Pratikkumar P. Gaikwad | 10 min read | Nov 28, 2019

How To Migrate From Magento To Shopify

Migration from Magento to Shopify can be the best choice you’ve ever made or it can transform your company into a dumpster fire. Whether you are well prepared is the difference.
Magento has been THE solution for large e-commerce stores for a long time, but this is no longer the case.Many big businesses have made the switch to Shopify over the past few years and have continued to grow without a hiccup.How can you make a massive success of your move to Shopify?
Take these five steps:

  • Step 1: Decide On Your Plans and Requirements Until You Begin Action
  • Step 2: Build The Home You Want
  • Step 3: Prepare for Applications And Integrations You Need
  • Step 4: Migrate As A Group
  • Step 5: Start And Optimize

ADecide On Your Plans and Requirements Until You Begin Action

The first step is to assess your situation. Some questions need to be answered so that you stay on budget, stick to better timelines, and don’t have to change last minute.
They’re here:

1. WHAT ARE YOUR REASONS FOR MOVING AWAY FROM MAGENTO?

What’s your biggest platform issues? Long cycles of updates? Costly developer times? Is your site just not going to let you do stuff you need or want to do? You’re going to want to make sure you’ve got what you need from the start with your new site.

2. HAVE INFORMATION FROM YOUR CURRENT SITE COLLECTED?

This store is the face that you are presenting to the world.This reflects your digital identity and is the company’s best asset.If you want the branding and website layout to be revised or changed, now is the time.
You will need professional help, but you will also need to express your preferences to the experts.This is when quantitative and qualitative data must be collected from your site before you migrate.

Statistics are the numerical evidence. How many users are landing on certain pages? Where are they headed afterwards? How many visits to conversion will it take? What website content drives and helps transform traffic into purchases?
Google Analytics will have most of the quantitative data you and the specialist require.

Here are the quantitative data you need to collect:

  • Which pages are the most traffic-related?
  • Which pages result in conversions?
  • Which pages do people go without buying?
  • Which pages have maximum bounce levels?
  • By demographic groups, who are the best customers?
  • What are the most frequently dropped stages of your checkout funnel?
  • How far are people browsing and scrolling down the page?
  • Where do people most often click? Is it beyond what you’d expect?
Qualitative information is about people and their behavior.How they are going around the site. This is more complex and can vary from one-on-one surveys and eye-tracking systems to private on-site popup polling.
Heatmaps offer high quality input on how consumers communicate with a site.

Here are the qualitative data to collect:

  • How do you identify your own customers?
  • How are they explaining you to others?
  • What is the role of your products in their daily lives?

3. WHAT ARE YOU PREPARED TO INVEST?

This certainly won’t be cheap. If you look purely at migration as an expense, you’ll feel a bit hurt.Look at it instead as an opportunity.The change to Shopify puts the company to a new accessibility and control level.
Also, before you get too far into this phase, you need to learn what you can spend. Knowing what you need and what commitment you are willing to make would allow you to set your expectations accordingly.
For example, most of our migration projects at OSC fall within the range of $25K-$100K. Shops of extremely large catalogs of goods or stringent demands for design and development can be up to $250K.That number sounds big, but when you focus on growing a company consistently over time, you know it’s an opportunity that’s going to pay for itself many times over.
While Magento has stacking costs, Shopify stores pay a single monthly fee for full feature access.

Hosting

Tools Maintenance

Maintenance

Upgrade dev time

Maintenance dev time

Bandwidth

Security fixes

No matter how much traffic you get, you pay a single predetermined rate. The switch to Shopify may seem like a daunting prospect, but from day one operating the shop from Shopify will save you time, cash, and stress.

ACTION POINTS

List the reasons why you want to move away from Magento

The unique pain areas and restrictions that force you to shift.Would you like to have more control over your site? Do you need your team to have a better workflow? Make a list of the improvements you want from this move.

Work with your team to find out what data you have at your disposal.

Any good agency or consultant wants to see what is happening right now. Such information will instruct them as to what is effective for you right now and is not working for you.

