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Migrating to a New E-Commerce Platform? Pros, Cons, Tips and Best Practices 

Did you know that nearly 57 percent of US consumers prefer shopping online? And with the global e-commerce market projected to reach a staggering $7.4 trillion by 2025, it’s evident that businesses can’t afford to be complacent regarding online retail. And the backbone of any successful online business is a flexible and scalable e-commerce platform.    

As technology advances and consumer preferences shift, business owners find themselves at a crossroads: whether to stick with their current platform or make the leap to a new one. In this article, we will guide you through the process, highlighting why you should upgrade your e-commerce platform in the coming year.  

But First, What is an e-Commerce Platform?   

An e-commerce platform is a piece of software that allows businesses to conduct online transactions, manage their online presence, and facilitate the sale of goods or services over the internet. It enables businesses to build, operate, and scale their online stores. E-commerce platforms provide a range of tools and features necessary for:   

  • Managing product listings   
  • Processing payments   
  • Handling orders   
  • Creating a seamless shopping experience for customers   

So, what is an e-commerce platform? A software that allows you to conduct your business online quickly, easily, and well.  

Second, Why Do Companies Switch e-Commerce Platforms?   

Now that the question “What is an e-commerce platform?” has been answered, it is time to discover why businesses upgrade to a new one.   

  • Overcome Technical Limitations: Outdated technology can hinder your e-commerce operations. Slow loading times, last year’s security protocols, and compatibility issues can drive customers away. A modern platform ensures a smooth and secure shopping experience.   
  • Get Better Functionality: Every business has unique needs, and if your current platform lacks essential features for your industry or business model, exploring alternatives with advanced functionality is crucial for staying competitive and enhancing business capabilities.   
  • Update Their Website Design: First impressions matter, especially online. A website that’s poorly designed or not mobile-friendly can deter potential customers – especially since 60 percent of all e-commerce sales happen on a mobile device. Switching to a platform that prioritizes aesthetics, usability, and device responsiveness can significantly enhance your brand image.    
  • Reduce Future Expenses: Investing in a new platform may seem daunting initially, but it can lead to long-term cost savings. Newer platforms like Symphony often come with more efficient technology, reducing operational costs over time.   
  • Improve Internal Business Processes: Efficient internal processes contribute to overall business success. If your current platform hinders rather than facilitates your operations, it’s time for a change.   
  • Fill Security Gaps: In an age of increasing cyber threats, a secure platform is non-negotiable. If your current platform has security vulnerabilities, migrating to a more secure option is a proactive step to safeguard your business and customer data.   

If these reasons mirror some of your frustrations or concerns, it’s time to switch to a better e-commerce platform.   

How To Switch to a Better eCommerce Platform: A Checklist   

Switching e-commerce platforms can be a significant undertaking. This is why we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the process quickly and easily:   

1. Assess Current Platform Performance   

Before making any decisions, it’s essential to evaluate the current performance of your existing e-commerce platform. Identify pain points, analyze loading times, and assess the overall user experience. Knowing where you stand will guide your decision-making process.   

2. Gather Feedback from the Team   

Engage with your employees, especially those directly interacting with customers. Their insights into customer needs and preferences are invaluable. Understanding their frustrations and requirements will help you select a platform that your customers and employees will appreciate.   

3. List Desirable Features for the New Platform   

Create a wishlist of features that your current platform lacks. These features could range from advanced analytics tools to a more user-friendly interface. Prioritize these features based on their impact on your business and customer satisfaction.   

4. Evaluate the Budget for the Re-platforming Project   

Cost is a significant factor in any migration. Consider not only the direct costs of the new platform but also potential revenue loss during the transition. A realistic budget ensures a smoother migration process without compromising your business operations.   

5. Develop a Detailed e-Commerce Migration Plan   

Planning is the cornerstone of a successful migration. Break down the process into manageable steps, assign responsibilities, and establish timelines. A well-thought-out plan minimizes disruptions and sets clear expectations for everyone involved.   

6. Orchestration Phase and Optimization   

During the migration, focus on orchestration—ensuring all elements work seamlessly together. Simultaneously, keep an eye on optimization opportunities. Fine-tune processes and configurations to maximize the benefits of the new platform.   

7. Perform Content Audits and Backups   

Preserve your digital assets by conducting thorough content audits and creating backups. This precautionary measure ensures that no critical data is lost during migration.   

8. Migrate Website Data   

Execute a smooth transfer of your website data to the new platform. This data includes product information, customer databases, and order histories. Data accuracy is paramount to maintaining customer trust and ensuring a seamless user experience.   

9. Consider Branding and Redesign Options  

Use the migration as an opportunity to refresh your brand and website design. Ensure the new platform aligns with your brand identity and provides an updated, visually appealing user interface.   

10. Set Up or Develop Custom Functionality  

Explore the new platform’s capabilities to discover and incorporate any specialized features that meet your needs. These features and functions might include unique checkout processes, personalized user experiences, or innovative marketing features.   

11. Plan for SEO Migration   

With 81 percent of retail shoppers conducting online research before making a purchase, you must not neglect your search engine optimization (SEO) during migration. Develop a comprehensive plan to retain and enhance your website’s search visibility, preventing any adverse effects on organic traffic.   

12. Perform Pre-launch Training and Testing   

Thoroughly train your team on the new platform to avoid post-launch hiccups. Additionally, conduct rigorous testing to identify and address any issues before the platform goes live.   

13. Launch the New Website and Announce It to Customers  

Coordinate a strategic launch that minimizes downtime. Communicate transparently with your customers about the migration, explaining the benefits they can expect and addressing any potential concerns.   

14. Complete Post-launch Testing and Debugging   

After the launch, continue testing for any unforeseen issues and promptly address them. A proactive approach to debugging ensures a smooth post-migration phase.

What Not to Do During e-Commerce Migration   

While you are putting in the hard work of migrating your e-commerce to a more efficient platform, there are a few items you need to be aware of. The following items are things NOT to do during your e-commerce migration.  

  • Overengineer Solutions: Overcomplicating the migration process can lead to delays and unnecessary confusion. Stick to the essential features and functionalities that align with your corporate goals.     
  • Forgo Operational Testing: Operational testing is crucial to identifying and resolving potential issues before they impact customers. Skipping this step can result in a suboptimal user experience, leading to customer dissatisfaction and potential revenue loss. Always test before you release.   
  • Communicate Chaotically: Effective communication is critical during the migration process. Be sure to establish clear channels and protocols for sharing information. A well-informed team is better equipped to overcome challenges and contribute to the success of the migration.  

Summing It Up   

What is an e-commerce platform? It’s the foundation of your burgeoning online empire, and upgrading it is a strategic decision that demands careful planning and execution. This move can significantly impact your business’s success in the dynamic digital landscape by enhancing your brand, improving customer experience, and ultimately boosting sales.   

Migrate from “Better” to “Best” with Symphony   

If you’re ready to take your e-commerce to the next level, consider Symphony’s e-commerce platform. With a user-friendly interface, powerful features, and a commitment to simplicity, Symphony was built to simplify online shopping for you and your customers. Our experts will make the transition as simple and stress-free as possible. 

So, contact us today to stay ahead, stay competitive, and provide your customers with an exceptional online shopping experience.