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Magento To Shopify Migration Checklist

One of the decisions that can make or break the success of your business is the eCommerce platform you pick. But that’s not all.

Very often, after you’ve chosen an eCommerce platform to go with, you may want to switch platforms, maybe because your business has expanded or the current storeware doesn’t work for your level of trade.

Perhaps the platform you’re on is more suited to B2B than to B2C.

Whatever your reasons for migrating to a different platform, you can find a fully functional platform that you can rely on to get the job done.

If you’ve been using Magento and want to switch to Shopify, some of the benefits you’ll get from Shopify include ease of store maintenance, security, hosted store, and easy customization.

Shopify also offers social media integration and exposure, no hidden fees, SEO-friendly, improved performance, reliability, support, and scalability.

Without further ado, here’s the Magento to Shopify migration checklist you need to get started.

How To Migrate From Magento To Shopify

If you have an eCommerce store on Magento, you need to ensure that your content (including product information) makes it to Shopify.

You can also transfer your functionality and design from your Magento store to your Shopify store.

This is made possible by exporting the database (orders, customers, and products) and then configuring the Shopify store appearance using apps that expand the functionality.

This checklist will help you move your Magento store to Shopify as smoothly as possible, depending on the nature of the data you have on your store.

It’s important to map the data that you’re moving and into what field because Magento and Shopify define product attributes differently, meaning they won’t fit exactly in either platform.

This will help you know where everything goes.

Another thing to note is that migration can affect search results and traffic, but it doesn’t always happen.

However, you need to note the structure for your Shopify site and set up redirects in order to preserve SEO juice.

Types Of Migration

There are three types of migrations you can apply when moving your Magento store over to Shopify:

  • Manual: copy and paste data from Magento into Shopify. It involves uploading and updating images and links respectively. It takes more effort and needs technical knowledge but you can’t use it for large online stores with thousands of products.
  • Assisted: involves using a developer, or techie, or software called data migration converters. Assisted migration is expensive as you’re hiring a Magento development agency to do it for you and manage everything, but automated migration.
  • Automated: uses services and tools that minimize human involvement and automate the migration.

The best way to go is to use a hybrid approach for instance using a manual and automated approach.

In this case, the automated service moves all your data and then you use the manual way to configure your new store, but if you’re not tech-savvy, consider hiring Magento to Shopify migration experts to help you with the process.

Planning The Store Migration

Just as you need proper planning and preparation for any project, you’ll need the same when moving your Magento store to Shopify.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the steps you need to take in phases to switch seamlessly between the platforms.

Magento to Shopify Migration Checklist

  1. Review your needs and goals
  2. Evaluate your current situation
  3. Prepare Your Magento and Shopify Stores
    • Make a backup of your store’s database
    • Carry out an audit of your store’s data
    • Check up your current Magento store access details
    • Create your Shopify store
    • Install the required features and apps
    • Estimate the cost of store migrationc
  1. Decide on your store’s design
  2. Identify the Necessary Apps and Integrations
  3. Migrate Your Data and Content
    • Migrate Products
    • Migrate Customer Data
    • Migrate Analytics and Reports
    • Additional Migration Options
  1. Launch and Optimize your Shopify Store
    • Optimize your Shopify Store for Search engine optimization (SEO) 
    • Optimize your Shopify Store for Conversion rate optimization (CRO) 
  2. Post-migration audit

1. Review your needs and goals

The first step is to decide on your needs and goals before starting the process. Ask yourself the right questions in order to stay on budget and stick to your timelines.

This way, you won’t have to make any last-minute adjustments.

Some of the things to consider include why you’re moving from Magento, whether you’ve collected your data from your current store, and how much you’re ready to invest in the migration.

2. Evaluate your current situation

Find out what your biggest qualms are with Magento before moving to check if they’re available in Shopify.

Plus, your store is your best business asset, so you want to make sure any brand identity changes are made before you migrate.

Migration is also not a cheap process, but if you look at it as an investment instead of a costly affair, you’ll move your business to a new level of control and usability.

However, know what you can invest before you delve into the process.