Look at your budget

Look at your budget and get a realistic idea at the very least of what you can invest on building and upgrading to your new site. Remember, this move is a move that will reduce your costs and help your store generate more revenue than ever before.

BDESIGN THE HOME YOU NEED

Website design is central to successful ecommerce. The design of your site is your brand, and it’s a key factor in revenue generation. So when
you move platforms, it bears some serious thinking.
Your design process can be viewed in three ways:

  • Recreate your existing site design as it is.
  • Use the current design as starting point.
  • Completely restructure your site from scratch.

Which one do you need to choose?This depends on where you’re in the lifecycle of your platform.

1. RECREATE YOUR EXISTING SITE DESIGN AS IT IS

Pixel-for-pixel copying the website design seems like a safe choice as you know exactly what the final product will look like.If you’ve done extensive work and CRO analysis to get to the new site design, this isn’t the world’s worst concept.
It is possible that replicating a Magento page on Shopify would entail a complete custom design. This is the most difficult way to move on, but it’s the best choice if you want a carbon copy of your existing website.

Pros

  • Can reuse the existing media and content assets as they are
  • Latest website / business performance statistics are documented
  • Time to launch is faster
  • Cost estimates are more reliable

Cons

  • Older designs for app responsiveness can be difficult to adapt
  • Can be tough work moving the site to the new platform
  • Can’t be optimized in order to generate revenue

2. USE THE CURRENT DESIGN AS A STARTING POINT

Shopify is a platform different from Magento and offers a variety of design and functionality.You should bring the look and feel of your brand with you in order to take full advantage of your new platform and at the same time give your site an update.
Through choosing the middle path here, consumers can still recognize you by preserving the brand image when upgrading the site.This ensures that you can enhance the layout of your page without leaving behind who you are.

Pros

  • Retain the brands look and feel, customers are familiar with
  • Refresh the website with a focus on increasing sales and conversions
  • More flexible thematic and budget options
  • Reuse a lot of your content and visual assets

Cons

  • If your images and marketing are not tightly focused on your target customer, it won’t help bringing it onto the site.
  • Redesigns are always at risk of the unknown.

3. COMPLETELY RESTRUCTURE YOUR SITE FROM SCRATCH.

You may not have changed your site in a while, and it looks dated. If so, a migration is the perfect opportunity to improve the design of your website.
Just like any redesign, this shouldn’t be done blindly. The whole point of your website design is to display content and drive visitors ‘ revenue-generating actions. To get a better understanding of what is and is not working before you redesign, you should collect data from your current site.

Pros

  • Redesigns provide an opportunity to address many issues at once, particularly when moving platforms.It’s up to you to fix anything that bugs you about how your site looks and feels.
  • Improved usability means that it’s easier for customers to browse and buy from your site.
  • Redesigning allows you to focus on your best customers.

Cons

  • Redesigning may require a long timeline and a large budget.
  • If not powered by results, revenues and profits can be negatively affected by a redesign.
It is an important step to determine your design needs. How comprehensive need to be the improvements to your website? How much do you want to take with you as you replatform or leave behind? Would you like a new face, or the comfort of familiarity?
Your theme will be the other piece of the design puzzle..
Your theme determines the framework for the appearance of your site, some back-end editing options, and some of the customer-facing features in the Shopify ecosystem.
99% of ecommerce features are always available as part of the Shopify platform, but some advanced features will only be available by adding apps to your store or coding them into your theme.
There are plenty of templates and designers with themes out there.

Think of things like this when we talk about advanced theme functionality:

  • Customized (monogramming) products.
  • Quick-add-to-cart from product display grids
  • Drop-down mega menus for navigation.
  • Drop-down mega menus for navigation.
  • Filtering options on category pages
  • Social sharing of products

These are all things that can be added to with external apps or custom development work, but you should look for them in your own theme if they are necessary.

