Understanding E-Commerce Replatforming & Data Migration 

July 07, 2022

Ever since the rise of technology, businesses have been looking for ways to improve themselves with the help of new technologies. Today, it’s not enough to go paperless or start taking orders online. Businesses need different levels of technology depending on their digitalization levels. As the digitalization level of business changes, its needs are changing too. 

Technological changes aim to make our lives easier; but also one of the biggest challenges for any non-technical business owner is a technological change since they constantly need to make new decisions about it. 

Reasons such as the speed of tech developments and customer trends and the competitiveness of the market force retail business owners to constantly cope with a new wave of innovation. Decisions regarding user experience, data security and payment methods are always changing.

Widespread e-commerce platforms have sharp constraints on what you can and cannot do. Moving an e-commerce website to a new infrastructure can often be a mandatory way to keep up with online retail trends. However, although the existing e-commerce platforms used are very restrictive, most business owners hesitate to switch to a new infrastructure because they are afraid of the data migration process.

In this article, we will try to explain why your business needs a new e-commerce platform, what you need to consider in this process and what my e-commerce re-platforming is. Data migration is often part of this process and the most challenging point, so we will cover data migration and the e-commerce re-platforming concepts intertwined.

What is E-commerce Replatforming?

E-commerce re-platforming (also known as e-commerce platform migration) is the process of switching from one e-commerce platform to another. Like the rest of the digital world, the e-commerce industry is evolving rapidly. In most cases, e-commerce re-platforming is happening to keep up with these innovations.

Managing such a challenging transition can be challenging, as many business owners are not technical experts. These challenges are compounded by the fact that most e-commerce platforms are not built to be migrated. Yet, with the right services and experts, a flawless transition from one platform to another is possible.

It’s important to remember that re-platforming is a challenge that every growing e-commerce business faces at some point in its lifetime. 

Considering that a new e-commerce technology emerges every new day, the fundamentals underlying an e-commerce website can change even in one day. Keeping up with these changes can be both challenging and time-consuming without e-commerce re-platforming.

E-commerce re-platforming is also one of the ways for modern businesses to migrate  their data to cloud systems. The data migration methods we have are re-platforming, rehosting and rearchitecting.

E-commerce platform migration is the process of transferring or replicating all or part of your existing e-commerce operation to another e-commerce platform. It can be challenging and complex, but you will want to make sure you are fully informed about the ongoing status and project progress.

Platform improvements are the quickest way to increase your conversion rate. With online retail becoming a more competitive market, e-commerce stores must take advantage of technology that helps them prove to customers that they’ll have a seamless experience.

What is Data Migration?

When you need to transfer data from a legacy database to a new database, it’s called data migration.  Most basically, in the data migration process, you copy data from an old place (this could be a server, machine, system, platform or something else) to a new one. It’s an essential part of the process of moving all your data and information to a new application. 

There are many types of data migration. Database migration, store migration, business process migration, application migration, cloud migration, platform migration and more. Migrating business data or e-commerce website platforms is one of the biggest challenges for a non-technical business owner. Even though it does not have to be hard anymore. Moving from one platform to another isn’t as difficult as it used to be if you plan and are supported by the right team.

Data migration is one of the most complex tasks and having proper planning, schedule, resources and testing plan will help you to migrate data from one data storage location to another without any downtime or loss. Depending on the size of data you have, migration can take a significant amount of time and effort in order to be carried out successfully. 

Data migrations can be challenging, so you will need to learn about them in advance if you plan on doing one. They can be complex since the nature of data migration means having a deep knowledge of both sets of software. You will also need a good grasp of the methods which are available to transfer data from one database to another. If you have all the above covered, you should be able to perform successful data migration with complete success.

However, depending on the size of the data you have, the migration may take extra time and effort to be successful. Especially in large-scale websites, e-commerce infrastructure changes should not be perceived as an easy task. Replatforming a large website requires excellent planning, strong technical expertise and experience.

Risks and Challenges of Data Migration For E-Commerce Websites

You may face the following problems when you are re-platforming your e-commerce website and migrating data.

  • Data Loss  
  • Compatibility Problems
  • Longer Downtime
  • Poor Execution

These all can be avoided by starting with planning. When migrating data, there are a lot of core aspects to manage. This includes planning, data auditing and profiling, data backup, migration design, execution, testing and post-migration audit.

When migrating your e-commerce platform, you must protect your customer data, categories and products, sales information, CMS pages, referral traffic and SEO considerations.

Your existing customers should be able to log in to your new platform. If it’s necessary to give your customers new credentials, the onboarding process should be extremely smooth to prevent a poor customer experience. 

You should migrate all of your category and product data with pictures and descriptions without any complexity. 

Your first-party data such as sales history or web analytic data should remain. It may be accomplished by backing up all of the valuable data before starting the migration process. 

You should migrate the content management system or content to the new platform with the right HTML tags to introduce your new platform to search engines. Carrying content will help to avoid Google’s sandbox algorithm.

For referral traffic and SEO, you should create an SEO-focused migration plan too. You need to make an SEO URL redirection plan. 

E-commerce Replatforming Steps 

E-commerce platforming, probably just like any other effort you’ve been taking, should be tailored to your business. So, there is no one size fits all solution for migration. Steps should be taken to vary on a large scale. Maybe you can skip one or two steps or have a different step added for your situation, yet these steps could show you the framework:

  1. Creating the business case. 
  2. Getting organizational support. 
  3. Designing the architecture. 
  4. Selecting the platform partners. 
  5. Implementing the platform. 
  6. Going live. 
  7. Observing the project.

Why Businesses Need Replatforming

There may be a trend that is demanded by customers, maybe there is a technical requirement, maybe it’s just a choice; reasons vary. One thing is certain about e-commerce re-platforming; it’s hard and requires a lot of planning to accomplish. When it’s combined with data migration, it’s critical to construct and plan everything right. 

Generally, the need for platforming could be categorized into 4 parts. There are internal opportunity-focused reasons, external opportunity-focused reasons, internal cost-focused reasons and external cost-focused reasons. 

Internal opportunity-focused reasons.
The rate of development is accelerating.
Centralizing skills.
Compliance with data security and a unified customer perspective.
External opportunity-focused reasons.
Enhancing the digital experience.
Increasing the storefront selection.
Meeting the demands of customers.
New business concepts are being introduced.
Providing support for new/standard features.
Internal cost-focused.
Şowering the total cost of ownership.
System centralization.
Changing the cost structure from CAPEX to OPEX.
Inadequate IT resources or capabilities.
Problems with performance, security and stability.
External cost-focused. 
Reacting to current competitors reacting to potential competitors.
In response to new regulations.

There can be other reasons to migrate your e-commerce platform to another one. A new e-commerce platform can offer you many things. Such as;

🖱 Editable and customized design choices.

💳 Payment methods that are more diverse.

🚀Capabilities in advanced analytics.

👨‍🚀 Increased third-party compatibility.

☑️ Reduced operational costs.

🤷 There are fewer underused features.

🔦 Improved cybersecurity.

🎯 It is easier to attract a target audience. 

Conclusion

E-commerce re-platforming will likely take time and resources to execute with plenty of planning required before you even get started. 

So re-platforming your e-commerce website isn’t a simple task. There are many aspects to take into consideration, but if you take the time to find out what works for your business you’ll be on the right track to success.

In conclusion, the effort of moving from a typical e-commerce platform to a more scalable and robust platform should go according to the steps of migration. Scalability and mobility are crucial nowadays for any business.

 Get in touch with tio to learn and make sure your re-platforming is smooth.

Kübra Oğurtanı

Kübra Oğurtanı Digital Marketer.

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