Magento 1 platform reaches its ‘end of life’ date next year.  If you missed the news last September, Magento announced it will no longer be supporting the Magento 1.x platform after June 2020.

For many Redbox customers and other ecommerce sites operating on Magento 1, this date was released early to give merchants enough time to plan the next steps for their business.

Luckily, Magento 2 – boasting a whole heap of new features and functionality, from improved speeds and performance to mobile experience – is receiving rave reviews the world over.

So, if you haven’t started the process of migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 already, we advise you to begin these discussions now.

It may seem like a long way in the future, but moving to Magento 2 is not a one-click operation.  It involves building the site on a new platform and requires extensive planning and development to avoid any problems.

Not sure what it all means? Here is all you need to know!

What exactly does the ‘end of life’ date mean?

From June 2020, Magento 1 will reach its ‘end of life’. This does not mean any ecommerce site operating on Magento 1 will stop working, but with Magento no longer releasing security patches, ecommerce sites will be left vunerable. There will also be no further feature updates and support.

If you are running on Magento 1, we suggest taking a look at the information Magento released about its software support policies here.

What should I do if I’m currently on M1?

Firstly, don’t panic! Secondly, get a meeting put in the diary about migrating to another platform such as Magento 2 as soon as possible.

These discussions need to start taking place quickly to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Get in touch with your Magento solution provider to discuss your needs.

Redbox Digital, a Magento Global Elite Partner, has a proven track record in helping companies migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2.  That’s why companies like Builder Depot, AXA ActivePlus, Paperchase, Nespresso, Budd and Latest in Beauty have turned to Redbox to ensure the migration is expertly managed before, during and after implementation.

Maybe I should try a different platform? What’s so great about Magento 2?

Magento 1 has long been considered a platform leader and set the benchmark for online stores across the globe.  Magento 2 offers a huge leap forward in terms of flexibility, features and functionality and many companies are already experiencing huge gains from upgrading to Magento 2.

Page load times are quicker, security is better and it has a more navigable admin area, for starters. There are improvements to customer experience and better mobile shopping.

Magento 2 delivers superior cloud-hosted performance at scale and alleviates IT bottlenecks thanks to admin areas allowing the creating, scheduling and launching of content.

Magento’s flexibility also enables its global community of partners and developers to deliver virtually any commerce experience quickly, at much lower cost.

Tell me more.

There are so many new features, but we particularly like:

The improved checkout process: A two-step process of shipping and review and payment, rather than the often laborious six-step process of Magento 1, leads to a much greater customer experience. It means customers are less likely to abandon their shopping cart half way through purchase.  A guest checkout option without the need of login or registration speeds up the process for users further. Conversion rates are boosted further still thanks to the new instant purchase checkout option that allows customers to use previously-stored payment credentials and shipping information to skip checkout steps, especially for mobile users, allowing for a greater omnichannel experience.

Content staging: Magento 2’s new features give merchants and users the chance to control multiple websites and stores from one Admin and create and edit products, like prices and descriptions. What’s more, the CMS content includes promotions and allows merchants to easily stage and preview content, meaning you can line-up and schedule content in advance and even log and review all users’ Admin activities.  This really allows for future planning and seamless content management.

Integrated B2B Functionality: It provides all the self-service tools needed for business customers to manage company accounts, purchases, quotes and credits. Merchants can maximise sales by accepting payments on account and assign custom catalogues and pricing so companies can meet contract terms.

The new quote management functions allow customers to create a quote from the cart, attach what is needed and then communicate with the Admin managing the quote, all through a streamlined online workflow. By customising catalogues and pricing, companies can enjoy personalisation down to individual companies.

Customers can enjoy faster ordering and re-ordering, by entering multiple SKUs, uploading CSV files or creating requisition lists or frequently purchased items.

What does the migration entail? Can I reuse any of my old website?

Magento 2 is a major upgrade to Magento 1, meaning existing features will need to be reworked. Design can be translated but not migrated, while content can be re-used but again, will need to be reworked. But with so many new features and functions it’s the perfect opportunity to refresh your site design and processes.

Magento Data Migration Tool help developers, solution architects to move the data entities from Magento 1 to Magento 2

I’m still not too sure?

Don’t just take our word for it. Recent Redbox customer, luxury shirt-maker Budd, is delighted with its recent migration.

Sean Reilly, head of ecommerce at Budd, told us: “Magento 2 is a lot faster – both on the back end for staff, but also front end for customers. The product editor is a lot cleaner and a lot easier to use.

“The marketing and promotion side of things are going to be big for us and integration with gift cards will be a lot better for customers.

“It’s also a lot easier to use for those who haven’t used Magento before – great for a growing business such as ours with lots of new staff. It’s easier for staff to get to grips with. Things are laid out so much more cleanly on the back-end.

“If you are migrating, also take the opportunity to re-evaluate the third-party providers you are using, you might be able to make savings or use an improved platform. For instance, you might want to look at changing the payment gateway you have got now. We now have access to 127 payment types including WeChat Pay and Alipay!”

“Magento is also offering a six-month free licence which is a big saving companies should take into account.

“My advice is migrate now! Start the process as soon as possible as it will take longer than you think!”

Great! So, what now?

To ensure a seamless transition for your ecommerce site, business and customers, contact us as soon as possible.  Redbox is offering free consultation for those companies looking to migrate from M1 to M2.  If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch!