eCommerce Migration

Expand eCommerce Capabilities and Growth by Replatforming

Replatforming in eCommerce introduces challenges such as operational disruption, data migration, integration complexities, and budget constraints. Our re-platforming guide offers a structured approach for eCommerce managers to plan, execute, and monitor the process. By following this guide, managers can efficiently navigate the process, mitigate risks, and ensure a successful transition.

Migrating Your Current E-Commerce Platform Might Not Be a Straightforward Decision!

Unless you’re discussing a routine upgrade of an existing system, navigating a major re-platforming demands careful consideration of risk and reward. Such an endeavor entails significant investments in planning, technology, and personnel. It introduces notable uncertainties: How will the project affect daily business operations? Will you choose the right platform? Does your team possess the necessary skills to support the new platform? How will your team address unforeseen challenges along the way?

When does migrating your eCommerce platform make sense?

Platform Performance

  • The platform is too buggy
  • The platform is too slow
  • The platform is not able to handle order or product volume

Platform Operational Expense​

  • Platform is expensive to maintain (Internal team, external team, hosting, upgrades, technical debt)
  • Multiple platforms are used for different countries, brands, or business units
  • Platform is difficult to manage

Platform Functionality​

  • Platform is missing features
  • Platform is difficult to extend functionality (Time and $)

Clouda can help you answer these key questions:

We have worked with more than 20 Large Enterprises directly on their platform re-migration process and these are the main problems they had initially.

Enterprises face bloated eCommerce expenses consisting of New Feature Development, Third-Party Software Subscriptions, Internal Maintenance Teams, and Costly System Upgrades...

That's why Clouda provides Migration Services that span from project charter & requirement documentation to software development & project launch

- Free consultation sessions and document templates
- Discovery and requirement documentation processes
- Managed stakeholder meetings
- An allocated Clouda Product Owner, Project Manager, and Architect for each project
- Fortune 500 quality assurance and engineering
- Assist in running a Pilot Test Launch
- Complete enhancements and defect resolution in real-tim

Platform Migration
eCommerce Migration Resources

Clouda is here to guide you along the replatforming journey.  We’ve curated a list of stages, deliverables, and document templates to make every project successful. 

Stage 01: Problem Awareness

In this stage, you should identify all the problems that you are facing in your current e-commerce platform so that you can communicate and brainstorm future states with stakeholders. To make things easier, we will divide the problem types into 03 parts.

Platform Performance

Platform Operational Expense

Platform Functionality

Identifying problems with your current e-commerce platform before re-platforming and stakeholder discussions lays the foundation for a successful migration project by ensuring alignment with business goals, informed decision-making, stakeholder engagement, and effective resource management. Here are several reasons:

Understanding Pain Points: It allows you to pinpoint specific pain points and inefficiencies in your current platform, helping you address underlying issues and avoid replicating them in the new platform.

Alignment with Business Goals: By identifying problems, you can align the re-platforming process with your business goals and objectives. This ensures that the new platform addresses key business needs and supports growth initiatives effectively.

Informed Decision-Making: Having a clear understanding of current challenges enables informed decision-making during the re-platforming process. It helps stakeholders prioritize features and functionalities that are essential for addressing identified problems and meeting business requirements.

Stakeholder Engagement: Identifying problems fosters stakeholder engagement and buy-in for the re-platforming project. It provides stakeholders with tangible evidence of why a platform change is necessary and encourages collaboration in finding solutions.

Cost and Resource Management: Understanding current problems helps in estimating the resources and budget required for re-platforming more accurately. It allows for better planning and allocation of resources, minimizing unexpected costs and delays.

How Clouda can help you?

Clouda can provide the consulting and documentation templates required to Quantify the TCO and the Opportunity Cost. We’ve completed so many migration projects, that our consulting team and architects understand how to plan accurate projections and analyses for your current and future business state.

Stage 02: Stakeholder Discovery

Now you have all the information gathered regarding the challenges of your current e-commerce platform and the importance of re-platforming to be competitive and user-friendly in the e-commerce landscape. 

As the next step, you will want to dig deeper with each individual team. Communicate with stakeholders to get an understanding of what different teams need most, balancing the needs of all fairly so that all teams get what they want out of the migration.

You will want to keep this information on hand throughout the process, as you will need to look back on this when deciding on your platform. Balance what each team wants and what features are most important to your bottom line. While not everyone can always get what they want, the more you can offer your teams, the better they can perform their jobs.

