Magento to Shopify Migration Checklist: Your Step-by-Step Guide

9 min read

Magento, now Adobe Commerce, is a popular e-commerce platform. Using it, however, comes with difficulties. Such as expensive server hosting, a time-consuming setup, and system vulnerabilities due to frequent updates. Eventually, websites built on Magento start causing their owners troubles. Unplanned expenses, security issues, and occasional website downtimes – these are the problems e-commerce companies can’t afford to have. That’s why modern businesses often choose to migrate their online shops from Magento to Shopify.

In comparison, Shopify is a more stable platform for online stores. Its monthly subscription includes web hosting. This e-commerce solution is feature-rich and easy to use. It has generally more benefits than Magento (Adobe Commerce), including a lower price. 

Comparison of Magento vs. Shopify

It doesn’t matter if you seek cost optimization or decide to improve the store’s performance; migrating an online shop from Magento is a complex task. It needs proper planning and execution. That’s why we have prepared a complete Magento to Shopify migration checklist, which covers all the necessary steps. It has three main parts: pre-migration planning, a migration checklist, and a list of post-migration actions. Read them carefully and learn how to make your store’s Magento to Shopify migration easy.  

Start with pre-migration planning 

Prepare for the e-commerce platform transition by completing the following steps.

Assess the current Magento setup

Before starting such a complex process as re-platforming, asses your current Magento website, conduct a detailed online store analysis, and evaluate its performance. This data will help you identify the weaknesses in your Magento website, as well as distinct features that you want to save in the transition. 

Set clear migration goals

Having analyzed the current Magento store’s setup, you will understand the requirements for a future Shopify store development better. Pair those with clear migration goals. Identify what you want to achieve in the transition and make sure the goals correspond to your business objectives. 

Plan your migration budget and resources 

Re-platforming is not only complex but also may be costly. So, plan your approximate expenses beforehand. Also, choose wisely the Magento to Shopify migration approach, which will affect the overall budget. 

  • Manual migration is a careful but time-consuming process of transferring data between two platforms. It allows a more seamless transition and higher customization. 
  • Automated migration offers faster data export via migration apps. This approach, however, is less secure. 

Back up your store data

Never start re-platforming without a proper data backup. A backup database is a necessary precautionary measure for a smooth transition from Magento. It will help you restore data in case anything goes wrong during the migration to Shopify. A database duplicate of the store should include all the relevant information, such as order history, product information, and customer data. 

To create a backup database of the online shop, you can use a Magento built-in backup feature. It’s accessible through the Admin panel. Simply go from “System” to “Tools” and then “Backups”. 

Creating a database backup with Magento built-in features

Magento allows you to backup data in three ways:

  • System Backup - a complete backup of the database and the file system. 
  • Database and Media Backup - creates a backup of the store’s database and the media folder.
  • Database backup - creates a backup of the database only. 
Database backup with Magento

In case a built-in Magento backup fails, you can try addressing the issues by following the instructions here. Alternatively, you can export your store’s data to a CSV file.

Exporting store data in CSV

Magento to Shopify migration checklist

Now, with the database securely backed up, let’s get into Magento to Shopify store transition. Take a look at the ultimate Magento to Shopify migration checklist that you should follow step-by-step. 

Set up a Shopify store

Create a Shopify account 
Start by registering at Shopify.com and choosing a subscription plan. The platform has several different offers depending on the business’ size and stage of development. Three standard plans cover the basic needs of solo entrepreneurs, small teams, and large companies.

Shopify user plans

If you have an established retail business, you may want to look at another type of Shopify subscription. The one that also offers advanced commerce features. 

Three types of Shopify supscription plans

Select a theme for your online store 

Next, choose a theme for your website. You have several options here. 

  • Select a ready-made one - choose a paid or free theme from the Shopify theme store. It’s the easiest option for launching the online store fast.
  • Customize the ready-made theme - make a few changes to a standard website theme from the Shopify store so it matches your brand. 
  • Custom theme development - build your theme from scratch to replicate your store’s design completely.

Import data to the Shopify store

Having exported the data from Magento into CSV files, you can proceed with importing them to Shopify. But first, make sure your CSV file matches the Shopify requirements. An imported CSV file must be at most 15 MB, and if your file is larger, you have to break it into smaller batches. 

Now, import a CSV file through the Shopify Admin panel. For instance, to import product data, go from Admin Panel to Products and then Import. Choose a CSV file and upload it. Then manually review all the product data for possible mistakes or losses.

Importing CSV into Shopify
Shopify Admin panel

Alternatively, your development team can copy and paste the data that needs transferring. It’s a time-consuming process but a working solution for stores that don’t have a lot of data. 

If your online store does operate large volumes of data, pay special attention to transferring products, customers, and order information. 

Migrating products

Don’t forget to include all the necessary information about your products in a product CSV file. Weight, color, price, manufacturer, descriptions, images, shipping info - all should be here. These details will need manual double-checking after the import to Shopify.  

