Migrating your eCommerce platform: what you need to know

With only 110 days left before the end of support for Magento 1, it is important for online retailers to get moving on their eCommerce platform migration or risk a gap in sales. 

Navigating the migration process can be challenging, especially for businesses that lack previous experience of re-platforming. With eCommerce revenues projected to grow to over £5 trillion in 2022, it is important for eCommerce businesses to get their digital platform migration right.

Ciaran Bollard, CEO at Kooomo, the leading Enterprise Cloud Commerce Platform, comments: “Switching to a new eCommerce platform is a key decision for any online retailer. Whilst it is important to select the right platform, it is equally important to execute the migration in the most effective way to avoid unnecessary errors and downtime.

“A successful platform migration requires good preparation and it is essential that online retailers are fully aware from the outset of the various parameters involved in re-platforming.  An increase in conversion rates at the end of the migration is a good sign that the process has been completed successfully. One of our customers, Fabi Boutique, recently completed its migration to the Kooomo platform in 12 weeks from start to finish and the business was seeing an increase in conversions within a matter of days of going live,” Bollard adds.  

With the end of support for Magento 1 nearing, Kooomo has compiled the following guide to help online retailers successfully execute the migration process in its entire lifecycle:

Phase 1: Pre-launch

The first phase of the eCommerce platform switch should focus on getting all assets ready for the migration. This involves everything from generating a sitemap and extracting product data for migration to verifying and testing the platform customisation and completing the SEO and user migration. This preparation phase is essential as it builds the foundations for a successful migration with minimum disruption.

Phase 2: Launch

The second phase focuses on the actual digital commerce platform launch and aims to ensure that it is ready to go live. A smooth transition to the new platform can minimise delays which, in turn, means that KPIs do not have to take a hit especially during the critical first few months. 

The launch phase includes basic steps like ensuring that all data is backed up and running site crawls to identify 404-page errors, unwanted redirects, and duplicated content, as well as business-critical processes such as putting all payment methods on live mode and testing these alongside delivery partners.

Phase 3: Post-launch

The third phase focuses on addressing any problems with the new platform to eliminate any issues that can impact customer conversions. Online retailers need to allow at least two weeks for testing to make sure the parameters set work to a good standard. Issues they should be looking for include unwanted redirects and internal link errors, as well as shopping cart, form, and conversation tracking issues. They also need to ensure that the migration of all content and data has been completed.  

Bollard concludes: “Online retailers need to have a good understanding of the complexity of the process in order to tackle issues from start to finish. With time running out for Magento 1, eCommerce businesses need to act fast and ensure they are ready to do business as usual following June 1st.”

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