Magento 2 is here, and already we are getting inundated with calls from retailers who are thinking about migrating on to it, and want information. So what is our advice? Well, as always, the devil is in the detail and it depends on the size and complexity of your eCommerce infrastructure. In the main our advice is always centred around managing project risk – and this means the risk that projects may go over budget and/or be delivered later than planned.
There is no doubt that Magento 2 will carry on from where Magento 1 left off, and become the default platform for SME retailers. It has all the great functionality that the original platform had, it scales better, is better integrated with caching tools such as Varnish and the ecosystem of extensions and services is growing day by day. Strategically it is a no -brainer. The question is more tactical – when should one make the switch?
If you are a small retailer, using a largely standard Magento installation then the risks of going onto Magento 2 are very small – no larger than the project risks of going onto the latest version of Magento 1.9CE / 1.14EE. If you are a large retailer or you have customisation that need to be migrated across too then the project risks will increase exponentially.
Some Magento 2 ‘Home Truths’
1. Magento 2 is a more expensive platform to develop on.
This is for 2 reasons, firstly simply because it is newer – and as a result there is less advice, documentation, pre written code and ecosystem available for it. Secondly, the architecture itself is more complicated than that of the old Magento platform, which makes development more difficult and therefore more expensive. There is a reason for the additional complication; reducing module clashes – so there is method in the madness!
2. No code developed for Magento 1.x is directly transferable to Magento 2
This includes modules, skins/themes, hacks. All of this needs to be re-developed from scratch for the new platform. What is transferable is product, customer and order data, and there is a Migration Tool to achieve this.
3. There are some big improvements in Magento 2
4. No major retailer has yet launched on Magento 2
This in itself is not a bad thing, it is early days for the new platform, and there are a number of pretty serious ones coming. We are building a module for a fairly huge one right now – and when that retailer launches it will go a long way to reassuring the marketplace as to the scalability and robustness of the new platform.
5. We are still on Version 1.0
There are bugs – we have uncovered a number – and there will be plenty more (this is the nature of software development). Wait until the next version comes out!
When to make that all important DECISION?
Strategically speaking there is always the question of when to make “The Decision”. Make it too early and you risk missing out on critical information. Make it too late and you risk not being live on time, or at any rate rushing the implementation. In my experience (gained primarily from the military!) it is better to have an OK plan and have time to be flexible and thorough (i.e. great execution), than to have the best plan and not enough time to execute (or adapt!) it properly.
For most retailers the next ‘Mission Critical’ sales period starts in October, as Christmas sales hot up. That means being live by the beginning of September (at the latest). Thus for a relatively simple site (without custom integrations and features) a minimum of 4.5 months would be wise and for a more complex site a minimum of 6 months should be provisioned. This means that decision time for simple migrations is mid April and for complex sites is the beginning of March. In conclusion we need to be gathering information right now.
If you want further advice, or want to get your M2 project under way then please Get In Touch.