7 ways to overcome the fear in product data migration

January 30, 2023

The fear of switching often sees companies sticking with their existing feed management tool even though it’s not coming up to scratch. This article discusses seven ways to make the transition process of your product data migration less scary.

Feed management

Reading Time - 8 min

7 ways to overcome the fear in product data migration

Are you considering leaving your existing feed management tool?

Changing from one system to another can seem a daunting task and that’s understandable. Maybe you’ve had your current platform for many years, uploaded all your data, and trained all your staff on it.

You might even have become accustomed to its quirks and worked hard to find supplementary workarounds. It will take time and energy to adapt to an alternative. But if your current system doesn’t meet your needs, don’t let the migration process be an obstacle to achieving results!

Careful planning and support from your new provider can help you move through this transition period without the stress. Once you are over the mental hurdle of migrating, you will realize you were putting up with shortcomings that could easily have been resolved a long time ago.

Check out our seven core steps to a smooth migration:

1. Define your reasons for switching

First, clarify your reasons for changing. Do you need more exposure for your products? To streamline integration with online marketplaces? Improve analytics? Synchronize order data? Do all these things faster and more cheaply? Whatever your reasons for changing your feed management tool, remind yourself – and discuss them with your team – to get everyone on board with the need for the change.

2. Define success

Once you have defined your reasons for change, the next step is to analyze where you are, what your needs are, and what you are looking to achieve with the new tool. What are the challenges with the current setup? Make the case for the new tool by showing how it can overcome these challenges. You will then be able to make an accurate comparison of the different options available to you.

For example:

  • Problem: Delays waiting for scheduled updates on orders, managing orders on different sites, and meeting different listing requirements.

  • Need: Marketplace integration - a tool with integrated API connections to push product listings to all major marketplaces. An order connection that allows everything to be performed in real-time.

  • Successful outcome: Product data is automatically updated, and immediate feedback is received from the designated marketplace, highlighting any errors. All orders can be managed from one place.

This self-reflection must cover your entire ecosystem to support the optimal design methodology. Then you can do your research and compare the different options available to you.

Perhaps you have had personal recommendations from existing clients of feed management tools or you have a list of potential tools that you have compiled over time from your own desk-based research.

It is important to refine this list by spending some time on the providers’ websites, assessing the specific features of the tools and to what degree they meet the requirements you have set out.

Does the provider offer feed management, PPC, and marketplace integration from one platform, for example? Channable users often comment on our functionality as a key selling point over our competitors. Ease of data migration should also form a core part of your decision-making process - what are the options and how does your potential new provider support this?

Once you have got a shortlist of providers that meet your needs, review sites can often help solidify your decision. Many of our clients used Trustpilot, Shopify App, Capterra, and G2, for example.

3. Align deadlines

Make sure transformation deadlines are aligned to preserve your business performance. Make a clear transition schedule, which is shared and communicated to all parties, and map out your data migration plan. As a safety margin, the dates between the end of your old subscription and your new one starting can overlap by a few days to ensure that you don't end up without an active feed.

4. Create a channel strategy

To help you with your planning you can create a strategy by the type of channel you are using. Not all platforms have the same requirements. For example, you can separate the marketplaces from the other channels because these are the platforms that require the most technical investment. Start by migrating the simplest channels and work with your team to migrate the more specific platforms over time.

With Channable, adding a new feed to your platform can be completed in two easy stages:

  • Adding a new feed

Select the webshop/project for which you want to create the new export feed. Next, click on the 'Feeds' tab which is located on the left-hand side of the tool. To add a new export feed, click 'Add new feed'.

  • Selecting country, feed, market, and sub-market

This will redirect you to the setting tab of the new export feed. There you can choose a name for the feed, the country to which you want to export, the export feed itself, and what type of market it is you have. When you have selected a feed click continue.

5. Data migration - assess your feed requirements

You have probably had to apply optimization rules in the past because your import(s) was not suitable for one or more marketing platforms? Check if your new provider supports the data feed formats of your chosen marketplaces.

There are two different ways of exchanging data (your items in this instance) between two systems – by data feed or by APIs.
02 Feed transfer - 7 ways to overcome the fear

  1. In a traditional feed-based exchange arrangement, the system or party that is supplying information creates a file with all the required information in it (the data feed). This file is usually updated regularly to keep up with any changes. The party that receives the information regularly accesses the file, usually within the same interval that the feed is generated.

Google Shopping, Beslist, Facebook, Kelkoo, and LeGuide all use data feeds and reach thousands to millions of users every day.

  1. With an API, any data format that is mutually supported can be sent, and the systems are no longer required to keep reading all data. Instead, data can be sent at any time and updated immediately. Several major products such as Google Ads, Marktplaats, eBay, and Amazon use APIs to connect.

Given that APIs enable more advanced and more timely information exchange, their use is only likely to grow in the years ahead but, in the meantime, it is important that your solution supports both options.

6. Try it out!

Concerns about the viability of the new platform will often form a big part of the apprehension surrounding migration. Will the new platform do what it claims? Is it worth the hassle? That’s why most providers provide a free trial of the service so users can try it before committing.
03 Feed visual - 7 ways to overcome the fear
Use this trial run as a true pilot – test it out with your team - what it is like with the new tool versus your previous solution? Let your team familiarize themselves with the platform. Is it easy to use? Does it improve workflows?

If you are in a research phase and you are investigating a move to Channable, the best solution is to proceed with a free trial. You can register for free on our site, create an account and navigate through the features at your own pace. Or if you’re at a more exploratory stage in which you need help or guidance, you can also request a demo with one of our team members who will be happy to take you through the tool and discuss your needs.

7. Inform your partners

The platforms - and therefore the contacts - you work with on a daily basis will also need to be informed of the tool change. By informing your contacts, you get everyone on the same page, minimizing the chances of being surprised by unaddressed issues. Everyone will have time to prepare for this change and to support you in the best way possible.

At Channable, we know that migration from one tool to another can be a source of stress for our customers. That's why we do everything we can to support you throughout the entire process.

Implementing our feed management and PPC automation tool should never become one of your business challenges! Trust us to ensure your migration runs smoothly with no impact on your day-to-day business (well, only the positive ones)!

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Morgane WasilewskiMarketing France

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