Top Tips for Migrating to WooCommerce from Shopify
Has your online business grown and you are looking to expand? Are you considering switching over to using WooCommerce from your current Shopify store? This article outlines the numerous benefits of using WooCommerce for your online store or eCommerce business. We explain how to commence the seamless migration process from the Shopify to WooCommerce platform, using two alternative methods.
Are you considering migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce? Or do you just want to see if it is possible to do so with your online store? In either case, you’ve found the right article! We will take you through the entire process of migrating Shopify to WooCommerce as well as going through the potential advantages of doing so.
If you’re still unsure whether moving from Shopify to WooCommerce is the best choice for you and your business, we will outline some key reasons below that you should consider.
Additionally, we will discuss the alternative methods of performing a Shopify migration, including manual CSV file exporting and importing, or using a migration CMS2CMS plugin. The differences between the two methods will be outlined so that you can select the one that works best for you and your business.
Transform your Shopify store to the Ultimate WooCommerce Online Shop Today!
Although Shopify makes it easy to launch an e-commerce store, you may find yourself wanting or needing the flexibility that comes with WordPress and WooCommerce down the track.
Thankfully, it is possible to easily migrate your store from Shopify to WooCommerce both quickly and seamlessly. You have the choice of either manually exporting your products, customers and ordering CSV files from Shopify and importing them to WooCommerce, or you can use the paid Cart2Cart service if you are needing a comprehensive migration solution, however this incurs an additional fee.
What are the benefits of moving from Shopify to WooCommerce?
WooCommerce and Shopify are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms. As it is a hosted platform, Shopify wins when it comes to simplicity, with users being able to sign up immediately & literally launch a store within minutes. In contrast, a highly versatile, self-hosted content management system (CMS) like WooCommerce and WordPress would be your ideal choice if you prefer ultimate flexibility and control over the layout and design.
Interestingly, the key reasons to migrate to WooCommerce are largely centred around user friendly elements and functionality. The following are some of the greatest advantages of WooCommerce compared to Shopify.
Save Your Valuable Time & Money
WooCommerce can be more affordable overall than Shopify depending on your online store’s needs. In addition, both Shopify and its apps use a monthly SaaS-style (Software as a Service) recurring billing format. This means that the more features and enhancements your Shopify eCommerce store has, the more expensive it will become.
Alternatively, WordPress and WooCommerce and other associated plugins primarily use a ‘one-time’ payment model (although you will be required to renew after the first year if you want updates). This one-time payment model gives you full access to the features and functions of the plugin but will usually require an annual licence renewal to get the latest version of that plugin.
More Customisation Options & Site Flexibility
WordPress & WooCommerce provides more flexibility than Shopify for multiple reasons. Firstly, you can access the huge database of 56,000+ complimentary WordPress and WooCommerce plugins (plus numerous premium plugins). An example of this would be the ability to use Elementor’s drag-and-drop visual interface to design anything you wish. If you are wanting more design control over your store or wish to promote offline events, you could enable a WordPress event calendar plugin to implement this option.
Secondly, WordPress can do a lot more than just solely eCommerce, versus Shopify which is heavily focused explicitly on eCommerce. Increasing your online presence is made far easier with WooCommerce and its various tools, including content marketing strategies like blogging and email marketing.
Lastly, as WordPress and WooCommerce are both open-source and self-hosted, you in turn have full access to all of your web store’s coding. Thus, if you are unable to locate a plugin to perform a specific task, you can either hire someone to assist you or develop it yourself. iOnline are WordPress experts and can provide you with the right advice when it comes to selecting WordPress and WooCommerce plugins. If an ‘off-the-shelf’ plugin doesn’t fit your requirements, iOnline can develop a custom plugin for you.
WooCommerce Features No Arbitrary Limits
Although there are not many arbitrary limits imposed on your Shopify store, some still exist. An example of this would be the limitation of providing a maximum of three ‘options’ like colour or size. Similarly, each product can have a maximum of 100 variations. This refers to all the possible option combinations like two colours combined with five different sizes, resulting in ten variations. Comparatively, WooCommerce doesn’t have any limits in place on their platform.
