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Moving Ecommerce Platform: Unable To Move Customer Accounts. Opinions Please!

Discussion in 'HTML, Graphics & Programming' started by steve_c, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. steve_c

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 3, 2005

    Posts: 688

    Hi all,

    Thought this would be the best place to post this and get some of your opinions...

    Our ecommerce shop runs on quite an old platform.

    We need to move this over to a more modern and robust solution (Shopify). This is for a number of reasons (improved payment gateway, portability, integration and design).

    We can export our customer database (around 20,000 accounts - not all active, obviously) but cannot move passwords over for obvious reasons (passwords on original platform are protected by one way algorithm).

    We are in a bit of a quandary and have the following solutions:

    1) Move accounts over and mail all customers that they will need to reset their passwords

    2) Do not move accounts over and send them a mail, asking them to register again (this may confuse existing customers if they do not get the mail).

    3) Disable the need for user accounts and allow people to check out as guests (Problem here is that they will not be able to view their old orders but the move will be done in a quiet period).

    Personally, I like the idea of idea 3 as I've been reading a few articles which state that removing the need for requiring user registration increases conversions.

    I'd like to hear your opinions, if possible!

    Thanks in advance, as usual!

    Steve.
     
  2. planty

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2013

    Posts: 1,250

    3 is a good option for the reasons you mentioned (I hate having to sign up for accounts at places I may only use once).

    Couldn't you offer the option to check out as guest whilst also doing option 1? That way users who want to keep their accounts can do.
     
  3. steve_c

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 3, 2005

    Posts: 688

    Hi Planty

    Thanks for your reply.

    Well I originally thought that but some of my customers are quite elderly.

    If they come to the new site and try to sign in with their email and password, they will be told their password is incorrect. This could stop them from going any further.

    Thanks again
     
  4. AHarvey

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,172

    Location: Stoke area

    The problem is with option 3 is that you are limiting the chance to have repeat business and collecting data for purchasers that enable you to run custom personalised campaigns.

    If it was me, I'd split accounts into a few categories:

    1) Anyone that hasn't ordered in the last 12 months. Write their accounts off. Fire them an email advising that you've moved to a new platform and for security reasons will not be moving their accounts over as they've not been used in 12 months. Advise they will need to create a new account when visiting the site.

    2) Those that have visited in the last 6 months, move them over first and fire them an email. Thank them for their business and that to provide them with a faster more responsive experience you're moving the site to a new platform. Tell them you are moving their accounts over and that they will need to create a new password on logging in to the site for security reasons.

    3) 6-12 months old, move them over second, again, email them advising them of the change and that a password reset will be needed on the site when logging in for the first time.

    Put a notice on the login page reminding them that any customers that have used the site in the last 12 months will need need to create a new password the first time they log in. Anyone over 12 months or new customers should create an account as standard.

    Pop on a second notice that creating account allows you to send them special offers and deals.
     
  5. steve_c

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 3, 2005

    Posts: 688

    Hi AHarvey

    Thanks for your reply.

    You make a good point regarding splitting the customers into groups of activity.

    Having accounts disabled still enables you to collect data about purchase habits from customers but simply removes the need for these customers to log in.

    Essentially, the shop still creates an entity for the customer with the email address.

    The problem with mailing customers is that not all of the customers will receive the emails (especially if they have unsubbed from our newsletters etc).

    Then confusion starts when these people attempt to log in. Their password will be incorrect and they will not be able to sign up under their original email address.

    Thanks again,

    Stephen.
     
  6. Varwen

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 6, 2013

    Posts: 229

    Surely 3 and 1 are not mutually exclusive? Enabling checkout as guess is normally followed by a "thank you for your order - would you like to add a password to create an account?" page.

    If this is the case, I'd go with both. Move accounts and send email + login screen message warning of new password, plus enable checkout as guest. This way, previous/repeat customers get everything they're used to i.e previous orders etc., and new one time buyers aren't put off by having to set up an account.
     
  7. peterwalkley

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 23, 2009

    Posts: 2,258

    Location: South Wirral

    I'm missing something, but why can't you move the password hashes over to the new platform - or is there no way for the new platform to use the same algorithm as the old one ?
     
  8. mrbell1984

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 9, 2008

    Posts: 18,636

    Location: UK

    I would say guest checkout. (3). The reason for this is so that you are not collecting user data as such. Checkout using multiple platforms is ideal. If I need to return something I make sure I keep the invoice. Guest checkouts means the invoice could be handled by the payment gateway or paper invoice.
     
