Migration of an eCommerce platform is a complex process that requires careful preparation and execution. Therefore, planning is the key to a successful migration process. From data migration to customer experience, there are many areas that should be thoroughly discussed during eCommerce site migration. 

According to McKinsey, 70% of complex, large-scale change programs, which can include eCommerce migrations, fail to reach their stated goals due to a lack of comprehensive planning and underestimation of the complexity involved. This statistic underscores the complexity and challenges associated with such tasks, emphasizing the crucial role of careful planning and thorough discussions across various aspects.

In this blog series, we’ll cover how to make a successful eCommerce migration. Explaining the entire eCommerce website migration process will help businesses make more informed decisions about their online business. To achieve this, this blog will provide the basic information necessary to understand the concept and purpose of eCommerce website migration.

Quick jump

What is eCommerce migration?

eCommerce migration is also known as eCommerce re-platforming, and these two phrases are often used synonymously. Regardless of the term used, they both refer to the same concept. Simply speaking, migrating the online store means moving it from one digital platform to another. This process can include transferring product data, customer information, purchase history, etc. The migration is typically performed to access better features, improved user experience, enhanced security, or limitless scalability offered by the new eCommerce platform. eCommerce migration requires careful planning and execution to ensure data integrity and minimal disruption to the business. Naturally, its complexity depends on individual business needs, the size of a company, and much more.

Hosting options for eCommerce store

When migrating your eCommerce website, do not forget about choosing the best hosting solution. Although many eCommerce platforms offer hosting and include it in the price, it is worth knowing the existing options available on the market. The first hosting option is cloud hosting. Cloud hosting provides flexible, scalable, and efficient hosting solutions for eCommerce businesses. Due to that, eCommerce sites can effectively manage varying traffic volumes, guaranteeing seamless client experiences even during busy periods. Improved security features and simple connection with a range of eCommerce products and services are further benefits of cloud hosting. As an example, we can think of Google Cloud hosting or Amazon Web Services (AWS). Overall, it is the best solution available for modern eCommerce stores.

The second hosting option is the Self-Hosted model. In this case, the business needs to set up and maintain its own (physical or cloud) servers and infrastructure to host applications, websites, or services. It usually requires a higher level of technical knowledge and resources for setup, maintenance, and security. The benefit of this approach is direct control over the resources.

The third option is an On-Premise hosting solution, which is the oldest of these three options. Similar to the self-hosted solution, On-Premise involves hosting servers and infrastructure on the organization’s premises, managed by its own IT staff, but it does not include any form of cloud hosting. Both self-hosted and On-Premise offers the highest levels of security for sensitive data, which makes them particularly useful in industries that are heavily regulated, like healthcare or financial services.

When should you consider migration to other eCommerce platform?

Migration should not be treated as a last resort. Here is the eCommerce migration checklist that describes when an eCommerce store should think about migrating the website. The key factors are Scalability Issues, Poor performance, Lack of customization and flexibility, Troublesome integrations, Poor customer experience, Security concerns.

When should you consider migration to other eCommerce platform?

1. Scalability Issues

Scalability issues mean your current eCommerce platform can’t grow or shrink with your business needs. Imagine your online store as a physical shop. If more customers come in, you need more space and more cashiers. If your shop can’t expand or contract as needed, it becomes a problem. This is what happens with some eCommerce platforms; they can’t handle more products, more sales, or changes in traffic, leading to a need for a platform that can grow your business. Keep in mind that the current eCommerce framework cannot be your limitation and stop you from expanding the business.

2. Poor performance

Talking about better scaling, the loading speed of your website is another crucial factor that can be a reason for website migration.  Slow loading times and regular downtime negatively impact customer experience and, in turn, your sales. The optimal page load time should be less than 3 seconds, each additional second may causes a decrease conversion even by 32%.

Also, performance affects search engine optimization (SEO), which is responsible for showing your online store in search engine results. Taking this into consideration, bad performance not only discourages customers on your website but also limits your online visibility.

3. Lack of customization and flexibility

As mentioned many times throughout the years, a reliable eCommerce platform should provide flexibility and customization options to fulfill the needs of diversified online businesses. eCommerce is a highly competitive industry. Without great flexibility, an online business can’t keep up and adjust to current eCommerce trends and technologies. Moreover, limited customization makes the online store unable to fully suit the design and user experience of its customer base.

If even a small change within the website takes a lot of time and developers’ attention, it’s definitely time to migrate to another eCommerce platform.

