Business trends and consumer interests are in a constant state of flux. Your ecommerce business needs to stay current with the best ways to serve your customers. As your online store matures, you might realize that your current ecommerce platform does not satisfy your new priorities and needs.
An ecommerce infrastructure that can’t fulfill the needs of your business can hamper your growth, exhaust your resources, and degrade the customer experience. An ecommerce platform migration might be just what your online business needs to go to the next level. A platform migration can bring cost-efficiency and add new functionalities to your online store, helping your business thrive.
What is an Ecommerce Platform Migration?
A platform migration is moving your online store and all its associated data from one ecommerce platform to another for improved performance or increased cost-efficiency.
As your business grows and expands, you might choose a Magento migration to give you more control over your website, or decide on a Shopify or BigCommerce migration to reduce your online store’s maintenance and development costs.
Transferring data, such as product descriptions and pricing, order history, transactions, and customer records to another ecommerce platform is an arduous and costly process that is fraught with many challenges and risks. While most online businesses don’t want an ecommerce platform migration, many will be compelled to replatform to promote business growth.
Why You Might Need a Platform Migration?
As your business becomes more established, it will need new infrastructure to help it reach its full potential. An ecommerce platform that provides inadequate solutions to solve your current challenges can impede business growth and result in lost revenue. New features, selling channels, and other changes in the ecommerce market can also drive the need for change.
There are many factors that can drive businesses to migrate to another ecommerce platform. Reducing operational costs, increasing functionalities, and improving business performance are among the most common reasons behind an ecommerce platform migration. Below, we will discuss the reasons behind platform migration in greater detail:
More product offerings and increased order volumes, customer accounts, transactions, and sales can place a heavy burden on your platform, resulting in inefficient performance. Your current platform might not offer adequate scalability to handle the overload. This causes slow site performance which will lead to a bad customer experience, resulting in lower conversion rates, decreased sales, and reduced revenue for your business.
A growing business will need to replatform to a more scalable ecommerce infrastructure to handle all the new data additions. An ecommerce platform migration is necessary for growing businesses to handle large-scale transactions, prevent site crashes during peak traffic, and avoid slow load times to improve website performance and enhance user experience.
One of the most important factors driving platform migrations is cost reduction. Many businesses replatform to reduce their overall infrastructure and operational costs. A common example of this is businesses on open-source platforms.
Open-source platforms charge little to no licensing or subscription fees, but you can still experience higher operational costs as you will be responsible for hosting, maintaining, upgrading, and securing your website. Many companies that started on open-source platforms choose ecommerce platform migration to hosted or software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms for cost efficiency.
Deciding on a Magento to Shopify or BigCommerce migration involves higher monthly or annual subscription fees. But your business can still save money as all your hosting and maintenance matters will be handled by the SaaS ecommerce platform.
As your business expands and becomes more complex, you will need new or different features and functionalities to help you sustain business growth. Different ecommerce platforms offer varying degrees of built-in features and functionalities to help facilitate business operations.
Some systems offer many built-in features and functionalities in their platform, such as native integrations to an Amazon Sales Channel, while others are more stripped-down, but allow you to seamlessly integrate multiple third-party apps into your website to customize your experience.
Some businesses choose to migrate to platforms with more built-in functionalities to simplify their ecommerce infrastructure. Other businesses may decide on an ecommerce platform migration that allows for many third-party integrations, helping you produce a website tailored specifically to your needs.
How to Choose a New Ecommerce Platform for Your Business
There are plenty of ecommerce platforms out there today, each offering different solutions to appeal to various business needs. A platform might excel in reliability and ease of use. Another platform might win on extensibility and customizability, or offer the most cost-efficient subscription plan to customers.
In order to make the correct ecommerce platform migration decision for your business, you must take several factors into consideration. Important factors to consider include the platform’s native feature set, extensibility, ease of use, and total cost of ownership. Analyze these factors to help you identify which platform is ideal for your business needs.
Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce are 3 of the most prominent ecommerce platforms. Here, we’ll help you identify which of these popular ecommerce service providers can offer a solution to your business’s challenges.
