Things we consider when helping you choose an agency for your migration
Too many times, projects fail because clients didn’t choose the right Solution Integrator. Every eCommerce business is different, not just in what they sell but also how they operate and run projects. Same for Agencies, not all are born equal in terms of the services they offer, what they know, do and how they do it.
Know better and let us help you find your perfect match for a successful migration.
It’s just a migration, right ?
Well..No! The only thing that can be migrated is the Data…. Everything else has to be done from scratch. This should be considered as a new build, and an opportunity to rectify issues and improve the things you like. You’ll need to budget properly and schedule the time and internal resources to handle the project.
Things to consider
Make sure your data is migratable, catalog, orders and customers should be easy, however, if you have any bespoke customised data sets, these will need further analysis. Take the opportunity to clean this data so you only take what’s needed. Don’t try to tackle everything at once. We recommend sticking with the same design and introducing incremental changes following the move so you can give design your full attention to improve user journeys and conversions.
MOSCOW your build! Consider what functionalities you want for the new site and then break it down into; Must haves, Should haves, Could haves and Would haves.
Choosing the right development partner
Unless you have the resources and skills internally, you're going to need to engage an external developer to assist with the project. This is the most important step a merchant can take on this journey. There are so many things that can go wrong and the costs can quickly escalate. Not only can a project take unnecessarily longer than it otherwise would have, but important mistakes can go unnoticed right up to the launch date, which can result in lost revenues and reputation, as well as having to repeat the painful process of having to select a new partner to ‘rescue’ your site. This involves a lengthy and costly audit process to check the current state of coding, and may involve ‘restarting the whole project from scratch’.
We recently engaged with a multi £M building supplies business based in the midlands servicing tens of thousands of customers across the UK, who went through 3 agencies over the course of their project, costing them lost time and revenue. Now this is an extreme case and there are always two sides to a story, but many merchants are not in the position to be able to afford the risk of having to change horses mid-race.
7 things we consider when helping you choose an agency for your migration
1. Understanding your business
Just like ourselves we only introduce technology partners that will take the time to understand your business ‘inside and out’. They will have a discovery process in place that will help them build out a picture of everything from Architecture, Persona’s, Design, Integrations, workflows etc, and should define the goals and vision of the project, outline the areas of business value and risk, provide specific technical and functional scope, set out a project timeline and budget and outline processes to help them engage and work effectively with you during the implementation phase.
Many times technology partners are selected based on price rather than experience. This is a false economy as experience is more important because seasoned experts will understand how technologies interact with existing systems and can provide a more realistic plan for your company. If you have any ‘mission critical’ technology such as ERP then make sure they have some experience with this. Ask for past references and call them. Also a good agency will have won or at least been nominated for awards during its existence.
We make sure the chemistry is good, and not just on a management level. During any project, there will be some amount of collaboration so it is important that you and your team feel able to speak with your technology partner freely. Your team and their team need to be on the same page. Also, we make sure that the company is able to communicate complex technology ideas and topics in a way that is easily understood by non-experts.
4. Partnership Mentality
Our tech partners will seek to understand how you intend to benefit as a business, and will work to make sure they’re working with you towards helping you to accomplish those goals. They will be doing that rather than just checking off a list of requirements. The partner should understand that, in order to “win”, you both need to benefit. For any integrated technology to work successfully, you need ongoing support from the partner, as well.
5. Long Term vs. Short Term
Ideally, you want to find someone that you can use as a long term technology partner, even if you don’t expect to need technology services in the foreseeable future. Why? Because you will almost inevitably need a technology partner again in the future. This can also benefit you on future projects as the company will already understand your business, will be able to better meet your needs, and be available for quick technology advice.
6. Services and Resources
It is important that your agency partner has a depth of resources and are able to offer a range of technology services. The ability to provide a broad range of services often means that they can help you find the best solution using the best technologies.
As your business grows and its technology stack expands the complexity of your integrations increases. Software support ensures that security patches are applied and your systems run efficiently with small bugs quickly fixed in order to maintain a good user experience. While extended support services are usually an optional addition to your partnership agreement, general warranties and implementation support should be included as a part of the basic project package, whenever applicable.