Here is the list of stakeholders with whom you can individually discuss re-platforming:

  • Business Leaders
  • Business users
  • IT
  • Peripheral Business partners
  • System owners, external users (Customers)

Before embarking on an e-commerce platform migration, it’s essential to gather input from stakeholders to ensure alignment with business objectives and smooth execution. Here are some key questions to ask stakeholders:

What are the primary business goals and objectives driving this e-commerce migration?

Understanding the overarching goals helps ensure that the migration aligns with strategic priorities.

Who are the key stakeholders involved in this project, and what are their roles and responsibilities?

Identifying stakeholders and their roles clarifies accountability and ensures effective communication throughout the project.

What are the specific requirements and expectations for the new e-commerce platform?

Gathering requirements helps in defining the scope of the project and ensuring that the new platform meets stakeholders’ needs.

What are the current pain points or challenges with the existing e-commerce platform?

Identifying pain points helps prioritize improvements and ensures that the new platform addresses critical issues.

What are the budget and timeline constraints for the e-commerce migration project?

Understanding budget and timeline constraints helps in setting realistic expectations and planning accordingly.

What are the potential risks and obstacles associated with migration, and how can they be mitigated?

Identifying risks upfront allows for proactive risk management and contingency planning.

How will the new e-commerce platform impact various departments and stakeholders within the organization?

Understanding the impact on different stakeholders helps anticipate challenges and plan for change management.

What are the desired outcomes or success metrics for the e-commerce migration project?

Defining success metrics ensures that the project’s progress and impact can be measured effectively.

By asking these questions and engaging stakeholders early in the planning process, you can ensure that the e-commerce platform migration project is well-aligned with business objectives and stakeholders’ needs, leading to a successful implementation.

How you can convince your stakeholders to do e-commerce migration with these simple 04 steps:

  • Find out who in your organization is opposed to the digital transition
  • Educate yourself about the benefits of B2B integrated e-commerce
  • Convince all stakeholders in your organization of the value of B2B integrated e-commerce
  • Show that you are ready to get started with B2B e-commerce

Download the Stakeholder Discovery Template: Download Here

Build User Stories for Stakeholder Discovery: Download the FREE Template

Stage 03: Technical Discovery

If you’re strategizing e-commerce platform migration, it’s important to identify the technical challenges you face and will encounter as you begin. This is where “technical discovery” comes into play. Often initiating various projects, this phase is alternatively labeled as assessment, road-mapping, planning, or discovery, depending on the context. But what exactly does it entail, and why is it indispensable?

What does the technical discovery phase entail in a project?

Technical discovery involves gathering and analyzing information about the problem at hand, the goals to be achieved, the requirements, and the constraints faced. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, it’s a tailored and collaborative effort involving multiple project leaders and contributors from various departments and organizational levels. Additionally, it includes technology experts who can provide insights into the solution’s possibilities and limitations.

Why is investing in technical discovery essential?

The primary aim of technical discovery is to establish a shared understanding of the problem and its solution while defining a clear and realistic scope and plan for the project. It helps mitigate common pitfalls in technology projects such as unrealistic expectations, misaligned priorities, unclear requirements, insufficient resources, cost overruns, and technical debt.

Furthermore, technical discovery maximizes the solution’s value and impact by aligning it with your business objectives, user needs, and industry best practices.

Is a discovery phase always necessary?

A question that frequently arises is whether a technical discovery is required for every IT project.

The answer is not necessarily. For straightforward projects or those targeting a small group of individuals, a discovery phase may not be essential. If leaders and stakeholders are in alignment and the problem and solution are clearly defined, it’s possible to proceed directly to the solution or build phase.

However, in many cases, requirements are ambiguous, or the business problem is intricate due to divergent and competing needs.

Based on our experience, a technical discovery phase holds particular significance for complex business problems involving:

  • Multiple departments
  • Manual processes
  • Lack of automation
  • Inefficiencies in content management
  • Productivity challenges
  • Records management issues

What are the steps in a technical discovery process?

During a technical discovery session with a client, we tailor the approach to address their core requirements and evaluate the organization’s prior efforts. We aim to avoid overwhelming participants or duplicating recent activities. However, it’s crucial to gather essential information to grasp the current situation effectively.

