Having a hard time deciding whether you should proceed with your Magento to Shopify migration?
Well, turns out you’re not alone. I’ve been there too, and I know how worrying it can get.
Migrating your online store from one platform to another is a very delicate process, even when you’re dealing with a small ecommerce website. In fact, it’s almost equivalent to carrying out a surgery. One simple error or omission could potentially be detrimental to your entire business.
So, whichever way you look at it, this is one process you cannot afford to compromise.
But, worry not. We’ve got your back. This post walks you through all the Magento to Shopify migration basics, and it provides a detailed tutorial on how to migrate from Magento to Shopify.
However, before we look into that, let’s address one major concern that business owners in your position typically have.
Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the whole debate about Magento vs Shopify. Is it even advisable in the first place to migrate your online store from Magento to Shopify?
Well, the truth is, no and yes.
It all depends on what you’re looking for because the fundamental point here is running your shop on the most suitable ecommerce platform. In short, you should choose the platform that guarantees the best possible experience for you as well as your customers.
And to help you with that, here’s the gist of things… (Or you could alternatively refer to our detailed Shopify vs Magento review for the ultimate comparison between the two)
Magento is certainly no ordinary ecommerce platform. Based on my experience with the platform, plus numerous user testimonials from all over the web, I can confirm that Magento is indeed one of the best ecommerce platforms any business owner could leverage.
One thing I bet you’ve noticed about it is that it comes free of charge, loaded with a wide range of in-built ecommerce tools. As long as you have a solid Magento hosting provider (check out this Magento hosting guide), you just need to launch the platform, add your products and website modules, integrate the relevant apps, and voila!
You subsequently get to sell your stuff, process orders, run promotions, manage the entire store, handle transactions, and generate critical business reports. All these from the comfort of your Magento dashboard.
And that’s not all you can do here. You see, Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform that provides access to its underlying source code.
This gives you the freedom to customize the whole system whichever way you want. If the default features fail to sufficiently support your online store, you just need to tweak the code to reconfigure them.
Plus, you can go ahead and introduce all the additional functionalities you might need. Believe it or not, there are simply no limitations on Magento. It’s sure to support anything you can think of.
In a nutshell, therefore, Magento is an extremely powerful ecommerce platform with quite a lot of potential. (Proceed to our comprehensive Magento 2 review for in-depth insights into what it’s really capable of.)
Drawbacks of Using Magento
The sad bit about Magento’s extensive flexibility is that it comes at a cost. Tweaking such a platform is no joke.
While it’s possible to customize some of the attributes without any form of coding, the bulk of Magento’s customizations require deep technical knowledge. Only experienced developers who know their coding stuff can comfortably rework Magento’s underlying PHP code.
If you don’t possess such skills, you have no option but to hire a professional to handle everything for you.
And not just one. In most cases, growing online businesses on Magento are forced to keep a permanent team of developers, who then manage the whole ecommerce platform over the long haul.
So, although Magento is essentially a free ecommerce platform, it’ll ultimately eat up a significant chunk of your revenue. Then to make matters worse, you still have to pay a third-party Magento hosting service. That means the cumulative costs of leveraging Magento could add up quite substantially with time.
Your troubles don’t end there though. It turns out that while Magento’s customization requires coding knowledge, its corresponding back-end interface is not that friendly either.
Ok, admit it. You were probably greeted with a pretty steep learning curve when you first started using the platform.
Magento comes with numerous technical terms and options that could feel a bit intimidating to a beginner. Plus, the corresponding navigation framework has several possible stumbling blocks here and there.
Well, if that doesn’t seem bad enough to you, here’s what I consider to be the ultimate deal-breaker. It just so happens that in case you’re stuck, no one from Magento will come to help you out.
Ok, remember Magento is a self-hosted platform?
That essentially means you should forget about direct customer support. The best you could get here is indirect support from your web host’s technical experts. And this, regardless of how specialized it is, can never possibly match up to getting support from the team that made the platform.
Now, based on all these facts about the platform, we can conclude that Magento is an ecommerce platform for large enterprises. They are the only ones who can comfortably afford the technical and financial resources required for leveraging Magento over the long haul.
If that doesn’t sound like you, then it’s time you started seriously considering alternatives like Shopify.
But, why Shopify in the first place?
Well, I admit that Shopify is not a free ecommerce platform. And yes, it might not be the cheapest on the market either, plus it’s certainly not what you’d call an open-source system.
But, here’s the thing. Shopify continues to attract way more users than Magento since it’s considerably friendlier and easy to use.
