Switch your E-commerce Platform: Why, What and How

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E-commerce is ever-evolving. As your business grows, your store needs to evolve. It should be able to handle increasing traffic without slowing down. Here’s what you need to know before switching your e-commerce platform. It can be scary and time-consuming, but it is worth the effort.

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

-John D. Rockefeller

Why switch your ecommerce platform?

  • Your business is growing and your current platform is not scalable enough
  • You want to switch from hosting to SaaS or vice-versa
  • You desire a more customizable platform
  • There are tasks that you would rather have automated
  • Your current platform may not be as cost-effective when scaled

What are your options when switching your e-commerce platform?

Once you have decided on the features you want from your new platform, it should be easier to narrow down your options to a chosen few.

Open Source Options for the DIYer

  • WooCommerce is WordPress’ e-commerce plugin and the market leader in e-commerce. It is robust, scalable, and highly customizable. WordPress offers a plethora of free themes to help you design the outlook of your store.
  • OpenCart is another open-source platform that allows you to set up your store with just a few clicks.
  • Magento is one of the most capable e-commerce platforms available in the market. It is available as both community and enterprise editions. While the community edition is available free of cost, the enterprise edition digs a hole in your pocket.

SaaS options for whoever doesn’t want to waste time with IT.

  • Does Shopify need any introduction? It is well known for empowering small and medium businesses. They host your store for you, and with just a few clicks, your shop will be up and running in no time. They scale really well from small to big, and there is a healthy app market for your additional needs. However, it can get pretty expensive.
  • Wix is great for beginners, but it’s very limited in your e-commerce options. You’ll need to add many apps to deliver what you want, and you can’t freely add code like you can with WordPress and WooCommerce. They have a free plan for tiny sites, but they add ads on your site.
  • Squarespace is the solution between Wix and Shopify. It has excellent out-of-the-box templates that will make your site look professional in no time. It also has an app market that allows you to add functionality. However, Squarespace is not as rich in features for e-commerce stores as Shopify.
  • Woogo Stores provides fully managed WooCommerce solutions for your e-store. We got a growing list of free plugins, a solid and reputable CDN, on fast and modern servers so that you don’t have to worry about security, updates, or backups – we take care of everything for you to focus on your business. Leveraging the infinite power of WooCommerce and its plugins, as well as custom coding, we can, if need be, create a complete custom solution for you. The best part? it’s your store. You can leave with it whenever you want.

How to switch my E-Commerce platform?

You could be using any e-commerce platform, the switch does not need to be taxing. And in no way should it affect your store. There are times when migrations fail even after a year of investment and others are able to go live in a matter of weeks. It all depends on planning. Here is a list of the most important thing to think about:

  • Make a list of all your URLs. Hopefully, you have a site map generated that will make this process much less painful. When you switch, you want to make sure all your old content is mapped to the new site. This is tedious labour. Excel, Google Sheet are great tools to make sure nothing is dropped through the crack.
  • You need to set up your redirection rules like 301 redirects properly. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect. It basically means that you have permanently moved the content from one webpage to another, and all requests for this content will now be sent to the new link.
  • Redirecting everything to your homepage might seem like a workaround, but it isn’t. It has a very negative effect on your SEO ranking. You do not want to do your SEO all over again just because you wanted a better e-commerce platform.
  • You will have to stop your site during the data transfer to make sure the stock levels align. It’s a lesser evil than trying to resync stocks, especially on a busy site!
  • If you don’t manage stock, it’s less of a problem, and you could always process the last orders on the old site as the new one is brought online.
  • If you are switching payment providers, make sure the new one is functional. Try to avoid switching payment providers at the same time. One big change at a time is enough to deal with!
  • Test, test, test. Your new site should reside in a testing environment and make sure everything looks right before the go-live.
  • If you are not sure, take a step back. Better be safe than sorry.

If you have any questions about the how to migrate, or concerns between different providers, simply drop us a line at support@woogostores.com, even if you don’t intend to become a customer, we’ll be happy to help!