Today’s technological innovations surpass anything we’ve dreamed of a few decades ago, but there are companies still stuck with their older, less agile infrastructures. For an e-commerce business, this poses a huge problem and a major source of risk for the entire organization. As a modern company working in the digital sphere, you need the agility, scalability, and speed to match your customers’ expectations (if not even surpass them), and an infrastructure that allows your employees to collaborate seamlessly in building your business.
It’s a win-win no matter how you look at it, but the sheer process of replatforming can be intimidating, to say the least. It can be a costly endeavor if you don’t plan for it correctly, and it can wreak havoc on your processes if you don’t have the right people in charge. To establish correct procedures and make sure that your entire e-commerce site can safely and efficiently be moved to a new platform, you need to create an overarching strategy. This guide covers the most fundamental steps you need to take in an effort to replatform your e-commerce store and migrate your data safely.
Factor in risk mitigation
Not even the finest developers and migration experts can guarantee that this intricate process is without its inherent risks. In fact, data migration calls for thorough risk mitigation planning, and when you are moving a robust e-commerce website to a new platform, all the more reason to reduce the risks that come with this process.
Identify any platform and process challenges as well as risks that could hinder the migration and replatforming. Create a contingency plan and a disaster recovery protocol to make sure that you’re prepared for every eventuality.
Source: Sigma Aldrich
Plan all your resources in advance
Do you have a team of people who will tackle the migration process, or will you hire external partners? What’s your budget for this process and the support, testing, and maintenance afterward? Do you plan to hire marketing consultants to make sure your website’s ranking and SEO value are preserved?
Every data migration and replatforming calls for a thorough, step-by-step roadmap, with resource allocation accounted for. You will be able to get a clear idea of what your capabilities are and who the stakeholders of each stage and process will be to make sure everyone is prepared and trained to handle their portion of the work.
Don’t neglect your SEO requirements
Switching platforms comes with its risks as well, especially in terms of your ranking and overall marketing effectiveness if you don’t factor it into your migration strategy. Replatforming means creating 301 redirect pages to preserve your SEO, but you also need to make sure your site’s design and performance will be top-notch on your new platform, too.
Professionals in web design like AdVisible realize the importance of SEO maintenance when it comes to major, business-wide changes. Much like you need a team to work on support and testing in the post-migration stages, you’ll need to make sure your marketing teams are tackling your site’s ranking when you’ve moved to the new platform, otherwise you risk losing all that hard-earned relevance.
Consider built-in features vs. integrations
Moving to a new platform means that you will likely gain access to a slew of useful features that your new platform offers. Make sure you evaluate those features compared to the integrations you are currently using. Maybe some integrations like HubSpot should be kept, while others can be replaced with the built-in platform functionalities.
If there is a way to cut costs of those paid apps and systems when you can use more advanced, built-in features, that’s the best way to go. However, make sure your teams are trained in using the new platform’s features to retain your productivity and operational efficiency post-migration.
Ensure elevated cybersecurity measures
Depending on the type of migration you’re going to perform, you’ll need to consider your new cybersecurity protocols. For e-commerce companies moving to the public cloud, there’s a specific need to analyze and structure your cybersecurity efforts, as public cloud servers might be more exposed to cyberattacks.
Make sure you understand the cybersecurity options your new platform has, to leverage all that you can in protecting your website and your most sensitive information.
Preserve your old platform for a while
Too many e-commerce businesses are eager to ditch their old systems once they move to a new, better platform. To make the most of this process, make sure you preserve the old copy of your data as well as your entire e-commerce website.
This will help you test and double-check if you have managed to move all of your data and systems successfully. Even if you have missed something, you will be able to make a copy instead of setting up new code for your new platform.
Invest in ongoing support
Although the actual process of data migration and switching to a new platform is the most difficult stage of it all, post-migration support is equally vital for a successful transition. Let your dedicated team create a post-migration strategy that will include all necessary tests, evaluations, and of course, any additional system changes if need be.
Data migration and e-commerce replatforming can be a successful, albeit complex project when planned correctly and executed with the right metrics and deadlines in mind. For a growing e-commerce business, moving to a platform that enables greater profitability and better performance is no longer just an option, but a must. Make sure that you cover these bases in your strategy before you move forward, and you will soon run your organization from a new, more advanced platform that can help your business soar.