Moving to Magento 2 Soon? Questions to Ask Yourself First


If your ecommerce store is on Magento 1, and you’re wanting to migrate soon, you need to be strategic in your planning. We’ve asked our partners, Magento ecommerce experts, JH, for their insight.

This is their first post in this series, focusing on what you need to consider when making the choice of whether now’s the right time to migrate. Next time, they’ll be discussing what to consider when you’ve decided to take the plunge, and what you can expect throughout the migration process.

What do you need to consider when deciding to migrate? Quite simply, everything.

You need to think about every area of your business, where it’s at now and where it’s heading. Migration isn’t something that happens on the sidelines to this, it needs to be firmly aligned with your business goals and objectives. The most successful migrations can be the result of new branding, of new KPIs being established and strategy planned for, and an integral part of taking your business to the next level.

The problems with older platforms

Year on year, customers expect smarter shopping experiences; ones that are fast, secure, and tailored meticulously to them. And being on an older platform means you’ll be constantly striving to stretch its capabilities to match the newer technologies – an approach that proves short-sighted in the long run. Continuously manipulating older technologies to be more like their newer versions is:

  • Time-consuming
  • Costly, due to your Developer’s time
  • Less effective and polished for the user

The speed-to-market and costs of a platform upgrade varies depending on the project itself. And there’s lots to consider. But upgrading to Magento 2 is the way to future-proof your business, so that it can grow without limits.

Ask yourself:

  • What should be changed? (e.g. page structure, content, etc.)
  • What new things would I want to implement that would make a difference to my customers?
  • What other changes to the business will I make at the same time? (e.g. new branding)

Magento 2 for improved customer experience

Magento 2 was designed with performance in mind, and as a result, bounce rate is reduced and conversions soar. Page loads on Magento 2 are up to 50% faster, and its improved functionality means it can handle much more traffic too. It’s easier for customers to search too, quicker for them to find the product they’re looking for, a vital part of the journey, and one which, when done wrong, can lead to unnecessary cart abandonment.

Customer experience is also hugely improved by the streamlined checkout, and merchant experience by the administration functions and tools that were notably lacking in Magento 1. Mobile browsing enhancements are far improved, and with over 50% of consumer browsing taking place on mobile devices, this reflects Magento’s diligence to keep up with what the market needs.

When should I migrate?

So, Magento 2 is a superior platform, but when really depends on you and your business goals. You don’t have to migrate. But doing so will, without any doubt, take your business to the next level. So, it’s not about knee jerk reactions here, but carefully planned strategy aligned with your most fundamental KPIs.

How smooth or painful will the process be? This depends on your agency, or the strength of your internal team. You need Magento expertise.

Ask yourself:

  • Who will be dedicated to the upgrade internally?
  • Which external agencies and partners will we use?
  • Do we have Magento Certified Developers to work on this project?
  • Does everyone involved have the necessary skills and leadership qualities?

Here are three things I’d advise merchants to consider when they’re thinking of migrating to Magento 2:

  • Are there new business requirements that can be investigated at the same time as the upgrade to Magento 2? 
  • Have you reviewed the full Magento 2 feature set, and seen how it will impact your day to day?
  • Remember that it’s a far faster system – this speed has multiple benefits, and will impact positively. How will your customers benefit? How will this improve conversion?
Tom Jenkins, Ecommerce Solutions Specialist at JH

We moved our client The Essential One from Magento 1 to Magento 2, for better user experience, scalability and flexibility.

What impact will Magento 2 have on my business?

The big question for sure. Let’s start with a bitesize review of Magento 1. It’s an awesome platform, which is why, even before the release of Magento 2, Magento help around 14% of the market share (it’s now on 16%, but that’s set to increase with the enticing features of 2.2 becoming recognized, and especially their pull for B2B merchants).

Magento’s flexibility is what sets the platform apart from all others, and did so right from its infancy. Flexibility and scalability were the defining features from the off, and so for businesses with ambition, opting for Magento seemed to just make sense.

However, Magento 1, in its early editions in particular, wasn’t without its critics. And criticisms included that it sometimes would run slow (its core speed was indeed slow, we found ways to make it faster), and that it missed certain tools if just taken “out of the box”, and so third party companies were always needed, for example, for admin tools.

So, Magento, in 2015, released a better edition – Magento 2. And, is it worth it? In short, yes. But, it’s important to come up with a migration plan detailing how and when certain actions will be performed as part of the process. This strategic planning phase, roadmapping what needs to happen and when, and costing up the project, is something we help each and every client with from the outset.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my current KPIs?
  • What does my data tell me about where my site fails?
  • How would a migration impact this data?

We’ve written extensively on our blog about the features of Magento 2 that bring big results to merchants, both B2B and B2C, and we outlined many in our last post for Brightpearl too.

What’s my favorite M2 feature?

I really like Magento Business Intelligence. It’s really pretty too! We’ve had all this data before, you know it’s there, but you just can’t get to it. Or we 

couldn’t see it in the way that we wanted. Now we can see exactly what customers are doing, and the patterns involved, and where people are dropping off, if they’re dropping off, and why. It’s also great to show merchants when they’re achieving a 600 percent increase in sales.

Rebecca Brocton, Ecommerce Solutions Specialist at JH

What now?

Our next post will focus on what to expect throughout the migration process. But in the meantime, if you feel the time is right for your Magento 2 migration, you need to talk to a specialist ecommerce agency that’s recognized for just that. If you want to find out more about what we do here at JH, and the clients we’ve helped grow, take a look at our website, and get in touch.

And if you’re looking for even more Magento advice, check out this free guide!