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A comprehensive guide to eCommerce replatforming


ecommerce replatforming

If you started a dropshipping business on a whim and chose the first website builder you found after Googling “how to make a website,” you could be a good candidate for eCommerce replatforming. Or, if you invested time into learning how to start a business and now your online store is taking off and needs more capabilities, it may be time to switch eCommerce platforms


Whatever situation you’re in, we’re here to help you figure out if replatforming is right for you by laying out its benefits and risks and walking you through the process step-by-step.


Replatform your eCommerce website to Wix today.



What is eCommerce replatforming?


Ecommerce replatforming refers to the process of migrating an existing eCommerce website from its current platform to a new one, such as from Weebly to Wix, for example.


This process begins with assessing your replatforming goals, uncovering what your current eCommerce provider lacks and researching alternative solutions. After you’ve done the research and chosen a new eCommerce software, you have to migrate your transaction and customer data, product catalog, website content and more to your new provider. 


To ensure a smooth transition for your customers, it’s important to give them a heads up that the site may be down for some time. You should also ask for their feedback after you’ve made the switch.


Migrating eCommerce platforms is a major change, so make sure you’re prepared before pulling the trigger.



11 signs you should consider an eCommerce replatforming


The adage “if you know, you know” applies to many situations in life and business. In the case of eCommerce replatforming, however, it can be difficult to discern platform issues from general business problems. 


You should probably look for a new platform if your website...



01. Has limited built-in capabilities


When you need third-party integrations for features that should come standard, like photo editing or email marketing, you should look for a new solution.



02. Runs super slowly

Stuffing your website with add-on apps could make product pages load at a snail’s pace. This is bad for business, because one in four online shoppers will leave a page if it takes longer than six seconds to load.



03. Has outgrown its current platform


Some eCommerce software place limits on how many products you can have in your catalog or how many images you can store in your backend. If you’re close to reaching these limits, you may need a new provider.



04. Costs too much


For example, payment processing fees might be cutting into your profit margins. Or, your current software might be penalizing you for growing for charging you for every product you add to your catalog.



05. Doesn’t integrate with other software and hardware you use


If your eCommerce provider can’t play nicely with your point-of-sale (POS) system or shipping integration, it’s time to say goodbye.



06. Can’t handle upticks in traffic


The end of the year is supposed to be the most lucrative time for online retail. If your eCommerce site barely sees an increase in sales during the holidays, that might be a sign that it crashes with a lot of traffic.



07. Has poor security


Sloppy security is one of the main reasons why eCommerce sites fail. A platform that doesn’t take measures to protect merchants and their customers from ecommerce website security breaches can put your business out of business.



08. Can’t be updated without the help of a webmaster or designer


If you have to rely on someone else to add new products to your catalog or need coding skills to make slight changes to your online store’s design, your eCommerce platform is holding you back.



09. Isn’t customizable for your current needs


Don’t hold onto a platform that can’t grow with your business or help it grow.



10. Prevents you from selling abroad


Signs of this problem include the inability to translate your site in a customer’s native language, offer accurate shipping and customs rates or offer payments in the local currency. 



11. Has few mobile sales


According to Statista, mobile sales make up 60% of all eCommerce sales. If mobile sales are only a sliver of your business, that may mean your online store isn’t optimized for mobile shopping. An eCommerce solution that creates an unintuitive, high-friction mobile shopping experience could be blocking sales.


The bottom line: if your provider is getting in the way of business growth, it’s probably time to explore eCommerce replatforming - check out these ecommerce website builders to get started.



What are the benefits of eCommerce replatforming?


Perhaps you’ve noticed some of the signs that it’s time to move to a new platform. But is replatforming worth it? Migrating to an eCommerce solution that better suits your needs can help you:


  • Generate more revenue. With user-friendly design on a new platform, visitors will have an easier time navigating your website, finding products and completing purchases. And with expanded marketing features, like upselling and bundling, you can generate more conversions and retain customers. 

  • Control your entire business from one platform. The best ecommerce tools are more than just content management systems; they serve as a central dashboard for all of your transactions, marketing and business data. Having a centralized platform can help you streamline operations and make better decisions.

  • Improve efficiency. With a faster eCommerce platform, you can upload products quickly and get more done in less time. This efficiency is crucial for keeping your product catalog up to date and responding to market trends.


  • Load pages faster. Rapidly loading pages encourage customers to stick around, prevent the loss of sales and may be important for search engine rankings.


