E-commerce businesses typically have the following assets that must be transferred once a sale occurs and funds are secured within escrow.
Domain Name and DNS:
Domain names are managed by a registrar. This can be a separate company from the hosting provider but may also be the same. For example, GoDaddy is both a registrar and a hosting company.
The domain name must be transferred from one registrar to another or within the same registrar.
These steps are as follows.
- Confirm with the seller that they have initiated the transfer process from their end.
- The buyer will begin the transfer process with the new registrar, providing the domain name and the authorization code (EPP code) obtained from the seller.
- Approve any transfer requests or emails sent by the new registrar.
- Await Completion, as the transfer process typically takes 5-7 days.
- Update DNS (if applicable): Once complete, update the domain's nameservers to point to your website's hosting provider.
DNS contains a set of rules related to the website, like where the files for the site are hosted and where email should be processed.
The domain registrar’s role is to point out which DNS to use. It’s essential to make sure that DNS servers are updated to the new hosting provider.
Website Content / E-commerce Platform
Website content typically consists of all text, images, and video that make up the site. The format of this content and how it’s transferred will depend on the CMS or platform used to build the site.
Shopify stores can be transferred in a few different ways, depending on the situation. Development stores can be easily handed off to clients through the Partner Dashboard. For regular stores, ownership can be transferred to another user within the same organization or to a new account entirely through a dedicated transfer process.
WordPress / WooCommerce will be able to be backed up and sent over to the buyer in the form of zipped files and a database that then needs to be restored. WordPress also has several plugins that manage backup and restore.
We recommended talking with your hosting provider and asking them the best way to restore a WordPress site. They will have detailed guides related to their particular environment and, in some cases, will provide a migration service for free where they will help set up the site as part of opening an account.
Handing over stock suppliers for an e-commerce business requires a smooth transition to ensure minimal disruption and maintain positive relationships.
A formal introduction to all suppliers via both email and joint meetings where required is important.
Topics to cover are the pricing of stock, current contracts, if any, delivery details for orders, current stock orders already in progress, and how orders should be requested and paid for going forward.
Stock / Inventory
It’s critical to understand where all stock is held. It could be at the seller's home or warehouse, distributed either locally or globally within a 3PL warehouse, or drop shipped; therefore, no additional storage is required.
Movement of stock so that it’s under the control of the buyer will need to be arranged. This can include shipping it to new locations of the setup of accounts within the current 3PL
Ad accounts are used to drive paid traffic to the E-Commerce store. Each Ad account provider will have different processes for transferring these. It will either set up a new ad ID to be updated on the site or transfer the current ad ID between accounts.
Here are some of the popular platforms:
Note: As these are external providers, it’s important to always confirm the correct transfer process with the provider at the time of transfer.
Meta Ad Account
Meta ad accounts can't be directly transferred between owners. You can effectively share control or move assets to a new account within Business Manager. This involves granting partner access to the account or assigning it to a different Business Manager, allowing for shared management and eventual independent operation. To fully transfer assets like ad campaigns, custom audiences, and page access, you'll need to create a new ad account under the desired Business Manager and manually migrate those elements. While not a direct transfer, these methods enable you to shift control and resources to different owners or accounts as needed.
Google Ads Account
No, Google Ad accounts can't be directly transferred between owners. However, you have options! You can share control by granting partner access, manually migrate data to a new account under the desired owner, or utilize Google Ads Manager accounts for centralized control across multiple accounts. While a direct transfer isn't available, these alternatives offer flexibility for managing ownership and access.
GA Properties are transferred between Google accounts. The process here is that a new owner/administrator will need to be set up within the account. Once the buyer has full access, they can remove the seller from the account.
Each social network will have its process for transferring the account, and there are often 2-factor transfer processes that must be followed. It’s advised to set a time for both the buyer and seller to be online to speed up this process while using time-sensitive codes.
It is often a matter of updating the email address connected to the social media account. If the account email is on the same domain as the asset being sold, then taking over the email address will also provide access to the social media account.
All 2-factor authentication will need to be removed and configured again, for example, SMS or an Authentication account like Google Authenticator.