A Merchant’s Guide to Magento 2 Migration: What, Why, and How

by
October 10, 2017

 

This blog was contributed by our partner Kensium. Kensium is a ShipStation partner that creates scalable Magento Commerce websites and efficient Acumatica Cloud ERP solutions. We are a leading Magento Enterprise Partner (with more than 60 trained Magento 2 professionals) and are Acumatica’s Official eCommerce Partner.

After close to two years of helping merchants make the transition to Magento 2, we know they can be apprehensive about leaving their old platform for new technology. Many eCommerce businesses like yours worry about the time commitment, cost, and potential capacity issues as efforts are focused on the migration project.

While these variables can make Magento 2 seem risky, choosing the right partner and creating the right migration package can alleviate uncertainty. Here is some information about the migration process and how you can begin your move to Magento 2 in 2018.

What do I get from moving to Magento 2?

You have probably heard about Magento 2 since its release in late 2015. Admittedly, there were bugs out of the gate, but Magento has done their part to progressively refine the platform with patches, technology stack updates, improved features, and more to make it the most reliable version of Magento yet. Some of the most notable improvements 1.X merchants notice when moving to Magento 2 include:

  • Better System Architecture – Improve page load times and increase your capacity with Magento 2’s modern technology stack.
  • Improved Admin Experience – Easily navigate and manage your entire Magento business through a modular admin panel.
  • Dynamic Customer Segmentation – Use customers’ behavior to automate messaging that increases conversion and average order value.
  • Content Staging and Preview – Plan, schedule, and launch promotions to increase the return on your marketing efforts.
  • Layered Website Navigation – Help customers find the products they’re looking for by guiding them down intuitive user paths.
  • Loyal Customer Incentives – Activate rewards programs and private sales to keep your customers coming back.
  • Streamlined Checkout Pages – Increase the number of customers that complete their orders with a simplified checkout.
  • Easier Third-Party Integrations – Maximize operational efficiency by connecting your store to back-end systems.
  • Magento Business Intelligence – Create reports to help you make decisions that impact your business’ bottom line.
  • New Amazon Cloud Environment – Eliminate hardware issues by hosting your store in a cloud environment that’s maintained by Magento.

One of the most anticipated releases since the Magento 2’s initial launch, Magento 2.2 found its way to market in late September. This version included substantial security updates and introduced native B2B features, such as:

  • Hierarchical Accounts – Empower customers with the ability to build and shape their corporate accounts. They can assign permissions and roles for users in their organizations.
  • Streamlined Ordering – Take the effort out of negotiation and ordering. Allow your customers to order by entering SKUs, uploading a CSV file, or selecting from a saved requisition list.
  • Satisfying Experiences – Create specialized catalogs for different accounts. Users can filter and search as they browse, and you can replicate catalogs and make variations (instead of starting from scratch).
  • Multi-Store Capabilities – Create one environment for all your segments. Sell to B2B and B2C customers while including to those who speak different languages and pay in different currencies.
  • Optimized Processing – Display accurate, real-time inventory to your customers as they shop. Use automated business rules to source lower processing costs and faster delivery times.

How long does migration take and what does it look like?

The details of Magento 2 migration depend on your unique set of requirements. Typically, a full website customization and redesign can be completed in six months, while a simple migration with a templated store can be live and fully functional in less than six weeks.

  • How do I initiate my project: Talk to a solution partner such as Kensium. Discovery sessions will help you clarify requirements, establish project scope, and create timelines.
  • What do I do along the way: Kensium provides updates at predetermined intervals (chosen by you) and creates a staging environment, so you can provide input through the project.

What information can I migrate?

Magento 2 migration doesn’t hinder your ability to access your data or tools out of the gate. With Magento 2 approaching two years on the market, almost every popular solution provider — including ShipStation — has created extensions or integrations that allow you to migrate your third-party data to versions of their applications that are compatible with Magento 2.

These updated tools make it easy for you to access all of the data from your previous store, which can also be seamlessly migrated. Some of most important types of data that merchants want to see as soon as they launch their Magento 2 stores include:

  • Customers
  • Products
  • Categories
  • Orders
  • Store configurations

Why should I start planning now?

While you may be content with your current Magento system, an eventual migration is inevitable. In the first year Magento launched Magento 2, they announced that support for 1.X merchants would cease in November of 2018. While they have since rescinded that end-of-life date and will continue to provide security patches, the fact remains: Magento 2 is Magento’s top priority.

Fresh off the 2017 holiday season and years beyond the height of 1.X, many of your competitors will be looking to take advantage of Magento 2’s latest advancements in the first half of 2018. Because few developers have deployed multiple sites on Magento 2, the availability of experienced partners could be limited as more merchants transition. Starting your discovery sessions now can help you establish project scope and construct a timeline with your preferred Magento partner.   

Solidifying the details of your project will allow you to budget for 2018 and create a comprehensive eCommerce action plan for the new year. A new Magento 2 website early next year can serve as your launching point for growth in 2018.

Get moving with Kensium

Kensium is ShipStation partner and a leader in Magento 2 migration. With the most Magento 2 cloud deployments of any Magento partner, we have the experience and support from Magento to take on any project.

For more information on Magento 2 migration by Kensium, visit www.kensiumsolutions.com/magento-2-migration.

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