If your business is one of the estimated 200,000 eCommerce stores still running on Magento 1, you’re almost certainly going to be considering migrating to a new ecommerce platform.
Magento 1 will fondly be remembered as the “go to” ecommerce platform for both new and established retailers. Famed for its open source architecture, flexibility and easy adoption Magento 1 set the standard before the emergence of its challengers.
As with any software lifecycle over time Magento 1 began to edge closer to its end of life, lacking features that we’ve now come to expect in all commerce platforms, such as integrated performance optimisation tools, mobile-responsiveness and administrative capabilities.
However, its biggest issue became its performance compared to its challengers, hence why the Magento team cited performance as a key objective of its successor – Magento 2.
Magento 1’s software support was ended by Adobe in June 2020, with important updates such as security patches and bug fixes now ceasing to be addressed, whilst the price of development costs for Magento sites have slowly risen.
As the Magento 1 platform has reached the end of its life cycle, you may be asking yourself:
Should I upgrade to Magento 2?
In a word, yes, but only if upgrading to Magento 2 is the best fit for your business requirements. From our experience retailers should view Magento 2 as one option to consider as opposed to the default option for their future requirements.
The launch of this substantial upgrade was supposed to give B2B and B2C users the opportunity to create improved retailer experiences, provide enhanced security, increased flexibility and integrated new tools to grow store operations.
Despite several impressive new features, the launch of Magento 2 has also created widespread confusion and been plagued with issues for both Magento and its customers.
The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites for Midsize Organisations, Q3 2017
The launch of Magento 2, which is the new generation Magento Commerce solution, has been more of a lesson in how not to do it.
Many retailers that have attempted the transition to Magento 2 have been faced with significant delays to their Magento 2 migration projects. At its inception Magento 2 was plagued by bugs and performance issues, many of which still remain.
Magento 2 is no longer the easily adoptable platform that Magento 1 once was, the process of upgrading to Magento 2 is generally time consuming and it’s not uncommon to encounter issues along the way. For larger stores with multiple extensions, it can take 6-12 months to transition.
As with any eCommerce re-platforming project if the transition is handled incorrectly, your SEO rankings could be affected which can lead to a drop in sales and revenue. Subsequently, any loss of rankings can take an inordinate amount of time to recover from.
Despite these flaws Magento 2 still has its place offering an array of “out-of-the-box features”, including:
Engaging Experiences – Magento 2 can create immersive personalised and customised shopping experiences across multiple devices. Retailers can dynamically display content to specific customers based on data such as gender, location and order history.
Smarter Marketing – Magento 2’s backend is much sleeker and user-friendly than its older counterpart. It also permits the use of affiliate and referral extensions.
Visual Merchandising – Category pages can be optimised with a simple drag-and-drop interface with sorting rules to filter products by criteria such as best-sellers, size, brand, colour or cost (low-to-high etc).
Elasticsearch – M2 can handle large catalogues and scale search capacity with Elasticsearch technology. This will also give customers suggestions for misspellings, attribute weighting and handle synonym management to help boost conversions and relevance.
Secure Diverse Payment Methods – Magento 2 includes PayPal, Braintree, and Authorize.net payment gateways.
In-depth Reports – Analyse powerful reports and dashboards for analytical insight into business performance to identify new growth opportunities quickly.
What about switching to a new platform?
If you’re still running Magento 1, your two options are upgrade to Magento 2 asap or select a different eCommerce platform and migrate your store there instead.
Magento is tailor-made for eCommerce stores with skilled development teams to action the necessary changes. Since Magento is considered a more complex eCommerce platform with a potentially expensive overhead, it’s not usually considered a good fit by small businesses that don’t possess the budget required to take full advantage of the platform’s versatility – a stark contrast to its predecessor.
There might be a better fit out there, or if you’re still just considering Magento as part of your research, there are several reasons you may want to keep your options open. So let’s analyse why you’re likely searching for an alternative platform.
What should you consider when switching to a new eCommerce Platform?
Here’s a few criteria you may want to consider in your new platform.
Depending on of your business infrastructure, marketing strategy, and consumer base, what is important for your business should reflect your new platform choice. The reason you’re choosing to move on from Magento is something your next eCommerce platform should solve.
There are many eCommerce platform choices out there for online retailers and a lot of factors to consider when choosing the one that’s the best fit for your business. If you’re still clinging onto Magento 1 and it’s not meeting your needs anymore, it’s never a bad idea to explore what’s out there and how it can serve your business better.
Remember, upgrading to Magento 2 isn’t your only option. Magento 2 might not be the right choice for you but the key thing is to consider what your business needs and find the right eCommerce platform to meet those needs.
We can help you to decide the best course of action if you're considering upgrading your existing eCommerce Platform or migrating to a new platform entirely.
Our role is to work with clients to help implement new platforms and systems as effortlessly as possible.
Our consultancy services allow us to make strong recommendations, and as a technologically agnostic agency, we are not aligned with any particular products or platforms. Any suggestions that we make are because we believe they are the right choice for your business.
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 BAU operations.
To learn more about our migration and re-platforming services, please contact us.