Magento 1 was created in 2008 and quickly became the go-to ecommerce platform for small and medium online retail businesses.
The rise of SaaS ecommerce platforms has since resulted in a huge shift in how companies host and manage their ecommerce websites. As of June 2020, Magento 1 will no longer receive support and users are being strongly advised to migrate their site to an alternative platform.
Choosing to re-platform is a significant undertaking and not one most businesses take lightly. Although Magento 1 users have had their hand forced, they are likely to find that a move now will bring benefits across their whole ecommerce operation that more than make up for the upheaval.
For businesses using Magento 1, now is the perfect time to review all the options and migrate to a platform that not only fulfils current needs but is also as future-proof as any digital service can be.
Shopify is a very real option for displaced Magento 1 customers. It leads the way in a world where ecommerce platforms are ten-a-penny and is constantly evolving to stay current, fast and feature-rich, all within a very low cost base.
Shopify is a market leader in SaaS and hosts over a million live websites worldwide. Having built our own ecommerce businesses on Shopify before starting Venture Forge, we became certified Shopify Partners because we believe that it offers the very best for ecommerce retailers.
There are no limits to design possibilities or requirements to stay within pre-made templates or themes. Shopify’s bespoke design feature means you can recreate the look of your current website exactly to provide continuity for your customers – or take the chance to fully redesign as you move away from Magento.
Shopify can handle any amount of sales volume and offers multiple add-ons and features to make the shopping process easier for your customer and more profitable for you. Most leading third-party CRM systems, including Hubspot, Salesforce and Agile, are compatible with Shopify although Shopify also offers a range of CRM tools through its app store.
A standout feature of Shopify is the ability to add external sites, such as Amazon Marketplace and your social media accounts, meaning that you can monitor and manage all sales channels from one place.
As a business owner, your biggest considerations are likely to be the monetary and time investments associated with a platform move.
The cost models of Magento and Shopify are vastly different. Magento is a self-hosted platform that involves costs for website hosting, payment processing and ongoing support and maintenance from your website development agency. As Shopify is a SaaS, one fee covers your licence and hosting and is often significantly less than your Magento hosting cost. As Shopify updates its platform regularly, there is little need to involve your website development agency, so the total costs of ownership are lower.
Typically, one of the biggest barriers to deciding to re-platform is the time previously invested in building and optimising the original website. The retirement of Magento 1 means that users have little option but to start afresh and can view this as a good opportunity to rebuild and optimise an all-round better functioning and performing site. Although Magento 2 remains available, it operates as an entirely different platform to Magento 1 so it will involve the same amount of upheaval and change as moving to an entirely different provider. Now’s the time to review all the options on the market before making a decision.
The time frame of carrying out a move to Shopify is surprisingly quick. The build process and support offered by Shopify means that, in many cases, your new site can be up and running in under three months – and we’ve done this before in as little as five weeks. That leaves you plenty of time to have your new site completed and in use in time for your peak season, whether that be summer or Black Friday and the lead-up to Christmas.
How Does the Process Work?
The migration needs to be thoroughly planned out in advance and executed methodically. It is advisable to use a Shopify Partner who specialises in this area to support you in the move. As a general guide, you can expect a Shopify Partner to provide the following:
- An in-depth review of your current set-up and systems
- Clear explanations of how the process works
- A breakdown of costs
- A confident prediction of how long the migration will take
- Discussion about any changes to be made during the move
- Suggestions on how to optimise the new site or solve problems experienced on the old platform
- Bespoke design of the new Shopify store to meet front-end and back-end requirements
- Transporting your current data on products, customers and orders over to Shopify
- Frequent communication and updates on progress
The new site will go through rigorous testing before going live. Tests include functionality, presentation on different browsers and devices, responsiveness and successful integration with third-party software.
The very thought of migrating between platforms can seem daunting. If you view re-platforming as a fresh start for your ecommerce site though, you can use it as the perfect opportunity to address existing pain points and fix problems.
The whole process a big undertaking and we’d strongly advise you to choose a Shopify Partner agency to rebuild the new site and manage the move with you. It’s important you choose a company you feel comfortable working with and which has a proven track record of previous successful migrations.