Migrating From Magento: Why You Don’t Need To Sweat It


It’s hard to believe that the much anticipated Magento 1 “End Of Life” is already behind us. Amidst trying to keep their businesses alive during the challenges of a world pandemic, many retailers reprioritized their plans to migrate off of Magento 1.

But is it too late? The answer is a resounding no.


The Cost Of Not Migrating

About 62,384 live websites today have moved on to the new Magento 2 platform (as of 19th June 2020). That’s just over 30% of the 185,158 live websites currently still running on the Magento 1 platform. This means all of these businesses are at risk running on a platform that will have zero security support after June 30. First off, let us understand what this risk looks like:


No Security Updates

Magento has made it very clear that there will be no new security patches after the June 30th End Of Life date. This means that all websites running on the outdated Magento 1.x platforms will run the risk of getting hacked, leaving their platform vulnerable to server attacks, spam attacks, and the capture of private customer data. 


No Firmware Updates

With zero system updates, businesses will have to run on an outdated architecture with slow performance and a below-par UI experience, leading to reduced traffic, customers, sales, and so on. Needless to say, this will eventually hit their reputation.


Obsolete Extensions

The third-party extensions that you rely on a daily basis for critical e-commerce functionalities like content, pricing, checkout and payments might stop working without prior notice as there would be no more development for an outdated platform.


Fines & Loss Of Trust

Online businesses, especially in the e-commerce vertical, hold a lot of private data, which their customers trust them to keep safe. Any privacy breach due to outdated infrastructure leads to a direct hit on customer trust, leading to a lesser interest in the business and its offerings. Not to mention the hefty fines that could be accrued from the government due to privacy policies.

These are not effects that businesses will see immediately after the End Of Life date. Each of the risks listed above will creep in slowly over time, eating away at the business from different directions. After a point, the business will have time to do nothing but go on firefighting mode with half-measures that might or might not work. The only guarantee here is that when it all comes to a head, there will be an undeniable possibility of loss of reputation, and business.


Why Migrating To Magento 2 Is NOT Ideal

Yes, Magento 2 is definitely an improvement over Magento 1 in every aspect. It offers improved performance, scalability, security, and checkout experience. But does that mean Magento 2 is the best option for migration?

Here’s a fact — migrating to Magento 2 is NOT a simple upgrade process. It is essentially a complete re-platforming exercise, building the whole platform from the ground up. This means:

  1. the migration project will require a dedicated development team to set up functionalities and extensions.
  2. new themes and templates will have to be built from the ground up, since it is not possible to migrate these from Magento 1.
  3. some extensions used in Magento 1 will just outright disappear.
  4. there will be SEO and indexing complications that will have an immediate effect on website search performance.
  5. businesses can expect stability issues for at least the first few months after migration, due to the new and untested technologies Magento 2 relies on.


Re-platforming Is Risky Business

Companies will have to invest valuable time, resources and effort into what amounts to building an e-commerce platform as they had done the first time around. Brands will have to pause valuable business growth objectives, and customers will see a sudden dip in their experience with the brand — years of reputation and goodwill can take a sudden hit if this is not done right. This is why most businesses are hesitant to go about this process, even in the face of huge security risks.

What businesses need to ask themselves at this juncture is whether, given this fact, there are better solutions than Magento 2 in the market. Even though Magento 2 is definitely an improvement over Magento 1, it is just not the best e-commerce platform in the market today. And since businesses are looking at a painful re-platforming exercise down the barrel, they should evaluate whether there are better ways to approach this.

Rather than treating this as a problem, businesses have the unique opportunity to evaluate their business and the market. Some questions decision-makers can ask themselves are:

  • What are the pain-points I have with my current platform?
  • Have I analyzed every other platform in the market today?
  • What are some new technologies that I should be investing in today to future-proof the business?
  • What are my competitors doing?


Fabric’s Approach: Evolve, Don’t Re-platform

Gone are the days when you had to invest a lot of time and money to build and customize a new and better software platform (like Magento 2) from the ground up. This is the age of the cloud and microservices. What we are proposing is something that is much better than a painfully slow re-platforming exercise. Fabric believes in incremental digital transformation by prioritizing and attacking pain-points businesses face with various e-commerce functionalities. 

Your legacy e-commerce platform (in this case, Magento) is essentially a set of smaller systems like a Content Management System, a Product Information Management system, an Order Management System, a Checkout System, and so on, rigidly connected with each other. Fabric works with businesses and prioritizes these systems for transformation in a systematic approach.

The end goal is to systematically decouple each of these systems into independently functioning microservices that can be individually managed and updated with the latest technologies and features as and when required. This ensures that your legacy platform evolves into a modern headless commerce platform that is both flexible and scalable, with a much lesser cost of ownership.


Planning Your Evolution

Fabric believes in a phased approach to migration, where your customer’s journey with your brand remains consistent, and even enhanced, throughout the project duration. Our process for a platform evolution is based on fast, efficient and transparent principles, which are broken down 3 steps:

1. Rapid Assessment

This is the step where take stock of the status quo. Our team will closely work with your business over a few quick sessions to understand the various pain points, gaps, and opportunities that can enhance the platform.

2. Solution Roadmap Creation

Detailed rapid assessment reports are used to set performance enhancement goals and plan resources. Timelines and deliverables are set for evolution to a modern, headless commerce platform with the least amount of impact on the business.

3. Execution

Fabric will have the new platform from kick-off to go-live in 8 weeks or less.


Benefits of the Evolution Process

  1. Removes any risk by ensuring the customer’s journey can remain unchanged, or even enhanced, throughout.
  2. Transforms faster than in the case of a re-platforming exercise.
  3. Attacks pain points in a prioritized manner.
  4. Helps transition into a flexible microservices architecture.
  5. Lesser total cost of ownership.


Migrate Confidently With Fabric

Here at Fabric, we do not believe in re-platforming. We believe in systematic improvements that accumulate to build up one high-performing system of microservices that make up world class e-commerce experience.

The modular approach to platform evolution ensures that the customer’s journey with the e-commerce brand is enriched incrementally according to their expectations. It is a bold vision that every e-commerce business owner with a legacy platform should seriously consider.

Topics: Commerce
Mari Ström

Global strategy and field marketing @ fabric. Previously @ Suplari and Accenture.

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