To ensure that our merchants do not suffer  data loss, Razoyo continually stresses the importance of backing up data. Merchants who build their sites on a SaaS platform like BigCommerce often mistakenly believe that they are protected. However, as BigCommerce says, it’s truly a ‘Shared Responsibility’.

BigCommerce definitely provides advantages and eliminates the need to back up your web site’s code. Your data, on the other hand, is another issue.

Backing up is the process of creating and storing copies of important data. Backing up your store’s data helps attenuate the misfortune caused by an accidental loss from human error or even theft.

 It is crucial to understand the process of backing up your website. 

  • Should you be running CSV Exports and saving WebDav files regularly? 
  • What is the benefit of using a third-party solution for these product backups?
  • Do these solutions capture all the data that would normally be captured from a CSV backup?

In order to reduce the possibility of losing data we suggest using applications designed for backup and recovery, such as Rewind or Skyvia. Some of our clients also use theme generators with backup capabilities to keep copies of style and layout customization data. 

Before running to a packaged solution, you should examine the consequences of data loss. For most merchants, data loss occurs extremely rarely and keeping back ups has a cost. How and when to keep backups will be driven by the risk and impact of data loss. 

If you find packaged solutions expensive, or unlikely to meet your backup needs, you can back up your data manually. It’s best to look at the various kinds of data that make up your web store and target them appropriately. 

Techniques for Minimizing Impact of Data Loss

Products & Product Images

Products and their associated images play a vital part in your company’s site. All products have data associated with them while images are files. Usually the product is associated with an image via a file name. However, hosts will change the image file names when they resize or perform other content optimization operations. If the image name disappears due to data loss, the file with original name is no longer there. Thus, you want to back up your image files and your product data at the same time.

In addition, we recommend the following practices:

  1. Keep both product upload data and images organized in folders if you usually upload products.
  2. Take occasional downloads of your product data and store them locally. 

By executing these recommendations, re-uploading your product data will be a breeze and will allow your company to swiftly recover from an error or server issue.

Orders

Companies with high order volume should back up data more aggressively. For companies who only have a few orders a week, this may not be a huge concern. Nonetheless, we  recommend several practices that allow merchants of all sizes to back up orders regardless of their platform.

  1. Set up a specific email inbox that receives bcc’s of all orders placed.
  2. Remember that every order will also be reproduced to some extent on your payment platform. Choose one that has export capability as that data may come in handy in case of a data loss.
  3. Sync order data to your accounting system.

By following these steps, merchants will have multiple options to recover order data in the worst possible scenario. 

Customers

By ensuring that customer data is backed up, you can help ensure uninterrupted client relationships. While it is possible for customers to create a new account if theirs is deleted, they have to go through the sign up process again and may not be able to see old orders associated with their account. 

If you are using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, you are probably already syncing your customer data to an external system. If not, we recommend downloading the data on occasion. Keep in mind that — as with orders — your payment processor (Paypal, Authorize.net, Braintree, etc) may be able to help fill in gaps if you were to have a mishap.

The frequency of this would be determined by the merchant. If the website generates new customers frequently, the data should be downloaded daily. For those that do not, this could be done a few times a week. 

Non-Product Content

While creating content using the BigCommerce admin interface, you risk losing data due to session timeouts. Rather than writing content directly in BigCommerce, try keeping it in a well-organized file-folder, or on a Google Drive folder. The content can then be transferred to BigCommerce by simply copying and pasting when it is ready.

Whether or not you are concerned about data loss, organizing content off-platform allows you to prepare it and share it with other stakeholders before you deploy it to BigCommerce.

Conclusion 

The tragedy of data loss can be avoided by ensuring that you back up key data such as orders, products, customer information, and other non-product content. It’s worth creating and executing a strategy that provides you with the level of protection that makes sense for your business.