Transitioning eCommerce Providers

Changing your eCommerce provider may sound daunting, but making the move will also solve problems and present new opportunities for streamlining your business. Once you’ve decided on a new provider, there are some important things to consider, including your website, customer data, and payment processing.

Your Website

First, find out if your current website is mobile responsive. This transition is an opportunity to upgrade to a new, mobile responsive website. There are many great website building tools out there that make it easy to do yourself, such as Squarespace or Weebly, but you might also consider hiring a website developer to create a new site for you. We’ve enjoyed working with VinAgency, Makers and Allies, Gorillian, Studio Cabernet, Camaleo, and Westegg Web to name a few.

Pro Tip

VinAgency provides a VineSpring-integrated WordPress template ready to go for a great price. See their website for more info.

Next, determine how you are going to connect eCommerce functionality to your website. The easiest way to integrate your website with VineSpring is to use our Hosted Storefront (HSF), an out-of-the-box store hosted by VineSpring on our secure, ultra-fast servers. Every VineSpring account includes an HSF which can literally be setup in minutes.

Here are some examples:

Open store (no allocation):

Allocated:

Alternatively, you can integrate VineSpring with your website by using our Javascript “plug-ins”. These snippets of code inject the VineSpring eCommerce experience onto your site, wherever it is hosted. If you require more customization than our hosted storefront offers, then direct integration is for you.

Here are some examples:

You’ll be amazed how inexpensive and quick it is to get a new website up and running using modern, easy-to-use technologies.

Customer Data

Migrating data between systems is an imperfect task. There are almost always anomalies and it can be extremely frustrating doing it yourself. Make sure the eCommerce provider you are moving to provides services to help migrate your data successfully.

Most eCommerce providers import data from a Comma Separated Value (CSV) spreadsheet. CSV is a very simple file format; a document of text that defines a table of data by separating values with commas. The real trick is manipulating the data exported so it matches the import format of the new provider. This can be time-consuming and frustrating without the right tools or expertise.

Make sure the eCommerce provider you are moving to can help with the data import for a reasonable fee. VineSpring has dedicated data migration experts and help you move data into your new VineSpring account. We recommend collecting data from all available data sources, including your accounting system (Quickbooks, Xero), email marketing platform (MailChimp, Constant Contact), or any other data sources you’re using. This is your opportunity to ensure all customer data is consolidated into one database for easy management.

See: How do I import customer, product, and order history data into VineSpring?

Payment Processing and Stored Credit Card Data

Every eCommerce provider seems to support accepting and processing credit cards differently. In the past, it was common for eCommerce and merchant services to be separated, requiring you to establish a merchant account, payment gateway, and connect it all to your eCommerce provider on your own. Today, a more simplified approach is available whereby credit card services are bundled with your account for a flat, reliable, per-transaction fee.

Bundling credit card services with your eCommerce account presents big advantages beyond just processing a card transaction. Awesome technologies are built into these services such as Smarter Saved Cards, enhanced fraud protection, Apple Pay, and the ability to accept almost any payment type upon signup. It’s now your eCommerce providers responsibility to build these technologies into their solution so you can have peace of mind knowing your customers’ card data is secure and payments are reliable.

See: What is VineSpring Payments?

Moving your stored credit card data from one eCommerce provider to another can be very challenging. Most of the time it’s possible to extract your stored credit cards by making a request from your current merchant provider or payment gateway. They’ll typically transfer the card information securely to the new payment provider where it is restored and tokenized. The tokenized card data is then connected to customer accounts by your eCommerce provider. Although this process is not trivial, it’s a must if you have club members so you can charge their next club shipment successfully.

Stay Engaged

Moving to a new eCommerce company is not easy, but it will be a success if you stay involved in the process, seek help when needed, and make sure you are moving to a company that will support you. Even the best software in the world can be frustrating to use if you don’t have someone to reach out to when you need help. VineSpring works to provide the best customer support in the industry. We view ourselves as an extension of your team, no matter how big or small. Contact us to continue the conversation.

 

BusinessChris Towt