Comparing Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify
Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform. With open-source platforms, you pay little or no annual subscription fees for your online store, but you will be responsible for the technical side of your ecommerce site, including hosting and maintaining it. You need plenty of human and financial resources to run a Magento store, as it can be very difficult and expensive to host, maintain, upgrade, and secure an online business on the platform.
For online businesses that generate more than $5 million in annual revenue, a Magento migration can offer unlimited flexibility and customization, giving you total control over your ecommerce business. Replatforming to Magento is not recommended for businesses earning less than $5 million annually as it can overwhelm and exhaust your company’s resources. If you can afford an ecommerce platform migration to Magento, it will help you build a customized website tailored to your specific needs.
“Magento can be a huge advantage for the right type of ecommerce business. The amount of flexibility it offers has a high upside if you can afford it,” says Coalition’s President, Jordan Brannon. “The drawback is in its costs- because you’re solely responsible for maintenance, hosting, and competitive upkeep, small businesses are often ill suited for Magento.”
Shopify is a hosted or software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce platform. SaaS ecommerce platforms will charge you a monthly fee to host, maintain, update, and secure your online store. Shopify has a very democratic business model, offering ecommerce solutions to micro-merchants and enterprise businesses.
Shopify has the largest ecommerce platform market share of the three platforms specified here, as it is extremely easy to use and onboard, and is quite affordable at the entry-level. A Shopify migration will give you an easy-to-use, and easy-to-manage ecommerce platform. However, the platform often scores lower on native functionality, forcing businesses to purchase and run multiple third-party apps to accomplish their tasks.
An ecommerce platform migration to Shopify is suitable for businesses that need an easy-to-manage ecommerce platform, and have relatively simple product catalogs and customer groups. Companies that operate in the health, beauty, fashion, and CPG industries will find Shopify to be a great solution for their business needs.
“Our fashion, beauty, and CPG brands usually score Shopify higher than other verticals we work with,” Brannon adds. “Shopify really enables ecommerce brands to scale, especially if they can manage their functionality requirements well. The more complexity you seek, the less likely you are to be satisfied with Shopify.”
Just like Shopify, BigCommerce is also a SaaS platform, but with an open-source mentality. As a result, it has always tried to walk a fine line between SaaS and an open-source ecommerce business platform. BigCommerce is behind Shopify in ease-of-use, but offers greater extensibility and customization through a myriad of useful, built-in features and functionalities for B2B and B2C businesses.
BigCommerce is suitable for more mature ecommerce businesses earning more than $500,000 a year. BigCommerce offers cost advantages over Shopify and Magento for established ecommerce businesses, providing several thousand dollars of cost savings per month compared to a similar Shopify plan for mature ecommerce businesses.
Amandeep Singh, Coalition’s Director of Web Design and Development, states, “The commitment to highly accessible and powerful APIs with BigCommerce makes it an easy platform to solve ecommerce’s most challenging problems with. The continued emphasis on openness, and enablement of custom features and functionality makes it a pleasure to work with.”
If you run a mature ecommerce business and have complex catalogs and bigger requirements around your audience personalizations and customer groups, an ecommerce platform migration to BigCommerce will help satisfy your business needs.
Choose the Ideal Ecommerce Platform for Your Business Needs
A growing and maturing online business often needs an ecommerce platform migration to help improve its performance, reduce operational costs, and acquire new features and functionalities to enhance user experience. Migrating to an ecommerce platform that provides solutions to your current challenges can help you take your business to the next level and reach its full potential.
Replatforming to another ecommerce infrastructure is a difficult and time-consuming process fraught with many risks, such as data deletion and faulty data migrations which can do serious damage to your business. You must plan months in advance and analyze different platforms meticulously in order to choose the ideal ecommerce platform for your maturing online business.
Call Coalition Technologies
There is a lot at stake in an ecommerce platform migration. Therefore, you must contemplate carefully in choosing the most suitable platform for your ecommerce business. If you can’t decide between a Magento, Shopify, or BigCommerce migration, or need help with migrating your ecommerce data to another platform, our digital marketing experts can help.
Coalition Technologies is a core Shopify and BigCommerce partner, and a top Magento partner. Our ecommerce experts have helped countless brands find the ideal ecommerce platform for their business. Contact us today at (310) 905-8646 to learn how we can help you find the ideal platform and migrate your data safely to another ecommerce infrastructure.