Our standard set of activities typically includes:

Defining the problem and assessing the current state: This entails identifying and engaging key stakeholders and users, and conducting interviews, surveys, and workshops to gather data on the current state. We analyze this data to identify pain points, opportunities, risks, and dependencies. Additionally, we evaluate existing systems and infrastructure to pinpoint gaps and migration or integration needs.

Visioning activities: Prioritizing future state processes and workflows, and exploring potential solutions (referred to as the “art of the possible”).

Building a plan: This involves documenting findings and recommendations, including a roadmap, in a report or presentation. It may also encompass estimating costs, benefits, timelines, and resources for future project(s).

Application Architecture Diagram: Use This Template

System Landscape Diagram: Download Here

Current State -Future State Flowchart: Download Here

Stage 04: Platform Selection

Choosing a new e-commerce platform can feel overwhelming given the multitude of options available. To make an informed decision, it’s crucial to identify your specific needs and considerations.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Business Needs: Assess your business requirements, including essential features like payment gateway integration, shipping options, inventory management, and marketing tools. Collaborate with your team to prioritize features essential for your business growth.

Scalability: Ensure the platform can accommodate your business’s growth by considering its scalability and flexibility.

Integration: Look for platforms that seamlessly integrate with other systems such as ERP, CRM, and marketing automation tools to streamline operations.

Security: Prioritize platforms with robust security measures, including PCI compliance, SSL encryption, and two-factor authentication, to protect your business and customer data.

Mobile Experience: Choose a mobile-responsive platform to provide a seamless shopping experience across all devices.

Support: Opt for platforms offering 24/7 support through multiple channels to address issues promptly and effectively.

Total Cost of Ownership: Consider both upfront and ongoing costs, including hosting, maintenance, and upgrades, to evaluate the platform’s total cost of ownership transparently.

User Experience: Select platforms with user-friendly interfaces and smooth checkout processes to enhance conversions and customer satisfaction.

Customization: Look for platforms offering extensive customization options such as custom themes, plugins, and integrations to tailor the platform to your unique needs.

Vendor Ecosystem: Assess the platform’s vendor ecosystem, including vendors, developers, and partners, to leverage a wide range of expertise and resources.
By carefully considering these factors, you can choose an e-commerce platform that aligns with your business goals and facilitates growth.

For further assistance, we’ve provided an overview of the top e-commerce platforms in this guide.

Reviewing the selection criteria outlined here and the platform overview can help narrow down your options.

Check Our Platform Comparison: Check the Comparison Here

Stage 05: Project Planning

What is the Project Planning Stage?

The project planning stage is an important phase of an e-commerce platform migration where the project scope, objectives, resources, timeline, and methodologies are defined. It involves creating a comprehensive plan that outlines the steps and strategies required to successfully migrate from the current platform to the new one.

Why is Project Planning Important?

Clear Direction: The project planning stage provides a clear direction for the migration process, ensuring that all team members understand their roles and responsibilities.

Risk Mitigation: By identifying potential risks and developing mitigation strategies early in the project, the planning stage helps minimize the impact of unforeseen challenges.

Resource Optimization: Proper resource allocation and planning help optimize the use of available resources, reducing the likelihood of delays or budget overruns.

Alignment: Aligning project objectives with business goals and stakeholder expectations ensures that the migration delivers value to the organization.

Key Activities and Best Practices

Define Project Scope and Objectives:

  • Clearly articulate the goals and objectives of the migration, such as improving site performance, enhancing user experience, or adding new features.
  • Define the scope of the project by identifying what will be included (e.g., data migration, customization, integration) and what will be excluded.

Gather Requirements:

  • Conduct stakeholder interviews and workshops to gather requirements from key stakeholders, including business users, IT teams, and customers.
  • Prioritize requirements based on their impact on the business and feasibility within the project timeline and budget.

Allocate Resources:

  • Identify and allocate resources required for the migration, including personnel, budget, and technology.
  • Establish roles and responsibilities for team members involved in the migration, such as project manager, developers, designers, and testers.

Create a Project Plan:

  • Develop a detailed project plan that outlines the tasks, dependencies, milestones, and timelines for each phase of the migration.
  • Use project management tools to track progress, manage tasks, and communicate updates with the team.

Risk Management:

  • Identify potential risks and uncertainties that could impact the migration process, such as data loss, system downtime, or budget overruns.
  • Develop risk mitigation strategies to address identified risks and minimize their impact on the project.

Communication and Stakeholder Management:

  • Establish communication channels and protocols for sharing project updates, milestones, and decisions with stakeholders.
  • Keep stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the migration process to ensure alignment with project goals and objectives.