4. Troublesome integrations

Think of integration capabilities like connecting different pieces of a puzzle. If your current eCommerce platform can’t easily connect with other tools or systems you use (like inventory management, customer service software, or social media), it’s like having puzzle pieces that need to fit together.

The other option is that the platform does not have the integrations your business needs to operate, such as integrations with shipping solutions or advanced analytics tools. This lack of compatibility can create operational inefficiencies, forcing you to either adapt your workflow around these limitations or invest in costly custom solutions to bridge the gap.

5. Poor customer experience

A customer experience that has not been updated for many years can significantly diminish their shopping experience. To give an example, it can be a lack of mobile optimization that reduces the conversion rate. With a growing number of users shopping on mobile devices, a website that is non-optimized for smartphones and tablets can be a significant drawback. The same goes for websites with unintuitive navigation, complicated checkout process, etc.

6. Security concerns

Lastly, consider your website’s security. Modern eCommerce solutions often provide enhanced security features that are crucial for protecting sensitive customer data and preventing breaches. If your current platform lacks robust security measures like secure payment gateways, SSL certificates, or regular security updates, it exposes your business to significant risks such as data theft and fraud.

How to prepare the online business for migration to a new eCommerce platform?

This section is dedicated to explaining how a company and its team should prepare for eCommerce website migration. Here, we will focus on the first two steps that significantly affect the further process of eCommerce platform migration.

Step 1: Choose one person responsible for making decisions about the new store  

It is no secret that it is best to work with online businesses that designate one person responsible for choosing the direction of a project. This person also set priorities regarding migrating the eCommerce site. It is hard to cooperate with a company that has several people involved in managing the project who have completely divergent visions and perspectives in the same areas of the eCommerce store.

It should be noted that each department of a company, whether it is marketing, sales, warehouse, or even directors, can have completely different views about how the new eCommerce store should look and what functionalities it should have. Therefore, it is crucial to consolidate all ideas into a single coherent vision for the project.

The role of the Product Owner in migration project

In Agile or Scrum environments, a Product Owner would be responsible for defining the vision of the project, managing the product backlog, and ensuring that the development team understands the priorities. This role involves a lot of decision-making and direct communication with the development team (or a software house) to discuss any new features and changes.

Agile is highly popular for eCommerce projects due to its flexibility and iterative approach. It allows for rapid changes and adaptations, which is crucial in the fast-paced and often changing world of eCommerce. Scrum, a subset of Agile, is particularly well-liked for its structured approach to managing complex projects. 

Step 2: Prepare the most precise documentation possible

The general rule for building specification revolves around the concept that the more documentation, the better. Nonetheless, this document should be as precise as possible, leaving the least room for misunderstandings.

Based on our experience with numerous eCommerce projects, clients often come to the software house with the documentation narrowed to the minimum. Due to the lack of precise information, it is hard to estimate the preliminary price of the project. In such cases, developers have to ask for more information as we discuss particular elements of the eCommerce website, which generates more work.

Apart from that, clients sometimes do not inform the software house about the functionalities that are crucial for their business and differ from the typical eCommerce store because they assume it is obvious for developers to implement them.

Additionally, when creating new eCommerce stores, we often have the flexibility to clarify the development path as the project unfolds. However, in the context of a migration process, business owners typically prefer to adhere closely to the standards they have established for their customers thus far. What’s more, they often want the new version to be at least as good as the previous one.

Taking this into consideration, effective communication is a key to success and plays a vital part in eCommerce migration.

Listing essential functionalities for eCommerce store 

As a part of the eCommerce migration plan, a list of functionalities should be created. Mapping functionalities help in clearly defining and understanding the business requirements. It provides a detailed description of what the eCommerce site needs to do, which is essential for both the development team and stakeholders to be on the same page.

As you may know, each eCommerce platform or other solution we choose during migration differs from the other ones. Each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as out-of-the-box functionalities and extensibility possibilities. Thus, a detailed understanding of the functionalities required within a new platform is vital, especially since some platforms may be limited in certain developmental aspects by design. 

Effectively mapping and prioritizing these functionalities is essential for making an informed choice of technology for a new online store.

What areas should be included in mapping functionalities? 

The following are the most important areas of an eCommerce website that should be taken care of. By doing so, the task of choosing the best eCommerce platform becomes a lot easier.    

1. Logging and registration process

First of all, let’s look at the logging and registration process. This involves designing a user-friendly system for users to create accounts, log in securely, and manage their profiles effectively. Think about the information required for account creation and any verification steps like e-mail verification. The login process should be detailed, outlining security measures such as password policies or multi-factor authentication.