  • Enjoy unsurpassed security. Platforms that offer top-of-the-line security measures protect both your business and customer data from potential threats. Handling customer data carefully builds trust and keeps customers coming back for more.

  • Experience improved customer support. A reliable platform with excellent customer support ensures you can resolve issues quickly to minimize downtime and revenue loss.

  • Build a global customer base. An eCommerce platform equipped with features like multi-currency support, multilingual capabilities and compliance with international shipping regulations can help you expand your reach to customers abroad.


  • Save money. Platforms with comprehensive built-in tools often offer predictable pricing, reducing the need for additional expenses to fix unforeseen issues. This transparency makes it easier to plan your budget.

  • Offer a better customer experience. A solution that comes with intuitive navigation, fast eCommerce loading speeds and a hassle-free checkout process is the recipe for a satisfied customer. Happy customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend your business to others.

  • Boost mobile sales. By migrating to a solution that offers a mobile-friendly interface, you’ll create a seamless shopping experience for smartphones and tablets. Customers will increasingly shop from their mobile devices when it’s easy to do so.

  • Update your website easily. An eCommerce platform with a user-friendly content management system and drag-and-drop page builder removes bottlenecks by making it easy to add new products and content–and make them look great–without anyone’s help.

  • Integrate external tools. Moving to a platform with robust integration capabilities allows you to use third-party hardware and software without losing data or relying on inconvenient workarounds.

  • Grow your business. When done well, replatforming removes obstacles blocking your business’ growth and helps you attain your goals.



What are the risks of eCommerce replatforming?


Every transition comes with potential threats. Before moving your business to a new eCommerce platform, consider the following risks:


  • Data loss. When migrating to a different platform, you might lose valuable data, including customer information, order history and catalog details. Mitigate this risk by backing up your data and carefully planning your migration.

  • Unexpected downtime. Poorly executed migrations can create more downtime than expected, which can harm your brand’s reputation and lead to a loss of sales. Schedule your migration during a low-traffic time to create a buffer. Give customers advance notice and provide updates to manage expectations.

  • Might cost more than initially expected. Migrations can sometimes exceed your estimates. Do thorough research on all of the costs associated with building an eCommerce website cost and replatforming. Create a contingency fund to be safe.

  • Impact on SEO. Replatforming might affect SEO-related elements of your website, which could harm your search engine rankings. Prioritize implementing redirects and maintaining SEO best practices during and after the migration to minimize this risk.

  • Security issues. Every eCommerce migration has the potential to expose sensitive customer data. Beyond just assessing the security of your new platform, research the most secure migration methods before proceeding. 

  • Learning curve. Learning how to use your new platform can be time-consuming for both you and anyone on your team. Allocate adequate training and resources to facilitate a smooth onboarding process.

  • Technical complexities. Replatforming can be complicated to pull off if you don’t have the technical skills. Look for a migration app or hire an experienced professional to ensure a successful migration.



9 steps for eCommerce replatforming




01. Define your objectives for replatforming


First thing's first: determine what you want to gain from your new platform. This could include improving mobile sales, enhancing the customer experience, expanding your product catalog or introducing new marketing features. Understanding why you're replatforming—and why you’re replatforming now—will guide the entire process.



02. Audit your existing platform


Conduct an audit of your current platform to identify its limitations and pain points. You might find that your platform has a subpar inventory management system, which makes it difficult for you to fulfill orders efficiently. Or, you might notice that your website crashes whenever you have a sale, due to increased traffic.


Convert these pain points into must-haves for your shopping list. Based on the previous example, you’ll want to look for a platform with robust inventory features and high bandwidth to avoid eCommerce website crashes.



03. Create a budget


Clearly define your budget for the entire replatforming process. First, evaluate how much your current platform costs and determine how much you’d be willing to invest to access the features and capabilities your business needs to run smoothly and grow. A Wix website with eCommerce capabilities, for example, starts at $16 per month.


Then, determine how much you’re willing to spend on the migration itself. A DIY-approach might only cost you your time if you have the right skills. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may have to end up hiring a professional to complete the process for you. If you don’t have a professional on call, this method could cost you even more in lost sales.


Hiring a professional to move your data from one platform to another can cost anywhere from $300 to more than $12,500, according to Wix Marketplace.


Using an eCommerce migration app, like Cart2Cart, can be the most cost-effective option. While basic plans start at $69, the amount you’ll pay will depend on how many products, customers and orders your business has.



