So your online store is preparing for a migration! Congrats on a decision that is going to give it a fresh start. Hopefully your customers enjoy the enhancements, love your products and never leave your online store without buying something! But while your product catalog, user data and configuration are getting ready to be carefully moved to a new place, it’s worth paying attention to other important aspects of the e-commerce website migration process.
Some useful online store migration tips
Give your customers what they expect
Online store migration is a chance for big improvements in usability. Discover your audience’s likes, dislikes, and expectations about your current store, and think of ways to make things better. Getting customer reviews, creating user personas, studying the analytics data, and performing usability tests will be of great help.
Make your refreshed e-commerce site the most convenient place on the Web! Maybe it’s just the time to improve your website’s navigation, change your payment provider, finally make your store mobile-friendly (if it’s not yet!), and make many other improvements.
Do a big clean-up
In a brick-and-mortar shop, you wouldn’t like your buyers to stumble upon some old or expired product. So do a big clean-up in your online store by getting rid of the old items. This includes discontinued products, as well as old, irrelevant content. You should also analyze your pages to find and remove duplicate content.
Choose the right time for your migration
Some moments are better for the migration than others. Obviously, the seasonal peaks of your customers’ buying activity are not the best time for your migration. For example, if you sell toys, do not make an unexpected move during the Christmas present buying season. Wait until a more quiet time of year!
Inform your customers
Tell people about the migration, promote it as an exciting improvement, and explain the reasons and the benefits of it. It’s a good idea to present this information in advance. Make sure it is clear how to use your ecommerce website with the changes — provide user-friendly instructions so that even your most conservative customers do not get confused, and can enjoy their shopping.
Settle SEO issues
There is a special guest that may get very disappointed if he comes to your store and has difficulty finding everything in its usual place. His name is Google and his disappointment can cost your dearly ;) But no worries, there are ways to keep him happy.
After most migrations, there often are some search traffic losses, but it’s all fixable. Be sure to include a good SEO expert at the stage of migration planning and through the whole process, not after it is finished. It’s a way to minimize the SEO losses and quickly start getting new SEO victories!
The most challenging in terms of SEO are migrations to a new domain, to another e-commerce platform, or those that involve large-scale URL structure changes.
Though it’s always better to do your best to preserve the old URLs (because Google does not appreciate changing URLS), in many cases this change is inevitable. If this is your case, a 301 redirect is a great way to tell Google where a page is now. Using it, you will preserve the bulk of the link popularity and transfer it to the new URL.
You should also analyze the website for 404 pages and do your best to get rid of them, but also provide a clear and well-designed 404 page, so if users come across it, they understand where they are and continue their shopping.
New website, new analytics! Also do not forget to re-configure your Google Analytics and start recording your analytics right from the first day of the website’s launch.
Test everything from A to Z
This is your refreshed and shiny online store — there is no place for a bug! Are payments processed properly? Does the shopping cart work as it should? Do users receive the right notifications when they place or change an order, get a gift card, ask for credit? Will the website handle heavy traffic? These and tons of other issues should be thoroughly tested on the staging environment before you welcome real visitors in.
The e-commerce website migration process is smooth with good experts. Drudesk is ready to help you with every aspect related to SEO, usability, data migration, redesign, testing, as well as taking care of the whole migration process. Celebrate a new beginning for your website!