eCommerce

Still on Magento 1? Time to Consider a Full-Service eCommerce Solution

If you’re running your eCommerce site on Magento 1, you’re most likely aware that the company set an end-of-life date of November, 2018, for this older version of its platform. No new features or security patches will be added after this date. Consequently, Magento is pushing current users to upgrade to Magento 2.

Replatforming can be a huge headache, especially if your eCommerce business requires custom core features, utilizes myriad extensions, and needs to accommodate expansive inventory and fulfillment networks. You might be thinking of ways to work around the Magento 1 sunset or hoping for an easy transition to Magento 2.

If you run a small to medium-sized eCommerce store, simply moving over to Magento 2 might indeed be the least disruptive route to take. But if you think your business will scale up significantly in the near future, now is an excellent time to consider replatforming to a enterprise-level platform that can integrate your online presence, digital marketing, inventory management, logistics, and last-mile fulfillment under a single, full-service solution.

Here are some important factors to consider when deciding how to respond to the Magento 1 sunset.

Security: Sites built on Magento 1 will still operate after the termination date, but they won’t be guarded with the most up-to-date security measures. In essence, you’re putting your site at increased risk of getting hacked.

Specifically, PHP 5 updates and support will be deserted one month after Magento 1’s end of life, which means you shouldn’t expect new security patches from the service.

A good developer could work with your web host to speed up your site and improve security by upgrading to PHP 7, but this is labor intensive and doesn’t guarantee your extensions will operate smoothly or at all. What’s more, if you’re working off your own hosting server, you’re at even greater risk because if there’s a single security breach on the front end, the back end is wide open.

It’s critical to protect your customers’ data, no matter what platform you choose. The security risk of staying on Magento is reason enough to consider moving to a new solution.

Performance: Magento 1 users have consistently complained about the platform’s slowness. Less-than-optimal loading times are seen on both the front end by website visitors as well as on the backend by admin users. The reasons for this latency are varied, but they are often related to using third-party extensions that can slow down the site, not having the right server and system requirements, and not properly optimizing the caching system.

Some eCommerce brands that have switched away from Magento 1 have experienced page loads that are 30 to 50 percent faster. That is a huge improvement that will translate into actual revenue gains.

Quicker page loads allow more orders to be processed every hour, enabling faster add-to-cart times and lower abandoned-cart rates. A faster website ultimately results in higher revenue because users aren’t left frustrated by the process of browsing and checking out.

Outdated Backend: The first version of Magento was introduced back in 2008, and its age is showing. The wishlist of improvements for the platform’s backend is long: A cleaner and less cluttered admin interface. Better organized menus so tweaking the site’s functionality is quicker and easier, and requires less of a learning curve. Easy, at-a-glance dashboards and improved filtering so finding exactly the data you need isn’t such a chore. The ability to customize what attributes are shown without engaging a web developer.

Lastly, Magento 1 users have long griped about the “very basic” reporting tools that are available on the platform. With so much of your business success hinging on the insights that you can glean from your customers’ behavior, this is one glaring shortfall of the aging platform.

Site features: Another factor to consider is how well your features will function and how easily you’ll be able to innovate after the Magento 1 sunset.

Given the transition, Magento developers are shifting their focus towards Magento 2, effectively killing new extensions and connectors built for the earlier version. This means you’ll need to hire a developer to add new features or make custom alterations to your site, which is much more expensive than purchasing mass market packages.

Staying on Magento 1 is like listening to music on a CD player in the age of digital streaming and cloud storage. You’ll still have your tunes but you’ll have to keep your CD holder, walkman, stereo equipment and be careful not to scratch the discs to rock out.

As an enterprise eCommerce company poised for growth, staying on Magento 1 isn’t a smart option.

It may be time to re-platform

While it might initially seem like moving to Magento 2 from Magento 1 would be the easiest way to avoid the headaches of a major replatform, it may not be the best decision for your eCommerce business.

