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Surviving Migration: IntuitSolutions and best practices for life after ProStores

Two eBay e-commerce platforms are shutting down and almost 10,000 online merchants must migrate their stores. What are the next best options? The best way to answer that question is to harness the services offered by technical experts such as IntuitSolutions.
On June 26, almost a week before the official announcement, Re/code reported that eBay was shutting down e-commerce platforms ProStores and Magento Go. Customers of those software businesses, particularly sole proprietors and other small-business owners, are now faced with moving their online stores elsewhere. The good news is that the services will not be shut down immediately.
“Today, we’re announcing that we will be transitioning our Magento Go and ProStores merchants off of these products by February 1, 2015,” eBay Enterprise wrote on July 1. eBay, which acquired Magento in 2011, explained that Magento will focus on its “flagship products” and wished the merchants “continued success.”
Magento Go’s website states, “Magento Go is shutting down on February 1, 2015. Until that time, your store will operate normally and you can expect the same level of customer service and response to technical issues.” Moreover, Magento Go invited customers to “Log into your Magento Account to access the Migration Center and the information you need to smoothly migrate your store.” ProStores’ website features a similar notice.
TechCrunch estimates that 10,000 smaller retailers are impacted and suggests that “preparations to migrate their stores” should be made. The important and strategic questions of “when”, “how”, and “to where” are now critical questions that must be answered.
Retailers are focused on taking advantage of shopping surges associated with back-to-school and the holidays coming in the fourth-quarter sales season. For small-business owners especially, answering the question of when to switch to a new site is both stressful and necessary.
John Lawson, CEO of ColderIce Media, cautioned small business owners against rushing to switch e-commerce platforms. “A rush to move your site right now could jeopardize or seriously hamper a merchant’s ability to capitalize on the busiest shopping time of the year! I feel that there is a good reason why eBay made the date February 2015. It will allow merchants to make a timely transition to minimize search redirection and also to not force its users to move during this shopping season.”
However, Lawson went on to say, “Now that does NOT mean you should wait before you begin the process! No, use this time wisely to plan and prepare for the heavy lift that can come with moving a merchant website presence.”
Some smaller outlets are focused on the DIY spirit, and the answer to “how” is almost always “I’ll git’er done.” ProStores and Magento Go customers may consider switching to the “flagship products” of Magento Enterprise Edition or Magento Community Edition. Garden, however, warns that “Magento may not be for everyone” and states, “It is said to have a high learning curve and would not be a good solution for non-technical store owners who can’t afford to hire a developer.”
A similar warning comes from IntuitSolutions co-founder and president Brian Antczak. “For these kinds of migrations, going the low-cost route can be tricky, because if you do it wrong, you're going to crash your sales, lose your traffic and go out of business,” said Antczak. “If you're going to go the DIY route, or if you're going to go for a low-price migration, you're really kidding yourself. If you're selling more than a few thousand dollars a month on your site, it's worth it to spend the money and do it right.”
eBay offers small and medium-sized online merchants an answer to the question of where to migrate their shops. TechCrunch states, “To aid in the transition, eBay named competitor Bigcommerce as its official migration partner, in part because the company already has experience porting Magento customers to its platform.”
Antczak acknowledges that “Magento Enterprise is a great platform, and you can spend three-times the money and get a great looking website, for sure. But, with the customization offered by Bigcommerce, you could spend considerably less and get the same website or better.”
It’s an option highly recommended from those embedded deep in the industry. “Bigcommerce is the platform we strongly suggest,” said Antczak of IntuitSolutions. “Other platforms can't really compete in terms of support or continued product development. And what IntuitSolutions can offer is the ability to customize anyway the client needs. If you have the right provider, this really is an enterprise-level product.”
Non-technical store owners may very well opt to let businesses like IntuitSolutions do the heavy lifting and migrate their stores for them. IntuitSolutions is a leading Bigcommerce development agency, which has been implementing e-commerce solutions for clients world-wide since 2001. “Of all the places to try and save money, migration isn't the place, because you're basically gambling with your business,” states Brian Antczak.
It is highly unlikely that small-business owners will want to gamble with their businesses during the holiday shopping season. Nor is it likely that that they will have the time or expertise to migrate their online stores. For many, the solution to the problem, and answers to the questions of “when”, “how” and “to where”, can be found by taking advantage of the services offered by businesses like IntuitSolutions.
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