Considering making the move from Yahoo Small Business to another eCommerce Platform??

Many Yahoo Small Business owners, approx. 1 million strong, are taking a long hard look at the feasibility of keeping their business on the Yahoo eCommerce platform. Yahoo has long been instrumental in helping newbies to eCommerce set up their on-line stores. In the beginning the customer support was very detailed and was easy to interact with. That no longer seems to be the case. And with the recent developments in the company’s strategy in focusing on growing Search, Mail and their blogging platform Tumbler, their CEO Marissa Mayer at a recent conference held on February 18th 2016, made no mention of the company’s small business division. It is a fact that as Yahoo is weighing whether to sell all or parts of its small business division, those private store operators are wondering what will happen to them and worry about just how long their platform of choice will be around.

If you are considering making the move from Yahoo to another eCommerce platform there are a few things you need to keep in mind on making the switch, or you will end up seeing your rankings and your sales drop and drop big!!

1. Platform Choice: Moving from Yahoo to another platform is a big step, naturally being familiar with your current small business platform is one of the main reasons why store owners have stayed so long with Yahoo. You know what they say, nobody likes change, and making the leap to a new platform is a BIG LEAP! You need to go with a platform that has the features that you need to maintain your eCommerce presence. One that once you make the switch will impact your existing clients the least. Remember you can always tout the changeover as bringing them a new, cleaner and faster loading web store. BUT and we do say BUT, you better make sure that it is faster loading, cleaner and gets people from A to Z for their searches. There are many eCommerce platforms out there and later on in this blog, we will provide our recommendations to you. But do your homework!

2. Custom Coding: If you are a higher level Yahoo store owner, chances are you had some custom programming done to enhance the basic Yahoo store properties in order have your store function the way you wanted it to. This naturally involved getting a 3rd. party company skilled in Yahoo programming to create the necessary code to make your store operate as you needed it to. You need to make sure your new platform of choice can offer you the same kind of customization and at a fair price. Unfortunately, monies spent in customization of your Yahoo store will no longer exist, once you pull the plug. Different eCommerce platforms have re-worked the “Custom Programming” objectives. Some platforms now make use of “APPS” which are snippets of code made into a working programming function. Which is tailored to work on the platform of choice. Much like creating apps for your mobile device. Programmers take a look at the most popular previously custom “Features” that existed on Yahoo for example and have made “Apps” that are standalone features that can be made active on your new platform.

3. Navigation Flow: It is very important for SEO that you try and maintain the same navigation throughout the development of your new eCommerce store. Remember if your store has been up for a significant amount of time, it has been indexed by the search engines and for our purposes we are referring to Google. If you change page names and direct paths without implementing the necessary housekeeping you will be doomed to lose your page ranks. It is very important that you implement (301 Redirects!!!) A 301 redirect acts like a change of address, make sure the web knows that your old page path is now being forwarded to the new web address. If this is done correctly you should see no drop in page rankings or lost page links.

4. Product Reviews: We all know or SHOULD know the value of product reviews on your website. Bringing these reviews over into your new platform is not always an easy task. Depending on who you used to create and install your product reviews you may be able to have them provide you with a .csv file and with the help of your new support be able to implement your reviews seamlessly. That is not always the case and it sometimes needs a knowledgeable partner to help you make this happen. BlackArrowMarketing.com is the marketing firm you should partner with.

5. Advanced Search: If you have a store consisting of hundreds or thousands of products, providing your customers with the ability to search easily for the products they are interested in can require using a third party Advanced Search implementation. You need to work closely with your new platform to see which 3rd party works with their system. Remember you are moving to a new platform to enhance your customers experience on your store, not make it harder for them to search it. Most advance searches require a “Product Feed” to be sent up to their servers in order to allow them make the necessary modifications on your behalf to provide the searching capabilities you’re looking for.

We told you earlier that we would provide you with our platform of choice and we have found Shopify, to be one of the best platforms in which to work off of, and sell your product lines. It is very robust and has a wide array of ad-on’s (widgets). Ever experience slow server times? With the Shopify platform you won’t. Shopify can serve over 100,000 page loads per minute and a peak performance rate of 500,000. Never have a frustrated potential shopper again because of page load times.

If you haven’t taken the step to make your eCommerce store responsive yet, the Shopify platform offers a variety of themes that take this style of programming into account.
You have heard about responsive websites that make this happen and if you have, you also are aware of the high costs involved that go into making a responsive eCommerce store. With Shopify you can select various themes that are already built responsive at no additional cost to yourself. Black Arrow Marketing is a Shopify Partner and we would be happy to guide you as you consider moving your store over to the stable Shopify. Click Here to go and get started with building your brand on the Shopify platform.

Making the decision to change platforms is a tough decision, however after you weigh all the issues that have been going on with the Yahoo platform this past year now just might be the time. Naturally you can expect to encounter some bumps in the road during the migration process but keep in mind the reason you’re doing this in the first place. A stable platform, uptime and access to your admin area when you need it. And based on the platform level you choose you can rest assured that support will only be a phone call away, unlike it is now on Aabaco (Yahoo Small Business)

If you’re interested in moving your store over to Shopify, Black Arrow Marketing can get you there. Give us a call at 888-225-4780 or send an e-mail to Info@BlackArrowMarketing.com and we will be happy to listen to and answer any questions you may have about making this important move, with Black Arrow Marketing, you won’t be on your own. Remember our slogan, which we stand behind each day. “Let us help you get out of the red and into the black”!