Migrating to a new platform is a big task for any ecommerce merchant, but at the end of the day migrating your store will be of huge benefit to both your team and customers. Your team will have new tools and systems that will enable them to work smarter and more efficiently, and your customers will have access to a better experience with improved performance and features.
However, in order to maximize the value everyone gets from the moment your new store launches, you need to ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date and understands exactly what’s happening throughout the process.
How to prepare your team
Preparing your team is crucial to the success of launching your newly migrated store. They’re the people who have to manage behind-the-scenes, working with new systems and getting used to a new way of working. Therefore you need to keep them informed, with plenty of input into the process as well as giving them the time they need to get to grips with the new site.
Before migrating: Identify pain points
Migration offers you the opportunity to make improvements to the systems and processes your team currently uses in their day-to-day roles. Before migrating, work with them to identify their pain points in different areas of the business such as:
- Inventory management
- Order processing and fulfillment
- Customer service
- Marketing and retention
Are there any processes that could be streamlined or even automated? Are there tools or systems that could be integrated into the new site that would improve their efficiency? Could they make use of better data reporting? Identifying these issues means that your entire team’s work is being taken into account, ensuring that they’re involved and included in the migration process.
Throughout the process: Training and learning opportunities
It can be tricky to become familiar with new systems and tools once a site has been migrated if you’ve been working with the same tools for a long period of time. Especially once that process is complete, it’ll be difficult for your team to dive into these new tools immediately and not become overwhelmed.
To avoid this, ensure that while the migration process is ongoing that you’re offering your team training and learning opportunities to get hands-on experience with the new systems they’ll be using. Work with partner apps and integrations to organize training sessions, and allow your team time in their week to familiarize themselves with the new store’s functionalities. It’ll also give them the opportunity to troubleshoot and ask questions if they’re unsure how to use different functions. This means that once your store launches, your team will be acquainted with the tools they’re now expected to use in their roles and will help prevent hiccups once the site has launched.
Post-migration: Feedback and catch-ups
There are two ways in which feedback and regular catch-ups will help your team post-migration. The first is in assessing how your new store is working in practice. Giving them training ahead of time will go a long way in preparing them but as they use the new tools and systems day-to-day, they’ll undoubtedly run into small issues or snags. Continuous post-migration feedback allows you to identify these issues as they come up and determine the best way to fix them before they become larger issues later down the line.
The second is in ensuring that your team is able to keep up with the changes to your store. Even if you give your team plenty of training opportunities, they won’t get everything correct right away once they’re faced with real-life situations. By having regular catch-ups and seeking feedback, you can determine whether or not certain team members need additional support, if your team is finding the new store easier to maintain, and if additional tools are needed. For example they may find that a new customer service platform is generally fit-for-purpose and an improvement on the old system, but they’re spending a lot of time on certain manual tasks; by getting this feedback regularly, you can then look into automations that could be built into the platform to make things easier.
How to prepare your customers
You and your team are directly involved in the migration process, but your customers will also be impacted in a number of ways. Ultimately, the migration will be designed to improve their experience so it’s imperative to the success of the new store that your customers are considered and informed throughout the process.
Before migrating: Survey your customers
Understanding where your team could benefit from improvements is only one half of the migration puzzle. The other half is understanding what your site experience could be doing to better serve your customers.
In order to ensure you’re implementing new tools and functionality that will improve the customer experience, you need to ask your customers what they want to see. Conduct surveys aheads of the migration process to better understand what about your store’s experience is and isn’t working for your customers. Is the checkout process slow or too long? Do they get frustrated with wait times for customer support? This will help you and your team to scope out what integrations you might be able to work into your migration plan that will make improvements and really deliver the experience your customers want.
During the process: Communicate changes
As you scope out new integrations, discuss new features, and ultimately start the data migration process, things are going to change for your customers. There are a few things you need to communicate to them as you migrate your store:
Your customers will need to create new passwords as these won’t be transferred in the migration process. Let them know this well in advance, so they know to expect it when the store migration is complete.
While the data migration process is happening, your site will experience some downtime. If your customers aren’t kept in the loop, you may lose sales while the site is down. Communicate to them well before and during the migration so they aren’t left disappointed.
New site features
If you’re planning on adding new features to your store experience, be that a new customer service system, improved checkout, or a new loyalty program, you should communicate these to your customers so they know what to expect. It also gives you an opportunity to highlight new features that will benefit them most.
Post-migration: Collect feedback
If you’re implementing new features, you want to know that they’re actually useful to your customers and improving their experience. A few weeks after your migration is complete, get back in touch with recent customers who have experienced the features of your newly migrated store. Ask them about their experience, what worked and what could be better as well as what their opinion is of specific features that you’ve implemented e.g. if you’ve added a quick checkout option, ask them what they thought.
Collecting this feedback achieves a few key goals; first is that you can assess how your new store is working in practice alongside feedback from your team. Second, you’ll show your customers that your team cares about their experience and wants to proactively do more to improve it. And lastly, you’ll be able to see what new features are actually providing the most benefit to your store’s experience and which features could be pulled back or reworked.
The decision to migrate your store to a new platform is one that will undoubtedly open up new opportunities for growth for your ecommerce business. Preparing your team and customers before, during and after the migration process will ensure smooth sailing as you grow your business on its new platform.If you’d like to know more about the migration process, we’ve compiled a free ebook that breaks down the jargon and addresses some of the key questions merchants have about migrating. We’ve also included plenty of information about why you should migrate in the first place, and the benefits of a platform like Shopify Plus. Click here to get your free copy.