2. Customer account

Here, information and features included in the customer account should be thoroughly discussed. To provide a positive experience on the website, customers should have access to the account to edit information like shipping addresses and track request returns and purchase history. Thanks to that, customers have more control over their transactions.  

3. Purchasing process

The purchasing process is another key area that demands meticulous mapping. This encompasses the entire customer journey from product selection to checkout, payments, and logistics. Ensuring a smooth and transparent checkout process (e.g. by implementing one-page checkout), providing secure payment gateways, and optimizing logistics for fast deliveries are essential components of the migration process. To avoid unpleasant surprises, remember about payment methods and delivery options that were included in the previous platform. Removing preferable payment and shipping solutions can discourage your customers from buying in your store.

4. Managing content on the website

While migrating the online store, another crucial aspect is content management. From product descriptions to images and blogs, information on the website should be easily accessible to the customer. A Content Management System (CMS) enables to generate, publish, and oversee content on their eCommerce platforms, encompassing text, images, and multimedia files. It is a beneficial tool for business owners without requiring advanced technical expertise. CMS is particularly useful for websites that are regularly updated and consist of many products with detailed descriptions.

5. Access to the administrative panel

Determine how many people should operate the administration panel, and if your team is rapidly growing – assign the employees to specific roles. By doing so, eCommerce businesses can work more safely and efficiently, as the business owner can give and restrict access to the chosen parts of the website. Moreover, your team is more focused on their tasks and feels more responsibility for the assigned part of the website.  

6. Search engine

Next, businesses need to assess the search engine’s capabilities in indexing and searching through the entire product catalog efficiently. Compatibility with the existing technology stack and seamless integration with the new eCommerce platform are essential factors. The search engine should also support advanced features such as autocomplete suggestions, faceted search (narrowing results based on chosen criteria or attributes), and filtering options to enhance the overall user experience.

7. Inventory management

Managing inventory includes defining processes for tracking stock levels, updating product availability in real-time, and setting up automated alerts when an online business is running out of products. The mapping should also address order fulfillment workflows, ensuring coordination between incoming orders and available inventory. If the eCommerce store experiences rapid business growth and the number of orders becomes overwhelming, integration with the inventory management system is a way to go.  Additionally, they are a great help in multichannel sales.

8. Multichannel and Multilanguage 

 Online businesses must evaluate the compatibility of the new platform with their existing and potential sales channels, ensuring a seamless integration that allows for efficient management across diverse channels like online stores, marketplaces, and social media. Nowadays, leveraging social media can be a great way to boost sales and increase customer base.  

Concerning multilanguage functionality, it is essential to choose a platform that supports a quality multilanguage feature that would serve customers around the globe. As research shows, 55% of global consumers prefer to buy from websites that offer product details in their native language.

9. Marketing strategy

 The new eCommerce store needs a robust marketing strategy to retain customers, as well as attract new ones. To do so, the first thing is to think about search engine optimization (SEO) to maintain or improve a website’s search engine rankings. It includes, for instance, optimizing product descriptions and metadata. What’s more, an online business should check the current loyalty system and newsletter tool if it uses one and see if there is room for improvement. Notifying customers about order updates or upcoming promotions has a significant impact on eCommerce business. The eCommerce replatforming process is also the perfect time to utilize reviews and customer feedback from the current platform to make suggested changes and enhance user experience.

10. Third-party integrations

Last but not least, think about all the integrations and external systems necessary for your business operations. Create a list of all of them and do research to check if the chosen eCommerce solution provides integrations with these solutions. Additionally, check whether they are available for free or require payment, as it affects the total cost of ownership (TCO). Popular examples of such third-party apps are payment gateways and marketing automation tools. 

Once the functionalities have been mapped, we should prioritize them. Whether we divide them into project phases or set their priority according to MoSCoW method that allows business owners to establish priorities by assigning each aspect of the eCommerce store to one of the four categories- the important thing for the agency will be knowing what functionalities are most important for online business and in what order they should approach each topic.


Based on the gathered information, the preliminary vision of the project can be created. Of course, every project is different, and there will probably be some exceptions from the above planning in many projects, but it is worth devoting even 5 minutes for each of the points to think whether we need these functionalities now as well as in the near future. These above-mentioned functionalities and priorities often become the basis on which the particular technology is recommended – i.e., the one that will be the most suitable to the project and will not cause problems in further development. Moreover, by mapping functionalities, developers and designers get a clear blueprint of what needs to be built. This documentation serves as a reference throughout the development process to ensure that all required features are implemented as planned. 

The next blog in this series focuses on choosing the eCommerce software and describing the eCommerce data migration services.