As ecommerce businesses jostle for visibility in an increasingly crowded online space, one of the most obvious and fundamental ways to remain competitive is to ensure your website is match-fit. But what happens when your current platform becomes a stumbling block rather than a stepping stone to success? This is when you need to consider replatforming.

In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons why ecommerce businesses may need to replatform and look at the different types of ecommerce site migrations and platforms, offering insights into what you need to take into account when planning a site move and how to navigate the migration process smoothly.

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Table of contents

What is an ecommerce site migration?

Ecommerce migration (also known as replatforming) is the act of moving an online store from one platform to another. It typically involves transferring the following:

- Product data

- Images

- Blog posts

- Customer information

- Order history

- SEO elements such as product titles and meta data

Replatforming can often be a hugely complex and time-consuming process. So, as with any migration, the more time dedicated to planning, the less likely it is for a costly mistake to happen. Whilst any website migration is important to get right, for ecommerce migrations, the stakes are usually much higher as they are the primary route to market for the business involved. For a full list of site migrations (not just ecommerce), take a look at our guide The different types of website migrations.

Why ecommerce businesses replatform

Poor website performance

An ecommerce business may consider replatforming due to a loss in income caused by poor performance which could include:

- frequent downtime

- sluggish response at checkout

- products not loading first time / taking too long to load

Sadly, many ‘larger’ ecommerce platforms such as Magento fall foul of this, being slow to load for both website users and admin teams which can lead to lost sales and hundreds of admin hours wasted.

Current site isn’t scalable

Businesses may need to consider moving platforms as a result of poor scalability, e.g.:

- the current platform can’t support growing product offering

- limited inventory options

- site crashes when too many users are online

Businesses will often start selling online on smaller platforms such as WooCommerce or Shopify and then end up outgrowing their ecommerce set up as volumes increase and they have the opportunity to tap into new markets.

Gaps in your existing solution

Your existing ecommerce platform may have almost everything needed to run your business except a few key features that can make a significant impact on the success of your brand.

For instance, it may lack:

- important security features

- customisable user interfaces

- suitable shipping options (domestic and/or global)

- discount and offer management

- key integrations and apps (i.e. some platforms have advanced SEO integrations that can help with organic growth)

Types of ecommerce site migrations

Platform to platform

This migration involves moving your online store from its current platform to a different one with superior features or better integrations for your business needs. For example, this could include a switch between SaaS, monolithic, on-premise or cloud.

Monolith to headless

Rather than having one system that does everything, you have separate systems for the frontend (how your site looks) and the backend (how your site functions). This ultimately gives you more flexibility to use different apps and integrations for different parts of your online store.

However, when migrating from a monolith platform, it’s important to note that headless platforms are often Javascript-heavy which makes it difficult for search engines to crawl content. A way round this is ensure your site is rendered server side but this will potentially require a specialist development and SEO agency to ensure maximum crawlability.

Phased migration

Rather than transferring everything in one go, a phased migration involves moving from one platform to another in stages. This allows you to test and improve your new site gradually. However, it can make the entire process take longer and usually requires more detailed coordination between the old and new platforms.

Types of ecommerce platforms to consider


Meaning ‘Software as a Service’, this is a subscription-based software maintained by a third-party provider, enabling you to run your site without having to build your own infrastructure. For a monthly or annual fee, you can access all the features and tools you need to build and grow your website, such as payment processing, product catalogue, shopping basket, etc., however you won’t actually own the software itself.

Benefits of SaaS platforms:

- Reduced long-term costs

- No full-time staff required to maintain servers or security

- Access to ongoing support

- Extensive integrations and third-party apps

- Fully PCI DSS compliant

- Faster store launches

Examples of SaaS platforms:

- Shopify Plus

- BigCommerce

- WooCommerce


A type of online software that you build and manage on your business’s own servers or hosting provider. Unlike a SaaS platform, on-premise gives you full control and ownership of your ecommerce site, meaning you can customise it as you wish and integrate it with any other software or systems you use. This does mean; however, the internal team is responsible for its performance, scalability, security and ongoing maintenance, requiring valuable team hours to keep everything ticking over.

Benefits of on-premise ecommerce solutions:

- Control over and direct access to the hardware and website code

- Control over platform and network security

- Ability to make customisations and granular optimisations to the site

Examples of on-premise platforms:


Using an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model, this type of platform means your commerce site is hosted in the cloud rather than on the business’s own server. You don’t have to worry about installing, managing or updating the software yourself as the provider takes care of all that for you.

The benefits of cloud ecommerce solutions include:

- No need to buy or rent expensive infrastructure

- Easy data backups and scalability during peak times

- Piggybacking on the security of major IaaS providers

- The ability to modify and optimise the platform’s source code

- Complete customisability over features, user experience and backend functionality

Examples of cloud platforms:

- Salesforce

- Adobe Commerce

- Cloudways


A headless platform simply means different systems are used for the frontend and backend. By separating these two elements, you can have more control over the design of your site, using different tools to provide the best bespoke shopping experience for your customers.

The benefits of headless platforms include:

- Freedom to customise the frontend using technology of your choice

- Ability to provide a consistent and positive shopping experience for your customers

- You’re not tied to a specific vendor and can make individual changes without impacting the rest of your store

When choosing a headless platform, it’s essential to factor SEO into the decision. This means ensuring content is rendered server side and you opt for a reliable content delivery network (CDN) that will enable your website to deliver content with a fast-loading speed.

SEO considerations

As well as looking at technology and functionality, it’s also hugely important to think about how much flexibility each system will give you. While most modern ecommerce platforms offer a wide range of SEO features, many ecommerce businesses come up against challenges around how to migrate products and category pages successfully. Factors to consider include:

  • managing multiple products with the same SKU (e.g. colour, size etc)
  • how to handle products which go off and on sales regularly from an SEO perspective
  • how to handle discontinued products (are 301 automatically created or not? Should they be?)
  • how products are linked together or cross-sold and what control do you have around that (content can be changed on a page regularly and so improve or decrease use of keywords on a page)
  • should search results and filtered pages get indexed and how can you build out pages that are targeted towards your best sellers or have high volume?

Here at Adido, we often speak to ecommerce businesses that come to us with a clear idea about the functionality they want for their online stores, yet don’t factor in the SEO implications of how the pages and products will be found in the first place. Any ecommerce migration project should involve someone with in depth SEO knowledge to ensure that the preferred platform will be suitable for search needs as well as users.

Final thoughts

Each e-commerce platform comes with its own set of pros and cons and deciding which one is right for your business requires meticulous planning and research before taking the leap. This is where the Adido ecommerce site migration team can help. With our proven track record of managing website migrations for a wide range of ecommerce clients, we can guide you through the process, ensuring you choose a platform which aligns with your business objectives. The team can then manage the whole process for you, working closely with your own marketing and development teams to ensure there’s minimal impact on your visibility or traffic during the migration process.

Considering a site migration for your ecommerce business? Speak to the experts today!

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Meet the author ...

Anna Heathcote

Content Manager

Based way up on the Northumbrian coast, Anna uses her creative copywriting expertise and SEO experience to ensure clients have fresh, relevant and optimised content on their ...