Any e-commerce store manager knows that Shopify and WooCommerce are great platforms for an online store. That is why both platforms have a massive pool of users.
Both platforms have features that attract different groups of users. Some Shopify users often think about switching to WooCommerce. Why? You may wonder?
Shopify is a powerful solution, but after some time it can become too expensive to satisfy the needs of a store with a rapidly growing audience after some time.
Shopify is also not as flexible as WooCommerce, and there are limits to what you can manifest. However, with WooCommerce, you can bring your vision to life.
Now it is only natural to think about migrating your store from Shopify to WooCommerce if it has grown significantly.
However, it is a delicate process that must be followed carefully because your store brings you revenue. If mishaps occur during the migration process, you will lose valuable information, and your store may disappear.
You cannot move the store from Shopify to WooCommerce without transferring all the relevant elements like:
- Customer reviews
- Product prices
- And more…
There are other subtle details like coupon codes, product images, and the design elements of your store. You must keep these details and your store will look completely different.
The goal is to transition from Shopify to WooCommerce without losing any of the essential elements of the store.
The difference between Shopify and WooCommerce
You need to understand the basic differences between Shopify and WooCommerce to ensure that the migration process is done correctly. So, here are a few differences between the two platforms.
Cost: Shopify is a subscription-based e-commerce solution, and WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin. For WooCommerce to work, you need a working WordPress site. However, you will save much money earlier in paying Shopify’s monthly fees.
Hosting and domain name: Shopify includes hosting and a free subdomain. With WooCommerce, you will have to search for the appropriate hosting for the WordPress website. You will also have to select the name of your WordPress site.
Ease of use: Shopify is a product which is easy to use for everyone. On the other hand, WooCommerce requires basic knowledge of WordPress. You will have to spend some time focusing on how you want to customize your website.
Type of platform: Shopify is a closed platform but you can make some modifications. It also controls how you store customer data and information.
However, WooCommerce does not have any such limitations. You own all the store data and you can make any customizations you like.
WooCommerce gives users more control over store data than Shopify. That is why as their store grows in popularity, many users choose to migrate it to WooCommerce.
Backups: The primary difference here is that Shopify makes people pay for their backups whereas with WooComemrce you get them for free.
WooCommerce and Shopify are great platforms, but there are some benefits that WooCommerce has over Shopify.
- WooCommerce doesn’t charge any transaction fee if you use third-party gateways. However, with Shopify, you have to pay a transaction fee which reduces your profit margin.
- WooCommerce allows you to perform SEO in a very technical manner. You can fine-tune major details to minor details of a product. This helps you to rank your store easily.
- WooCommerce is integrated with WordPress which means that you can use blogging as a content marketing tool to gain an audience.
- WordPress has a lot of plugins. WooCommerce is just one of them which makes designing a store easier. A store designed through WordPress will usually be more powerful than a Shopify-based store.
If you are thinking of migrating your Shopify store to WooCommerce. You can use more than one method. Here are a few methods that can be followed:
- Manual migration using a CSV file
- Using a migration plugin
- Hiring an expert
However, before you get started there are a few things that you have to do so that you can prepare for the migration process.
Steps to take before migration
You need to practice caution during the migration process. Taking these precautions will ensure that you do not lose any crucial data and that the migration is successful.
First, you need to create a backup of the Shopify store. This can be used if there is a problem in the migration process.
After that, set up a basic WooCommerce storefront and now you have to begin the migration process. Remember to complete the following steps:
- Decide on your store’s web hosting provider and domain name.
- Launch your WordPress website.
- Install the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website and any other plugins you see fit.
- Build a basic WooCommerce store using an intuitive page builder.
- Figure out important details like payment gateways. WooCommerce allows you to integrate the site with less popular and more international payment gateways. This will allow people all over the globe to buy products from your site, again improving your revenue. The next step is to set your shipping zones.