FREE OR LOW-COST THEMES

Pros

  • Fastest deployment time
  • Lowest cost
  • Vetted and reviewed by others

Cons

  • Least built-in functionality
  • Some may not be suitable for stores with complex product catalogs
  • Many don’t offer the flexibility you want coming from a platform like Magento

Best choice for

  • Need to get site moved to Shopify platform NOW
  • Small budgets
  • Small product catalogs

PREMIUM THEMES

Pros

  • More functionality and flexibility than free or lower-cost themes.
  • Not as expensive as a full custom build.
  • Can be customized to add features and make more extensive design changes.

Cons

  • Can still be expensive if you need extensive customization done.
  • Altering code of customized theme can add bloat and complexity to code if not done by experienced developers.
  • Can cause issues with compatibility and upgrades.

Best choice for

  • Those who need what a premium theme offers — and just a bit more.
  • Mid- to large-sized stores that may eventually need a fully custom theme, but aren’t there yet, and use a tailored premium theme.

CUSTOM THEME BUILD

Pros

  • Offers the most flexibility and functionality.
  • Best way to separate yourself from the competition.
  • Some custom functionality can be built in, lowering page load times.
  • Built-in functionality can reduce the need to pay monthly for apps.

Cons

  • Most expensive.
  • Tied to the creator for the best lifetime service — not a problem if you choose a solid agency to work with.
  • Longest launch cycle.

Best choice for

  • Brands that want to create a completely original store experience.
  • Brands with the budget to create what they need.
  • Stores in need of advanced functionality and don’t want to plug in lots of apps to get it.
What type of theme you go for should be based on what you need and what you are prepared to invest.

ACTION POINTS

Think about your design needs

A carbon copy of your site? A fresh look based on your current design? Or a complete rebuild of your site?

Decide what kind of theme

Decide what kind of theme you are in the market for. Do you need custom functionality pre-built themes won’t offer, or could you start with a premium theme and add functionality through apps or customizations?

Set your design budget

This could be one of the higher-cost parts of the project. Decide whether you’ve got the ability and desire to dish out more dollars in exchange for something completely custom, or if you should start out building with a premium theme.

C PLAN FOR THE APPS AND INTEGRATIONS YOU NEED

You will be covered by the Shopify App Store for a wide range of add-on features.
You will find most of what you need in the app store that your theme does not already include. You can also find easy-to-use plugins to conveniently insert third-party applications into your shop (such as your CRM or email marketing tool) and share data.
If you need to incorporate extensively with business-critical systems (inventory control, other CRMs, warehousing, etc.), engineers will create custom applications for almost anything you’d ever need to link to your store.
Consider the equipment and services that you need to manage your store and how that’s going to happen.

  • Is this a Shopify function at the base level?
  • Do you need an app? What are the best apps and how much are you going to have to spend on them every month?
  • Which tools do you have with third party apps? Think about email marketing, social marketing, ad platforms, etc.
  • Which tools do you have with third party apps? Think about email marketing, social marketing, ad platforms, etc.
  • Have you got any super-deep, rare connections like suppliers, fulfillment, shipping, etc.? What sort of connection do they need?

ACTION POINTS

Create a list of your existing needs and solutions. Tech partners, services from third parties, apps, etc.
Measure the ROI you get from the critical functions of non-mission and determine whether the investment is worth the cost.If there is no ROI generated by something like a marketing channel or brand display feature, why move it to a new platform?
Decide what your ecommerce store actually needs to run.How are you doing things right today, and how can you do it better? Will you be able to automate repetitive tasks? Could you provide your staff with smoother workflows?

D MIGRATE AS A TEAM

To make the actual cycle of migration sound smoother than it is, you just need to move over your:

  • Product Data
  • Content Data
  • Customer-based Data

Also spreadsheets (CSV files) can be used to do a lot of work.
To be honest about it: it is a genuine Lovecraftian horror to get the information exported from Magento and correctly designed to carry them into Shopify.
Now, I know this suggestion sounds self-serving because I operate with a migration-focused Shopify agency but …
“Migrating your own ecommerce shop is like asking Cthulhu to have dinner. You’re not going to have a good time.”

