The Complete Guide to E-commerce Site Migration (2023)


E-commerce site migration is a complex and often risky process, but it may be unavoidable to meet the evolving needs of a brand or merchant. According to Deloitte’s 2022 Retail Industry Outlook report, 67% of respondents identified e-commerce platforms as an investment priority due to issues with outdated platforms. And another Digital Commerce 360 survey found that 18% of the 93 retailers surveyed and 61% of B2B e-commerce sellers actively want to migrate platforms during 2023.

Most e-commerce site owners want to improve their user experience, increase revenue and keep up with ever-changing technology trends. However, migrating to a new e-commerce site (CSM) can often result in major business disruptions, configuration errors, security issues, and many other challenges.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential steps of migrating your e-commerce site, helping you avoid common pitfalls and make your transition a success with confidence. To do so, we have gathered the advice of three agencies specialized in a specific platform: The OZ (Shopify), Dn’D (Magento), and finally Evolutive (Prestashop).

The current migration context: What to expect

The e-commerce market is evolving so fast and so cyclically that migrating your e-commerce site remains one of the best solutions to adapt to changing customer needs and new technologies. Yann Costes, sales and communication director at Evolutive, explains in this context that he observes migratory movements between technologies often motivated by a change in strategy or slow innovation. There would be waves of migration when a known player decides to move to another technology, bringing an army of followers in its wake.

Axel Léauté, e-commerce offer manager at Dn’D, emphasizes that merchants are looking to develop their new platforms by including the latest market trends. She mentions, in particular, the personalization of the customer experience, the consideration of environmental issues, and omnichannelity. Headless solutions are also growing rapidly, which explains why more and more merchants are turning to Adobe Commerce (Magento).

Rémi d’Espouy, VP Sales at The Oz, agrees with this market trend analysis but highlights Shopify’s role in this migration dynamic. Shopify offers major functionalities such as the simplification of payment with Shop Pay or the ease of access to internationalization with Markets, a must for every brand today. According to his experience, brands that want to migrate their e-commerce site to Shopify are looking for an agile solution to support their growth, get rid of technical debts, and leave behind time-consuming technical tasks.

The benefits of e-commerce site migration

While replatforming can be a tedious and complex task for the merchant, the benefits can be well worth it. As Axel Léauté explains, a migration allows to review the history of the platform and processes, to take stock, to set new digital objectives for the years to come, to question some historical solutions within the company, and to study a replacement or a renewal of them.

For Yann Costes, the advantages of migration are to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, to benefit from new modules and offers, and to maintain security. He also emphasizes the Open Source approach. A migration to Prestashop would allow for example to benefit from the richness and variety of solutions offered by the community and integrated partners.

If there is a migration, then according to Rémi d’Espouy it is necessary to invest in a powerful and scalable (!) SAAS platform with a system of themes and applications that makes it agile. The advantages: avoid certain technical problems and focus on online business issues.

Tips to consider when replatforming

As soon as a merchant or a brand is confronted with a migration of its e-commerce site, questions appear: Where to start? What advice should be followed? What steps should be taken?

Rémi d’Espouy answers these questions and recommends above all defining the stake and the objectives of the migration project. He advises writing a set of specifications for the solution and the partners envisaged in order to obtain a global vision of the project and to determine all the specificities of the site and its ecosystem.

The importance of being accompanied by an expert team that can advise solutions while taking into account the context of the merchant is highlighted by Axel Léauté. According to him, it is also important to make sure that the objectives are well-defined and that there are ways to monitor them with factual data (KPI). Particular attention must be paid to the natural referencing of the platform with a solid SEO strategy (often taken into account much too late in the project!).

Yann Costes lists three essential points to take into consideration during a migration.

  • Surround yourself well and therefore ensure that partners can follow in the migration, make a clear RACI, and put everyone around the table to identify the risks/difficulties and get advice and recommendations.
  • Prepare the ground and thus identify all the actors who revolve around its e-commerce platform, and prepare the functional scope of the migration.
  • Take the time to think about what to migrate or not and where to store the data. Sort out the data to avoid migrating useless data (ask yourself if ALL the data is good to recover or not).

Finally, it is important to fully exploit this replatforming opportunity by studying the different business opportunities that migration brings: new sales channels, modern user experience, consumer expectations taken into consideration. It is also important not to hesitate to let go of partners who cannot keep up or meet the needs to migrate to the new platform.

Migrating your CMS as a Lengow client: what to do?

Lengow works with all major e-commerce sites like Magento, Prestashop, Shopify, Shopware, Woocommerce, Big Commerce, Salesforce CC, etc.

If you are using Lengow to manage your product feeds and are planning to migrate to a new CMS, it is important to check if the change will result in a change of the catalog format. In case the catalog column headings remain the same, you can easily install the Lengow module on the new e-commerce site and replace the catalog for each feed. In this case, no additional action is required on your feeds, as the column headings are unchanged and their configuration remains the same.

However, if the catalog format changes, you will have to reconfigure your feeds entirely. In this case, we recommend that you keep the old e-commerce site with its old catalogs, feeds and parameters throughout the migration. This will allow you to perform the migration smoothly based on the old configuration and keep your feeds fed.

To manage orders during the migration, you just have to deactivate the old feed and activate the new one. Since your store’s API key does not change, it will import orders in the same way as the feed ID, which will be sent to the new catalog. The orders are automatically imported on the last five days, but we advise you to avoid importing orders potentially already processed in the old CMS by setting their synchronization to 1 day only when executing the switch.

More details about this in the Lengow Help Center.

Contact a Lengow expert!

FAQ about the e-commerce site migration

Why migrate your e-commerce site?

Réponse : Migrating your e-commerce site may be necessary for several reasons. For example, if your current site no longer meets your business needs in terms of functionality, processing capacity or security, a migration to a new platform may be necessary. Additionally, if you want to improve the user experience, increase your conversion rate, or simplify the management of your site, a migration may also be a solution.


Which e-commerce platform to choose for a migration (Shopify, Prestashop, Magento, etc.)?

Réponse : The choice of e-commerce platform will depend on your specific needs. Shopify is an easy-to-use platform with built-in features for managing your online store. Prestashop is also a popular option, offering great flexibility and a wide choice of themes and modules. Magento is a more complex solution, but with great flexibility and power for brands. It’s important to do a comparison of features, costs, and technical requirements before choosing the best platform for your needs.


What are the benefits of replatforming?

Réponse : Replatforming can provide many benefits, including improved user experience, better inventory and order management, greater flexibility for customizing your online store, enhanced security, and improved site speed and performance. In addition, migrating to a new platform can help you reduce operating costs and focus on your core business, rather than on the technical management of your e-commerce site.

Adrian Gmelch

Adrian Gmelch is a tech and e-commerce enthusiast. He initially worked for an international PR agency in Paris for large tech companies before joining Lengow's international field marketing & content team.

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