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Replatforming your existing e-commerce store to Shopify

  • Saypr
  • 2020-03-20
  • Introduction

    Generally speaking, re-platforming in the context of e-commerce, simply involves migration of an online store from its present e-commerce site onto yet another website.

    This migration could mean a number of things. For starters, it could mean a movement of data from one site onto another. It could also mean a transference of an online store data and also the setting up of the online store on the new e-commerce platform.

    The main reason why any online store would want to engage in re-platforming is because of the advantages associated with leveraging and economies of scale. 

    Basically you would want to take advantage of the features that your new e-commerce platform has to offer. Features that would enhance the capabilities, performance and ultimately expand the level usability for your respective online store.

    In addition to this, re-platforming helps in the optimization of the functionality of your e-business while also minimizing your expenses in the process.

    Replatforming your online store can gain access to new technology that your former e-commerce platform could not provide, but one that is offered onboard your new e-commerce platform.

    This new technology could be crucial to boosting the overall user experience of your e-business. It could be the difference in driving traffic and potential customers to your online store.

    So before you take the right option, you will need to carry out a thorough assessment of the capabilities of both your current e-commerce site and the one you intend migrating to.

    You will need to compare and contrast your findings, stating the merits and demerits of both e-commerce platforms. Once this is done, you will be in a better position to decide on whether to migrate or not. 

    Some key questions you need to ask yourself before re-platforming include;

    • What are the technicalities and complications involved with re-platforming?

    • What are your e-commerce needs and goals?

    • What is offered by both platforms in relation to your needs?

    • What competitive advantage can your e-business derive from such a switch?

    • What will be the short and long-term cost implications of the re-platforming?

    In this article, you will get to know more about re-platforming to a notable e-commerce platform. This e-commerce site is known as Shopify. 

    You will learn what you need to do in order to migrate to this e-commerce platform. You will also learn how to capitalize on some of the key functions and features on offer on Shopify when you eventually migrate to the e-commerce website.

  • What should you know before re-platforming to Shopify?

    If you are planning on re-platforming to Shopify, then you will need to take a number of things into consideration.

  •  #1: Consider the impact on your Online Store

    You need to be real to yourself before re-platforming. What impact will your re-platforming to Shopify have on your online business in terms of design, performance, and overall efficiency?

    Fortunately, Shopify is an e-commerce platform built with a number of intuitive features to upgrade the design, boost the performance, and enhance the efficiency of your e-business. 

    When you migrate to Shopify, you will be able to design your online store from a large array of templates available. Web hosting is part of the package and this is managed via the Shopify account.

  •  #2: Licensing Fees 

    If you decide to migrate to Shopify Plus today, you should know that there are fees that you will need to pay. 

    A monthly licensing fee is set at USD$2,000 which means by the end of a full year you would have paid USD$24,000. Apart from the licensing fee, you will also need to pay a fee based on your revenue. 

    However, Shopify Plus offers a ceiling on the licensing fee that can be paid annually. The maximum is USD$40,000. 

    So if for example, your business has a turnover of USD$1,000,000 every month, then you will be expected to pay a licensing fee of USD$2,500 per month, bringing the total licensing fee payment to USD$40,000 per annum.

  •  #3: Scalability

    Shopify provides the infrastructure that is capable of supporting businesses scaling to the enterprise-level of those that are already up to that level. 

    In addition, if your business requires scaling on a seasonal basis in order to cater to rising traffic during holiday periods, then Shopify usable to support it.

  • #4: Maintenance

    With Shopify, your online business will be exposed to a number of developmental as well as maintenance features. 

    You will be provided with servers, hosting, bandwidth, for storage, bug fixes, and order management features when you migrate to the e-commerce platform.

  • #5: Tools, APIs & Support

    If your intention is to expand your e-business for an international audience, Shopify all offer you language, currency, and geo-targeting options that you can rely on. 

    Also, Shopify offers an App Store where you can obtain user-friendly apps and plugins to enhance the usability of your store. 

    You will be provided with an account manager dedicated to ensuring that your online store gets all the attention and technical support it requires so that your business becomes a thriving one. 

  • #6: Have A Pre-migration Checklist

    So before re-platforming to Shopify, make sure that you engage in proper planning. Also,  carry out a pre-migration check-list. 