Best Practices

  • Collaborative Approach: Involve key stakeholders from different departments and levels of the organization in the planning process to ensure buy-in and alignment.
  • Flexibility: Maintain flexibility in the project plan to accommodate changes or adjustments as needed throughout the migration process.
  • Documentation: Document all decisions, requirements, and project plans to provide a reference point for the team and ensure consistency.
  • Continuous Improvement: Conduct regular reviews and retrospectives to evaluate project progress, identify areas for improvement, and make adjustments as necessary.

Allocation of Tasks Among Different Teams

Let’s break down the allocation of tasks among different teams and the essential documents, plans, and deliverables needed during the project planning stage of an e-commerce platform migration:

Project Management Team:

  • Project Manager: Oversees the entire migration process, including planning, execution, and monitoring.
  • Project Coordinator: Assists the project manager in coordinating tasks, scheduling meetings, and tracking progress.

Technical Team:

  • Developers: Responsible for implementing technical aspects of the migration, such as data migration, customization, and integration with third-party systems.
  • System Administrators: Handle server configuration, deployment, and infrastructure setup to support the new e-commerce platform.

Business Team:

  • Business Analysts: Gather and analyze business requirements, define use cases, and ensure that the new platform meets business needs.
  • Product Owners: Represent the business stakeholders and prioritize features and functionalities based on business value.

Quality Assurance (QA) Team:

  • QA Engineers: Develop test plans, execute testing procedures, and ensure the quality and functionality of the migrated platform.
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Team: Conducts user acceptance testing to validate that the new platform meets user requirements and expectations.

Design Team:

  • UI/UX Designers: Create wireframes, prototypes, and design assets to enhance the user experience of the new e-commerce platform.

Essential Documents, Plans, and Deliverables

  • Project Plan: A detailed project plan outlining tasks, milestones, timelines, dependencies, and resources allocated to each phase of the migration.
  • Requirements Document: Document outlining the functional and non-functional requirements of the new e-commerce platform, gathered through stakeholder interviews and workshops.
  • Risk Management Plan: Document identifying potential risks, their impact, and mitigation strategies to minimize risks throughout the migration process.
  • Resource Allocation Plan: Plan detailing the allocation of human and financial resources to various tasks and activities during the migration.
  • Communication Plan: Plan outlining communication channels, protocols, and frequency of communication with stakeholders to ensure transparency and alignment.
  • Test Plan: Document specifying the testing approach, test cases, and testing criteria for validating the functionality, performance, and security of the new platform.
  • Training Plan: Plan outlining training needs and strategies for educating end-users, administrators, and support staff on using the new e-commerce platform effectively.
  • Documentation: Comprehensive documentation including user manuals, technical specifications, system architecture diagrams, and deployment guides for reference and future maintenance.
  • Change Management Plan: Plan detailing how changes to project scope, requirements, or timeline will be managed, communicated, and implemented throughout the migration process.

Importance of Documents, Plans, and Deliverables

  • Clarity and Alignment: Documents, plans, and deliverables provide clarity and alignment among team members, ensuring everyone understands their roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
  • Risk Mitigation: Detailed plans and documentation help identify and mitigate risks early in the project, reducing the likelihood of project delays or failures.
  • Communication and Transparency: Communication plans ensure that stakeholders are kept informed and involved throughout the migration process, promoting transparency and trust.
  • Quality Assurance: Test plans and documentation enable thorough testing of the new platform, ensuring its functionality, performance, and security meet the required standards.
  • Knowledge Transfer: Comprehensive documentation facilitates knowledge transfer among team members and provides a reference for future maintenance and updates of the e-commerce platform.

Integration Mapping Diagram: Download Here

Wireframe Technical Flow Diagram: Download Here

How will this checklist help you?

Our e-commerce migration guide helps guide you through each stage of your migration project. Use it to ensure that you don’t miss any critical steps and avoid common pitfalls when looking for a new e-commerce provider and preparing to change your platform.

This migration guide is specially designed for B2B businesses, to factor in the complexities that come with the B2B buying process and therefore with B2B e-commerce.

With the Right E-commerce Platform, You can achieve:

- Better Customer Experience
- Higher Mobile Traffic
- Better Scalability, Integration, & Customization
- Reduced Operational Costs
- Better Control & Improved Reporting
- Wider Variety of Payment Methods
- Stronger Security

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