Ecommerce brands continue their migration off Magento
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The trend of eCommerce brands moving off of so-called enterprise content management solutions—like Adobe Commerce (previously Magento) and Salesforce Commerce Cloud is continuing in earnest, with several websites announcing their move to Shopify over just the past couple of weeks.
Industry West had been on Adobe-Magento for more than 10 years.
Industry West last refreshed its Magento site in 2018, netting just shy of $50M in eCommerce revenue since then, according to its founder and CEO Jordan England.
Why the move?
"We are a digital-first company," said Steven Scarborough, Industry West's eCommerce director. "We left Magento due to their lack of innovation in the eCommerce space for a company of our size. Ultimately, we felt Adobe Commerce was hindering our growth because we spent more energy maintaining the platform than investing in our eCommerce strategy. We must focus on growing the business while providing the best customer experience possible. I think Shopify Plus will help us achieve that objective."
And Industry West isn't alone.
Add Kuru, Every Man Jack, and Crystal Clear Memories to the list of Adobe Commerce sites that plan to move over to Shopify over the coming months, while MODLOFT will be launching on Shopify this month, moving over from a custom build.
The common thread? Merchants say basic maintenance along with feature development on Adobe Commerce is simply too difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.
"We launched our Every Man Jack eCommerce site about four years ago on Magento, and about two years in decided it was time to hire an agency to help lead the migration to Shopify," said Troy Petrunoff, Every Man Jack's retention manager. "Reason No. 1 was we wanted an easier to manage backend so that we wouldn’t have to use dev resources to make basic front-end changes. Reason No. 2 was we wanted access to the Shopify ecosystem, especially since pretty much every tool and app in the space is designed for Shopify stores."
'Adding features takes too long'
Dann Nunn, owner of Crystal Clear Memories, agrees that Magento developers are hard to find, and when you can find them feature implementation takes too long.
"It took me about four months just to implement Affirm," he said. "I'm missing out on features by not being on Shopify (such as Triple Whale, PayPal BNPL, etc.) because we're on such a custom Magento platform."
Nunn also ran into issues when trying to tie his site into TikTok's tracking pixel, a critical element as the social media platform's popularity and ad potential continues to grow exponentially.
"For one of the most popular social advertising platforms in the world, there was no pixel extension in the Magento Marketplace for six-plus months since I started looking," he said. "When we started (with TikTok) we had to fly blind because the default pixel code didn't track events."
Sean McGinnis, president and integrator at KURU, a footwear company, said their planned move to Shopify boils down to one thing: Ridding themselves of technical debt.
"Everything we did on Magento just took too long," he said. "When we upgraded from Magento 2.1 to 2.3 the project took over a year. By moving to Shopify Plus we're hoping to gain a lot of operational efficiencies in terms of the ability to quickly deploy new pages and test new customer journeys."
"One agency we interviewed for the migration project said customers who migrate from hosted Magento to Shopify get to 'stop being an IT business and start being an eCommerce business.' That really resonated with us."
- Sean McGinnis, president and integrator at KURU
Replatforming costs aren't scaring businesses away from making the move
And while replatforming isn't cheap, the cost isn't scaring merchants off.
"For me, the 'money' was about the money I was losing now and in the future by not being on the Shopify ecosystem as more and more DTC products came into the marketplace that were Shopify-first or -only," said Nunn, who has fully bootsrapped Crystal Clear Memories. "All in all, even if it costs me $30-40k in replatforming fees (and $2k/mo for Shopify Plus)—the up-front cost to replatform vs the long term Magento costs were a no brainer."
The future of Adobe/Magento and agencies that support it
So what does all of this movement to Shopify mean for Adobe, its larger ecosystem and the agencies that support it?
It's hard. to say, but all indications show that an economic downturn coupled with a general desire to move away from complex, enterprise systems could spell trouble for some agencies dependent on Adobe business.
Mark William Lewis, founder of eCommerce development agency Netalico, says Shopify has caught up to Magento in terms of its tech offerings while allowing merchants to focus more on marketing their product and less on backend development.
"For years Magento was known as an eCommerce platform that provided maximum flexibility with the lowest cost because it offered an open source option," he said. "As Shopify has expanded the capabilities of its core platform as well as expanded the abilities of its partner ecosystem it’s now up to par with many aspects of Magento but with much less complexity. This has enabled merchants to customize and scale their business without initially having to scale their technology team and instead focus on the growth and marketing."
But that doesn't mean things are all rosy for Shopify, which at about $340/share is trading nearly 80 percent lower than its 52-week high, coming way down from its COVID-eCommerce boom.
Analysts, however, believe the company's share value will get back on track.
"Now, although there are clearly some headwinds for Shopify in the near term, we think the risk to reward positioning for the stock looks more compelling than it has in a long time," a Forbes analyst states.