Identify what is needed for the migration and then set your expectations accordingly.

For example, you will have to pay for hosting, maintenance, bandwidth, security, upgrade, and maintenance dev time moving to Shopify.

3. Prepare Your Magento and Shopify Stores

Once you know your goals and needs, and you’ve evaluated your situation to know the kind of investment required for migrating from Magento to Shopify, you can prepare both stores for the process.

For your Magento store, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Make a backup of your store’s database of data such as products and customer information among others. Backing up ensures that your data is secure and helps you avoid any related risks.
  • Carry out an audit of your store’s data so that you have a detailed inventory of everything including reviews, passwords, orders, categories, product details, and more. This also helps you map out the data types you have and figure out what you need to keep, rewrite or delete.
  • Get all your current Magento store access details including cPanel credentials, FTP, SSH, SFTP, and URL.

To set up your Shopify store to receive data from the Magento store, you’ll need to have a Shopify store created and ready.

If not, create a trial store to transfer your data to using a trial demo migration.

  • Once you create your store, pick a theme. You can start with the Shopify theme and customize it after the migration is completed to avoid interfering with the migration
  • Install the required features and apps to help you transfer data to a Shopify Development agency or software (assisted or automated migration). Ideally, the size of data and any added migration options you need will determine the overall cost of the migration.

4. Decide on your store’s design

If you’re switching to Shopify from Magento, you probably want to change the design of your site to match your brand because it’s critical to revenue generation.

Plus, it takes some thought when migrating from one platform to another.

You can replicate the current design, use it as a starting point, or a complete rebuild/redesign.

All three approaches depend on where you’re at in your site’s lifecycle, but you also have to factor in the kind of theme you want (pre-made, free, or premium) and add customizations or functionality via apps.

Once you’ve decided on the theme and design, you can make a decision based on whether or not you have a design budget.

5. Identify the Necessary Apps and Integrations

You’ve reviewed your goals and needs, evaluated your current situation, and picked out a design for your store. The next step is to plan for the necessary apps and integrations for your Shopify store.

The good news is that Shopify’s App Store covers a wide range of add-on functionality packed with apps and third-party service connectors you’ll plug into your store for easier data sharing.

If you want, you can get a developer to create custom solutions for anything else you want to connect to your Shopify store especially if you want to integrate with business-critical systems.

6. Migrate Your Data and Content

After setting up your Shopify store, it’s time to move all your product and customer-based data, reports, analytics, and content to the new site. The data is moved in order from products, customers, and then historical data among other data groups.

Migrate Products

Products can also be moved from one store to another, but you first need to populate the product and category pages, which you will refer to for order and customer data when migrating to Shopify.

You can migrate information on products such as name, description, price and others from Magento during migration of downloadable data, but you can’t import the downloadable files into Shopify due to its API restrictions.

Some apps like Cart2Cart guarantee migration of your data provided that you install the necessary plugins. This includes data such as Reviews (user name, created data, rates, product, title and comments).

Migrate Customer Data

Customer data includes order history, gift cards, and discount codes besides your customer’s details.

This is sensitive yet very important data so you must get it right when migrating to Shopify from Magento, so the import method you use is critical.

You can check with Shopify migration experts so that you ensure you get it right on the first try.

Migrate Content

In terms of content, you’ll be migrating what makes up your site including pages, files, posts, and images that people see when they visit your site.

This includes your About and support pages, Terms and Conditions, Return, and Privacy policy pages.

Dynamic content like blog posts, product and category pages, homepage, news, and events will also be moving to your new site, as well as images, downloadable guides, lead magnets, and more.

Note: You can move all your content automatically to Shopify. However, if you’re moving to Shopify Plus, you can use the Transporter app or ask someone to connect your Magento store to the Shopify API.

This step gives you the best opportunity to consider which content is necessary to move over, how big your blog is and whether it’s of any use, and identify non-moving products in your store.

If you have Google Analytics on Magento, it’s easy to determine these things because it shows you the top-performing content so you can know what to cut out.

This way, you can cut on migration time, costs, and improve your site’s performance.

