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You’re in a tipping point and probably you already know that one last major site outage, one unpredicted and undetected bug which could have cost you a thousands if not a million. One more extremely needed feature to be added that will cost way too much and take a long time to build.

Every time you’ve to lose your sleep and wondering if your current eCommerce technology and infrastructure could handle the peak season. It’s time to get rid of these headaches and it’s time to empower your business and focus on your growth, not on being a technologist just keep trying to keep your online store alive. It’s time to switch your eCommerce platform.

It’s time to find out the rightful for your unique business need which will not lead you to any tech headache. That means it time to issue a request for proposal before choosing a platform for your enterprise.

Before eCommerce platform migration and choosing any platform for your eCommerce store you should ask them some questions which directly show you if their platform and service could handle your need or not. This way you can benchmark questions and answers against one another – without any sales rep. tipping you up.

When any platform vendor will respond to your question you can easily and clearly shortlist which platform or solution will work best for your unique requirements. That will also show you clearly which vendor is serious to committed to give you best experience.

Here are some of the most important question you should ask any vendor before you begin to narrow down the list of eCommerce platform choices when approaching any eCommerce platform migration.

To make that easy to navigate we have break down those questions in couple of sections, those are:

Question On Company Overview for eCommerce platform migration

  1. Before choosing any vendor you should ask them how their company structured and how long their company been in the technology business.
  2. You should ask them about their top competitors, their respective market share and what are their key differentiators from competitors.
  3. You should ask them to describe their product or products and what’s the most current version of their product(s) in the market and how often they release an update or improve that.
  4. Ask them to list all external third-party applications and service they could integrate with their product and if they have any partnership with other technology vendors.
  5. You should ask them how many merchants are using their current eCommerce platform.
  6. Ask them about their top five to ten clients and ask them to give you a list of 5 customers who’s business size & scope is like yours.
  7. You should consider how do they price their eCommerce application and the licensing methodology or pricing structure

Questions On Site Design, Development and UX/UI for eCommerce platform migration

  1. Ask the ecommerce platform company to describe how do their team will make storefront design and user experience changes on your platform and if they will give you full access to HTML & CSS of your store.
  2. You would definitely ask them how much you will have to customize your checkout experience and if their technology all browser compatible. Ask them if their checkout process mobile optimized.
  3. Be sure they have Theme/Template to choose from and if their theme fully customizable, if yes what you can’t customize.
  4. Ask them if you can preview any theme without buying the theme.
  5. Be sure they have third-party Developers, Designers, and marketers to help you in future if needed.
  6. It’s important to have access to install additional apps or pluggins, so be sure they have an apps store which will help you to expand your features any time.
  7. You should consider that they have a content delivery network (CDN) to store all images and content.
  8. Take it seriously if they have the technology to enable presistent shopping cart and geo targeting implemented.
  9. Ask this important question if you will have multiple store for multiple currencies and locations.

Questions On Performance & Security about the eCommerce platform

  1. Be sure that their software is PCI compliant , how the security roles are defined and what access restrictions could be managed by those roles.
  2. Ask the ecommerce software company that how Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as customer names, addresses, shopping habits and preferences are stored and handle in a secure manner.
  3. Be sure how data access and change is audited by their software. Ask them how security vulnerabilities are identified and migrated.
  4. Ask the vendor to describe any additional data protection, audit or any other financial control features of their software.
  5. Be sure they will let you enable security socket layer (SSL).
  6. Ask them that how they define Server Redundancy process and how they take care of disaster.
  7. Ask the enterprise ecommerce software company to list their most recent uptime results and what was their experience during the last peak season.
  8. Let them describe how the software can be monitored at all tiers for availability and performance.
  9. Be sure that their software can be scalable to support additional user and API load.
  10. Ask the vendor how they take care of disaster and take action against any security issues.

