Considering replatforming your eCommerce site? Migrating to a platform like Magento Commerce 2 is an excellent way to enhance your site’s performance, benefit from best-in-class security, and add all of those bells and whistles you’ve longed to implement on your website.

Choosing the right platform to migrate to is a huge decision and one that will have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts on your business. Here are five factors to consider when replatforming.

#1: State of Your Ecommerce Site

Like many brands, your site has been on your current platform for five years or more, and it has a lot of baggage. Promotions and products that were all the rage five to seven years ago no longer resonate with today’s customers.

A crucial first step is to make a list of the features to take with you and which ones to leave behind. Now add all the features and functionality you’ll need to grow your business over the next five to seven years.

Once you have your list sort them into three buckets:

  • Table stakes – These are the features, like product configurators and product filtering, that are essential to the people who buy from you. All of these features must be in place on the day your new site goes live.
  • Round 2 Features – Once your site is deployed and stabilized, you’ll have a chance to enhance it with the features and functionality that are important but could wait a month or two after the initial launch.
  • Future Releases – These are the features you know that you’d like to have someday, such as a custom sales rep mobile app or a customer-facing PWA app. It’s essential to include this wishlist in your initial platform evaluation process so that you can pick a provider that can meet your future needs as well.

#2: Omnichannel support

Change is a hallmark of eCommerce, and more broadly, the tech industry, and nowhere do we feel its effects than how customers choose to engage with brands. 5G will soon be available worldwide. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has made many people afraid to shop in-store.

Omnichannel support is essential to any brand whose goal is to keep up with the consumer. Look for a platform with broad omnichannel support, such as mobile-friendliness, PWA support, flexibility to integrate third-party marketplace websites, the ability to buy online and pick up in-store, select which location to pick up and order, ship to multiple locations, support for social commerce and so on.

#3: Third-Party Integrations

Make a list of all the third-party integrations to backend systems and apps you’ll need to get your online store and digital marketing initiatives up and running. You’ll need to assess the work, time, and expense required to integrate your new platform with these things. Critical backend integrations include your ERP, CRM, and marketing automation platforms, as well as your payment gateway and security systems.

Some platforms have connectors to major third-party backend systems that streamline the process. If not, partners like Ziffity have extensive experience in integrating eCommerce platforms with backend systems, so it’s not at a disadvantage if you have, say, a homegrown ERP. It’s more a matter of building these integrations into your launch timeline and budget.

#4: Data Migration

Data migration is often the culprit for missed launched dates and all-night coding sessions. It can be a messy process to move data from one system to another. Data munging — synchronizing field names, the way dates are displayed, eliminating redundant records, etc. — is often time-consuming and frustrating. For this reason, identify and document your data migration needs early in the process.

Data Sources

There are a lot of decisions to make around which data sources to bring over, and how much historical data needs to migrate to the new site.

CatalogHow much of your existing product catalog do you want to bring over? Chances are you have products you no longer sell hiding within your catalog. (it frustrates users when they search for an item, go to the PDP only to be told it’s no longer sold).
Content PagesReplatforming is a good time to look at your content pages and cull what’s no longer relevant.
OrdersMany eCommerce teams assume that they should migrate their complete order history, but is that necessary? Remember that data will still be available in your ERP system. The only order data you should bring over is that which helps you understand a current customer’s or prospect’s needs.
CustomersYou’ll want to migrate customer data for your active customers. A case can be made for including lapsed customers, especially if you’re going to send them custom messages when they return to your site after a long absence (e.g., “Welcome back! We’ve missed you.”) How far back to go is dependent on your brand, sales cycle, price point and so on.
PromotionsOver the years, you’ve built a ton of great promos and offers into your site, but times have changed. Migrate only those that are relevant to your customer experience today.
ReviewsReviews are a great conversion tool, but when they’re old, they can work against you. Pick a cutoff date that’s right for your brand, and leave the rest behind.

#5: Multinational Support

Finally, there have been a lot of technological advancements that streamline selling overseas, and you may need to look outside of the country to find new customers if, say, the US suffers a prolonged recession.

Look for an eCommerce platform that will allow you to grow internationally. Must-have features include support for multiple languages, prices displayed in the local currency, relevant taxes and duties, and critical shipping information, including costs and estimated delivery.

Remember, you don’t need to do all these alone. Ziffity’s migration team can help you document your needs and put a plan together to migrate your eCommerce store successfully.