the transfer of your site to the new platform to your existing customers
  • Launch your new ecommerce store

Wrapping Up

Replatforming can be a perfect choice for your business. Don’t permit the fear of costs to restrict you from improving your business. There are various tools and partners available that may ensure perfect data migration from existing eCommerce platforms to another one.

So, if you are planning to migrate your eCommerce store, you may hire an eCommerce development company. It may help you with making data-driven decisions, develop a baseline to compare pre-and post-migration performance, locate errors in testing to lower down the impacts in production, detect anomalies, monitor performance in real-time, quantify automatically the impact of errors to iteration and speed, and more.

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!