Migrate Analytics and Reports

You can also migrate reports and analytics from Magento to Shopify if you’re not changing your URLs. If you’ll change URLs, whether it’s for your products or site-wide, it’ll mean new pages in Google Analytics.

There’s a lot to migrate but you can check the Shopify store for the best partners to help you migrate your data if you’re not tech-savvy in this area.

Other Migration Options

You can select other migration options specific to your requirements and needs for a more seamless transfer across Magento and Shopify.

Both platforms organize their store entities differently, for instance, what you had as categories on Magento are referred to as Collections on Shopify.

On the other hand, Magento’s subcategories are renamed in Shopify as product tags.

Once you set up your Shopify store and the domain points to the new server, set up URL redirects (301) in Shopify to preserve the current structure of links to your products.

This way, you save the SEO ranking and your store’s old customers.

If you’re using a migration tool like Cart2Cart, you can map countries, currencies, languages, order statuses, and customer groups.

Once you migrate your data, you can always configure shipping, payment providers and taxes later, and then place test orders from start through to checkout to confirm that it works.

7. Launch and Optimize your Shopify Store

Now that you’ve moved all your stuff from Magento to your Shopify store, go ahead and launch it but keep performing search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Optimize your Shopify Store for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Shopify offers built-in SEO optimization with the best of technical SEO such that you don’t have to make many improvements on your site.

The store pages will have fast load times and good structure among other optimization aspects.

However, you need to set up keyword-focused metadata for your pages, products, posts, and images, submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console, configure 301 redirects, and create keyword-rich content.

Not only that, but Shopify’s unchangeable URL structure makes sure your pages and posts are denoted by collection or product pages, and blogs for different blogs or posts.

Previously, people were worried about how their SEO would be impacted by this structure, but it won’t cause a dip in your search engine rankings today as it would have a decade ago.

However, if you don’t do the migration process well, it may negatively affect your rankings, though sometimes it can boost your search engine results page position by pruning dead pages and bad links.

It can also improve user experience and build a more functional site.

Optimize your Shopify Store for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization helps you grow your store as time goes by through data so as to increase sales.

Once you migrate to Shopify, ensure you have measurement frameworks – qualitative and quantitative – in place and use built-in analytics reporting, heatmaps, user polls, surveys, and Google Analytics.

With these tools in place, you can access a ton of data to draw from for improving your site and making it usable and appealing to your audience.

You’ll also get to see if any site pages, web browser,s or devices have issues after the move.

Having the best SEO practices in place ensures you are able to draw in organic traffic. Make sure you have a plan for regularly adding content to your site so as to grow and convert traffic over time.

Plus, installing tools and collecting data helps you improve your site and marketing efforts.

8. Post-migration audit

Your Shopify store is now live and ready to continue receiving customers’ orders and organic traffic.

While the migration process is complete, you still need to carry out a few things to ensure your store functions properly and your data is intact.

The post-migration audit involves testing your Shopify store to check for potential  issues such as:

  • An active domain name
  • All links work properly including those in menus, header, footer, and within pages
  • Products are available in catalogs
  • Search (onsite) is working properly
  • Test purchase on your store to make sure it executes properly
  • Find all the apps required for your Shopify store from the marketplace to replace those you had in Magento
  • Notify your customers that you’ve migrated to Shopify and invite them to revive their accounts. Request them to share any issues they have so you can get your store running fast.

Wrapping Up

There you have it. All the must-do activities compiled into a short checklist for you to use when performing your Magento to Shopify migration.

While it’s not an exhaustive list, it’s still a good place to start when preparing both stores and data for a seamless transfer.

Priyanka heads the Client Servicing team at Ebizon. With over 10+ years of impressive experience in technology consulting and software project management, she has worked with clients from diverse industries including Ecommerce, Retail, Education, Healthcare and Publishing. With deep tech industry knowledge, Priyanka is known for bridging the gap between those who are highly technical and those who are business minded. She was also invited by Drupal4Design Camp held at MIT, Boston to present Case Study on "Scaling Drupal with Confidence ".

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