When speaking to any business thinking of making the move to Magento, we always start with the same question:
Why are you replatforming in the first place?
We want to dig deeper to really understand what their pain points are, how their current platform is holding them back and what they want from a new platform. This chat isn’t just to find out more about the potential project, but to determine if Magento is actually the right platform choice for their business.
There are a number of common reasons businesses decide they need a platform like Magento. These include:
- Business expansion
- International requirements
- Multiple stores to manage
- Integration with a new system
- More flexibility needed
- Greater control to manage more content
- Specific Magento features
Taking you through our website migration process, we share insight into how you can best prepare for your Magento migration project.
The discovery and scoping phase
Scoping is important. The technical discovery and scoping process brings together all the work that needs to be done in order to achieve your project’s objectives. A key phase in any migration, here’s what you should consider before embarking on your project…
Think about what each part of your current website does for your business and what you want your new website to do for your business. We take the approach that Magento is one part of your offering. So, naturally, we want to understand how Magento will connect into the rest of your business. For example, when an order is placed, what’s the fulfillment process? What warehouse management system do you have in place? How do you get the product from you to your customer? Our aim is to uncover what touchpoints there are and how Magento will fit into this flow.
To help, we provide a list of questions to our clients prior to the discovery workshop taking place, giving you ample time to consider them in detail and involve the right people in the process. This document is based on our extensive Magento migration experience and will readily cover the majority of what you need. We then add unique elements to this document that are specific to your business, your project and your objectives.
Once the scoping has taken place, you can expect a functional specification to be created based on the output of the technical discovery.
What about the design?
When it comes to a Magento migration there are three main approaches that are usually taken:
- Lift and shift: Essentially replicating the original website exactly as it is but on Magento.
- Website rebuild: Completely rebuilding your website from the ground up.
- Accelerator: If you require a new build but you have tighter timescales to meet, an Accelerator project could be the option for you. Taking you to market on Magento 2 in approximately 12 weeks, this approach can save time and money.
If you want a brand-new website with new functionality and a new design, a website rebuild is the option for you. It’s worth noting that if you do require a redesign, there’s a similar discovery process to go through known as the design discovery which is run alongside the technical discovery discussed above.
On the other hand, you may be happy with the way your website looks and simply want to migrate to a new platform for the functionality it can provide. Essentially, it all comes back to what you want out of your website.
Identify the right people to involve
Your website will need to support various areas of your business. As such, information that your agency needs is often spread across different departments. Finding out who holds this information is an important part of the website migration process.
For example, the marketing manager may know a lot about your CRM solution, while the warehouse manager could share insight into the order fulfilment process and the finance director will know your internal accounting systems.
The structure of the internal teams varies from business to business which means so too do the people we need to speak as part of your project. From experience, we find the best way to tackle this is to arm the client’s project lead with a list of questions, allowing them to source the right person to speak to.
It’s important you’re prepared for this. At this stage, internal support is required and you’ll need to manage these relationships, involve the right people and help your agency find the answers they need to ensure a successful project.
Who makes the decisions?
Have you considered who will make the decisions in your migration project? There will be numerous members of different teams involved in the project at one stage or another but not every person will hold the authority to approve a decision.
Consider this when attending meetings or phone calls with your agency so that the relevant individuals can be present and prevent project delays.
Think about your third parties
In some cases, migration projects are very simple with no complications. But more often than not, a migration project will have a lot of moving parts with multiple systems that data needs to be exchanged between.
As part of the migration process, your agency will need access to the third parties you work with. When we engage with third parties, our aim is to understand what they do for your business. For example, if a system supplies inventory, we want to know exactly how they do this so this information can be documented.
When discussing third parties it once again comes back to having the right point of contact. Ensure the person your agency is speaking to knows about these systems – even if it’s just who to talk to in order to get more information. If you can help to facilitate this communication, it will make this part of the project a whole lot easier.
For specific third party functionality, we work with a select group of world-leading technology partners such as Klarna, Sonassi, Nosto, Klevu and Yotpo to name but a few. But our main focus is always to find the solution that’s the perfect fit for you – whether that’s a well-known third-party solution or a custom integration.
Think about data migration early in the project
During the migration process, there is often a significant data migration piece to tackle. In preparation for making the move, it’s important to consider what data you need in your new site, and whether it comes from your existing site or from a third-party system such as your ERP or PIM.
A key part of this is also considering how your content will be managed throughout the build. For example, imagine you’re six months into your migration project, the majority of your data has been migrated but a new product collection is due to launch. Will you choose to input this data into two systems until the new site is ready for go-live?
Can you foresee many new products being added during the build period? Do they need to be live on your current site or can you hold off and launch with the new site? Depending on the answer, we could hold off the data migration until closer to go live or provide you with the tools to upload data into the pre-production site yourself.
With a new site, there is always the caveat that you will be managing two sites as you get closer to launch. This is why we have conversations around data migration as early as possible. If we’re aware of what’s coming up, we can plan how to deal with the situation in the least disruptive way for your business.
Working with your previous web agency
Although it’s not always required, it is helpful for your previous agency to be onboard with your website migration project.
As a minimum, your new agency will require access to your existing systems. However, sometimes the previous agency will actually help with some of the data migration. Additionally, if your current platform is less familiar or unknown to your new agency, having your previous agency involved will act as a support.
But equally, if you’ve already severed your ties from your last agency, your new team should be capable of working around this to still deliver against your project objectives.
Other migration factors to consider
If you’re moving from a hosted platform such as Shopify or BigCommerce to Magento, you need to consider hosting.
While we can arrange hosting through a third-party like Sonassi, we also offer more consultative support to ensure you’re always in control with full view of each moving part. Within this, it’s important to cover your total cost of ownership as an open-source platform like Magento will naturally have more parties to consider than a hosted solution. During this conversation, we can chat through what it will cost to migrate you over and who your suppliers need to be during this part of the project.
In its most basic form, DNS is a directory of names that match with numbers or, in this case, IP addresses which devices use to communicate with each other. It’s important to consider where your domain names are and how they will point to the site when it’s ready for launch.
A staging site is essentially a clone of your live website. Staging sites are important for new build projects as they enable developers to test changes, fix bugs or incorporate new features within a secure environment before going into production.
Who will be using the website?
If Magento is new to your business, it will also be new to your internal teams. As part of your migration project, consider your training requirements before the site is launched.
Think about who’s going to be using the site and what for so your agency can offer training that’s tailored to your business and user’s needs. Whether that’s comprehensive training for a specific department or a more general understanding on how to use the platform for site managers.
We strive to get a demo site in front of our clients as soon as possible, giving them opportunity to familiarise themselves with the inner workings of Magento so they can hit the ground running when their site is launched.
Pinpoint’s Magento migration experience
There’s no denying that migrations can be daunting. But working with us, there’s no need to worry – we do this all the time.
Taking the stresses and strains out of your migration project, you can trust in our expertise. We know what we’re doing, we know what questions to ask, and we can support you through the whole process from start to go-live and beyond.
Highly experienced at data migrations and complex migration projects, our approach is to make this as easy as possible for your business with minimal disruptions. And we have the experience to prove it! Team Pinpoint have guided the likes of Osprey, Sue Ryder, Beer Hawk, Henry London and Bop DJ through their migration projects.
If you’re considering making the move to Magento, it’s a must to find the right eCommerce agency who can support you through your project. Contact our team of Magento experts to talk more about your eCommerce challenges and how we can help you.