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Migrating a Magento Store to Shopify



If you are exploring the switch from your hosted Magento to Shopify's cloud-based solution, your eCommerce platform is going to go through a major transformation. A lot will go into this migration, since a Shopify Theme, graphic design, page layouts, UX design, and a compilation of all the functions of your Magento extensions need review to keep the same functionality. Just remember, you are going from open source to a cloud-based environment, so your control and maintenance is reduced.


Small business owners might require additional assistance with a Magento developer (Magento expert) to assist with the functionality and funnel equivalence to be captured, working in tandem with a Shopify Expert to ensure a smooth transition. Larger businesses may have a development team to support the effort.


If you are using an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning - ERP) software or ERP system, a sandbox will be needed to check the new connection to the new store. The initial goal is to achieve parity for the online shopping experience, with the improvements that are planned to make the effort worthwhile.


With the considerations made above, your Magento website will take a few steps to export its data, and be imported into Shopify. Below are the steps.


Magento platform to Shopify migration steps


Assuming that a cost-benefit analysis has been performed to make it worth the effort, there are 7 phases to get through the migration.

  1. Create a Shopify Account.

  2. Backup your eCommerce store (Magento)

  3. Upload the Import Store App from the Shopify App Store.

  4. Export your data from your Magento online store.

  5. Import your data into Shopify using the Import Store App.

  6. Set a Shopify Theme, add the various Shopify Apps needed.

  7. Review, test, and ensure that everything works as expected.

1. Create a Shopify Account


This is not too complicated, going to Shopify.com and Start a Free Trial which will last 14days. You have a couple of plans to consider, for small and medium businesses the plans offered are straightforward. For Enterprise, Shopify Plus might be the right offering and a league of its own as the migration tools are enhanced.


2. Backup of your eCommerce store (Magento)


Having your data backed up is important to ensure that this migration does not affect your business in a disruptive way. Website development has a way to throw some curveballs at your plans, taking precautions is a must. To perform a backup follow the below steps


a. Go to your Administration panel to System>Tools>Backup

b. Click on "System Backup" (Perform a full system backup of your database and file system)

c. When completed click on "Database and Media Backup" (Customer data and Images)

d. when that's done, click on "Database Backup"


Your server may be backed up daily, which serves to preserve an image of the full system as a blanket restore. The above operations engage at the time of the "planned downtime" that you might have scheduled to do this. Both backups are useful, hopefully, they won't be needed. At this stage, your Magento developer or Magento expert would have cataloged the various extensions, and their features that are expected to be enabled in Shopify as an App, or Theme customization.


3. Upload the Import Store App from the Shopify App store


Logging into your Shopify account, going into the App Store, and searching for "Import Store" will give you a range of Apps to choose from. There are some obvious choices like the Import Store App, which is the preferred App to engage with. When working with your Magento developer, a test using a small dataset will help to ensure that the process is understood and that the data structures should be passed through without issue. This can be retrieved from a staging site (mirror site of the live Magento Website). Other Shopify Apps that might assist in the migration:


a. Excelify

b. Multichannel Importer

c. Bulk Product Editor and Sync

d. OEasy AliExpress Import and Order


The installation of these Apps has been used across many online shopping sites for their migration. It is also a good time to get and install your ERP Vendor's App for your Shopify Store, so as to have a way to test your ERP solution once the data is available.


4. Export your data from your Magento online store


This step is to prepare the export file that will be used in Shopify's Import Store App. Your Magento developer or Magento expert will most like check for file integrity once it is finished - checking table sizes and a number of records to ensure that all of the data was extracted without issue - no point in importing something that could be corrupted or incomplete.


a. As a System administrator, in the Admin panel, click on Data Transfer> Export

b. When the Export Settings appear, select the following: Entity Type = Products, Customer Main File or Customer Addresses - One export for each Entity Type, 3 files to be produced.

c. Select "XML" for the Import Store App or "CSV" for manual or Transporter App (Shopify Plus).


The three files will then be ready to import into Shopify. Again, inspecting the easy-to-read files ensures that you have everything you expected to work with on the import end. Additionally, visual checks may find invalid characters, or erroneous data that was entered by a customer - these might trip up the import process.


5. Import your data into Shopify using the Import Store App


Back into Shopify, once that data exports are completed and the audit was satisfied, it is time to import them through the Import Store App. It is a simple process in accessing your App in your Shopify Admin area:


a. Go to Apps in the Admin area and click on the Import Store App

b. Select "Magento" from the drop-down menu

c. Look for Upload Files, and then select "Add File" and pick your XML files.

d. Click on "Continue Import" after selecting your XML files, and then "Import"


At that point, the import tool will process all the XML files that you selected, and bring the data into your store. Ensure that all the data and the various categories are imported. If there are gaps, it is better to annotate them to see what common issues might have tripped the importer tool. At times, you might need a cleanup of the XML files before importing if there are anomalies in the data structure and dataset.


Data verification can be time-consuming - at times comparing reports might summarize tables and datasets to compare with. Remember that historical orders will be in Shopify's Archived area. Check that your products have arrived correctly, with the variants, sizes, and other details correctly - if they need additional importing assistance, the Bundled Products Import App might be the right tool for the job.


6. Set a Shopify Theme, add the various Shopify Apps needed.


This is where the fun really begins - once the data is imported, you can then see how your store can show its products, have the tools necessary to help sell them, and get the Theme to your liking. During the scoping phase, usually, a theme has been selected, and during the process of looking to move the data, the work on the Shopify Theme, Shopify Apps and tools needed to replicate your store, and have its additional features would have been worked on to completion for your migration day.


If you need some references on Shopify Themes, below are some articles that might help:

Top 10 Free Shopify Themes: https://www.thegenielab.com/post/top-10-free-shopify-themes-for-2021


7. Review, test, and ensure that everything works as expected


It's pretty obvious that the full store needs testing, and that may include sample transactions, test reports, and ensuring that if you use an ERP, it is well connected and transferring data. Launching your new store takes a few more steps once everything is set.


Reference on Launching your Shopify Store: https://www.thegenielab.com/post/launching-your-shopify-store


Conclusion


While there is a tremendous amount that can be done by a business to set up their Shopify store, however, beyond a theme, content, products, and marketing – the operations, customer experience, and interaction can bring that store into spaces that require some expertise. Differentiation is a key tenet for a store to stand out amongst the competition, to then take the positive experience to the client’s friends and family on social media. To execute your business vision might require a Magento Expert or Shopify Expert to your team to make that vision a reality. If you need to reach us for advice, please contact us at wish@thegenielab.com.

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