Migrating customer information

Transferring customer data is similar to migrating product information, except for some unique challenges. For instance, it’s impossible to transfer customer passwords from Magento to Shopify since they are encrypted. It means that your customers will have to re-activate their accounts and reset passwords later.

Migrating order data

Migrate all the product and customer data first so that the orders can be linked to the accounts to which they belong. You can use third-party apps to migrate orders’ history data in bulk.  

Important considerations 

Page URL redirects 

Shopify and Magento have different URL structures, which means that while migrating, you need to set up URL redirects. If you don’t do that, customers will get broken links instead of accessing pages in the new online store. Your development team can manually set up automatic 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new ones in Shopify. 

Website’s SEO value 

Yes, different URLs may lead to a certain drop in your website’s SEO performance. To improve its visibility, pay extra attention to URL redirection. Establish redirects and double-check them to ensure a great customer experience. Also, migrate your blog content carefully. And remember to customize meta titles and descriptions.

Further setup 

Choosing Shopify apps and integrations

If you want your Shopify online shop to have the same functionality as the Magento one, choose the proper apps and integrations. Luckily, many apps from the Shopify app store are similar to Magento extensions. You can use them or build custom features into your Shopify online shop.

Shopify apps and extensions

Payment integration

With the data imported, it’s time to set up a payment getaway. You can go with Shopify Payments - a native Shopify solution that processes online payments. It doesn’t charge a transaction fee, and it’s easy to use. Or you can choose any third-party solution supported by Shopify, such as PayPal, Stripe, or Verifone. 

Shipping and tax integration

Once you’ve configured the payment methods, you can proceed with shipping and tax integration. Both of these two depend on the countries and states where your business operates. 

The easiest way for shipment is to use Shopify Shipping. The solution is available for locations in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain. As for the tax integration, you can add taxes manually through the Shopify admin panel. Also, keep in mind that Shopify has recently launched its tax platform for US-based businesses. 

Post-migration actions 

In the post-migration phase, there are still some things that need handling. 

Quality assurance

Before launching your store, you have to conduct comprehensive quality assurance testing and tackle all the discovered issues. The website testing should include the following:

  • Data consistency check. Make sure that the data is error-free, that there are no broken links or other mistakes.  
  • Testing store functionality. Prior to going live, conduct functionality testing. Check if the Shopify store’s functionality corresponds to the website’s functional specifications. 
  • Compatibility testing. It’s important to ensure a consistent user experience and store’s aesthetic across different devices. Test your Shopify store appearance on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Moreover, see if your website has the same look and feel in different browsers because cross-browser compatibility might be an issue too. 

Implementing analytics and SEO tracking on Shopify

After migration, you have to monitor the Shopify store’s performance. That’s why it’s essential to implement analytics and SEO tracking. 

Set up a Google Search Console to:

  • Track errors that may impact your website's indexing.
  • Get recommendations on how to improve a Shopify website.
  • Keep an eye on sitemap indexation levels.
  • Identify the issues with structured data markup.

Use Google Analytics to monitor the key website performance metrics, such as conversion and bounce rates. Also, pair these tools with other useful third-party apps for analytics. Take Semrush, for instance. 

Announce migration 

Finally, don’t forget to inform your customers about the changes made to your online store, especially since they need to re-login with new passwords. So, plan upfront how you are going to tell them about the migration from Magento to Shopify. For example, consider sending newsletters to their emails. 

Troubleshooting common issues

Even if you follow the Magento to Shopify migration checklist and are extra cautious along the way, you still may face certain problems. Let’s go through the typical issues that occur during online shop re-platforming and find out how to respond to them. 

Data inaccuracies or loses

Unfortunately, data loss and some inaccuracies often happen when you transfer significant amounts of data from one platform to another. With a Magento website’s backup copy, however, you are able to retrieve the lost data and correct all the mistakes. 

Long page loading time

Although Shopify online stores are generally fast, your website may have speed issues after the re-platforming. To make its loading speed better, your development team has to optimize the Shopify online shop. The optimization for speed and performance improvement can include: 

  • compressing image files 
  • enabling the Shopify built-in caching 
  • deleting unused data and apps
  • using a content delivery network (CDN)

A drop in SEO ranking

Poor SEO website performance can happen if your Magento to Shopify transition goes a bit wrong. To avoid it, establish URL redirection. Don’t forget to set up a new domain for the Shopify store and change the domain name server settings(DNS). Migrate all the blog content. Also, constantly monitor the website’s SEO performance after the online store’s launch.

Wrapping up

Sure, e-commerce development or re-platforming an online store from Magento to Shopify is challenging. It takes a lot of time and pre-migration planning. A lot can go wrong during a Shopify shop setup and data import. Moreover, the post-migration phase of the transition needs special attention too. But what’s even more important is that the whole migration process has to be seamless for the customers and not cause any drop in sales. That’s why e-commerce businesses hire qualified development teams to ensure safe and smooth online shop migration. 

ElifTech, a reliable technology partner, will gladly assist you in re-platforming your store from Magento to Shopify. Contact our Shopify migration services experts to receive a consultation about your project. 

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