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Magento - Business Solution Partner

Migration from Magento 1

With the approach of ‘end of support’ for Magento 1 in June 2020, clients are increasingly asking us for our advice on replatforming from Magento 1, so we thought we’d share our thoughts on the subject.

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Back when the majority of M1 sites were launched on what was then known as Community (now called OpenSource on M2), these sites typically involved a simpler customer journey and fewer third party integrations (for example with ERPs), and budgets started from £10K - £15K.

Since then, the whole ecommerce environment has evolved - customer journeys are more complex, reflecting the demand for greater efficiency and differentiation in the marketplace. Likewise ERP adoption is more commonplace, in large part thanks to a diversified and more accessible offering across the market.

In line with this, the M2 platform has evolved to meet the demands of the sector, including a greater ability to cope with more complex requirements and integrations. It is based on a new framework and is a completely different platform to M1. It also offers improved performance and scalability better suited for multichannel selling environments.

As well as this, Magento 1’s 6-step checkout has been drastically improved with the introduction of M2’s 2-step and guest checkout.  Plus, PayPal Express Checkout comes with Magento 2 out of the box. Ecommerce site managers also benefit from an improved, touch-screen and user-friendly admin panel that offers key metrics in a dynamic new dashboard with a modern interface - perfect for monitoring day-to-day business activity. It’s also easy to navigate (irrespective of device) to make finding the information you need quick and easy.  All this helps you manage your store better than ever.

This trend of more complex, robust M2 builds that integrate with even more data, third party, web and cloud integrations means non-specialist agencies, who previously delivered the occasional site on M1, cannot offer M2 sites due to a lack of experience and capability.

Clients with higher online volumes understand that M2 is a vastly improved platform, is faster, and more secure as it’s easier to update with regularly released versions and patches. It can also support bespoke development and third party integration to improve their business processes.  For these reasons, M2 is a great opportunity to enhance your offering and increase revenue.

There is continued growth in M2 as Adobe look to integrate more of their own expertise and platforms, keeping Magento an exciting and relevant prospect for SMEs and particularly enterprise organisations.

The adoption of PWAs for Magento's front end will further widen this divide as larger businesses seek to add app-like features to their sites with a new front end.

Our experience of migrating Magento 1 sites has given us the following insights:

  1. Data migration - M1 to M2 is relatively simple due to its similar structure. 
  2. M2 module quality is usually higher than m1 - a good indicator is when third party vendors are using composer and (more rarely) Magento’s coding standards checker.
  3. Absolute now operate a whitelist of approved vendors based on our experience of building multiple M2 installations. We also operate a blacklist of vendors with poor support, obfuscated code and poor performance - this is critical if clients are to avoid costly ongoing maintenance costs.
  4. Better API ref integrations for M2 - simple integrations are straightforward to achieve with flat file exchange and mature modules.
  5. Better set of development tools for M2 are available which helps with deployment process and keeping the site more modular.
  6. Varnish cache in core is excellent - no more slow sites!
  7. Movement towards PWAs is promising; we think the technology will mature over the next 12 months, bringing faster, more secure sites with App like features. We are currently using React Native to develop non M2 web apps with a view to transferring this knowledge once Magento’s PWA studio is more commercially viable.

With all this insight, it’s worth remembering that as Magento 2 is a different platform from Magento 1, the migration from one to another should be considered as a rebuild.  Therefore the more edited code, modules and integrations your original store has will influence the work required for your M2 build

Shopify Partner Nottingham

Migration to Shopify

When considering whether to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2, it’s also important to consider whether M2 with all it’s new features is the right platform for you.  In general, we are finding businesses turning over less than £1m online are not willing to invest in replatforming to M2, with budgets starting at £20K for an off the shelf theme. For this scenario we find a sub £10K budget for a theme based Shopify site is more appealing.

Indeed, in a recent survey we undertook of over 200 M1 sites, roughly 40% stated they would not be moving to M2.

These M1 sites with their ‘conventional’ customer journeys and less complex integration requirements are tending to migrate towards Shopify, which as a SAAS platform, offers a more streamlined design & build process. Also because the platform is often based on cost per transaction, this favours sites with smaller sales volumes.

Next steps

When you approach an agency to undertake your Magento 1 migration, you will need to supply the following information:  

  1. Size of product catalogue i.e. number of SKUs.
  2. Sales volume per year and/or peak sales volume per month.
  3. Average order value.
  4. Number and nature of third party integrations (ERP, warehousing etc.).
  5. Are multiple storefronts / languages / currencies required.
  6. Is B2B functionality required (invoice on account, per customer pricing, quick order etc.).

We've put together a handy guide on providing this information.

The answers to these questions should enable the agency to recommend the right platform for you.

No matter which platform you identify to be the most suitable to migrate to, the take home message is that after June 2020 (when support ceases) you’ll have no option but to move from Magento 1 to keep your store safe and secure.  No further updates or features will be released by Magento, leaving your business and customers more exposed. Moreover, the opportunity to migrate can also be seen as an exciting opportunity to improve the digital offering of your business.

For a bespoke estimate for migrating your ecommerce website to Magento 2 or Shopify get in touch with us.

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