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Preparing for your journey to Magento 2

By December 30, 2019 January 7th, 2020

Upgrading from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is a great digital investment that has been proven to improve conversion, reduce cart abandonment, increase customer lifetime value, and simplify product information management. After migrating to Magento 2 from Magento 1, most merchants’ revenue increases by 30 to 40 percent, largely due to improved checkout performance and other feature enhancements.

Support for Magento 1 is ending soon. That makes moving to Magento 2 more than just beneficial… it’s critical for uninterrupted operations, too.

However, the typical Magento 2 migration takes approximately 4 months to complete, depending on your specific implementation’s integrations and customizations. It’s important to make an in-depth plan to guide your progress and minimize unexpected costs and delays.

Here are some important considerations as you plan your Magento 2 upgrade project:

Treat the upgrade as a capital expense

Basic Magento 2 migrations take 4 months and cost roughly $40K. However, many organizations have customized their Magento 1 implementation and integrated it with other digital platforms, which increases the complexity of their Magento 2 upgrade project. Other organizations decide to use their Magento 2 upgrade as an opportunity to enhance functionality by adding new customizations and integrations.

With more complex upgrade projects taking as long as 9 months to complete with budgets in the hundreds of thousands, your Magento 2 investment should be treated as CapEx instead of OpEx.

Review your current theme

It’s time to replace your store’s Magento 1 theme and rebuild your store using an updated Magento 2 theme. Luma, Magento 2’s clean and flexible built-in theme can be customized according to your organization’s unique branding guidelines. Use your brand’s standard logo, colors, fonts, photos, and other visual elements to make Luma your own.

Adjust your store’s layout, navigation, and related features according to your customers’ needs and expectations. Remove or minimize elements that your customers don’t use or find confusing. Keep your checkout process lean to minimize cart abandonment. Align your product detail pages with the product information that your customers are most interested in. Offer product filter options that complement your customers’ search habits.

If there are unique features or properties that make your products stand out, design your store in a way that highlights those facets. Retain elements of your old website that your audience has shown appreciation for, and rectify design decisions that have been the target of customer criticism. If there are specific features that you’d like to see in your upgraded site, make sure your new theme can accommodate them. Allocate enough space in your design to display product recommendations, upsell and cross-sell items, and calls to action.

Review your extensions and custom code

Most extensions and custom code that you’ve deployed in Magento 1 will also work in Magento 2. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should migrate all those extensions and code to your new Magento 2 site.

You should list all the extensions and customizations that you’re using in Magento 1 and determine whether any of those elements can be replaced with new features baked into Magento 2. Some extensions might be outdated and not behave the way they used to (or might be negatively impacting performance), in which case you should replace them with modern equivalents. Only then should you decide to migrate an old extension or customization to Magento 2.

Review your third-party integrations

Magento integrates with numerous other business applications, including ERP and CRM platforms, inventory, warehouse, and logistics applications, accounting software, payment providers, social media, and B2B communication systems. Each integration extends the capabilities of your Magento implementation by allowing it to perform essential business functions without manual intervention by your team members.

Compile a list of applications and websites that your Magento 1 implementation integrates with, as well as other systems that you haven’t integrated yet, but would benefit from if you did. Specifically, identify various processes and workflows that require data to be shared between Magento and other information systems. Verify whether your existing integration platforms or prebuilt connectors are compatible with Magento 2 before you migrate to prevent any unwanted surprises.

Plan your data migration

Migrating and verifying your Magento data is time-intensive and mission-critical. You need to clean your Magento 1 database by removing unused attributes, fixing database linking and registry issues, and mapping attributes you wish to migrate. After you migrate customer, order, and product data, you need to set up a delta process to automatically identify and synchronize any changes that occur after the initial migration. Perform a final migration immediately before the site is officially launched.

You’ll be migrating four main types of data: customer data, product catalog data (product names, descriptions, categories, prices, images, etc.), CMS data, and order data. Be sure to verify the consistency of Magento 1 database tables and fields, track migration status, create log files, and verify each type of data. Your CMS data will require manual corrections to XML-based custom layouts before they’ll work in Magento 2.

Plan your site launch

After your migration is complete, perform final QA and testing. Ensure that your site loads and functions correctly in the latest version of every major browser on Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Linux. Also perform user acceptance testing to align site functionality with the expectations of your customers.

Coordinate closely with your technology partner and establish communication, monitoring, and response SOPs for launch day. You should receive frequent updates from your partner across all stages of the final rollout and be able to contact them at any time to discuss and resolve issues as soon as they’re identified.

Conclusion

An experienced technology partner is indispensable for any Magento 2 migration. From the creation of the initial upgrade plan to launch day and beyond, a competent and proactive technology provider guides your progress, eliminates potential roadblocks, and minimizes the impact of unforeseen challenges. To learn how Visionet can orchestrate a secure, efficient, and reliable Magento 2 migration for your organization, please contact a Visionet expert today.