Why you should choose to work with an external agency to handle your ecommerce platform migration


AUGUST, 2022

Migration and re-platforming projects can be a significant investment. At Sherwen Studios, we work flexibly alongside our clients to provide the services they need, from consultancy to technical support. Whatever the task, we work with partners to find the most cost-effective solution.

If your business is changing, then it’s important to have the right systems and software in place to work alongside your evolving needs. You may have identified a need for an updated system, and you may even have prepared a business case for financial backing.

But have you decided whether your migration to a new platform will be handled in-house or by an external agency?

Here is a list of reasons why you should consider working alongside an external team like Sherwen Studios to help manage a successful ecommerce re-platform / migration.

1. We look beyond what you already know

You may have some exceptional people working in your in-house teams who may have the ability and technical expertise to handle a significant migration. But in our experience, internal teams can often appear inadvertently blinkered to their vision.

By this, we mean their sole focus and knowledge is based upon their individual business and/or sector. This is especially true when in-house personnel have spent many years working in the same role. Whilst they may have an intrinsic understanding of the potential impact of the planned migration on the business, they may lack the benefit of wider perspectives. They may also be unaware of alternate options available to them outside of their business model.

This can be a dual-edge sword. The internal knowledge of your systems and processes is vital for the success of the migration. But it also means that they may not be aware of what capabilities exist elsewhere.

We have worked with many clients of different sizes and sectors, and we believe that we learn something new from each project. We take this knowledge into new projects, giving sparks of inspiration and guidance that may have previously been unconsidered.

2. Our consultancy services are here to advise and guide you

A migration is vastly different from day-to-day operations. Often internal teams do not realise how difficult it can be to juggle the two tasks simultaneously.

An advantage of working alongside our team is that you have access to our consultancy services as well as our technical capabilities.

We are here to advise, guide and even challenge you on your thought processes and your decision-making capabilities. We can be there to be used as a sounding board and to continually ask the question, “Have you thought about this…?”

This consultancy aspect means that you can feel confident that you’ve considered every aspect of your migration, from internal resourcing and data protection through to contingency planning and long-term capabilities. What’s more, we have a depth of expertise. We can bring in specialists to help discuss core elements of your migration and identify different internal departments that may need to be involved in the planning stages of your migration.

3. We work flexibly in many different ways

We are used to collaborating with clients in different ways. Some like to work with us on specific technical services such as conversion rate optimisation (CRO) planning or UX testing, whilst others prefer for us to take the reins on full project management and delivery. We have worked closely with internal teams as well as collaborating with other third-party suppliers to get the work done.

This flexible approach means that we can work with clients in the most effective way possible. Clients appreciate this flexibility because they are often unsure of what they may need at the start of a project. As the scope changes and develops, different needs emerge and at that point, we can scale up any involvement as and when it is needed.

4. We’re here to keep your project running on time (and on budget)

Large replatforming / migration projects where you are moving your entire business proposition from one platform to another can be extremely lengthy. It is entirely normal for a new website development project to take up to 12 months to come to fruition, from the initial planning through to the final launch date.

We’ve seen numerous migration projects run over time and budget – and these can have significant consequences for your wider business planning strategies. Unexpected issues can arise, internal resourcing can change, new projects can emerge, and business models can evolve throughout these timeframes.

At Sherwen Studios, we are highly skilled in ensuring that projects remain on track throughout the duration. Our meticulous project management methodologies means that we can continually press forward with plans, sticking to your suggested timeframes.

We achieve this by ensuring regular communication with clients at all times to set expectations, and by building contingency planning into the initial roadmaps. We anticipate and predict potential issues that could arise, and we incorporate mitigation into our working practices so that projects do not get derailed.

Even more importantly, we understand that as well as managing your migration, you also have your day-to-day operations to focus on. Our approach is to manage the migration or re-platforming on your behalf so that you can continue to focus on other pressing matters, safe in the knowledge that we are continuing to press forward with the agreed plans.

5. We have a variety of technical expertise

There is no doubt that internal teams have exceptional skills and capabilities. In our experience, in-house teams often focus on employees who are good all-rounders. These are people who have skills in a variety of different niches and have a good broad knowledge base.

But within migration and re-platforming projects, there are often requirements where you need someone with specialist expertise. You may need an individual who has the experience and knowledge gleaned from years of working across multiple brands and sectors and can combine that knowledge into something genuinely exciting.

At Sherwen Studios, we can bring in the experts. We don’t just have the internal knowledge and skills; we also have access to technology solutions that can bring your project to life.

Let’s take UX as an example.

We know how important it is to track how users are behaving on your website. And we know that you are unlikely to have the in-house capabilities to conduct and analyse UX tests. When you work with a team like us, we can use our specialist software to provide you with the data that you need to understand how your users are behaving. And beyond this, we can then use our knowledge and insights to make recommendations for how you can strengthen your online platform.

6. As an agnostic agency, we offer independent recommendations

When you’re looking to change to a new platform, it can be easy to be led by a persuasive sales team. Before you realise it, you’re tied into a lengthy and expensive contract with a platform that’s not right for your business.

Some external agencies align themselves with key software partners and position themselves as experts in that product. There is a time and a place for this, and on occasions, this can be an incredibly useful scenario because you can feel confident that you’ll learn how to get the absolute best out of that platform.

However, we like to remain independent. We feel that our impartiality makes it much easier to make recommendations for particular platforms, software solutions, or other products.

We don’t try to fit a round peg into a square hole. Instead, we focus our attention on finding the most appropriate solution for you. We also take the time to consider your long-term goals.

Your investment into a new platform needs to give you the foundations for success. So, our recommendations are about finding the right platform that does what you need it to in the short-term but gives you scope to adapt and change in the future.

7. It can be a cost-effective option

Migration and re-platforming projects can be a significant investment. And it’s easy to see how it can be tempting to stick to your in-house teams to manage the project.

But it’s important to remember that internal doesn’t always mean cheaper.

The time that your in-house team spends on the migration project is time away from their other tasks. This could mean that other areas of your business become neglected.

Using an external team like us means that you know from the outset that you are choosing to work with people who have the right skills and expertise that you need. You don’t need to worry about expensive recruitment campaigns to strengthen your in-house resourcing. And you don’t need to start investing in new software to help manage your migration. Instead, everything is right there at your fingertips.

And as we mentioned above, we work flexibly with our clients. You may only need our consultancy services to scope out the initial specification. Or you may need some technical support on one individual element. Whatever the circumstances, we can work with you to find the most cost-effective solution.

If you would like to find out more about our re-platforming and migration services, visit our contact page or email hello@sherwen.com