9 Steps to a Successful eCommerce Migration


Read this article to understand how to do a successful migration of your eCommerce website. Know the 9 things you need to do, step by step to seamlessly migrate to a new and better eCommerce website.

Customers, sales, accounting, marketing, and IT signal it's time for a new platform. Don't panic. Planning and executing a successful eCommerce migration can be performed in under 10 steps. Nine to be exact.

Identify Needs


Every effective eCommerce migration platform starts with identifying needs. You're getting signals from all directions that a change is needed. But what exactly needs to change?

To end up with an eCommerce platform that meets your needs, start by clearly identifying your most pressing needs.

For example, Testrut, an international manufacturer and distributor of indoor and outdoor home goods, had customer, marketing, and sales signals that their B2B eCommerce website needed an overhaul. In creating their eCommerce needs, they realized they needed to make improvements that were customer and marketing-focused. They needed an improved user experience that included extensive personalization and support for marketing and sales to penetrate new markets and countries and automate campaign activities. These are needs that can be met by localization, customer-specific catalogs and price lists, customer accounts with user-identified roles and permissions, and ERP integration.

When Petra Industries, a consumer technology distributor, needed to migrate to a new eCommerce platform it was because they were running a B2B business with a B2C eCommerce platform. This required multiple add-ons and the legacy system was difficult to maintain, much less update. They needed a platform built for B2B that would allow them to easily onboard new customers, improve order fulfillment, and improve marketing capabilities. Their needs are met with customer accounts with multiple logins, different levels of permissions, and flexible order approval workflows; automated customer account set-up that integrates with 3rd party credit approval; comprehensive customer data for personalized, account-based marketing; and localizations that identify the best shipping warehouse.

Both companies successfully migrated to a new eCommerce platform because they were able to identify their needs and understand the features and technology necessary to meet these needs.

Create and Issue the RFP


Once you have identified needs, the features, and the technology required you are ready to start the product hunt.

Your RFP should contain questions about more than just the nuts and bolts of the eCommerce features.

The RFP should help you find an eCommerce platform that future-proofs your eCommerce channel, so you aren't faced with a migration again in 2 years. That means your RFP should include questions about scalability, flexibility, omnichannel support, and the number of websites you can run from a single backend.

Include a technical questionnaire to gain insight into the platform and data security, find out about the technologies used and if they are proprietary or open-source. This is also where you express your preference for on-premises or cloud deployment and find out about the IT infrastructure required to support the platform.

Questions about licensing and fees will help you uncover the true cost of installing and maintaining the new system once the migration is complete. Here you want to ferret out fees that might not normally come to light early in the vendor selection phase.

When France Air, a distributor of HVAC and boiler equipment, needed to move from Magento, their RFP centered on finding a vendor that was focused on the unique needs of B2B eCommerce and could accommodate their needs for scalability and planned future growth. This narrowed down the number of vendors so they could then concentrate on the features offered for a fully mobile, effortless B2B buying experience.

Select Platform


Rely on your eCommerce migration partner to help you evaluate the responses to the RFP. Question each vendor carefully to identify what type of support will be available before and after the migration.
Remember, you are looking for a provider with more than just a robust set of eCommerce features. You are looking for a vendor that will be a partner for years to come. Check out the platform ecosystem and community. Open-source solutions usually not only provide greater security but also have a larger and more active community of developers and users.

Integration with your legacy architecture is a key consideration. Your eCommerce platform should slip into the architecture without excessive effort. Evaluate APIs and past integration experience. Whether you take a point-to-point approach or plan on using middleware, the new eCommerce platform must integrate seamlessly.

Plan and Migrate Data


Once you've got the new eCommerce platform in place, it's time to plan and migrate the data. That's the "migration" part of eCommerce migration. This requires careful planning. Begin with identifying all data sources and integrations affected. Then you will need to identify the legacy data to the migrated.

Once you know where and what, it's time to decide who. Your team can migrate the data in-house, but the better alternative may be to outsource this to a partner that focuses on data migration. Because these are data migration experts, in the end, this may be the less expensive and faster way to migrate.

Because data migration is disruptive, you'll want to plan the migration for off-peak times and be sure to let every impacted department know of the migration well in advance.

Integrate


Integration requires the same amount of careful planning as data migration. If your third-party integrations are to remain intact, they must be mapped and planned in advance. The same holds true for in-house integrations.

Integrations include your email integrations (like MailChimp) or credit risk management tools like Apruve. In some cases, you may find that the new platform will provide functionalities previously performed by plug-ins or third parties. If so, that's great.

But those instances will be few and far between. Map each touchpoint between the new eCommerce platform and any third-party or in-house solution and plan the integration.

Test and Iterate


When it comes to testing and iterating, the minimum viable product (MVP) may save time and money. This isn't a scaled-down eCommerce platform. It is a fully functional website with the key elements for B2B eCommerce success.

It will allow you to test, improve, and iterate until you've got the product that meets your needs. If the goal of the eCommerce migration is to improve your backend and automate more processes, then this can be the focus of your MVP and then you move forward from this point.

If one of the migration goals is better integration, then that can be the focus of the MVP.

Even if you do not use the MVP approach, do not set a goal of perfection before you roll out a soft launch. If you get 80% of perfection, you are ready to roll.

Training


Speaking of rolling, before you roll out make sure everyone is familiar with the new platform. After the launch is not the time to start training.

Training is oftentimes the point in which internal end-users will ask questions that point to refinements to go on the first road map.

Prelaunch training is crucial for customer-facing employees as well as team members that work with data from integrated systems.

Soft Launch – Iterate


Once your MVP or 80% product is ready, start with a soft launch. Pre-select customers that have shown an interest in new features or functionality.

The soft launch allows the team to get feedback from the ultimate website audience and make minor adjustments. If a process is clunky, your test customers will be sure to let you know.

Offering branded swag is a great way to solicit test subjects for your soft launch.

Launch and Listen


Now it's time to go live!

And it is time to listen. Sales reps should touch base with their customers and offer a walkthrough of new site features and functions. For example, if you have added user defines roles and permissions, let existing account holders know how to set this up and how this will make their jobs easier.

If you've added new support features, be sure that Customer Service reps point customers to the new information. People want a more self-serve model in eCommerce, be sure your customers know that's what you supply.


Comments

Author: Umesh01 May 2021 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

The article has nicely brought out the elements and preparations required for migrating the e-commerce sites to a newer platform or upgrade them to meet the emerging requirements. The area of e-commerce has become very competitive and due to the changes and developments in the market continuous up gradation of these sites becomes a necessity and only those who can upgrade their sites to meet the demands of the customers and the industry can survive the changing scenarios. These up gradations are basically required to be done by first planning the various elements which will now be required in the new situation and then finding or arranging the software solutions for the same and are to be worked out using robust coding practices. As readymade solutions would not be easily available for such a transformation, one will have to go for customised dedicated solutions with the help of the industry experts.



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