Once all these details have been figured out, you can activate your basic WooCommerce store and begin the migration process.
Manual migration using a CSV file
You can download all your Shopify store information using a CSV file and then import it into WooCommerce.
If you choose this method, your Shopify store will not keep running in the background which means you need to get this completed as soon as possible otherwise you will lose revenue and your customers will think you have closed your store.
Follow these steps to import the products:
- Download the product data by going to Products> All products from your Shopify admin dashboard. Click on the export option and select all products.
- In the WordPress dashboard, head over to WooCommerce. Go to the products option and then select import. Choose the CSV file you downloaded from Shopify.
- WooCommerce adds the information from the CSV file to the product fields. This doesn’t always work correctly, so you may need to make some of the entries manually.
- Kindly cross-check all the details like pricing, images, SKUs, product categories, and any other product data that you wanted to migrate from Shopify.
- Select run the importer and wait until the process is completed.
Use a migration plugin
Another easier option while migrating your store from Shopify to WooCommerce is using a plugins. Two examples are SW2 and Cart2Cart. You have to pay if you wish to use Cart2Cart.
A migration plugin makes the process almost effortless. This involves a three-step process. Some extensions like Cart2Cart even offer a free trial, so that you can learn the basics before migrating your actual store.
One major benefit of using this method is that your Shopify store can keep running while you perform this process. So you can take your time while migrating the store and this does not harm the revenue of your business.
The steps involved in this migration process are as follows:
- Purchase and activate your preferred migration extension.
- Connect your Shopify store and retrieve the API key.
- Connect the target store and begin the migration process. You will have more control over which data to migrate and which to leave out of the process.
- Check that all the data has been migrated correctly. If there has been any problem with the process, you can repeat it.
Migration with plugins is not free because while there are many free plugins available. Free extensions only allow you to migrate a certain number of products.
If you run a fully-fledged mature e-commerce store, then migrating with a free plugin is impossible.
Paid plugins provide a full migration solution. However, this doesn’t ensure that the process will be a success.
You still have to keep a close eye on the process to ensure that no bugs are interfering with the process. Once the migration process is completed, check the imported data and ensure that everything is in order.
Paid solutions may seem expensive but with the help of such plugins, you can import important details like product images and customer reviews.
Cart2Cart payment mode starts at $69 for migrating 1000 products, 500 customers, and 500 orders. Using a plugin may seem expensive but it is the best option to ensure that your store’s crucial information is lost and that you do not lose revenue.
Hiring a Professional
Performing migration yourself is not that difficult. However, the risk of any bugs interfering with the process puts your store at risk. If your store is performing well and you do not want to put your success in jeopardy, you should consider hiring a professional.
These experts perform migration on a daily basis, so there is no doubt that it will be a hassle-free experience for you. If your mind is occupied with other business-related tasks, you should consider receiving the services of a professional.
An expert will know how to migrate all the subtle functionalities of your store like email marketing automation, discounts, product categories, customer reviews, and more. All these aspects of your store do not come into mind as the most important, but they are of critical importance.
If you migrate your store but are unable to migrate the customer reviews too, you will lose all the prestige that your business gathered. To ensure that customers do not stop trusting your store after the migration, you should hire professional services.
The professional will make the process quick and easy while ensuring that the process is completed successfully.
Shopify has many strengths as an e-commerce platform, but as your business grows you may find it to be a pain point. WooCommerce has everything that solves these issues.
You do not have to pay any transaction fees or subscription fees for WooCommerce, which makes it good for businesses that want to scale their store.
Sadly, many business owners think that migrating a store from Shopify to WooCommerce is an impossible task. Of course, this is not true as in this article only you will find that there are more than one ways for you to do that.
The method you choose depends on your business and which stage your business is in. For example, if you are an early bird and have realised the weakness of Shopify it will not hurt to migrate using the CSV file.
But if your store has a lot of users and has become popular, then you should consider buying a migration plugin or hiring a professional.