Questions On Store Administration & Ease of Use of the eCommerce platform

  1. It’s very important to ask any ecommerce platform company about their catalog management system before migrate to any platform. So ask the vendor to describe how you can manage your product catalog within their system.
  2. Ask them to describe in details that how do you import and export catalog, customer data and order data. Be sure that you can bulk import/export your data.
  3. Ask them if they have any WYSIWYG editor available within their system. Be sure they provide Drag & Drop Editor with their software.
  4. Ask them for a product tour or trial period before migrating to the ecommerce platform.
  5. It’s important to ask that what admin roles and permissions are available for users and staffs.
  6. The platform should have the system included for reporting and analyzing data.
  7. Ask them if they provide platform included for blogging.
  8. You should know that if they provide URL redirects and site search configuration.
  9. If you’ve a brick and mortar store then it’s better to ask them if they have POS System or the software could integrate with any POS systems.

Questions On Analyzing Data (Analytics)

  1. It’s very important to have a Dashboard with critical metrics, so ask the vendor if they provide that built in with their software or they provide that via third party apps.
  2. Ask the vendor if their software could integrate with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.
  3. If they support how do they support Google Tag Manager Integration.
  4. Ask them if they provide analytics & insights for metrics including customer LTV.
  5. Be sure their software has a reporting system for total Revenue/Sales, tax, shipping and fulfillment report.
  6. And if there is anything to generate a low stock inventory report.

Question On Checkout & Payment Options

  1. Ask the enterprise software company that if you will’ve the full access over checkout process to customize as per your need.
  2. It’s important to have a mobile optimized checkout options and your checkout process should be as short as possible cause your shoppers are too lazy to do that. So ask the vendor if their software support mobile optimized and single page checkout.
  3. Ask them about the payment processors they support.
  4. Apple Pay and Amazon pay are the new important payment processors now a days. So ask the vendor if they have option to use them. Also be sure if users can pay in browser and on mobile with Apple Pay.
  5. Ask the vendor if your user can Check Out as a guest.
  6. Ask the enterprise ecommerce software company if there are options available for both Authorize & Capture and Authorized Only.
  7. Be sure that your customers can Save Their Cart for future use.
  8. Ask the vendor if Tax & Shipping Estimated provided to customers or not.
  9. Let them describe how they support recurring payments and box-of-the-month orders. Also ask them if customers Ship To Multiple Addresses.
  10. Ask if there is any technology to auto complete address in checkout page.

Question On Marketing & Promotions Options

  1. It’s an important question to ask if you’re running an enterprise level ecommerce store that how extensive are the ecommerce software’s cart-level discounts and promotions. And if there need any coding to set that up.
  2. Ask the software company if the promotion could be limited to specific products and is there the ability to run Shipping Promotions.
  3. Ask them if the promotions be scheduled to launch and end at a date and time.
  4. Let them describe how multi-tier pricing for quantity discounts works.
  5. Ask the shopping cart software vendor if coupon codes are supported. Ask them that if the promotion could be limited based on customer groups or segments. How do they support bundle products
  6. Ask the eCommerce platform company that how they support bundle products and if the platform could handle product exclusion for promotions.
  7. Ask them if the eCommerce platform support online and offline Gift Cards through the same system. And if the gift registry or wishlist supported.
  8. Let them describe how do they manage abandoned carts and if you can include offers in abandoned carts emails. Ask them that how do they handle Abandoned Cart email.
  9. Ask the vendor if there any built-in email marking automation tools and if they support any third party email marketing apps and platform.
  10. Ask them about email template and if that mobile responsive.
  11. Ask them about ESP and ERP system. How do they help with integrate business tools like that.
  12. Be sure that there is any way to integrate third party email applications and platform like Mailchimp, Klaviyo and Constant Contact integrations available.

