eCommerce migration: The ultimate checklist

Planning to migrate a website or online shop? Avoid big mistakes with our valuable checklist:


From your old online store to a new one?

A eCommerce website may need an upgrade after a number of years. Platforms have new features or simply disappear, the design of your online store feels outdated and so on. There are plenty of good reasons to update or migrate your online shop.

Unfortunately, this is hardly ever a simple process. You can not just click a button and boom. Ready. Going from an old to a new eCommerce website can be a big challenge for your team. Want to know more about what to expect? We have made this checklist for you.

Preparing for a migration

A proper start of every migration starts with thorough planning. All aspects of this project need to be considered: current and new features, types of payment options, legal issues and so on. In fact, it's also like starting a new website or online store - spoiler: that's how it's going to feel.

A good step-by-step plan is part of this meticulous planning: plan the structure of the shop, which part will you build when, what is essential and what is not. Unlike when creating a new online shop, you also have to take into account the content and processes that are already there. Map out everything as much as possible. Think ahead!


Terminate or change contracts of the current eCommerce store

There are different types of platforms: you have SaaS platforms (System as a Service) or on-premise solutions based on open-source or proprietary code. It is important to look at the agreements made with the original vendor. Can you cancel your SaaS solution just like that? Who owns the code and data?

What you really want to avoid is paying for something you don't use anymore. An example of this - and this happens more often than you think - is to replace a tool with a standard feature of the new platform. You then forget to cancel the contract with the third party and they continue to charge you. You incur extra costs and your team often doesn't notice them right away.

Take a good look at the current setup and find out which parties are currently involved with the online store. Make sure they are aware of what will happen and that you negotiate space to run existing solutions until you can fully switch to the new platform. It is more interesting to invest money in solid code and useful features than in tools you will not use.

Plan the foundation

Just like when building a house, you need to have a plan in advance of the parts your online shop should have. Because you already have data from an existing website, it's best to first map that site and see what works and what doesn't. This will be the foundation of the new plan.

The advantage of this is not only that you can clearly indicate to your development party what you expect, but also that you help your marketing team to estimate what the SEO migration from the old to the new website should look like. Are there any changes in the URL structure? Is content being moved? Are the links still in order?

The structure of the online shop will be a guideline for different teams within the project. So make sure that, now that you have the chance, you opt for a future proof setup.

Check the data

What is often - wrongly - pushed back or even forgotten is the migration of the analytical tools. You want to avoid that the upgrade or migration suddenly causes you to save no or wrong data. This has an effect on the reports and the insights you gain after the project. A simple example of this is the integration of Google Tag Manager into the online store. If you used to set triggers on certain events, and these events are not implemented or the names have changed on your new website, you will see errors in Google Analytics.

So make sure your development team and marketing team work well together to determine what needs to be measured and how that will be done. Visualise how data is currently being captured and how this can best be reconciled with existing data in the future. After all, you want to be able to monitor how the new site performs from day 1 and what is experienced as good (or bad) by the user.


Pitfalls during a migration

1) Tracking on the e-shop

As just indicated in " Check the data" it is very important to watch over the way in which data is captured and processed. So make sure that your data is updated with the new website and that this is an integral part of the testing. Also sit down with the different stakeholders to see which buttons, clicks or other interactions need to be followed..

PHPro tip: have an audit done on the current setup and take these action points into the development phase. This way you can save time. 


2) SEO in case of a migration

Furthermore, there may be consequences for the findability of the website. Search engine optimization or SEO is important to bring sufficient traffic to the website. After a migration you don't want to take any steps back in this area. On the contrary. Usually you want to be more easily findable in the search results by your customers. So it is important to strictly monitor that your website is not slowing down, that there are no 404 errors on known urls and that the content is filled in correctly for the user and the search engines.

In short, you want to seamlessly transfer the points you have scored to the new implementation.

3) Mapping conversion widgets

Make sure you have mapped all widgets and tools and that their code fits within the renewed site. Are they still relevant? Does the design of the chatbot still fit the new style? Do we have product recommendations in our new platform and do we still need that external tool?

In addition, you should also check whether the tracking pixels of third parties are still in the right place and working correctly. Especially if you work with a commission model. Then you don't want to double-check the conversion.

In a nutshell: make sure you perfectly know what you currently have on your online store and where you want to go with the next version. Review what you want to take with you and what you want to drop. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by avoiding having to review code afterwards.


Do you have plans for a migration of your website?

As a migration partner with years of experience, PHPro knows like no other that a migration of a website involves a lot of work. Do you need help or do you have questions about a migration of your webshop? Please feel free to contact us and we will make you a cup of coffee!


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