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Should You Migrate to V3?

Since V3 started hitting people’s radars, the question I get most often after “What is V3” is “Should I upgrade to V3”. I think we can reasonably assume that at some point in the future, BigCommerce is not going to support both the old product management experience (V2) and the new one (V3). And as we saw with Blueprint themes when Stencil was released, app developers are going to build for the latest version, even if BigCommerce doesn’t force people to migrate.

So ultimately, the question isn’t really “should I upgrade to V3”, but whether you should upgrade now or at some later point in the future. Here are the factors I’ve been telling my clients to think about.

Seasonal/Business Considerations

Upgrading to V3 may be a quick and easy process or something that takes you days or even weeks to do. It will all come down to the complexity of your products and whether you’re using features that V3 doesn’t support. If you’re one of the stores that has a lot of shared products options (and you want to keep them shared) or you’ve relied on configurable fields up to this point, you should assume that your migration to V3 will take a few weeks. You products will be incomplete during the switch so you may need to take your store down for maintenance for some or all of this time. This means you’ll want to do your migration during a “down season” to minimize the impact on sales. In addition, there may be a lot of prep work involved. For example, configurable fields will need to be documented before the migration. Therefore, you may want to start the process a few weeks in advance of the actual switch over. Store owners will need to determine both when they’ll have time (or staff availability) to work on these pre-migration tasks and when it makes the most sense to be closed for business.

The Migration Process – Now vs Later

Another consideration is the actual process of upgrading. Right now, BigCommerce isn’t offering a migration tool that will do the upgrade for you. As you’ll see in my V3 Migration Instructions, there are a lot of steps involved if you rely upon options for some or all of your products. BigCommerce has said that they are working on a migration tool that will automate the process. Therefore, some store owners may want to wait until that tool is available rather than doing a manual upgrade now.

Functional Differences

While much of the difference between V3 and V2 is visual, there are some significant changes in how things work and some functionality gaps (at least as of now). If we assume that BigCommerce is working on addressing the actual functionality gaps, an argument could be made for holding off on a migration until those issues are fixed. However, if the changes to how options are handled won’t work for your business, even if the functionality gaps are fixed, upgrading to V3 just may not be an option for you. In that case, a platform switch may be required. Changing platforms would certainly be a much bigger project than upgrading to V3. Really consider the costs and time involved before determining whether that’s the best option.