This system essentially comes packaged as an all-in-one platform that combines web hosting services with a website builder and ecommerce capabilities.
The website builder itself is a drag and drop designer that supports visual-based editing. And when you throw in the accompanying site templates, you should be able to easily create a fully-functional ecommerce site without touching a line of code.
The process of designing and customizing all types of websites here is pretty straightforward. Just pick an ideal site theme, and then reorganize its layout by simply dragging and dropping the page elements. The finer element details, on the other hand, are basically defined by choosing from Shopify’s inbuilt options. ‘
And that’s not all. The best thing about Shopify is, it boasts of a large app store that provides an extensive array of pre-built app integrations. So, apart from extensively tweaking your site’s design, you get to personalize the system by simply installing any of the available plug-ins.
These extra capabilities perfectly supplement the numerous functionalities you’ll find on the default Shopify platform.
And in case you’re worried about the accompanying subscription charges, the fact of the matter is, Shopify is considerably cheaper than Magento.
Well, you can bet you won’t be hiring any developers or purchasing third-party hosting services. Shopify takes care of everything.
Overall, while Shopify has its fair share of weaknesses here and there, it outperforms Magento when it comes to ease-of-use. There’s no question about it.
So, the answer is yes- small to medium-sized businesses would be much better off with Shopify as opposed to Magento. You can go ahead confirm all its features our full unbiased Shopify reviews.
That said, let’s now get down to the business of Magento to Shopify migration.
And to start us off, which methods or tools can you possibly use to migrate from Magento to Shopify?
Your Magento To Shopify Migration Options
If you’ve tried searching the web for potential Magento to Shopify data migration solutions, you might have noticed that there’s a wide range of services and tools from literally every corner of the internet.
They stretch from developers and agencies that offer migration services, to data transfer tools, as well as apps that reportedly serve as Magento to Shopify importers.
Now, when you combine them, all these apps and services can be classified into three possible Magento to Shopify data migration options:
- Manual migration
- Assisted migration
- Automatic migration
Manual Magento to Shopify Migration
Just like the name suggests the manual approach entails literally copying your data from Magento’s database, and subsequently pasting it to Shopify.
But, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that you literally copy-and-paste all your stuff at once. Rather, you can migrate your online store between the two platforms by painstakingly importing each website element from your Magento hosting server, and then manually mapping them accordingly onto Shopify’s system.
This might seem simple on paper, but the actual procedure is extremely complicated and frustratingly cumbersome. So, of course, it requires a great deal of technical knowledge and precision.
That said, I’d strongly advise you not to proceed with this option since it’s pretty risky. Besides, it’ll take you quite a lot of time to manually migrate each product, customer, order, webpage, content, and media, along with their accompanying variables.
Assisted Magento to Shopify Migration
But, while the original manual migration procedure is handled by the site owner, assisted migration entails hiring professional third-party developers to oversee the entire process.
Hence, this approach is usually reserved for Magento shop owners who want to move their data manually, but lack the relevant technical capability.
That said, the agencies that offer this service typically break the whole procedure into smaller manageable operations, which are then assigned to different team members. Each part is tracked accordingly and once every team member manages to meet their milestone, the resultant Shopify site goes live.
Automatic Magento to Shopify Migration
Automatic Magento to Shopify migration happens to be the easiest and the simplest method of transferring all your site data.
The trick here is to install a Magento to Shopify importer tool and have it conduct the entire migration procedure automatically, without any additional human involvement.
Now, one particularly reputable app you could use for this is Cart2Cart. You only need to install it, and then use the corresponding wizard to set up a connection bridge between your Magento and Shopify databases.
That’s all it takes and the system will proceed to import each selected entity, as well as map the Magento store elements onto your Shopify website. Hence, automatic Magento to Shopify migration is the cheapest and most convenient option for a typical online store.
Now, to help you through the whole process, we’ll explore every single step you should take to migrate your shop from Magento to Shopify using Cart2Cart.
But, before we dive into the nitty-gritty, allow me to briefly explain why we’ve selected Cart2Cart for the job.
Why Use Cart2Cart For Your Magento To Shopify Data Migration?
One pretty obvious thing about Cart2Cart, to begin with, is that it’s not a hard sell. It’s one of those outstanding tools whose online reputation truly precedes them.
What do I mean?
Therefore, if you’d like to compare the possible solutions by their industry experiences, this one has lots of it. And that’s not all.
The ultimate proof of Cart2Cart’s efficacy and reliability lies in its Shopify App Store reviews and ratings. At the time of writing this guide, Cart2Cart had attracted more than 190 positive reviews on the App Store, which cumulatively translated to an overall rating of 4.2 stars.