What data gets migrated?

1. CONTENT DATA

We talk about what makes up the website itself when we talk about content. Pages, posts, files, pictures. The things people look at when they visit your site.
There is static, mostly unchanging content:

  • Terms and Conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Support Pages
  • Return Policy
  • About Page

Then there is dynamic content, which is more subject to change:

  • Product pages
  • Category pages
  • Blog posts
  • Homepage
  • News and events

Finally, there are files you have uploaded to the site:

  • Product pages
  • Images
  • Lead magnets
  • Downloadable sizing guides or instructions

Downloadable sizing guides or instructions
There are some ways to automatically transfer this content, but only when you switch to Shopify Plus and have someone to connect your Magento store to its API.
The best option for most retailers is to transfer copies and photos manually to a newly designed Shopify app.A blog run on WordPress could be one exception. There is a blog import tool called Excelify that could be useful.[*] Your best option is to see it as a simplification opportunity: what content is needed?

  • What content is needed?
  • Images
  • How good is your blog and how much of it is actually helping you?
  • Are there any products that never sell on your website?

You should see what contents are actually attracting visitors attention with Google Analytics and decide on what is redundant. You decrease the time and costs of moving and improve site performance by removing content that does not help.
Assuming you have 50,000 monthly users and you add 50 visitors a month to your blogs or landing pages. You must let those pages die unless you can prove that most of these 50 make purchases every month.

2. PRODUCTS DATA

The next step in your migration process should be Product data.You need to fill in your items and class pages to act as a reference point as you switch to Shopify for consumer and order information.
Product information from Magento may be exported into a CSV file format, creating a tablet. Shopify can import data from CSV files. Shopify will import CSV file data.
The concern is that the product data are not interpreted alike, so the CSV Magento produces are worthless to shopify, unless for intervention.The design for the handling of products and versions does not move from one to another, and Magento software exports must be completely reformatted until Shopify is able to read them.
There are applications that can handle this for very small product catalogs (everything over 50-100 products and variations can cause problems) like

  • Cart2Cart[*]
  • Litextension[*]

The problem with these software solutions is that you still have to correct errors in your CSV data.

3. CUSTOMER DATA

I am grouping many items here because they are related.

  • Customer data
  • Order history
  • Discount codes
  • Gift cards

These are some of the most sensitive information and you really want to get that right. CSV imports are an alternative like the Shopify API, including products.
Choosing your import method is one of the decisions that is best left to the Shopify expert, who helps you make the move. This is probably one you want on the first attempt to get perfect.

REPORTS AND ANALYTICS

Nope. Sorry. There isn’t much of a way to bring this in. If you have Magento-based reporting, there’s no way to include this in your shopify reporting dashboard and view it. You can log into Google Analytics and other providers to your new business.

ACTION POINTS

Decide what content needs to be moved and what is dead weight.
Tools Maintenance
Have the beginnings of your on-page content on the website ready to publish, if possible, before the design phase. Seeing the pages with content will help guide your design revisions. The process will also be accelerated by having content ready. Mention it to your migration experts early if you need help with creating content.
To help you build your new website and migrate your data, find a Shopify partner.

E LAUNCH AND OPTIMIZE

So you’ve been constructing your new home.All the equipment and services you need to be comfortable have been picked up and installed. Eventually, you relocated and unpacked all of your things.
You’re done right now, right? You never get finished. Things are changing, and with them the store has to change. This is where iterative optimization comes in, powered by results.
There are two key areas to continue improving on the web until the store is up and running.

ACTION POINTS

Make sure that you have the right SEO practices in place so that you can draw on that healthy, organic traffic.
Create a plan to periodically introduce more content to your page so that you can continue to grow and improve organic traffic over time.
To develop the page and advertising, download measurement tools and start collecting information.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE READY TO MOVE

OK. It’s been a lot to read. I’m sorry to do that for you, but this is a vital step for your company, and I want to make sure you’ve got what you need to get this right.
Nov 28th, 2019|