What to Look for When Switching Out Ecommerce Systems

cloud computingIf you’re looking to make the switch to NetSuite eCommerce, or to any new eCommerce platform, you may be asking some questions.  Chief among them being:  “if I switch eCommerce systems, what are some of the migration challenges?”.

Switching ecommerce platforms is essentially no different than changing any software platform – except for one difference.  With ecommerce, your system is customer facing.  When anything is customer facing, we want to present ourselves very well.  Bugs and poor usability are not tolerated else we negatively impact revenue generation.

To answer this question broadly, the concerns about switching are first dependent on the capabilities of the old system.   For example, the old system may have a special data tracking capacity or a fulfillment process that is unique to you and will need to be migrated over.

Here are some specific areas to review:

  1. SEM and URLs – If a company has done a good job at using Search Engine Marketing (SEM), it’s possible that there will be several URLs scattered across the internet that are currently ranking highly in Google or other search engines.  In order to not disturb the rankings,  most are unwilling to touch the links.  When migrating, it is important to catalog these links  to make sure you don’t lose ranking.  In many cases, you can use the fact you are switching to reevaluate your SEM strategy and improve your rankings .
  2. Continuity programs – Some ecCommerce systems have built-in recurring billing for a product or service. These kinds of continuity programs must be maintained when using the new NetSuite ecommerce system so that the transition is seamless for the user.
  3. Account Names and Shopping Carts – When using the old system, it is inevitable that there will be account names and saved shopping carts. When making the switch to a NetSuite eEommerce world, it is important to make sure that all the data from the account and the shopping carts are transferred so that the customer experiences shopping the same way they did before – now with improvements.  This means that customers should still be able to log in with the username and password as well as access their saved shopping carts.  This sounds easy but can be technically demanding to migrate.
  4. Reviews and Ratings – Customers have written reviews on specific products which have produced good value to your selling system.  It’s important to continue using these ratings and to make sure they are not lost in the shuffle.
  5. Transactional Email Communications – Most eCommerce systems generate emails to customers about their orders.  NetSuite is no different.  It usually is easier to recraft the email using NetSuite tools versus trying to port the mail over.

When planning to migrate your eCommerce system, these are some of the areas to contemplate to get over to the new environment. The same goes with planning a switch to NetSuite eCommerce.  Each assessment needs to be worked out in order to migrate the data, test and activate.  See our article: “How To: NetSuite Implementations Demystified”.

Migrating an eCommerce system also means addressing the following general data structures:

  1. Product Master
  2. Customer Master
  3. Inventory Management
  4. Pricing Logic
  5. Payment Processor
  6. Customer Support
  7. Order History
  8. Related Descriptive Content

These structures are fundamental.  One of NetSuite’s great capacities  is that most of these structures are being used for internal operations and we truly can achieve a single version of the truth because of the inherent integration of NetSuite eCommerce to inventory management, CRM, and ERP.   When thinking about migrating to NetSuite’s eCommerce, we are effectively thinking about migrating our internal operations as well; and this may mean that we first work on the internal operation so that it is working well to make eCommerce activation relatively simple.

Are you planning an eCommerce migration?  If so, what concerns do you have?

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to set up a conversation.

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