Pretty assuring don’t you think?
Well, for starters, you can be certain you won’t pay even a dime to install Cart2Cart. It’s a free tool that allows you to configure your Magento to Shopify migration parameters before the issue of payment arises.
In the end, the only thing you won’t be able to do without making a payment is performing a full migration.
But, get this. That’s not the only migration procedure here. Cart2Cart is generous enough to conduct a completely free demo Magento to Shopify migration of your online store. It basically demonstrates its capabilities by importing a limited number of your ecommerce site entities.
And speaking of which, we’ve thoroughly tested Cart2Cart and confirmed that a full migration here is exactly that. Once you pay the required amount, Cart2Cart will go ahead and import all your selected online store entities.
I’m talking about elements like images, tags, coupons, secondary stores, blogs, taxes, variants, attributes, reviews, custom fields, CMS pages, categories, customers, orders, etc. As long as it’s a transferable element, Cart2Cart can comfortably support it.
What’s more, moving all these data entities won’t affect your Magento online store. Cart2Cart is built to perform Magento to Shopify migration procedures in the background to avoid possible downtimes.
Consequently, you should expect to keep your ecommerce site online during the entire process. You can even continue processing transactions without any interruptions.
And if you’re wondering how long the whole thing takes, setting up a full data migration is basically a quick 8-step procedure.
Plus, the system won’t subject you through technical stuff like coding, plugin installations, or manual data entry. Instead, it launches an intuitive wizard, which then offers guidance as you create a connection bridge.
The final data transfer process, on the other hand, depends on the number of entities you’re dealing with. A typical ecommerce website could take a couple of hours, while a store with about 5,000 entities should be done in less than 60 minutes.
In the meantime, the Cart2Cart customer support team will be on standby in case of any difficulties. You can count on them to provide quick assistance 24/7.
How To Migrate From Magento To Shopify With Cart2Cart
Step 1: Set Up Your Shopify Store
Now that you’re migrating from Magento to Shopify, the first thing you’ll need is a valid Shopify store for holding your transferred entities.
So, go to Shopify’s main site, sign up for a new account if you don’t have one already, register a domain, and then launch your Shopify store without any additional modules or integrations.
And while you’re at it, it’s worth noting that even the theme itself should be kept at the default option, without any secondary configurations. Otherwise, any extra stuff at this point could get in the way of a smooth Magento to Shopify data migration process.
This is not a permanent rule though. You’ll be free to proceed with your theme customizations plus module installations once all the entities have been transferred and mapped accordingly.
Step 2: Install The Cart2Cart Magento to Shopify Migration App
Simply search for Cart2Cart and proceed to add the app for free.
Step 3: Create a New Cart2Cart Account
With your Cart2Cart app embedded onto your Shopify system, you can go ahead and create a new user account.
Just go to the Cart2Cart tool, click on it, and launch the app. At this point, you could choose to create the account by signing up with your contact details, or simply signing in with your Facebook or Google account credentials.
Step 4: Get An Estimate of How Much The Migration Process Will Cost You
While Cart2Cart is free to install, it’ll ultimately charge you to perform a full migration of your online store entities from Magento to Shopify.
But, since billing and checkout usually occur at the final step right before the full migration procedure, you might want to know the possible costs you should expect beforehand.
Go to Cart2Cart’s website, and click on the “Get Estimates” button. The system will direct you to the official Cart2Cart Migration Estimator tool, from where you should be able to get a good idea of the amount you might end up paying.
That said, you’ll notice that every single migration instance is assessed based on the number of customers, orders, and products you intend to transfer.
If you’re planning to move, for instance, 5,000 products along with 500 customer entities and 500 orders, Cart2Cart will charge you about $149.
Then as far as time is concerned, the system estimates the whole procedure will take a total of 10 hours or less.
Step 5: Define Your Magento Source Store and Create Its Connection Bridge
You can now begin setting up your Magento to Shopify migration by clicking on Cart2Cart’s “Start Migration” button.
This will launch a migration setup wizard, on which you’ll first be required to specify your Magento-based source store, as well as set up its corresponding Connection Bridge.
Now, proceed by picking Magento as the “Source Cart Type”, and then enter your Magento-based site’s domain details on the “Source Cart URL” field.
Once you’re done, the next procedure here entails creating a source cart Connection Bridge, which will ultimately serve as the principal data export point between the two platforms.
So, click on the Connection Bridge link and download the subsequent zip file. You should then extract a “Bridge2Cart” folder from the zip archive, and paste it to the root folder of your Magento site using an FTP panel.