  9. gord

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2003

    Posts: 18,888

    Location: Midlands

    How much repeat custom do you do?
     
  10. steve_c

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 3, 2005

    Posts: 688

    Many thanks for all of the replies.

    To answer a few pf your questions, I am going from PrestaShop > Shopify. There is no way to move over the passwords or hashes.

    If I went with both option 1 and 3, a returning customer may not be expecting to create an account again and if they did tick the box to "remember me", I assume they would be prompted that their email address is currently in use...

    Having thought about it more, I'm sure that 3 is the only option. I think I would rather have customers wonder why they do not have to enter their password any more rather than trying and failing (or trying to create a new account and being told it already exists).

    We have a large amount of repeat custom, gord.
     
  11. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 18,722

    Location: Surrey and London

    I would recommend you either email your users or put an explanation page up when they try to login. Unless you explain to them that it is a considered action as part of an overall improvement they may just think your company is incompetent for losing their login details.

    You may even be able to present it as a positive thing. For example "We are upgrading our system to improve the features and stability we offer you. Unfortunately as part of the platform upgrade, and because we take you're online security seriously by holding passwords securely, we are not able to migrate your login details to the new system. We politely ask that users re-register on our site and apologise for any inconvenience we have caused. In the mean time you may like to checkout as a guest.", etc, etc.
     
  12. steve_c

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 3, 2005

    Posts: 688

    Hi Hades

    Thank you for your reply.

    I cannot see how this would be a good move.

    There is no way I can guarantee that the customers will receive the email (may end up in junk etc) and the explanation page not not be such an elegant solution, especially for new customers.

    I don't think I can use the optional accounts setting as the existing customers will receive error messages saying that their account is already registered.
     
  13. gord

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2003

    Posts: 18,888

    Location: Midlands

    Then is option 3 even viable? You're going to kill a lot of repeat custom with guest only checkouts. It means form filling every time.

    Option 1 is the best as is Hades' advice. No you can't guarantee people will read the email, but why would your explanation not be elegant? And why would new customers get the email? This is just for the accounts you migrate, don't send it to anyone else.
     
  14. touch

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 28, 2006

    Posts: 10,042

    Location: Sufferlandria

    You really need to tell your customers what's happening.
    Even if you switch to a guest-only checkout, how will your customers know? They'll think they still have an account and go round in circles looking for the login option.
     
  15. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 18,722

    Location: Surrey and London

    If it were my business I would:

    1) Put up a banner page for a couple of weeks in advance of the move to tell people visiting the site what will happen.
    2) Email customers to explain what will happen.
    3) On the day of migration do option 1 (move accounts over, prompting a new password).
    4) Email customers to confirm the migration has happened.
    5) When prompted to login also have a banner saying why (remove it after a week).

    Also test the migration to make sure it's smooth. Document all steps needed and perform it in the live environment.

    Killing your customers accounts is a frustrating thing for them. Not telling them what's happening will compound it. I deal with similar issues at work and one of the biggest sins in the eyes of our business users is lack of communication.
     
  16. steve_c

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 3, 2005

    Posts: 688

    Hi Hades,

    The process with guest checkouts is actually slightly quicker than logging in (I've had some regular buyers test the site for me).

    With accounts, you need username, password. Then you need to select your delivery address / billing address and proceed to card payment details.

    With guest checkout, you enter name and address (usually saved by autofill) and then card payment details.

    Let's say I go with option 1 / 3.

    Some customers do not get my email telling them of a need to change password for the new system. They visit the new site and go through to checkout. There's an option to register an account on checkout and they are told their email is already in use. They then try to login to that account and told their password is incorrect.

    There's a chance I will lose that sale.

    It's a good point about communication and I think a good idea to mail customers telling them of the change and the new guest checkout feature.

    A banner is also a good idea with maybe a link to the new site FAQ.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  17. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 18,722

    Location: Surrey and London

    Another question but it's just a general one rather than about the migration... If it is quicker and easier for regular customers to checkout as a guest then what value is their profile adding? A decent site will usually remember their details (including some, but not all of their card details). For example amazon one click checkout must drive a crazy amount of sales.

    If logging in really doesn't offer much benefit over being a guest then maybe that needs looking at too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  18. supafly

    Gangster

    Joined: Oct 31, 2005

    Posts: 299

    Can you not just move everything over. When user tries to login with old password, display some text explaining need for password reset, with link to password reset page.

    Or if script code can be modified pay a programmer to modify login page so it will work with old hashed passwords using same algorithm as last script.
     


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