All Payment Gateways Accepted
When you use Shopify, you are “encouraged” to use the Shopify Payments service. In addition to Shopify’s integrated payment gateway, your specific business plan allows you to utilise third-party payment gateways, however, this method will result in an additional charge that varies from 2% to 0.5%, depending on the Shopify plan that you purchase. This is in addition to the fees charged by your selected payment gateway. In the instance of the Basic Shopify plan and using Stripe, you would have to pay ~4.9% (2.9% to Stripe and 2% to Shopify).
Comparatively, WooCommerce permits you to use any payment gateway and does not charge you any additional fees. WooCommerce allows you to use any Payment Gateway that supports WooCommerce, and with this platform being so popular – it is likely that there is a Payment Gateway available for you with the surcharge rates you want. Payment gateway integration plugins may incur a one-off fee, however, you will never pay a percentage commission like you do with Shopify.
Have you decided that moving over to WooCommerce is the ideal choice for you and your online store? If so, keep reading below to find out how you can do this both easily and quickly!
What to Do Before Migrating to WooCommerce from your Shopify Store...
Setting up your new store – Before you commence the migration of your Shopify store to the WooCommerce platform, you will be required to set up your basic WooCommerce store. You can complete this yourself or contact the experts at iOnline to do it all for you for a streamlined and stress-free experience.
Firstly, you’ll want to begin the process of installing WordPress and WooCommerce. You can go through the setup wizard to configure basic settings for your store both quickly and easily, as well as purchasing hosting. It is also important to set up the specific design of your store that you are wanting.
You can easily migrate some or all of your Shopify data to your WooCommerce store using the methods outlined below. However, keep in mind that you will be unable to migrate your Shopify store’s design. To replace your existing Shopify store theme, you can always implement a dedicated WooCommerce theme. The large selection of WordPress themes means that you can likely find one that closely matches your previous Shopify theme.
Alternatively, the drag-and-drop interface of Elementor WooCommerce Builder also makes it easier for you to have increased control over the design and layout of your store if you wish. You can use it to design your shop pages as well as the individual product pages to keep it inline with your branding and product vision.
After completing your basic WooCommerce store setup, you will now be ready to commence the migration of your Shopify data.
Shopify to WooCommerce Migration Process
There are two alternative methods to follow in order to successfully migrate your Shopify store to the WooCommerce Platform. These are:
- Cart2Cart Method – paid service to migrate everything on your behalf.
- Manual Method – you will export CSV files from Shopify and import them to your WooCommerce store.
The Cart2Cart Method provides you with the most comprehensive and simplest migration, however it can be quite costly, especially if you have a large store.
Alternatively, if you are looking to save money, you can use the manual method instead which will allow you to migrate your products, customer database and orders. Unfortunately, some details like pre-existing Shopify blog posts and coupons will not carry across, but you can always recreate them manually if you wish to retain them later on.
Method 1: Cart2Cart
The Cart2Cart method is a paid tool that can help you quickly and efficiently migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce. This is a much more comprehensive method compared to manual migration. Some key benefits of this tool over the manual method are the ability to migrate more data, including blog posts, coupons and more, as well as being much simpler as it performs all the background technical work for you.
The Cart2Cart method allows you to set up 301 redirects as well as migrating the following:
- Product variants
- Product categories
- Multiple languages
- SEO URL slugs
- Blog posts
There are some downsides to Cart2Cart however, such as its pricing, starting at $29, which increases with the amount of content you wish to migrate and the additional add-ons you want to use. In order to get an exact cost for your store migration, you will have to first run a test migration.
To use it, follow these steps below:
- Begin a Migration
Commence by going to Cart2Cart and selecting the ‘Start Free Demo’ button to begin the data importing process.
You will then be prompted to create a Cart2Cart account, which will be used to manage the migration.
2. Set Up Your Shopify Source Store
Setting up a source cart (Shopify) is the first step in the migration process. You will need to enter the Shopify store’s domain name, as well as your Shopify API key. You will need to be the store owner in order to generate an API key. Head to the Apps tab in your Shopify dashboard and go to the ‘Manage Private Apps’ link, then click the ‘Create New Private App’ button.
