Migrating to Shopify - the essential guide

Migrating to Shopify
the essential guide

Martin Cox

You're not alone if you're thinking about moving from another platform (eg. Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce) to Shopify.

Just look at this Google Trends report. Shopify is the blue line going up and up!

It's hard to migrate, so why do it?

Every client we've migrated to Shopify has had their different reasons, but they include:

  • They are currently using a self-hosted platform that was built several years ago and is going to cost a fortune to upgrade.
  • Their current platform is clunky to use and hasn't kept up with best practice e-commerce technology.
  • They want to be able to be able to manage their store themselves without calling on developers all the time.
  • They've just heard so many good things about Shopify they couldn't resist.

Ok, so where do I start?

Here's the first few questions we ask anyone who is thinking about moving to Shopify:

  • Products: Can you get your products and content off your current site?  As long as you can export your products, a Shopify Expert can get your data into the right format for import to Shopify.
  • Integration: What does your current store integrate with and do those programs integrate with Shopify? That includes:
    • Payment gateways (although if you're moving to Shopify you should consider using their payment gateway)
    • Inventory management
    • Accounting software
  • Shipping: There are some limitations to the shipping rules you can set up in Shopify so it's important to be aware of them... although a good developer can often find a workaround and there are some nifty plugins available.
  • SEO: This is the scariest bit for many businesses.  No one wants to re-platform and see their search engine traffic fall of a cliff.  But a good SEO strategy can turn a migration to Shopify into a positive for your search traffic.
  • Globalising: Does your store require multiple currencies and require different stores for different locations?
  • Costs: Have you checked Shopify's pricing structure to work out the best package for you?  For high turnover businesses it's worth checking if Shopify Plus is a viable option.

Is it really a deal breaker?

Migrating to a new platform is an opportunity to re-think some of your processes.  If you're moving your website to a better platform, then perhaps its also time to leave a clunky accounting package or your complex shipping rules behind.

Shopify integrates with almost any software that is worth integrating with, and if it doesn't, APIs make it possible to get almost any two systems to talk.

It's a fresh start, a blank canvas

If you're moving house, you take the opportunity to declutter. Before you start the migration process, start thinking about if there are any parts of your current website that you can tidy up. That can include:

  • Clearing out old products
  • Removing redundant collections pages
  • Cleaning up your blog (there's no need to migrate your 2014 Christmas trading hours to your new site!)
  • Making sure your customer database is sorted and clean

Whether your current ecommerce platform is Magento, WooCommerce, Neto, BigCommerce or a custom platform, hopefully this has helped you to make sure you plan your move to Shopify strategically.

Ready to take the plunge, or need help assessing whether Shopify is the right platform for you?  Book a consultation with one of our Experts.