In the last year or so, we have seen a significant rise in eCommerce platform migration, with TechCrunch finding that almost 40% of global platform migrations were a move to Shopify Plus in 2022. That’s a pretty sizable market share if you ask us!
Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands have blossomed in the last 3 years. As a result of this increased competition, eCommerce merchants have been forced to reconsider their existing tech stack to ensure they maintain a competitive advantage. Many of the eCommerce platforms that served businesses well once upon a time cannot compete with a feature-rich solution like Shopify Plus, which has enticed many businesses to undertake a Shopify migration.
What is Driving Replatforming to Shopify Plus?
As with most things in business and especially in the digital space, it is not one factor alone influencing the trend of re-platforming but instead a combination of multiple factors:
Shopify Plus offers greater scalability with more features and better functionality than competing platforms
Many of the “legacy tech” platforms simply rely on their history and brand name to win business when they are lagging behind in terms of performance and are completely outdated (e.g. Magento, WooCommerce)
Shopify Plus is a cloud-based, hosted SaaS platform where total costs are recurring and reliable. Self-hosted, bespoke platforms like WooCommerce are high maintenance and the costs of updating plugins or code can be exorbitant thus Shopify Plus keeps the Total Cost of Ownership down
On average, most platform migrations take as long as 12 months to complete…who has that kind of time in this current landscape? Migration Engineers will handle the entire process for you to get it completed in as quickly as 3 to 4 months - record time in the world of re-platforming!
With the economy in freefall and eCommerce businesses bracing themselves for a recession, businesses must be more cautious with their spending. A high-performance platform that keeps costs low offers merchants a glimmer of hope and massive competitive advantage in otherwise gloomy prospects. While we have all become accustomed to sacrificing quality to save costs, Shopify offers both quality and value for money - a breath of fresh air.
Overview of the Replatforming Process
The re-platforming process can be a daunting task for any business, but it is becoming more and more common as businesses look to improve their online presence. The majority of our clients migrate from popular eCommerce platforms like Magento, BigCommerce or Volusion. Some are also migrating from a custom website that can no longer keep up with the demands of their growing business.
There are a number of factors that go into re-platforming, from choosing the right platform to migrating your data. Here is an overview of the re-platforming process to help you get started:
Identifying & Understanding Needs
When it comes to replatforming to Shopify, understanding and identifying needs is key. For most businesses, the decision to re-platform is driven by a desire to improve the customer experience, increase sales, or both. But before diving into a re-platforming project, it's important to take a step back and inventory your current situation. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What are your goals for replatforming?
What are your biggest pain points with your current eCommerce platform?
What do you love about your current platform?
What features are you missing that would make your life easier?
What do your customers say they like/dislike about your current site?
How easy is it for you to make changes/updates to your site?
How robust is your product data? Do you have good-quality product images and descriptions?
Do you have integration issues with other systems (ERP, PIM, etc)?
Answering these questions will give you a better picture of what you need from a new platform. Once you know what you're looking for, you can compare Shopify’s features against your needs.
Preparation for Making the Move
If you're considering replatforming to Shopify Plus, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition.
First, you must export your product data from your current platform. This data includes things like product descriptions, photos, prices, SKUs, and more. You'll also need to export your customer data, which includes information like names, addresses, email addresses, and order history.
Once you have all of your data exported, you'll need to import it into Shopify. The process for doing this will vary depending on which platform you're coming from, but Shopify has detailed instructions on its website for each supported platform.
Choosing the Right Solutions
When it comes to replatforming to Shopify, there are a few things you need to consider to choose the right solution for your business:
Before making any decisions, take the time to consult with experts who specialise in replatforming. This will help ensure that you're making the best decision for your business.
Make sure to also consider your budget when choosing a Shopify solution. There are various options available at different price points, so be sure to choose one that fits your budget.
Challenges to Overcome When Migrating to Shopify
There are a few challenges that merchants face when replatforming to Shopify. Most notably, these include:
Losing search engine ranking and traffic: When replatforming to Shopify, your website will likely have to start from scratch in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). This means that you could potentially lose rankings and organic traffic from Google. However, when your website is well-coded and has all Google best practices implemented, you will only see a drop in organic traffic for a few months. After the initial migration period, Google will slowly start to send your normal organic traffic volume to your website and even more, if you are continually optimising your website for SEO and conversions.
Exporting/importing products: Depending on the size and complexity of your product catalogue, exporting and importing products into Shopify can be a time-consuming process and you run the risk of losing data if you make any mistakes.
Migrating customisations: If you have heavily customised your website on your current platform, replatforming to Shopify may require you to recreate some of those customizations. This can add additional time and cost to your project.
Here are some additional risks to be aware of that make it crucial to use a migration expert before initiating replatforming.
Shopify Migration Services
If you are considering a move across to Shopify or Shopify Plus from your existing eCommerce platform, managing the migration can seem like a daunting task. Instead of trying to struggle with it yourself or risk losing your website data by using an inexperienced freelancer, we can take the migration of your store to Shopify off your plate. Get in touch with our team and let’s get you moving!