Technology November 13, 2019 Last updated November 12th, 2019 74 Reads share

When And Why You Need To Migrate Your Store To Magento

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Managing an e-commerce store is quite a complex thing. There are dozens of things to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform: the built-in functionality, the ability of a platform to handle the traffic, etc.

While some e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce are suitable to use when you just start your business, you will notice with time that your store calls for more advanced functionality and has to operate faster and better.

And that’s a perfect time to start thinking about migrating to Magento.

Magento is known to be the most customizable and scalable e-commerce platform, perfect for middle-sized and big businesses. So if you feel like your store can do better in terms of performance or you want to add some extra features to it, scroll down and see how Magento can help you sell more.

Traffic growth

Almost every e-commerce store owner plans to grow the business. And business growth of an online store means higher traffic volume.

While it, without a doubt, is a good thing, your store may simply not be ready for it. Shopify, for example, is not designed to be as scalable as Magento so a Shopify-powered store may display poor performance as the load grows.

So if you see that your business is growing and your store becomes slower than it used to be, it’s most probably a sign that you need a more powerful platform, which is Magento.

A note here: pay attention to your hosting provider. If we again use Shopify as an example, it’s a self-hosted solution, meaning the company will host your store. In the case of Magento, you will need to find your own provider. What we can recommend is do not go for the cheapest option: instead, choose the one that is the most reliable and has better reviews.

Need for a theme change

A theme is a crucial element of an e-commerce store. It can either immediately attract the user or discourage them from exploring your store forever. As well, a theme is a reflection of your brand so you need to pay careful attention to it.

 E-commerce theme affects conversions in several aspects:

  • Its overall appeal: whether it encourages users to explore the store or not
  • Its weight: impacts the load speed and the overall store performance
  • Elements and navigations: whether users can easily navigate it
  • Responsiveness: a theme should look and perform equally well on all devices and screens

Magento offers over 500 free and premium themes – and don’t forget that you can design a completely custom one from scratch. With such variety, you can choose a theme that will perfectly reflect your brand’s identity and, at the same time, will have all the necessary elements and features.

So if you want to refresh the look of your store and get a responsive and user-friendly theme, that might be another reason to migrate to Magento.

Lack of default features

There are certain features that any e-commerce store has by default, such as a cart, a search option, etc. But if you really want to please your shoppers, you’d need something more than a standard set of options.

Magento, by default, offers advanced functionality that is enough to launch and successfully run a store. Some of these features are:

  • Discount codes
  • Coupons
  • Support for multiple languages
  • Unlimited inventory
  • Multicurrency support
  • Built-in wishlists

All these features significantly boost the user’s experience and thus, contribute to increasing the conversion rate. 

If your store lacks these features and your conversion rates seem low, Magento’s functionality will save the day.

Need for third-party extensions

Even though most e-commerce platforms come with a good set of default features, you still need additional extensions and plugins.

First, such extensions can significantly improve the performance of your store and speed it. A good example is an Elastic Search or Lazy Load extension. They are often used to speed up Magento and usually come with additional features, designed to improve the user’s experience.

Second, third-party extensions expand the functionality of your store, making it more user-friendly and adding a competitive advantage to it. For example, you can integrate your social media profiles in the store and drive more traffic to these platforms.

However, some e-commerce platforms are not very flexible in terms of integrating third-party plugins and extensions. Shopify and WooCommerce are not very customizable and most probably you will have to stick with what you have, with no chance to add anything new to the store.

Magento, on the other hand, is a complete opposite. Its architecture and open-source code allow developers to easily integrate any third-party service that you want to. This gives Magento owners immense flexibility and helps gain a serious competitive advantage.

Low conversions

Conversion optimization is the Holy Grail of any store owner. The higher the conversions are, the higher the revenue is, so you want to do everything possible to grow your conversions and make the shoppers interact with your store.

The conversion rate depends on a number of factors: store performance, ease of navigation, interactive elements, etc. But different platforms provide different levels of user experience and you want to have the best one. That’s what Magento does.

Once you fine-tune the platform, you will be amazed at its performance and capabilities. Magento has all the features needed for growing conversions: built-in SEO and marketing tools, extensive choice of themes, option to play around with interactive elements and design. Altogether, it makes Magento a great and powerful tool for increasing your conversion rate and providing an ultimate customer experience.

Things to consider before migration

Magento is hands down a comprehensive and powerful platform that is perfect for growing businesses that demand extensive functionality. But migration to Magento takes some time and includes a few important things to consider before taking any action.

Please note: the average migration process takes up to 3-5 months, depending on the complexity of your current store, availability of third-party extensions, or custom elements.

Data import

Data is the backbone of your store so you want to make sure you import it properly. Any data loss can lead to serious circumstances so you need to have a solid strategy on importing the data from your current store to Magento.

First, create a data backup. In this way, you can always restore your data.

The next step is to choose a Magento migration tool. Due to the growing popularity of Magento and the high demand for this platform, developers took care of creating reliable extensions that help you migrate your store safely. However, it is recommended to hire Magento developers to help you import the data in the safest manner possible.

SEO optimization

The migration of a store inevitably leads to broken links and other SEO issues. While you cannot prevent all the issues, you can learn which ones are most likely to appear and take timely action to fix them.

The most common SEO issues upon store migration are:

  • Broken links (404 errors)
  • Duplicate content
  • Broken internal links
  • Broken redirects

Once you migrate your store to Magento, perform an SEO audit and see which problems you need to fix.

Extensions import

Whether your store has a few third-party or custom extensions, you’d want to have them in your new Magento store.

You have two options to choose from in terms of migrating extensions: choose the suitable ones from the Magento Marketplace or design custom extensions from scratch.

While Magento Marketplace offers quite a good choice of extensions, many store owners decide to build custom ones. In this case, you will be in full control of their quality and you will be able to change them anytime and in any way you need.

Theme import

Same as with extensions import, you will have to either choose a suitable theme from a Marketplace or develop your own one.

While readymade themes are immediately available for installation and are SEO-friendly, some of them may be poorly coded. This means, a theme can perform well in the test mode but when installed in the store, it may not handle the load.

So Magento developers recommend developing a custom theme. While it takes more time and is more expensive than buying a ready theme, it will grant you 100% control over the store layout and you will be able to change it however you want to.

Summary

Magento 2 migration service is a complex process that requires a thorough approach and careful planning. 

If your business is relatively small or the store seems to handle the traffic, leave it as it is. But if you feel like the store is underperforming, then it’s time to move to a more powerful platform which is Magento.

One more piece of advice – do not try to do everything by yourself. It’s better to hire Magento developers to help you tackle all the intricacies of migration and ensure that your store did not lose any data or useful extensions on its way to growth and boost in conversions.

Mary Hilko

Mary Hilko

Vasili Nikolaev is a technical writer at Onilab. He is on a permanent treasure hunt to dig up the most effective tips to make the life of store owners a little bit easier. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a great solution to a challenging problem for him.

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