First off, shifting to Magento 2 isn’t a straightforward update, it’s a full-fledged replatform. You’ll have to migrate data, adopt a new theme, and buy and integrate new extensions. What’s more, many Magento 1 extensions aren’t offered on Magento 2, so you’ll have to hire a developer to customize site functionality for things like personalized sales tax quotes at checkout and custom product filtering options. In other words, don’t expect a simple plug-and-play transition process.

If you are going to stick with Magento, you’ll still be responsible for your own web hosting, security maintenance, and other backend site management associated with Magento’s open source nature.

Although Magento offers flexibility, customization requires hiring experienced developers that get paid by billable hours, which can get expensive fast.

Despite their growing popularity, plug-and-play SaaS service providers like Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce have their limitations as well. While these platforms can work for eCommerce brands with simple product and service offerings, they can become cumbersome and limiting for mid-to-large sized digital commerce companies selling across international markets.

Many growing enterprise eCommerce businesses are turning to full-service eCommerce partners such as Scalefast to navigate the hurdles of running a large-scale online store. A full service partner can help by not only developing and managing your site, but also by bringing operations such as shipping, inventory management, and last-mile fulfillment under one roof.

Benefits of working with a full-service ecommerce platform

Let’s face it, digital commerce requires a lot of moving parts, many of which are outside the wheelhouse of your core business. This includes logistics, regulatory compliance, inventory management, site development and maintenance, payment processing, payment gateways and more.

As a full service eCommerce provider, Scalefast takes responsibility for your entire eCommerce operation from nuts to bolts so you can focus on your core business, optimize marketing strategies and drive sales.

Reduce infrastructure risk: The physical infrastructure necessary to provide your customers with a seamless eCommerce experience can be a liability and prohibit rapid growth.

If you own or lease warehouse space, pay staff for inventory management and control your own transportation network, you are both limited by your in-house size and risk having to maintain a high overhead if business slows down.

Scalefast manages an international network of storage facilities, and has dedicated staff to handle orders and fulfillment, giving you the flexibility you need to grow your business as necessary. Our enterprise eCommerce platform comes integrated with third-party logistics companies operating around the globe. We can also connect to any 3PL or custom logistics system of your choice.

Scaling your eCommerce operation is also a cinch with Scalefast. Our platform can handle more than 700,000 orders per hour with peak demand at 200 orders per second. With Scalefast, your online store is also secured by a multi-redundant, access-restricted backend that is monitored around the clock by mobilized personnel. Our load-balanced, virtualized servers are serviced by an uninterruptible power supply, fail-over procedures, daily backup, vulnerability scans, and other security measures that are PCI-DSS compliant.

Our unique revenue share model also ensures that your business growth is our top priority because it aligns our fee structure with your success. The more revenue your store generates, the more we earn as well. Consequently, we help you watch expenses very closely and won’t surprise you with unnecessary and costly web development.

Customize user experience: Scalefast offers seamless multi-channel user experiences, which allows you to meet your customers on mobile, on desk, or in-store. We also ensure integration with marketing strategies such as social media marketing, affiliate marketing and email marketing.

What’s more, we can help you set up subscription services and rewards programs to build consumer loyalty and increase customer retention.

Our team is also ready to provide customized web development and a personalized roadmap for future feature releases, allowing you to avoid the additional cost and effort of working with a separate web design and development agency. As a result, you can expect fast development turnaround and predictable pricing.

Capitalize on dynamic growth potential: Scalefast’s vast network can save you money on things like credit card processing and help you expand into new markets. By handing regulatory compliance, security, country specific channels and related payment processing as well as inventory management and logistics, we make it easy to grow your business across borders. Our platform supports 14 languages, operates across 240 countries, features more than 150 payment methods, and integrates more than 100 currencies.

It can be daunting to replatform, but picking the right service provider is essential to your long term business success. Full service eCommerce partners not only smooth out the kinks of replatforming, but literally position your business to meet your revenue goals. Reach out today to learn more about how Scalefast can help you replatform from Magento to a more dynamic and efficient eCommerce solution.

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