ECOMMERCE TOOLS   |   9 minute read

How to migrate and future-proof your Magento 1 site

Confirmed: Magento 1 will reach “End of Life” (EOL) in June 2020, not in 2018 as previously rumored. Breathe easy now.

Magento 1 sites are still secure and patches are being released regularly, but there are some serious considerations you should make moving forward.

This 18-month lead time gives Magento users enough time to make a fully-vetted, secure decision regarding next steps to upgrade their operations and digital selling platform.

We are committed to our #Magento 1 merchants through June 2020, ensuring their sites are secure and compliant. Learn how" - Magento (@magento) September 6, 2018

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Image courtesy: Magento

What does Magento 1 EOL mean for me?

Your website will continue working, but will fade into obscurity as new Magento extensions and product builds will be created for Magento 2 only. Many developers are now focused on valuable developments and improvements for Magento 2, and you’ll be hard-pressed to get version 1 updates from them as well.

To be clear, moving from Magento 1 to Magento 2 isn’t as easy as a click of a button. It requires a full-scale re-platforming exercise.

Magento 2 may bear some resemblance to its predecessor but, fundamentally, it’s a different platform with new coding structures and database architecture. There are a lot of key differences between the platforms, namely:

  • Significantly improved scalability
  • Built-in functionality to compress images
  • User-friendly experience and set-up to install upgrades
  • Full page varnish cache, accelerating your website by 300-1000x.

Other new features:

Magento 1.x Magento 2.x
Stale Admin Panel (Backoffice) Fresh New Design in Admin
Weak Content Staging Advanced Content Staging
Huge Extension Marketplace Minimal Extensions for 2
Enterprise Edition Pricing by License Enterprise Edition Pricing by Order Volume
No Data Grid Customizable Data Grid for Catalog
Legacy Checkout Streamlined Checkout Process

The entire process to move over to Magento 2 is extremely tedious and quite expensive. Plus, you could be forced to halt sales for days without proper migration planning.lp-header-magento-mobile2x

RELATED: [TradeGecko integrates with Magento]

Moreover, what could Adobe’s acquisition of Magento mean for the future of the platform and eCommerce?

The company unveiled their vision to integrate Magento into Adobe’s Experience Cloud’s content management, personalization and analytics solutions; a great all-in-one solution for enterprises.

SMBs haven’t been forgotten. New features for SMBs include a New PageBuilder (drag and drop editing tool for site content), Progressive Web Applications (to create mobile experiences), streamlined payments, and integration with Amazon Sales Channel (to promote, sell, fulfill across multiple channels).

Want to migrate away from Magento entirely? Here are some options

When it comes to your eCommerce business, choosing the right platform can be a powerful money-making tool. But having too many options can also be a double-edged sword - how do you know which is the right platform to choose?ecommerce-logos-one-line

We curated this short list to help you navigate through your choices:

Shopify

  • Ideal platform for beginners since it’s designed for non-technical users. Shopify handles all coding issues but provides you with some control over HTML & CSS.
  • Highly compatible with social media, allowing you to sell via Facebook, Facebook Messenger or Instagram.
  • Fully hosted on Shopify.com but you can point your domain name to your Shopify store.
  • No selling limits and more partner support.
  • Shopify Plus offers a completely-hosted enterprise solution aimed at high volume merchants and even Fortune 500s.

WooCommerce

  • Great for content creators to sell products related to their subject matter on their WordPress blog.
  • Perfect for people already familiar with WordPress.
  • Functionalities can be extended using free or paid scripts or via a developer.
  • A free plug-in (not a subscription based service like the others)
  • Doesn’t provide out-of-the-box advanced inventory management. (TradeGecko can help!)
  • Over 2 million online stores use WooCommerce.

BigCommerce

  • Great for fast-growing brands or a high-volume business.
  • Biggest advantage: SEO. Built to make marketing your shop easy with SEO tools.
  • Robust eCommerce functionalities: product catalog creation, tax rate setup, shipping settings, wishlist, wholesale selling, promotions, offer code rules, optimized checkout.
  • Great cart abandonment recovery.
  • Allows you to create blog posts & pages, helping your website be more than just an eCommerce entity.

