As you start to think about upgrading your technologies and your eCommerce software, it can be easy to “stick with what you know” and choose the latest variation of your existing platform. After all, if it’s worked well for you so far, surely the newest version will have what you need.
But in our experience, it’s essential to remain objective when thinking about migrating to a new platform. It would help if you were questioning whether the latest upgrade of your existing platform has the features that you need to grow your business or whether you will be using all of its functionalities. If you are only planning on using a few upgraded platform elements, it may not be the most cost-effective choice available to you.
When we work with clients to migrate them to a new platform, we take the time to analyse what they need. We consider the strengths and weaknesses of their existing systems and identify how they see the business evolving in the medium and long-term futures. This knowledge gives us the scope to establish what they need and make recommendations for alternative options.
Let’s take Magento as an example
In June 2020, Magento officially stopped providing any support for its popular Magento 1 platform. At the end of its life, users could no longer benefit from patch updates, security fixes, or coding upgrades. It meant that those retailers still using the platform found themselves at risk from security concerns, UX issues, and other vulnerabilities.
Many retailers took it upon themselves to upgrade their systems to the newer Magento 2 platform, believing that it was a comparable platform with enhanced features. However, it soon became apparent that Magento 2 is a vastly different system from Magento 1. With a different interface, additional features, and many different complexities, many retailers have experienced issues with their migration.
We know from speaking to different people that many Magento migrations were running at least 4-6 months behind schedule. We believe that users may have been naïve in their migration planning stages. They may have intuitively felt that upgrading to the latest variation was the right choice to make without undertaking their due diligence into what they were upgrading to. As a result, they may have run into numerous complexities in the migration processes, leading to re-platforming projects running over time and budget.
These lengthy migrations can have a significant impact on your business. Not only can it increase your costs significantly, but it can prevent you from launching new products or services until your new foundations are in place. If you rely on these new areas of your business to increase revenue and drive business growth, any ongoing delays could have significant consequences.
We need to move away from default migrations
At Sherwen Studios, we have years of experience working with clients to help project manage their migrations to new platforms. Our approach is to move away from default migrations and take the time and effort to explore what you need from a new system. There are many times where the default upgrade can be the right solution for you, but we believe in undertaking our due diligence to feel confident in that final choice.
In our view, there are a few reasons why a business may rely on a default migration.
The ease of migration.
You may believe that an upgrade to the latest version is more accessible than migrating to an entirely new platform. However, all migrations are lengthy, and unless carefully planned, can run into unexpected complications. We approach all re-platforming projects in the same way – with careful, detailed analysis that [considers all possible elements of the migration] as well as implementing contingency planning.
Knowledge of alternatives
You may be unaware of what other options are available. A benefit of [working with an external agency] to handle your migration is that we have experience working across a wide range of systems. This means we can make independent recommendations of platforms that work for your business needs.
Immediate needs vs. long-term planning.
You may be choosing to upgrade your platform because it’s come to its end of life (perhaps you’re still using Magento 1). In which case, your primary focus is more about managing your immediate priorities rather than taking a strategic look at how your choice of platform can help your business to grow in the future. Investing in a new platform is a significant financial decision. And as such, you need to be able to demonstrate that you are investing in your future. You need to show your senior management team your anticipated return on investment. And you need to be able to work closely with your business development team to ensure that any new platform has the scope to adapt and change with your business.
We can help to plan and execute your migration to a new eCommerce platform
Our role is to work with clients to help implement new platforms and systems as seamlessly as possible.
Our consultancy services enable us to make strong recommendations, and as an agnostic agency, we are not aligned with any particular products or platforms. This means that any suggestions that we make are because we genuinely believe they are the right choice for you.
We work closely with in-house teams to provide additional resourcing and support where required, or we can provide complete end-to-end project management services so you can focus on day-to-day operations.
To find out more about our migration and re-platforming services, please get in touch.