Name the app then, under Admin API, change every section to Read and Write using the drop down menu. Click Save to generate your API password which you will now see in the Admin Details section. You are now able to add this to Cart2Cart!
3. Setting Up Your Target Cart
Now, you will need to set up your WooCommerce target cart by entering your WordPress admin URL, Admin account username and password. Then, click ‘Choose Entities’.
4. Choose Content to Migrate Over
You will now want to choose what data you wish to migrate from your Shopify store, such as your products, customers, orders, blog posts, etc.
Once the content is selected, Cart2Cart will provide optional upsells like:
- Creating 301 redirects
- Preserving order ID’s
- Migrating SEO URL’s
You will also be able to access basic data mapping options, like mapping your former Shopify order status vocabulary to WooCommerce order statuses.
Once everything has been reviewed, click the ‘Start Free Demo’ button to run a sample migration.
5. Purchase to Complete Your Migration
Cart2Cart will now run a sample migration using your data which you will also be able to preview. Although it won’t apply the changes, you will be able to see how your Shopify data looks on the WooCommerce platform. In order for your shop to go live and fully complete the migration, you will be required to pay for the service and any other additional add-ons you would like. Depending on the size of your store, this price can vary.
Method 2: Manual Importing & Exporting
Using the manual method will ensure you can migrate your Shopify Products, Orders & Customers via a CSV file export.You then need to import those CSV files to your WooCommerce store by following specific processes.
- For products – you can use the built-in free WooCommerce CSV product importer
- For orders and customers, you can use the Customer/ Order/ Coupon CSV Import Suite plugin (incurs additional fee)
1. Export CSV Files from Shopify
In order to commence, you will need to export all three CSV files from your Shopify store. You will need to open your Shopify dashboard and navigate to the Products tab, then click the ‘Export’ button.
Shopify will then send an email to your account’s email address with a link to download the CSV file. From there, repeat the same process to export your orders and customers by navigating to the ‘Orders’ and ‘Customers’ tabs in the dashboard and selecting the ‘Export’ option.
2. Import Products Using CSV Import Tool
Using WooCommerce’s built-in CSV importer tool, you can then proceed to import your products from Shopify. Head to the ‘Products’ tab in your WordPress dashboard and click ‘Import’. On the next screen, select the Shopify CSV file, then click Continue.
Now, you’ll need to map the fields from your Shopify products to the associated fields in your WooCommerce products. The tool should automatically detect the fields in most cases but you will want to go through & manually verify that all the data is correct.
Once you’ve verified that all of the fields are properly mapped you can then Run the importer. After waiting a few minutes, you should see a success message appear as well as seeing your imported products when you go to the Products area in WooCommerce.
3. Import Orders and Customers
You will need to use a third-party WordPress plugin as WooCommerce unfortunately doesn’t have a built-in importer tool for orders and customers. An easy solution is SkyVerge’s Customer / Order/ Coupon CSV Import Suite plugin, WordPress All Import or the Import From Shopify plugin.
After installing and activating the plugin you can access its settings by navigating to WooCommerce → CSV Import Suite. Then, choose the option for what you want to import, select CSV as the file source then upload the CSV file that you got from Shopify.
You will then get an interface that lets you map data from your Shopify CSV file to your WooCommerce data fields. Once you’ve mapped everything, you can select the Dry Run button to run a test import and once successful, select ‘Run a live import now’ to perform the import in realtime.
After receiving a success message, you should see your imported customers in the Users section. You can repeat a similar process to now import your orders from Shopify.
4. Test and Verify
At this point, you should’ve been able to successfully import your Shopify store products, customers & orders. However, you will want to test everything, and make any necessary manual adjustments, such as changing the SEO settings for your products and category pages. You may also still be missing some data, like blog posts and coupons.
As outlined above, you can easily make the switch today from Shopify to WooCommerce in just a few simple steps. Depending on your online store’s specific needs and size, you can either complete this manually yourself or engage in the paid Cart2Cart service. You can also always enlist the help of a professional Gold Coast Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency such as iOnline to take care of the whole process for you.
For further information regarding this topic or for any advice on web development, website design, app development or our leading digital marketing & SEO services, speak to one of our experienced & friendly iOnline team members today!