PrestaShop

  • Great for medium & large-sized businesses.
  • Open-source. Built for people who want flexibility & speed when starting. Doesn’t charge % of revenue.
  • Has avid enthusiasts all over the world. If you face any problems, join the community to ask for help.
  • If you don’t want to deal with technicalities, there’s an option to buy a hosted solution from a Prestashop web-hosting partner.
  • Cheaper than other platforms.
  • Unique features: KPI & Forecasting.

OpenCart

  • Best for small stores.
  • Open source, self-hosted platform.
  • Multi-language, multi-currency, multi-store. Well-designed admin.
  • Powerful catalog functionality.
  • Has guest feature, allowing shoppers to buy w/out signing up.
  • SEO-friendly, simple content management tool designed for non-product pages.
  • Localized community & forums, dedicated tech support. Lots of documentation.

Luckily, TradeGecko integrates seamlessly with all of these platforms to help you manage your entire commerce & supply chain ecosystem from a single system - from production through to fulfillment - so you can focus on growth.

Going digital is important for small businesses.

Download our Digital Transformation eBook for steps to kick-start your own business into the Cloud.

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Time to future-proof your business

All eCommerce platforms are not created equal. Depending on your level of experience and comfort (and access to a developer), you may want an option that allows you to modify the code or one that’s ready to go out-of-the-box.

Your choice for a new selling platform also will depend on your future goals.

I know how challenging it is to think beyond 3 months from now, let alone 3 years.

But to get ahead of competitors and trends, consider focusing on long-term value versus short-term gain. This is the best way to future-proof your eCommerce business.

Now is the best time think beyond site migration.

Now is the best time to think about your overall business and your day-to-day operations.ecommerce-migration

Ask yourself these 4 questions

1. Are you adequately prepared for multichannel sales, global commerce or wholesale with B2B?

Multichannel retailing (or omnichannel) allows you to reach a wider base of prospective customers. More important, this also helps reinforce brand recognition and trust in the minds of consumers across their favorite places to shop. Whether customers are shopping in your brick-and-mortar store or via their mobile phone, they want a shopping experience that’s seamless and consistent but still unique and highly personalized.

Considering B2B wholesale? Go for it. B2B eCommerce sales are expected to top $1 trillion by 2019. Is your platform adaptable from wholesale workflows to online operations? With all of your business activities in one place (online), collecting and analyzing data will also be much easier and that means your business will be able to react instantly to buying trends.

2. Speaking of buying trends, do you have enough data to tell you which products are in demand? Do you know which ones sell, what customers want more of, which should be discontinued?

Accurate sales forecasting is critical to smart business management, as it allows you to plan for demand and effectively manage cash flow and inventory. Buying too much inventory can have a significant negative effect on cash flow and earning potential. But having too little stock (especially during the holiday season or from Shark Tank effects) can result in customers turning to your competitors to get what they need. Using historical data, the right platform can help you make estimations about future customer demand and increase staffing/resourcing to keep operations running smoothly during peak periods. It also helps your business avoid making poor decisions about your products and target markets.

3. How’s your Excel inventory management? Still manageable or has it become overly complicated and time consuming?

We all have a tumultuous relationship with Excel, don’t we? As much as we try to convert customers to the Cloud, there are situations in which Excel is still a good fit for small businesses. We even created an excellent template for basic inventory management (download here).

But if your goal is to grow and scale, which we’re all rooting for, Excel just won’t cut it! It gets messy, complicated and rife with errors. Excel also lacks the ability to intelligently report on sales data and other important business metrics including Potential and Realized Profit, Potential and Realized Cost of Goods, Quantity of SKUs, Supplier Status, etc.

4. Are your backend operations and logistics streamlined well enough to allow you to step away, even for just a day?

Too often, the reason you started the business is overshadowed by the day-to-day logistics of operating your company.

We often find ourselves working with merchants who are using labor-intensive systems and processes. This can range from teams who are extremely proficient in performing “spreadsheet Olympics” … to legacy systems that were never designed to handle eCommerce alongside multichannel and multi-location sales.

Focus on whether or not the platform you choose will support the current and future needs of your growing business.

If you’re still deciding whether or not to bid Magento 1 adieu, rest assured that no matter what the choice of eCommerce platform, TradeGecko can integrate directly or with the help of our API.

Are you looking for an effortless inventory management solution?

Control your inventory, orders and manufacturing workflows, all in one place with TradeGecko.

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