As an eCommerce retailer, you have to keep up with the fact that technology is changing rapidly. If you don’t pivot your business towards the emerging trends in the current digital shopping industry, you will face the risks to your website. It can decrease site speed, lack essential features or even limited functionalities. Therefore, cart to cart migration which is more powerful is the best practice for staying on top of the new trends.

Re-platforming is a landmark decision. You surely need to look at a suitable time to migrate, the most effective methods, how to maintain SEO ranking and storefront related issues. This article will help you with what to consider before migrating your store from one platform to another.

It might be a good time to change! Let’s get started!

When is it time for a cart to cart migration?

Cart to cart migration is a process that allows you to migrate data from one eCommerce platform to another manually or automatically. This data transfer involves products, customers, orders and so on.

Shopping cart migration is a way to increase the functionality that makes customers enjoy the experience in your store. In most cases, the goal is to improve the performance, capability or usability for your business. Whenever you re-platform, you will want to make an evaluation of your current system. For instance, it can be any integrations and the gaps between 2 websites. You should check whether you’re facing any of these problems. If yes, you are about to nail down a cart to cart migration.

  • An inadequate performance which can lead to poor customer experience, slowing them down and even preventing them from purchasing.
  • Site loading time must be less than two seconds. If your site cannot do that, those users tend to abandon the site.
  • Gaps in your existing system which is only a new platform can fill in. This will result in great improvement where you need them the most.
  • Poor admin panel means poor navigation which can slow your team down, ultimately result in less output and increased frustration.
  • Poor user experience can bring on customer disappointment. Ring a bell that always prioritizes the customer experience.

From there, you can make a comparison with your current store. This aims to find out what you want to improve and what will give you a competitive edge. Thus, you don’t have to unnecessarily spend time and put effort into re-platforming again in the near future.

Currently, there are two types of eCommerce platforms that every merchant may know which are open-source and hosted platforms. When you are planning to migrate, choosing the right eCommerce solution is obviously essential. It will make a great impact on your business profitability and stability.

Firstly, open-source platform is a Website builder that allows you to freely access, change and contribute the original source code. Thanks to the open-source nature, you can achieve endless modifications to the design or functionality of your store. However, it means you need to have the strong technical know-how to optimize your shop entirely.

Some of the prevalent open-source eCommerce platforms you can look upon are Magento, WooCommerce, Prestashop, Opencart, etc.

Cart to Cart: Opensource vs hosted platform
Opensource vs hosted platform

Whereas, hosted eCommerce platform can be the all-in-one shopping cart solution. It enables customers to create an online store without worrying about any infrastructure problems. We can also refer to hosted platforms as SaaS or web-based shopping cart. On the grounds that you can host them in the cloud by a third-party rather than on a single device. Without coding skills or technical expertise, users can build an online store very quickly. However, it lacks flexibility and customization due to the proprietary codebase. Therefore, your store’s customization might depend largely on third-party applications and plugins.

Shopify, BigCommerce or 3DCart are some of the hosted platforms you can measure up.

Up to now, there are between 12M to 24M eCommerce sites in the world. Store owners can either choose open-source or hosted shopping carts to start up their online business. You should make a thorough evaluation depending on your requirements and budget. Luckily, LitExtension has made a detailed comparison between two types of platforms. Moreover, for more information about and has also reviewed the top 6 eCommerce software (2020).  Check these out to discover yourself a suitable platform!

When to perform shopping cart migration?

You should consider the perfect time for shopping cart migration when planning. You definitely don’t want to affect your customer’s experience and website traffic in any way when performing the migration.

It will be better to transfer data when your site receives the lowest number of visitors. This period of time ensures that the migration will have the least negative impact on your business’s conversion and revenue. In case there is any problem that arises during the process, you can reduce it as much as possible. Or else, you can turn on maintenance mode to make sure there is no interruption while migrating your data. However, you cannot receive any new order.

Traffic typically drops during the weekends and rises in the middle of the week. However, this may vary depending on your products or services. Consciously, you had better review your analytical reports to have final words on the best time to perform the migration.

Flawless migration with hassle-free methods

As you may know, there are 3 options to perform a shopping cart migration:

1. Manual migration

Naturally, if you have decent coding abilities and technological skills, you can do the cart to cart migration by yourself. Especially, with this method, all your data is well-secured and you do not need to pay money for your migration.

However, you can only apply manual migration to small businesses that have a limited number of products and customers only. In some cases, your store hangs by a thread as you can drop your database when the process is taking place. Fortunately, if you have a small number of entities, it will require less time to migrate and limit possible errors.

Mostly, the manual migration process involves exporting CSV files from your current cart and importing them to your target one. However, you can lose the data when exporting databases into CSV files, and entities may be located in the wrong folder after importing. Therefore, it is important to compare the CSV file structures and make necessary changes before importing them to the target site. It is to make sure the data is compatible and moved to the exact location.

To conclude, manual migration will be an ideal option if you are a tech-savvy and have a limited amount of entities. Keep in mind that, in some cases, you cannot export your data into CSV files due to its incompatibility.

2. Professional help

If your business switch contains a large amount of data and you want to smoothly transfer, you can hire a developer. This will help you re-platform your store quickly.

