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Setting up an online store on a platform such as Shopify may be a good choice for small businesses. However, when your store’s revenue starts to exceed $1 million, overheads are rising or transaction fees are eating away your profit, you may consider migrating it to another platform or even a custom eCommerce solution. The term “migration” refers to moving your store to another platform. The main reasons for that are:
- Rising business costs and commission fees;
- The unconditional limitations of most out-of-box eCommerce solutions, such as customization features, dependency on third-parties and an overall lack of control over your own store.
This article will explain what issues may arise when moving your store to a new platform and how to deal with them. Everything mentioned here is based solely on our experience.
Custom solutions can be pricy to build, and it is recommended to carefully obtain the estimate ahead of making your mind to start your own development project.
Besides, you’ll still have to pay Shopify fees while the development is ongoing – as you don’t want to lose customers in that time because of the downtime. Development itself as well as transferring all your data may take considerable time, so it’s worth taking into account.
As a general rule, you may consider your own custom e-store, if your annual revenue reaches 1m or more and you experience particularly painful and costly inconveniences while working on Spotify.
Potential Design Changes
Since Shopify is an out-of-box solution, customers are used to pre-made features and mechanics when navigating online stores. When migrating to a custom platform, it’s crucial to maintain a pleasant user experience and not to confuse customers with all the changes.
However, If you choose custom development, the business analysis stage will minimize these issues. A business analyst will look into the business process of your store on Shopify and plan the development work to include these preferences ahead of engineering. Also, they would analyze Shopify’s features and user flow to determine their necessity with a customer.
Based on that information, the team can proceed with building an MVP – a draft of your dream store. Having considered all the pain points and needs of the customers, a business analyst would create a user story map and rate the features by the time they would take to be implemented. Then the work goes on to the development team and designers.
Store Data Transfer
Migrating one store from Shopify to a custom platform usually has no problem since the amount of data is smaller. But when the business is big enough, there are usually dozens of stores, meaning the servers may overload during the migration.
This issue can be solved by development and DevOps teams by writing scripts for bulk upload. The whole process can be automated for all the stores, so there won’t be any technical issues or data loss. Also, after the bulk upload, a business owner can manually update any item from the catalog via the admin panel if needed.
Payment & Checkout
Different platforms have various payment gateways and checkout processes. Ensuring seamless integration with the new platform’s payment options and checkout flow is crucial to avoid checkout-related issues. Also, as we keep saying in each article of the eCommerce series, there is an excellent opportunity to save on commission fees by choosing a suitable payment provider for your custom solution.
Unlike on Shopify, you can choose any payment provider you want, depending on their required commission fees.
Ensuring Proper Results. Final Checklist
Migrating an online store to another platform is a significant undertaking, and ensuring that everything is working correctly after the migration is crucial to maintaining a seamless customer experience. Here’s a checklist to help you check whether your online store is functioning properly after migrating to a new platform:
- Test basic functionality such as browsing products, adding items to the cart, and checking out;
- Ensure that all pages, including product pages, category pages, and checkout pages, are loading correctly;
- Verify that the search functionality is working as expected;
- Test different payment methods to ensure smooth transactions;
- Check if discount codes, coupons, and gift cards are working correctly
- Test the website’s responsiveness on various devices, including smartphones and tablets;
- Ensure that the layout, images, and buttons adjust appropriately to different screen sizes.
- Verify that all product information, including names, descriptions, prices, and images, have been migrated accurately.
- Check for any missing or incorrect product attributes.
SEO and URL Redirects:
- Set up proper 301 redirects from old URLs to new URLs to maintain SEO rankings and prevent broken links.
- Use tools like Google Search Console to identify any crawl errors and fix them.
Images and Media:
- Check that all images and media files are displaying correctly.
- Verify that image quality and resolution have been maintained during the migration.
Remember to inform your customers about the migration process and any temporary disruptions. Transparent communication can help manage customer expectations and reduce frustration. Moreover, productive cooperation between the client and the team is crucial for seamless migration. So, if you’re looking for an experienced team of developers and designers, JetRuby is here to help.