Moving to a new ecommerce site is an exciting prospect for many merchants. A new platform can combine with better design capabilities, enterprise resource planning system integration and similar features to enable organizations to better align their web frontend with their business backend.
While exciting, an ecommerce platform migration can also be an intimidating process. There are plenty of boxes to check off and strategic decisions to make. The good news is that modern platforms are making this easier all the time. For example, most solutions will easily let you download product data and upload it to your new site in the correct format. While these major processes are being simplified with today’s ecommerce systems, there are still a few issues that could slip through the cracks. Three key processes that you should be especially careful to plan for are:
1. Migrating customer data and passwords
During a transition to a new site, you want the actual customer experience to go off without any hitch. A customer with an account on your old site should be able to sign on to your new site with ease. You may run into a situation where you need users to set up new credentials, but you can plan for that contingency and ensure it isn’t a negative, frustrating experience for customers.
The problem, in most cases, is that platforms will encrypt passwords and similar sensitive data types in order to protect user data. This means that the information can’t necessary be decrypted by another platform, making a direct hand over of login credentials and similar user data impossible. There are ways to work around these problems, but organizations must be proactive to develop a customer data migration strategy to avoid running into last-minute problems that fuel frustration.
2. Transitioning order histories
Most platforms use their own database structures to handle order histories and similar details. While this data is useful to have on record for a variety of reasons, migrating to a new platform can be incredibly labor intensive – assuming it’s possible at all. If maintaining order histories is a must for your business, you’ll need to plan and budget accordingly. Otherwise, you can simplify this process in conceding that migrating every past order won’t be feasible.
3. Developing a launch and cutover strategy
While turning on the new site can be the easiest part of a migration from a technical perspective, it still requires careful thought and precision. In essence, you need to click a button within your platform configurations and possibly with web hosting services to shut the old site down and get the new site running. However, timing, unique business considerations and any issues with in-progress transactions can lead to complexity. Intentionality is critical in making sure you are ready for a smooth cutover to the new site.
All of these challenges are surmountable, and in a variety of ways. The key is choosing the right method for your budget, timeline, technical configuration and business needs. This is where ecommerce consultants, such as Pixafy, stand out. Our experience handling site builds and migrations enables us to quickly identify the best tactics for our customers, smoothing the wheels of migration.