Cart to Cart Migration by a Developer
Cart to Cart Migration by a Developer

In fact, you are just paying a lot of money to make the cart to cart migration more quickly. The bad news is that hiring a freelance developer could cost you about $50-$80 an hour. But you still have to take heed of that as well.

Keep in mind that there is a high chance your developer doesn’t completely understand the data structure of both platforms. You will encounter unexpected errors at any time. Accordingly, you may need more than one developer to get the job done. Sadly, the more time a developer has to spend, the more money you have to pay.

3. Automated Migration Tool

Another way to carry out shopping cart migrations is by using automated migration tools. In this article, I will introduce the world’s leading shopping cart migration provider – LitExtension. Over 9 years of experience, we guarantee to satisfy all customers’ needs to perform the migration speedily, securely and accurately.

Our tool is completely automatic, and you can either do it on your own or hand it over to LitExtension team. Now, let’s find out why you should choose us for a cart to cart migration!

  • Security

We carry out the migration process on a dedicated server using SSL encryption to take care of your data. Accordingly, your store’s data is totally safe. Plus, we definitely don’t leak your data to third-parties or used for any other purposes. Only authorized LitExtension experts will be able to access your login details and none of which are stored after finishing.

If you don’t want to intervene with your information, using Database File will help you transfer your data. It will automatically move without asking for your source’s store access permission. Learn more on how to move your Database Files.

  • Pricing

The exact pricing depends on the number of entities and custom fields on the source store and the target one. Normally, LitExtension offers a very affordable price starting from $19 which can move up to 500 products, 500 customers and 500 orders. We will show you how to check the number of entities in your store.

In order to save time and decrease the manual effort of e-merchants, LitExtension has created the All-in-One Migration Package. A Personal Assistant will be in charge of your shopping cart migration project entirely. Our experts will take care of migration execution and regularly update you on the progress. All you have to do is to provide your Source store and Target store’s information. Plus, you can get priority assistance with no extra charge.

Check out LitExtension’s price estimation tool here to get your price. Migrating with LitExtension can save up to 88% of your budget compared to migrating with freelancers or developers. During your migration, we can assure 0% data loss with our advanced technology and excellent customer service team.

LitExtension offers you the chance to demo the service before kicking off the full migration. With our free demo, you can transfer a limited number of entities and get the results of the process yourself.

Can extensions/themes be migrated?

Up to now, Shopify and BigCommerce are some of the hosted platforms that do not support migrating themes or extensions. Those are from third-party applications or plugins that can’t move to the new platform.

Moreover, depending on the types of platform you’re using, you are incapable of migrating your current extensions and themes. In most cases, it is because of its incompatibility.

Otherwise, open-source nature offers users unlimited customization which is one of the biggest advantages when using this sort of platform. You can modify and write in the code of both plugins and themes in the same way as your current website. Luckily, you can migrate your current website’s theme to your new one. This gives you full control of your website appearance and ability to add specific features to suit your needs.

Luckily, with LitExtension, we can help you out! All you have to do is list out your apps on your source store and search for similar plugins/extensions in your target store. After that, LitExtension technical experts will customize our tools to transfer data from those apps to your new store.

How to maintain SEO ranking after migration?

Firstly, each eCommerce platform has a particular URL structure. When migrating data from one eCommerce system to another, you also need to update the URLs. This update on the new URLs needs to be in sync with the target site URL structure. Therefore, you won’t lose all the optimized URLs that you have been creating authenticity over years and don’t have to start again.

To prevent this from occurring, you should pick up a method that can maintain your website URL you’ve built ranking so far.

In fact, it’s essential to have a robust SEO strategy in place. One of the most common errors you could make is poor planning. Consequently, your site is facing the risk of traffic loss along with mess up on-page content. If search engines fail to index, your ranking position will take a long time to recover. Hence, the more effort you put in preparation and planning, the better outcome regarding SEO effects you’re going to achieve.

You will need to go through the process of mapping your current URLs to the new URL structure of your target shopping cart. Just make sure that they redirect correctly. While this method can be quite simple, it will become more complex with the number of URLs you’ve already had. After completing the redirect process, it will require you to upload the new “redirect map” to the new store. Plus, you also need to send it to Google for re-indexing.

Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about fixing your SEO URLs by hand. LitExtension has options like migrating SEO URLs and creating 301 redirects automatically to save your website ranking. During your transfer with us, you can select “Migrate Products and Categories SEO URLs” to move all the important SEO URLs. If you are still unsure about the process, you can find detailed instruction in this video.

Plus, here are some important note you should bear in mind:

  • SEO URLs migration is available for every eCommerce platform except Shopify;
  • 301 redirect is not available for OpenCart;
  • The plugin should be installed only to the target cart;
  • For additional information in your Password Migration, please contact us for further assistance.

Final words

To sum up, when your current platform doesn’t support you in sales performance, re-platforming your eCommerce website plays a substantial role in your work. However, cart to cart migration will be only valuable when it can bring a certain improvement to your business operation and output.

Trust LitExtension to give you a safe, secure checkout experience so that you can focus on what you do best which is to develop a great product for your own customers. We are having 4.8/5 stars with 264 reviews on Trustpilot at the time of writing. Moreover, we are also getting 96% of users happy with our service according to Financesonline. You can also look for our customers’ testimonial videos on YouTube!

LitExtension team is available 24/7 to help you in all cases, and you just need to Contact us!