04. Determine what type of eCommerce platform to migrate to


Next, decide what kind of platform you want to move your business to. There are two main types to choose from: cloud-based and on-premises platforms. 



Cloud-based


Cloud-based platforms, like Wix, are what people usually think of when they talk about eCommerce providers. These platforms are hosted in the cloud by a provider, which means you can access and manage your website from any device. You pay a subscription to access the platform. 


Cloud platforms can be accessed from anywhere and require few technical skills to use. Many of them come with templates informed by the latest eCommerce design trends and drag-and-drop webpage builders, which let you customize the look of your online store without coding. In other words, these platforms make it easy to build an eCommerce site. Cloud-based platforms are also quite affordable. 


Compared to on-premises solutions, however, cloud-based platforms offer less security, since they’re provided by an external vendor.



On-premises


An on-premises platform is one that you build on your own computer servers. 


This type of system gives you maximum customization capabilities and control over your website. It’s also the most secure option, as data doesn’t go through any external vendors, making it great for businesses with strict compliance standards. 


However, on-premises platforms require more technical skills than cloud-based and SaaS platforms to build and maintain. They also cost a lot more to install.


Choose the kind of platform that aligns with your business’ needs, budget and technical capabilities.



05. Evaluate the options


After you’ve decided between a cloud-based and on-premises eCommerce platform, you’re ready to research potential providers. Prevent choice paralysis by asking trusted business owners for recommendations. Then, read reviews about these platforms on websites like Capterra.


Once you’ve narrowed your search down to between three and five platforms, peruse their websites, get to know their features and read case studies about eCommerce merchants in your industry. Request demos of between two and three platforms, then conduct free trials of your favorites. After these trials are over, choose your favorite provider.



06. Develop a data migration plan


Make a game plan for migrating your data to the new platform. 


First, decide whether you’ll use an app, conduct a manual transfer or outsource to a professional. 


Then, figure out when you’ll move to your new platform. Choose a time that will be least disruptive to your business. Check your website’s analytics to see when you have the least traffic on your site, such as in the middle of the night for the majority of your customers. 


Finally, communicate the planned downtime to your customers. Let them know via email, social media and an announcement on your website.



07. Design and develop your new website


Begin the design and development process for your new website, either through a DIY approach or by hiring a professional. While some companies want to keep the design of their website the same, others use a replatform as an opportunity to give their online store a fresh new look. No matter what you decide, make sure your new website is on-brand and addresses the pain points you identified during your audit.



08. Test your new website before launching


Conduct thorough testing before your eCommerce migration to make sure everything works perfectly after the launch. Get input from people outside of your business to provide unbiased feedback about the user experience. Make sure to address any issues or bugs before launching your new platform.



09. Optimize new website


Ecommerce website optimization is the critical last step of replatforming.


After the launch, collect customer feedback through surveys or emails. Offer incentives, like coupon codes, for giving feedback and use those insights to make further improvements. For example, if you learn from customers that the font color you’ve chosen for your buttons is difficult to see, you could switch to a color that contrasts more with the buttons’ background color.


You shouldn’t just optimize your website immediately after replatforming. You need to continually monitor the key performance indicators you identified during the goal-setting part of the eCommerce replatforming process and make updates as needed. For example, if you notice that conversion rates decrease a year after your migration, it might be time to update your cart flow, experiment with your new platform’s built-in marketing features or optimize your eCommerce website’s homepage design.



Ecommerce replatforming checklist


  • Assessment: Evaluate current platform performance, identifying pain points.

  • Budgeting: Determine a realistic budget for the replatforming process.

  • Data migration plan: Develop a strategy for seamless data transfer.

  • Feature prioritization: Prioritize critical features for your business needs.

  • Customization: Assess the level of customization required for the new platform.

  • SEO considerations: Ensure SEO continuity during the migration.

  • Testing: Rigorous testing of the new platform for functionality and security.

  • Training: Train your team on the new platform's functionalities.

  • Communication plan: Inform stakeholders about the upcoming changes.

  • Backup strategy: Implement a robust backup plan for data security.




Ecommerce replatforming FAQs


How long does replatforming take?

Ecommerce replatforming timelines vary but typically range from a few months to over a year. Factors such as platform complexity, data migration, customization needs and testing can influence the time it takes. A well-planned process can expedite the transition.

What's the difference between eCommerce replatforming and eCommerce migration?

Do I need a migration expert to replatform my eCommerce website?



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