Migrate to BigCommerce: essential steps guide to make it successfulby Jesús Maceira, September 29, 2022
Do you want to migrate to BigCommerce?
Any change in the ecommerce platform can represent a crucial step for the growth of your business and the expansion of the brand.
Without hesitation, there are many ecommerce platforms to consider, but if you have already made the decision to go to BigCommerce, then this article can be useful.
What is BigCommerce?
With clients ranging from startups to mid-markets to large-scale companies such as: Toyota, Martha Stewart, and Ben and Jerry's, BigCommerce has become a global commerce platform helping retailers generate millions of dollars year.
BigCommerce is a hosted eCommerce solution. Which allows business owners to set up an online store, customize it to their liking, and then sell an unlimited number of digital, physical, and even service-based products.
As long as you have access to a web browser and the Internet, you can create and manage your store from anywhere. BigCommerce does not require investing in any web hosting or installing a program on a computer to use it.
BigCommerce gives you the flexibility to build and grow your online stores. It has enterprise-grade functionality that is easy to use and can be customized to fit. Furthermore, it is a headless platform that can use any interface to create content-rich experiences.
Of course, there can be a natural learning curve to master many of the more advanced features of the platform. But an expert development team in e-commerce technologies can easily take on any customization task your business requires.
Who is using BigCommerce?
According to data from StoreLeads, there are currently 47,713 stores worldwide that are running the BigCommerce platform.
The platform has had a constant and linear growth, from quarter to quarter in recent years. Despite the inflationary difficulties of 2022, growth is expected to continue, even despite operating in a competitive market of large trading platforms.
According to the same report, most of the stores created in BigCommerce are located within the United States (65%), but they also have a strong presence in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
Breaking down the industry verticals that have their stores on BigCommerce, we can see that:
- 16.2% sell products for the home and garden.
- 15.2% clothing products.
- And 6.8% sell car and vehicle products.
From which platforms do businesses migrate to BigCommerce?
Well, the data consulted indicates that, in the last 90 days, online store owners have migrated from: Shopify, Custom Cart, WooCommerce and Magento. Among other platforms.
Migrate to BigCommerce, essential steps
The solution can help reduce the total cost of ownership of your ecommerce operation. That is not only limited to subscription and license fees, but also includes the cost and time related to setting up, supporting and maintaining your online store.
The two most common scenarios for merchants migrating their existing online stores tend to be:
- Change your hosting provider, but keep your existing domain name.
- Change both the hosting provider and the domain name.
Scenario 1: Change hosting provider.
There are a number of legitimate reasons to change your ecommerce hosting provider: your current solution could be prohibitively expensive, too slow, difficult to learn, or difficult to manage. You may not be satisfied with current uptime availability, the system may have security or privacy issues, or the overall setup may lack the features and functionality you need to help grow and run your business.
Many online merchants have found that making the switch from a self-hosted/on-premises setup to a cloud-based eCommerce solution like BigCommerce has made their ecommerce operations:
- Improve profitability
- Increase uptime (less downtime)
- Be easier to operate and manage
- Become more robust, agile with new features and functionality
Scenario 2: Change the domain name.
Changing the domain name of your business is an important decision. You should consider the effect on your rankings for search engines, such as Google, before making the change. However, you can take steps to help minimize the potential impact. You can check here for more information.
Some of the most common reasons to change your domain name include:
- Rebranding: A new domain name is needed to better identify with your company's brand.
- Acquisition/Association: Change the name of your business or company.
- Vanity: A shorter, searched or easier to remember domain name is made available.
- Specialization: You have an established informational site and are ready to expand into a "store". or "store". subdomain
In this scenario, it is possible to purchase a domain through BigCommerce or use any third-party registrar. Your BigCommerce store will work with anyone.
It is important to note that if you are only changing hosts but keeping the domain name, it is not necessary to change your domain name registrar (the website or service where you registered your domain name). The domain name can be used with any web hosting service, regardless of where it is registered.
If you originally registered the domain name with another eCommerce provider, you can still use it with BigCommerce without having to purchase a new one or initiate a transfer.
Before migrating to BigCommerce
Changing your domain name or moving your store from one host to another can have a significant impact on your rankings. Both scenarios present unique challenges and potential problems. However, with solid preparation and following best practices when making these types of changes, you can help mitigate or even neutralize the negative effects.
These are the essential steps you must follow to neutralize the risks.
1. Create a plan.
For an established online business, moving your store can be a daunting task. It is important to recognize that this is not a quick process. You can help make it more predictable and efficient by creating a clear migration schedule.
Consider the amount of time it will take to develop the new site, transfer data, do extensive testing, and finally bring the new store to market. Documenting the steps as you move through the migration will help you track progress and spot issues should they arise.
2. Confirm the requirements.
Before going too far in the process. You must ensure that the proposed new host has all the requirements and functionality that your ecommerce operation needs. Can the new store do everything the old one already does? Will you require any additional third-party software to perform the same tasks? Does your business have any special or unusual needs? These are just a few questions to guide you.
Create a simple working model on the platform. As a test store, to test any functionality or design shortcomings. Review the available documentation and the support offered to anticipate any problems or questions that may arise later. Asking lots of questions and doing your due diligence before committing can prevent a lot of potential headaches down the line.
3. Back up everything.
This may seem obvious. But it is the most important protection you can do in the migration process. Back up as much of your order, customer, product, and website content data as possible before making any major changes to your existing site. Many ecommerce platforms allow you to export this information to a file or database.
Making the move to BigCommerce
The essentials checklist
To make sure your store is ready to receive orders, you must:
- Check the categories of your products
- Select and configure your payment gateway
- Configure shipping settings
- Prepare tax adjustments
- Buy an SSL certificate (or bring an existing one)
- Test checkout, shipping, tax, and payment settings
Find more information on how to launch in a store on BigCommerce by checking out this official guide.
When switching from one web host to another, you'll want to have the old site available for as long as possible to minimize potential downtime for the switch.
You will be able to develop and configure your BigCommerce store in the background while the current store continues to function. When you're ready, you can change your domain's nameservers to start directing visitors to your new BigCommerce store.
Here are some actions you can take to help minimize traffic loss after executing the change:
- Sign up and verify both your old and new domains in Google Search Console.
- Create a 404 error page for the old site to inform and encourage visitors to visit the new site.
- Get a list of URLs from the existing site and create 301 redirects for each, to ensure that every URL on the old site has a mapped URL on the new site.
- Submit the old sitemap to Google and Bing so they can index the new redirects.
- Use the "Change of address" tool in Google Search Console.
- Contact Bing Support for additional help with domain changes in Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Submit the new sitemap.
Promote your new store
After testing and verifying that everything works correctly, it's time for marketing. Especially if you have a shopping season like Black Friday. To boost your store you can: Send emails to your existing customers, advertise on social media channels and write a blog post, telling the good news of the change in the store.
This is also the perfect time to offer an incentive to visit and stimulate purchases: like a discount offer, a gift certificate or a shipping promotion.
Now is your turn.
BigCommerce is ideal for store owners looking for a complete and powerful eCommerce platform. To help sell many products and enjoy many resulting profits.
With the right service and support team, able to accompany you through the challenges and the complete arsenal of tools that the platform has, surely, the next level of your business will be full of immense satisfaction.