    This is to ensure that the e-commerce site meets all your requirements for performance, sustainability, and business expansion.

    You can also compare and contrast Shopify with other e-commerce platforms if you like. To do this you can make use of a spreadsheet to compare the platforms based on their functions, features, cost elements and so on.

  • #7: Configure your Basic Administrative Settings

    If your administrative panel is not performing to its optimal capabilities, it will lead to poor navigation. It will also affect your team's productivity which results in the poor output. 

    This can be frustrating and a real burden. By re-platforming to Shopify, you are offered simplistic, highly interactive and intuitive admin dashboard tools to boost your team's productivity.

  •  Import your online stores' data and content to Shopify

    Once you have decided that Shopify is the e-commerce platform for your online store. You can import the data and content of your store to the site. This will be possible after you have signed up and created an account with Shopify.

  • URL Redirect Setup

    Shopify allows you to set-up URL redirects. This helps especially for those pages which your customers may have bookmarked. 

    By setting up URL redirects, you will reduce any chance of losing those customers that return to a bookmarked page only to discover that it is not accessible after your re-platforming to Shopify. 

    You should know that on the URL Redirects page, it is possible for you to export and/or import URL redirects. This helps if you have to deal with many redirects at a time.

    To set-up URL redirects, you will need to first login to your account on the Shopify platform. Go to the URL redirects option that can be found under "account settings". 

    Once there, input your former URL in the field labeled "from" and then enter your new URL for Shopify in the field labeled "to".

    You will need to repeat this process for each of the URLs that you intend redirecting.

  • Organize your products after migration

    After re-platforming to Shopify, you can organize all your products in a simple, concise manner. Shopify provides you with several options for including images and detailing your products. 

    The product images can be zoomed in and out for enhanced viewing while a detailed description of each of your products can be provided for potential customers to view and make a decision on.

    With Shopify, organizing your products is an easy, uncomplicated task and one that you can perform with ease even if you have a very large portfolio of products.

  • Make your website look great and improve your user experience

    The website modification features offered by Shopify will help give your online store a real professional outlook.

    There are different website templates to choose from. Also, Shopify offers a number of website layout options, fonts, colors and designs to give your e-business a special feel.

  • Domain, Shipping, Tax & Payment Provider Configuration

    As part of the necessary set-up regimen on your new Shopify e-commerce store, you will need to include all your tracking codes as well as pixels. 

    You also have to set-up your domain once you are on your Shopify account. In addition, you will have the option of choosing your preferred shipping protocol and payment service providers.

    This takes care of both the transportation of your products to customers wherever they may be around the world after payment confirmation. 

    Consideration of value-added tax (VAT) and other transaction levies are also important and there is set-up to accommodate that under your Shopify account.

  •  Test Run Your Shopify e-commerce Store

    It is important to place some test orders to ensure that all your setting options for shipping and payment function effectively. 

    Once you are convinced with the results of your test orders in terms of the speed of transaction, functionality and overall performance.

    You can then go ahead to ask your regular customers to create an account on your newly established Shopify e-commerce site.

    In transferring data and content from your previous site to your new Shopify online store, you should only stick with relevant and up-to-date data/content.

    Make sure the content you transfer is SEO optimized to help drive traffic to your new site. Migration is also a good time to exclude those obsolete content or data that is no longer relevant to your online store. You should also make sure to audit your entire website for SEO.

  •  Launch Day

    The "D-day" for your Shopify e-commerce site is the launch day. You should monitor how your site fares on launch day. Check out its functionality from a potential customer perspective.

    Check for site speed, performance, and responsiveness. There is a scary stat which states that about 40% of all online shoppers tend to abandon an e-commerce website if it is unable to fully load in a matter of 3 seconds. 

    Fortunately, the web hosting service offered by Shopify is of very high-quality. However, try to maintain a limited number of plugins. This will streamline your online store and make it much more efficient. 

    Finally, do not be in a hurry to index your Shopify e-commerce site on Google index. Be patient and wait a while until you have concluded all relevant tests to your site before indexing it on Google.

    Analytics is important for gaining very useful insight into the performance of your site. It is these insights that help you to fine-tune your site for optimal performance. 

    So be ready to collate data, compare and measure such as well as display the data which seems to be best suited to your Shopify online store.

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