Your current e-commerce platform is too old to maintain. Maybe it lacks flexibility and keeps you from innovating. Surely, your competitors are able to react faster and turn your campaigns into ashes.
Just like searching for gold fortune in Sergio Leone’s blockbuster, migrations are risky projects. All internal and external processes and business-critical systems as well as the mindset of personnel are tied up to your eShop. As your e-commerce platform has most likely grown together with your business it can be notably hard to estimate cost and potential ROI.
At Adeo Web we’ve had several dozen migration projects: oXID to Magento 1, oXID to Magento 2, Magento 1 to Magento 2, Prestashop to Magento 1, 3dCart to Magento 2, etc. We’d like to share some best practice scenarios of mitigating risks and maximising ROI while migrating.
It’s not just a facelift
A facelift is often misunderstood as an easy way of migrating with lower-risk. However, this approach often ends up with poor return of investment. It happens for several reasons. First – alike features comparison. With a deep focus on mimicking features it’s easy to miss the opportunity to take advantage of new platform benefits.
This is why identifying a platform’s possibilities and finding out whether it is possible to shape your business process is an essential step. Deep analysis and a detailed pros & cons list will help to stay cost-effective and identify the most value generating processes. Instead on investing to “facelift”, it’s better to think about key priorities.
There are many task prioritisation techniques and each of them is unique. However when talking about business it’s better to talk in numbers. This is why it essential to get rid of “shoulds and coulds” and dive into a more quantitative method.
Methods like “MoSCoW” are ineffective for calculating the real value of each and every feature. When starting a backlog of requirements this method challenges business to compromise at an early stage and leads to lack of flexibility at the end of the project. This will definitely result in significant misalignment in scope between the delivery team and stakeholders. Moreover, the potential impact to budget and timescale is hardly measurable.
My advice is to trust numbers. I often use simple Value vs. Cost method in order to maximize value delivery on time: for a given release timeframe, we work on the most valuable items we can fit in the period. The main drawback of the method is that if we put all our trust in it we may end up with easy and low-cost features. Doesn’t sound that good, right? Here’s where user story mapping comes in…
As a project manager and a Scrum Master I always have the goal to get into conversations with the team, client, and end-users. There are always 3 main questions I need answers for:
- What the system should do?
- What value a feature has?
- Who the feature benefits?
This story mapping technique was created back in 2005 by Jeff Patton in the article “How you slice it”. The main idea that Jeff expressed was to identify valuable user outcomes for the system.
Story maps are perfect for collaborative workshops and often are the most effective way of creating a shared understanding of what needs to be done. Ability to change priorities dynamically and manage MMP, go-live versions and future backlog may also help to plan delivery.
“There’s always a risk
“Luck is not a factor. Hope is not a strategy”. You should always ask yourself:
- Does the new platform deliver any value with no customization?
- How easily I am able to adapt my business processes in the required way?
- How does the new platform make me more competitive?
When creating the MMP product, it’s always necessary to use as many out-of-the-box features as possible. Why? Because customization is a risky and expensive job. In order to minimize risk it’s better to look for the cheapest and easiest way of delivering value instead of just a feature.
It’s often forgotten that the value is not a feature itself. The value is all about the end customer’s behaviour which is hardly predictable in the majority of cases. So when a business is planning to launch a new website there’s always a lure to have as many features as possible. Sadly, it’s likely that in this scenario the budget will be consumed by delivering a fully-featured release but with empty pockets for future enhancements that could really make a difference.
The power of MMP
Earlier in this article I mentioned the concept of MMP – minimal marketable product. It’s the smallest unit of functionality with intrinsic market value. By going live with the lightest possible implementation you can really learn where and how to adapt and add the most value.
Of course, you’ll need to ensure that users won’t be disappointed. Even the smallest interruption may end in lost trust and lower revenue. So how to uncover those features? By user experience analysis. UX analysis will make sure that you are tackling the correct problem and synthesizing learnings and patterns to develop a point of view. With the help of your Google Analytics data, semi-structured interviews and surveys it’s easier to define the root cause. By collecting feedback through high-fidelity prototype testing sessions, cognitive walkthrough and heuristic evaluation we are less likely to make an expensive mistake and more likely to discover new opportunities.
I remember what Blondie said when talking with Tuco in “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly”:
“You may run the risks, my friend, but I do the cutting.”
Here’s my advice:
- Avoid fixed requirements
- Uncover features with the most business generating value
- Have a “what, for whom, why” answer to each and every feature
- Keep the balance with your budget and users
- Go-live as early as feasible
- Invest in UX and save later
Learn more about your platform migration to Magento 2 options by registering for a workshop with Adeo Web.
Interested in learning more? Check out our other blog posts!