Six key tips for transferring your e-commerce store to a different system

There might come a time when your eCommerce site provider is not living up to the billing. You might have outgrown its capabilities, or your customers might be offering negative feedback on your experience with the site.

There is a feeling of being locked into the site, which your existing platform is likely to nurture. However, a belief that it is too difficult to transfer your store to a different system could be a limiting factor in your growth and does not represent the true story of how easy it is to move systems.

Here we offer six tips that can reassure you that the move is not only possible but made easy by sites looking for your business.

1) Choose the right system

If you are looking to move, it means something has dissatisfied you about where you are now. You are likely to be more cautious when seeking to migrate. Choosing the right platform is about ease of use for you and for your customers.

You are looking for something that your customers can navigate through the sales funnel to payment intuitively. While the integrations and SEO offer is important, you probably need tech support and analytics more to drive the growth of your customer base.

2) Migrate your data

Migrating data is about transferring your products and listings and your transaction data, blog, and more. Transferring the data can take some time and needs a plan before you get started. There are several options.

  1. Copy and paste content from one site to the other.
  2. Tools such as the Transporter app and the command-line tool to import content into most eCommerce platforms.
  3. Transfer the data using CSV files, though this will not transfer the customer passwords to your new site.

It might be that hiring a developer to make the transfer for you can help you guarantee that nothing is lost in the move.

3) Reorganise your online store

Organising your data starts with checking that everything came over in the move. You need to be sure that product details, descriptions, images and meta descriptions were transferred. 

Then, you can begin the process of organising your inventory into categories and collections.

4) Domain names

One of the major concerns most eCommerce business owners have is that changing a domain name will mean starting all over again with customers. When you move to your new platform, you will have two choices: purchase a new domain or transfer your existing domain.

Which you choose depends on your stage of development and your original domain name. It might be that now is when you want the store name typed into the address bar to reflect the name of your business.

If you choose to buy a new domain name, you will need to set this as the primary domain name displayed in the browser, results, and social media. You will also need to set up email forwarding from the old domain name email address to your new one.

You should also set up redirects from your old URL to your new one. Your existing customers may have you bookmarked, and without this redirect, you may lose their custom. To minimise the risk of lost customers. A setting on your old domain will allow you to redirect from that page to your new one.

5) Set up some test orders

Testing your new store as if you are a customer is essential. You need to move through the platform and see how intuitive it is to get to payments. You should then send through some test orders to ensure that your payments are set up appropriately and that the site’s functionality is working.

You need to not only test for a successful transaction but for the refunding or cancelling of an order, a partial fulfilment of an order and whether you can archive the successful order.

6) Invite your customers to your new store

If you were going to open a brand new brick and mortar store, you would, without doubt, make a massive deal of the move. You would organise a grand reopening and maybe put on a bit of an event. You would certainly advertise the move and ensure your existing customers knew where they could find you now.

While the redirects mean you don’t have to invest quite so heavily in this, you still might want to send out some marketing to let people know that you are moving to bigger and brighter opportunities on a new platform.

Laura McLoughlin is a Digital PR based in Armagh, Northern Ireland. She has previous experience as a website editor and journalist, and currently works with Chorus Commerce.

Photo by Laura Chouette