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Last week in #SellSmart, I outlined my migration to Bigcommerce and how I was able to resume sales within hours. Using several different tactics, I was able to minimize any potential issues and actually increase conversion rates. Here are a few of my dos and don’ts for any store switching ecommerce platforms (and don’t forget to get your ecommerce RFP fully prepared).
Don’t be afraid to start fresh
Based on the terms of service with my old platform, I would have needed to open a new Authorize.net account if I wanted to stay with that payment gateway on Bigcommerce. Since those reports had always caused a lot of headaches for my bookkeeper, I took the migration as an opportunity to consider new payment gateways. I ultimately decided to switch to PayPal Pro, which made life much easier since it centralized all our credit card and PayPal transactions.
The change also helped us cleanly close out accounting for the old store. But my bookkeeper did suggest I keep the old store active for a short period of time just in case there was any transactional information I needed to retrieve that might be omitted in a CSV export file. By this point, I had already taken the necessary step to set it to maintenance mode, which hid it from public view so I didn’t get any rogue sales coming in. I also removed all my branding and had them restore the demo URL. It was great to know we had that safety net.
Do double down on the things you love
One thing I decided to keep during my migration was MailChimp. I had backups of all my customer information and created a new list with custom order fields that corresponded to my store. I also figured out a way to make my email marketing even better with a new cloud connector app. Kevy ports my Bigcommerce customers and order details via API to MailChimp, as well as Salesforce. It has saved me hours of manual exports and imports, and helps me drive future traffic and conversions by working when I’m not. What’s more, Kevy lets me segment my customers on MailChimp by total spend and also by which product they purchased.
Don’t automatically pick the default
It’s hard to believe, but being able to easily feature customer reviews was new for me. After some research, I found that I had several options about how to let my customers share their experience with my products.
Bigcommerce has a great rating system built in to the platform. It sends the customer a friendly email several days after they’ve made the order, inviting them to rate the product 1 to 5 stars and add a comment. The comment section is a great place to source feedback you would have otherwise never received. But Bigcommerce also comes equipped with an option to replace the review system with a Disqus comment section. Depending on your industry, it may be more beneficial to let users interact and discuss your product before, during, and after they’ve converted. The other option I considered was YotPo. It lets the crowd vote reviews up and down, and provides a badge when a reviewer is verified, fostering a community of trust and transparency.
Ultimately I decided the stick with the standard customer review setting, but it was great to know I had multiple options. I recommend considering all your options so you feel confident with every feature you’re using.
Do host a digital grand opening
You don’t need a brick-and-mortar store to throw an opening party. Once I was done with all my initial store development, I tested everything to make sure it worked. When I was confident that I was ready to handle a crowd, I sent out an email announcing our grand re-opening sale and offering my customers 20% off to join the celebration. We cross-posted the sale to social media, where we also received really positive feedback on the new look and feel. The campaign was certainly a success—we had an impressive 6.41% conversion rate during our first day on Bigcommerce!
For all those considered making the switch, I hope these two posts have helped you plan a successful migration. Check back next week for tips on how to optimize your customer service channels to sell smart.
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