If your online store isn’t using Shopify, you could be bleeding customers. Although Shopify competitors like WooCommerce and WordPress can get the job done, there are several critical reasons why Shopify is the better long-term solution for most vendors.
Unfortunately, however, moving data across platforms is risky. Plus, once an eCommerce payment system is fully entrenched in your back-end, it isn’t always easy to swap it out for a new solution without the assistance of Shopify developers.
The good news is that there are protocols you can follow to safely migrate your site to Shopify. In this article, I’ve explained why you should consider migrating to the world’s next-gen cloud eCommerce software and how you can do it while minimizing hiccups along the way.
Shopify is a multi-channel sales platform that, in essence, makes eCommerce accessible, easy, and affordable to any vendor. For vendors coming from an eBay or Etsy background, Shopify lets them host an online store on their own website, with their own payment and fulfillment processes.
Shopify is by far the leading global eCommerce solution. In 2021, about 2.3 billion active websites utilized Shopify, including globally-recognized brands like Pepsi, Unilever, Gymshark, and Tesla. It’s also among the fastest-growing tech products worldwide, reporting a 78% surge in gross profits in 2020 (US$1.5 billion).
The key advantages of Shopify include the following:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 24/7 dedicated support
- Unlimited orders, products, and file storage
- Proprietary Point of Sale (POS) system
- Global brand recognition and consumer trust
- Tiered pricing solutions between $30 and $299 monthly
- Responsive layout and general ease of use
Migrating to Shopify: How It’s Done
If you’ve decided to migrate to Shopify without the assistance of dedicated developers, you can follow this procedure.
1. Access Store Importer
First, you will want to access Shopify’s “Store Importer” app to initiate the process of porting your data. Store Importer is currently available on the Shopify app store for free.
When using the Store Importer app, you will be responsible for exporting your website’s CSV files. If the files aren’t formatted in UTF-8, the transfer process may fail. Follow the instructions in-app to navigate this process and, if it fails, consider hiring the assistance of Shopify API developers.
2. Configure Admin Settings
After initializing the Store Importer app, make sure you go through the checklist of Shopify’s eCommerce migration requirements. These include redirecting URLs and removing HTTP/HTTPS protocols. You’re also going to have to remove passwords of customer accounts so Shopify’s platform can access their data during the migration.
3. Manually Transfer CSV Files (if Store Importer is Down)
We’ve heard several reports of Shopify’s Store Importer app occasionally going offline for periods of time. If this happens during your migration, follow the steps outlined in this document to manually transfer the files to Shopify’s servers. Regarding customer lists (and not product data), there’s a separate set of guidelines that you can find here.
When importing CSV files to Shopify, note that you will need to ensure that each file is no larger than 1 MB. If necessary, you can create several CSV files in order to bypass this restriction.
4. Organize Post-Product Migration
Even if you use the Shopify Store Importer app, certain Shopify integrations may not set up correctly. To weed out unwanted elements in your store, or to avoid systemic-level errors, I suggest consulting with a Shopify developer to ensure that your store is functioning properly.
If you insist on handling the process yourself, ensure that every product detail renders in your new Shopify store and includes the correct name, description, meta, and image. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your new Shopify store and take note of any on-page flaws.
5. Correct On-Page Flaws and Stylistic Errors
Knowing how to sell on Shopify starts with designing an accessible, intuitive, and harmonious online store. If your store’s visual presentation doesn’t render as you expect, your customers may not trust your store and will abandon their purchase. Ensure that every stylistic element of your new store (including titles, colors, and fonts) are consistent with your existing brand and that they do not contain any obvious errors or flaws.
You can make your new Shopify store look great by selecting from one of Shopify’s thousands of premade themes and skins. Finally, you can customize your theme to add minor changes that better reflect your brand (i.e., colors, images, and skins). If these elements don’t appear on the page as you would like them, consult a Shopify migration specialist before publishing your store and processing your first orders.
Shopify Migration: Hire Developers for Future-Proof eCommerce
At Little Dragon Media, we’re recognized as an industry leader in third-party migrations to Shopify. If you work with Shopify’s in-house front-end developers, you might pay upwards of $40,000 to fully re-design your website using their proprietary software—however, third-party service providers can do the same job at a fraction of the price.
If you’ve identified Shopify as the right solution for you and need assistance with your Shopify migration process, contact our team of Shopify developers to get started today. This is the best way to minimize critical risks during the migration process while keeping costs low.