Change doesn’t have to be scary. While it’s true that Adobe will retire support for its Magento Commerce 1 (M1) platform in June 2020 and many retailers have yet to implement a platform migration plan, there’s still time to take action and ensure a smooth transition.
Here are eight steps to help demystify the migration process.
1. Develop a migration plan.
Your plan will detail your actions during the replatforming process, essentially acting as a blueprint for deploying improved site functionality. If you’re working with a developer, that person will perform a site evaluation to assess your functional requirements, catalog definition, number and types of extensions, third-party integrations, and need for custom programming.
2. Review extensions on your current site.
Replatforming is an ideal time to remove underperforming or redundant data from your site. Prebuilt and custom M1 extensions may not be compatible with Magento Commerce 2 (M2), and many must be re-created to function correctly within the M2 framework. Be aware that extensions may also require updates as new versions are developed.
3. Review and update feature capacity.
This is an excellent time to review and take stock of which features in your existing site have been working well, and which have underperformed. While M2 has many advantages over M1, including its B2B out-of-the-box capabilities, a flexible promotions engine, and a suite of tools including Magento Business Intelligence, keep in mind that styling, custom configuration, and plug-ins may increase migration costs. An upgrade to M2 is essentially a rebuild, so now is the time to add any new and custom features you’ve been longing for.
4. Extend your audience.
M2 offers a multitude of new ways to interact with customers, including both B2B and B2C. B2B features include advanced account management tools for webstore managers and their customers, out-of-the-box quote management, customer negotiation capabilities, and the ability to set unique restrictions between individual buyer accounts. B2C offers improved customer segmentation and personalization capabilities, giving Magento Enterprise Edition and Adobe Commerce Cloud a leg up on other platforms.
5. Begin migration.
Data migration from M1 to M2 is not a straightforward process, although it can be a more natural exercise than migrating from another platform. Magento does offer a data migration tool; that tool, however, transfers only data and settings, requiring extensions, themes, media files, and product and customer data to be transferred manually. Be aware that as they are developed, new features may also require data updates.
6. Update data.
By this stage, except for order management functions, you have stopped activity on your M1 site. You will have migrated data from your replicated M1 database and imported it into your new framework and captured data updates, including new orders, product reviews, and changes to customer profiles. You’re now ready to test your M2 site and note any discrepancies before going live.
7. Build and test.
Install M2 and configure the M2 store using your M1 store as a guide. Remove outdated and redundant data such as logs, recently reviewed products, promotional rules, and order quotes from your M1 database.
8. Go live.
While reindexing occurs and DNS settings update, your site will experience a brief period of downtime. Magento estimates downtime to last as long as three minutes.
As an alternative to replatforming to a traditional website, you may consider utilizing Magento’s Progressive Web App Studio (PWA Studio). Released with Magento 2.3, PWA Studio brings with it a suite of tools that can be used to build online stores that function like apps. PWA Studio optimizes the consumer mobile experience by decreasing site loading time and allowing customers to access a site even when offline or in a place with low connectivity, which means customers can reach you any time, anywhere. Its mobile-first design function helps drive engagement and delivers a seamless user experience, increasing conversion rates. Native to the platform, PWA Studio will remain compatible as Magento releases updates, decreasing the need for custom builds.
Building a modern commerce ecosystem is a complex undertaking requiring continuous evolution. However, with the right partner and some preparation, platform upgrades can be an opportunity for metamorphosis and successful digital transformation.
It’s vital to work with an experienced partner to ensure you take full advantage of the robust features Magento Commerce 2 has to offer and to navigate potential missteps that can result in high maintenance costs and lost revenue. Astound Commerce has worked with Magento from its pre-beta stages to the M2 platform—and has helped numerous clients migrate from M1 to M2. Our team of Magento-certified developers create fast, reliable, secure websites that help our clients achieve maximum return on their technology investments. Contact us today to discuss your transition plan.