 Questions On SEO & SMM to perform eCommerce platform migration

  1. It’s important that your product and store metadata is customizable, so ask the ecommerce platform vendor if product and store meta-tags is customizable with their platform.
  2. Ask them if their product meta-data include Open Graph Tags.
  3. Ask them if they support 301, 302 , 404 redirects.
  4. Ask the platform company if SEO-Friendly URLs will auto-generated for products and category pages. Also ask if the URLs be customizable.
  5. Ask if they have any blog management is included with their solution and if yes then what kind of blog management system is included.
  6. It’s important to have sitemap, canonical tags and URLs included, so ask about them.
  7. Ask the vendor about the process of disallow URLs in robots.txt file.
  8. It would be greta if they support Google AMP & Facebook Instant Article integration.
  9. Ask them to describe how you can publish your product catalog to Facebook Shop , Twitter Card Shop and Publish as Pinterest Buyable Pins. And if there is any additional cost for the service.
  10. Ask them if your customers or end users could log in to your storefront using Social Login (Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc). Be sure they have Multi Pass
  11. Ask them to describe how you can publish and display User Generated Content such as Pinterest , Instagram feed or reviews on your store.

Questions On Products & Categories Management before eCommerce platform migration

  1. Ask the eCommerce software company if you can add multiple images per products and if there is any limit to the number or size of images. Ask also if they support SKU level images with image switching on variation selection. It’s important to have the ability to enable product image zoom. Ask about that if Product Image Zoom enabled by default.
  2. Ask them about add video to PDP and if there is a limit on size and length of videos if you want to upload.
  3. Ask if custom products attribute supported and if they’ve any way to generate automatic related products.
  4. Ask them to describe how product options and option sets are managed in their system, let them describe how variations or options can be configured.
  5. Regarding on stock level ask them if there is a quick/bulk edit option available to modify stock levels or pricing change.
  6. Ask them if they support both Digital and physical products.
  7. Ask them about pre-order systems and if they allow that.
  8. Products review is an important thing to ask them if they have any built in product review system.
  9. Ask them that if they support custom product pages and templates and if that configured per category.
  10. Ask them about the Inventory Management and how how do they support real-time Inventory Sync within multiple channels. Ask if the inventory be tracked at variation level.
  11. Ask about shipping system and if that understand and support Dimensional Weight.
  12. Ask them about products categorization and if that be sorted manually in the control panel. Also ask if you can use categories for private sales. Be sure that category filters supported.
  13. Ask them about how you can customize URLs of products and categories.
  14. Ask them about if their eCommerce platform support multi-level category navigation.

Questions About Omnichannel

  1. Ask them to list all third party marketplaces they are currently integrated with.
  2. Ask the vendor how would you manage catalog publishing with specific pricing and product information per channel and if users could checkout within Facebook or would they be redirected to your store or there both options available.
  3. Ask them if they support publishing catalog to eBay and Amazon and if that restricted to specific verticals categories.
  4. Ask the details on how you can promoted your products via goole shopping.
  5. Ask them to describe their integration to third party channel management applications like ChannelApe , Channel Advisor etc.
  6. Ask them about what additional marketplaces do they plan to integrate in the next 6 months to a year.

Questions On Service & Support before eCommerce platform migration

  1. Ask the eCommerce software company to provide you details about their on-boarding processes for new clients and ask an example of an implementation timeline.
  2. Be sure if they will provide you training and user documentation for the entire platform.
  3. Ask them to describe in details about their customer support service (including tools) and if they have any priority customer service for enterprise level eCommerce merchant.
  4. Ask them how does your historical data like orders, customers, products data will migrate to their platform.
  5. Ask them to list all services resources who will be dedicated for your business. Ask them if they have any plan you to offer customer success manager or any other program.
  6. Ask them about their customer support team and where they are located. Ask them to describe in details about their Phone Support offering and if that available 24/7.
  7. Ask them about their average waiting response time for phone support, be sure they have a priority on urgent situation.
  8. Ask them if you will get any dedicated team.

If you’ve read it in this hard down the page you are clearly ready to take action to choose your new platform. If you’ve any question or need any help on migrating your platform please let us know. We would love to hear and help you. Have a Successful eCommerce Replatform!

Need help on choosing right eCommerce platform and want a successful eCommerce replatformation? Our expert Ecommerce strategist, designer and developer can help you on this. Contact us to get a successful eCommerce platform migration without breaking your bank.

Note: The article is inspired from BigCommerce’s 188 Questions Before migrate.