While the Magento 1 platform is still active and supported there’s less urgency to switch-up to Magento 2. There are benefits to upgrading to Magento 2. Magento 1 will come to an end, it is best to be prepared, there are newer features, speed improvements amongst other things.
Magento have developed the Magento 2 Data Migration Tool which helps to efficiently move all products, customers, order data, configuration, promotions and other bits and pieces from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
The Migration process has been fully thought out for standard Magento installs, however, issues can arise when custom code and extensions are involved. It is important to first review third-party extensions and custom modules to decide which will need to be replicated in Magento 2. For the most part alternative extensions will need to be sourced and development time for bespoke modules and extensions.
Like custom code and extensions, front end themes will need to be redeveloped. The themes for Magento 1 are different then Magento 2. The store owner will need to decide how much of the old site they want to replicate or of they want a brand new front end for their site.
Check before upgrading that all the integrations you rely on can be configured to work with Magento 2. Order exports, product feeds, newsletter service integrations should all be checked before hand.
This is part one of a series on upgrading from Magento 1 to Magento 2