Are you considering migrating your current WooCommerce site to BigCommerce? It makes sense, as your business grows, you will need quality, stability and a scalable platform. Besides reducing stress, this migration will free up your time, allowing you and your team to focus on marketing activities.
Companies that replatform to BigCommerce show positive revenue and conversions almost immediately.
When Henna Caravan made the switch to BigCommerce, they realized a 33% increase in revenue through SEO and a 2X industry average conversion rate, all within 2 weeks of launch.
After moving to BigCommerce, Awesome GTI increased YoY revenue more than 95%, saw conversion rates increase nearly 15%, and almost a 17% increase in AOV YoY.
Upon successful migration, you no longer have to worry about maintaining, de-bugging or patching your system. You’ll get all the support you need plus knowledge base and training videos.
This article is a short overview of the process of transferring your entire catalog from WooCommerce to BigCommerce.
The Differences Between WooCommerce and BigCommerce
Before we get started, let’s review the main difference between the two platforms. WooCommerce is self-hosted, and BigCommerce is a cloud-based hosted solution.
There are some definitive trade-offs between the two. A hosted platform like BigCommerce provides a turnkey solution, is easy to use, and eliminates having to maintain the server or managing upgrades.
A self-hosted platform (WooCommerce) allows users more freedom to customize and change almost anything. However, it also requires more technical skills and a dedicated IT department due to constant updates and maintenance.
Here are some of their features for comparison.
WooCommerce is a self-managed system that works only with WordPress to create customized online stores. Although it is free, you’ll need to purchase various extensions and plug-ins to get all the functionality that an eCommerce store requires. You’ll also pay extra for hosting.
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin, allowing you to integrate many apps into your website. It is one of the most flexible eCommerce solutions out there. Unfortunately, with the variety of apps and plugins comes the difficulty of getting them to all work in unison. This usually requires an experienced developer on a regular basis to maintain everything.
The hidden expenses of WooCommerce are the ongoing development costs and the premium apps.
Bigcommerce is a dedicated, cloud-based, hosted platform. It has all of the necessary functionality built-in and ready to use. Their primary advantage is they have marketing technology, development and IT staff in one place.
It is a paid platform with three separately priced tiers of service with the lowest plan starting at $29.95 per month. Your monthly fee covers hosting on a secure web platform with HTTPS and Level-1 PCI-compliance. It comes with all the necessary tools built in to run and manage an ecommerce store including enterprise-level businesses.
BigCommerce is compatible with any website. Although there are fewer third-party apps than WooCommerce, the app store has everything you need to customize any size store.
Before migrating, choose one of their ready-made themes. They are mobile-optimized and developed expressly for rapidly expanding ecommerce businesses.
If you’re interested in a more detailed head to head comparison, go to financesonline.com.
Preparing for The Migration
Are you keeping the domain name? Most companies keep the name because it already has brand recognition and page rank. You’ll lose both if you change it.
Sometimes, a domain name change is unavoidable due to:
- Rebranding, a new acquisition or partnership
- To make it recognizable and easy to remember
- A specialty store requiring a new identity and a subdomain
You can choose to register your domain name through BigCommerce or use any third-party registrar. If you are keeping your existing domain name, it will work on BigCommerce. There is no need to re-register or purchase a new one.
Once you have the domain name, there are three steps to take before proceeding to the migration. They are:
- Make a Plan – Create a migration schedule that includes the time it will take to develop the new site, transfer all data, thoroughly test it before and after migration, and launch your new store. Be sure to document each step and track your progress as this can help you to troubleshoot later on.
- Back Up Your Files – Export your data or archive it to keep it safe. No matter how small the chance, you don’t want to lose order, customer, product data and website content should the unthinkable happen.
- Confirm Your New Host Meets All Your Requirements – Before you change your store, confirm with BigCommerce that your new store will have the same or better functionality as the original. For example, the WooCommerce transfer app can only move product catalogs of 10,000 SKUs or less. Contact BigCommerce if you have a highly customized store with more SKUs.
They have the ability for you to set up a test using a working model. Before beginning the catalog migration, you want to ask as many questions as possible. Take advantage of BigCommerce’s documentation and tutorials to help you plan for a successful migration.
What to Expect During the Catalog Migration Process
BigCommerce has a variety of apps and tech support people to handle the details of migrating your catalog.
They have a 27-point migration checklist for you to follow that covers strategy, design, development, and post-launch.
Once you selected BigCommerce as the platform for your business, here is an overall checklist of what you’ll do to complete the migration.
- Compare the functionality of built-in vs. third-party applications.
- Determine and initiate integration redirects.
- Meet with all stakeholders and test the platform.
- Determine the data shopping cart migration service and launch migration.
- Redesign site, relaunch in beta and QA with stakeholders.
- Relaunch site publicly, and redirect URLs.
BigCommerce offers a Store Launch Guide providing a comprehensive map on getting your new store up and running.
Advice When Migrating to Big Commerce
Migrating from one platform to another takes commitment and planning. There are hundreds of details to consider and thousands of bits of data to manage. It is a daunting task, and you should consider using BigCommerce’s launch services to expedite the process. The launch is no time to go it alone.
Delegating the task of moving your catalog to experts, saves time and reduces errors. Use a certified elite BigCommerce partner to get your store online much faster.
Lastly, start promoting your new store by emailing your list and publicizing on your social media channels. It’s the perfect opportunity to offer grand opening discounts and promotions to drive new traffic and make new customers.