Amid today’s dynamic business landscape, flexible and bullet-proof eCommerce technology and its upkeep take center stage. And eCommerce migration takes a vital role in boosting efficiency, adaptability, and meeting customers’ demands. In this guide, we delve into the pivotal aspects of eCommerce migration, offering key insights and strategies for a successful transition.

Platform Migration: Staying Ahead of the Curve

A commerce platform migration should aim at enhancing functionality with modern features, ultimately improving the user experience, while also fortifying security to guard against vulnerabilities. Moreover, the adoption of a modern platform positively influences sales, customer retention, and overall business growth.

Challenges Faced During eCommerce Migration

Migrating to a new commerce platform doesn’t come without cost. There are some typical challenges you’ll need to be aware of in order to avoid them.

  • Customer experience disruptions due to glitches
  • Loss of SEO rankings
  • Data loss while transitioning
  • Downtime or performance issues
  • Change management
  • Efficient budget management to prevent overruns

How can you address these challenges? Navigating commerce migration requires a clear game plan. Think of migration as a long-term goal, not a quick fix, and prepare a step-by-step guide.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Prepare for Migration

Step 1: Picking the Right Time for Migration

The first hurdle to overcome is to choose when to migrate. Here are some indicators that suggest it might be time for your company to consider a move.

  • Does your current platform lack the features or technology needed to realize your long-term plans? Has the platform come to its limits?
  • Is the user experience suffering? Does it lag behind your competitors? Is the experience slow or cumbersome?
  • Is the security starting to become vulnerable? Are security patches becoming slower or non-existent? Have others been experiencing security problems?

A tell-tale sign that it’s time to jump ship is when your software version is taken off the market or stops receiving support or security patches. Though, this is not a hard-fast rule. You may just be outgrowing your current offering, even if it’s up-to-date.

Step 2: Identify and Analyze the Weaknesses of the Current System

Once you’ve decided to start looking for alternatives, it’s time to figure out why you need to change. This involves performing a feature audit of sorts and drawing up a list of weaknesses you’d like your new system to address: Is there potential for improvement? What have customers complained about? What limitations have your team noticed?

Step 3: Define Requirements for the New System

Before diving into the migration, it’s crucial to have a clear vision for the new system. Start by outlining your expectations and requirements.

Important aspects to consider?

  • Features and tools included
  • Security and support
  • Website maintenance
  • Time-to-market
  • Page speed
  • Payment methods and other existing integrations

Ask yourself: What will help the company meet its objectives? Let’s take a look at some examples of what that might look like.

  • Enhancing the customer experience for increased satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Boosting site traffic and checkout volume to drive sales.
  • Creating an omnichannel experience for seamless shopping across multiple touchpoints.
  • Launching new brands or shops to diversify and expand your offerings.
  • Penetrating new markets or deepening your presence in existing ones.
  • Incorporating new sales channels for wider reach and flexibility.
  • Increase developer satisfaction in your team with a modern, easily extensible system.

Step 4: Choosing the Right Platform Model for Your Needs

Next, we’ll need to choose the right software model to strive for. Remember, the platform you select can significantly influence your business’s agility, scalability, and future growth.

In the eCommerce world, we have three main types of platforms to consider: monolithic, microservices or hybrid. Let’s break them down to see which one might be the best fit for your needs.

1. Monolithic Platform

Monolithic platforms operate with a single codebase. Everything from the frontend to the backend and the database is coupled and managed within a one-for-all system. All components are deeply interconnected and altering one impacts the whole system.

Scaling up often means revamping the entire system – a process that can be resource-intensive. Even minor updates typically necessitate redeploying the entire application. Due to the interconnected nature of components, developing new features takes much longer and is more expensive than with other platform models.

Right fit for: Smaller businesses tend to opt for monolithic platforms because of their simplicity and reduced initial development costs – but keep in mind that they’re usually too rigid to scale your business with.

2. Microservices Platform

By contrast, a microservices architecture breaks the platform into a collection of loosely coupled, independently deployable services. Each microservice can be scaled on its own, offering immense flexibility. This offers retailers faster development cycles as different teams can work on various microservices concurrently.

Microservices can utilize different technology stacks based on their specific requirements. If one microservice faces issues, others remain unaffected, ensuring system reliability.

While offering many benefits, microservices can be challenging to oversee and might require comprehensive monitoring. It can be fairly difficult to implement a microservices platform, and the lack of off-the-shelf components and preset configurations can increase the time-to-market and usually requires a higher budget and more in-house resources.

Right fit for: Larger enterprises, in particular B2B cases, with diverse technology needs often find microservices to be a fit for highly specific and individualized use cases – provided they have the resources to take up this complexity.

3. Hybrid Modular Platform

A hybrid platform brings together elements of both monolithic and microservices architectures. Like microservices, modular systems have a decoupled frontend and backend, allowing you to develop front-end experiences independently, giving you maximum flexibility.

And just as with a monolithic platform you can make the most of optional standard out-of-the-box modules, such as shop management, PIM, and OMS. But simultaneously, you can opt for third-party components best fitted for your specific use case, if a certain level of individualization is needed. You’re not locked into an all-in-one solution with features you might not need.

Developers can work on individual application segments separately, yet there’s a level of interconnected functionality. Hybrid platforms offer scalable solutions, allowing specific components to be scaled without overhauling the entire system and often include existing integrations, e.g. payment or delivery providers.

Right fit for: Modular solutions are ideal for rapidly large and growing brands with more complex requirements than SMEs, offering the ability to independently scale modules and quickly test new features, without the need for extensive resources.

eCommerce Migration: Last But Not Least…

Once you have a clear understanding of what you need from your new system, it’s time to bring in the right people. A successful migration isn’t just a tech project – it impacts every facet of the business. Involve stakeholders from different departments such as finance, logistics, marketing, and of course IT.

Currently working with a monolithic system and ready to take the leap into the world of modular software? Read our Replatforming Guide and say goodbye to your legacy system.