Finally, you might want to check and confirm that the Connection Bridge is active. Simply click on the wizard’s “Check Connection” button, and the system will immediately inform you about the status of the connection.
Step 6: Specify Your Target Shopify Store and Configure Its Connection Bridge
Just as you’ve defined your source store parameters, you can go ahead and specify your target Shopify store.
Hence, Shopify should be set as the “Target Cart” here, while your Shopify store’s URL should follow on the “Target Cart URL” field.
It’s worth noting, however, that the process of setting up a Shopify Connection Bridge is a bit different. Instead of downloading a zip archive and then extracting its contents to a root folder, the system will have you provide your Shopify store’s API key, plus the accompanying API key password.
Thankfully, you can easily get these details from your Shopify account. Just log into your Shopify admin panel from a separate window, and go to the “Apps” menu.
Next, click on “Manage Private Apps”, and then select “Generate API Credentials”.
You can now copy and paste the API details onto your migration wizard to set up the required Connection Bridge on your target Shopify store.
Step 7: Pick The Online Store Entities You’d Want To Migrate
This is where you choose all the data elements you’d like to import from your Magento store to the Shopify site.
And thankfully, Cart2Cart happens to accommodate all basic online store entities, plus their supplementary variables.
Some of the data types you can migrate include:
- SEO settings (including 301 redirects)
- Customer information (name, email address, phone number, location, etc.)
- Static web pages (Contacts, About Us, Return Policy, Terms & Conditions)
- Payment information
- A list of the purchased goods
- The visuals related to your products (color, shape, size of the product)
- Goods (product name, images, description, a number of goods in stock, price)
Make your entity selections by clicking on their respective checkboxes, or you could simply click on the “Check All” option to migrate everything.
Step 8: Specify Your Additional Migration Options
At this stage, Cart2Cart allows you to customize your Magento to Shopify migration process further by configuring a range of additional options.
You can, for instance, specify how you’d like your Magento store’s product categories to map onto your Shopify site. This might be critical since Magento and Shopify tend to apply varying rules when it comes to organizing stock variants.
It’s also possible to have Cart2Cart skip and leave out your product thumbnails from the migration, strip HTML from product categories, names, and descriptions, or maybe preserve your current order IDs.
But, make no mistake. You don’t get all these additional configurations for free. Some of the options are considered premium add-ons, and Cart2Cart will charge you extra rates if you choose to proceed with them.
Step 9: Run a Free Demo Magento to Shopify Migration
Well, if you happen to be in a hurry, the good thing is, Cart2Cart’s free demo migration is not a compulsory step. It’s optional and you can choose to ignore it by hitting the “Skip” checkbox going straight for the full migration.
But, don’t get me wrong. I’m not encouraging you to skip the free demo migration. It’s always a good idea to run one, just to check out how your Shopify store will probably appear after you’ve migrated the data from your Magento-based store.
Now, to proceed with a free demo migration, simply avoid clicking on the skip checkbox. Cart2Cart, by default, is set to execute a quick demo migration, which should only take about 30 minutes.
By the end of it, however, you’ll notice that your Shopify demo store gets only a limited number of entities. But then again, this shouldn’t worry at all, since the entities are just enough for a thorough assessment of both your target store’s backend and frontend layouts.
Review everything down to the last detail, and get in touch with the customer support team in case you spot a technical issue.
Otherwise, if the demo migration turns out okay, you can confidently proceed with the full migration.
Step 10: Conduct a Full Magento to Shopify Migration
Check all your Magento to Shopify migration options once again.
Does everything appear to be in order? Have you included all the entities you’d like to migrate?
Well, if there are no problems up to this point, you can go ahead and start the full migration.
However, you’ll only be allowed to proceed after paying the total amount due for the migration. Cart2Cart will bill you for all the entities you’re migrating, plus the additional options you’ve selected to personalize your migration process.
And once payment is settled, you can expect the full migration to take a couple of hours. Then ultimately, Cart2Cart will send you a notification when the entire process is complete.
After The Magento To Shopify Migration…
So, take the time to thoroughly review your backend and frontend frameworks. Assess how the entities plus their accompanying variables have been mapped onto your Shopify site. That means checking even the product categories, catalogs, menus, customer details, etc.
Otherwise, you could try performing a few test purchases to analyze your Shopify store’s overall functionalities.
In the end, any anomalies you flag up here should be raised directly with the support team. I noticed they are pretty quick when it comes to resolving such issues.
That said, we wish you the best in your Magento to Shopify migration. And of course, feel free to share your experience in the comment section.