Currently, there are a lot of reasons to sell products online. By 2040, experts predict that 95% of all purchases will be made online.
If you already run an online store, chances are that you’re using either of the two most popular eCommerce platforms: WooCommerce or Shopify.
Both platforms have their respective advantages and differences. However, if you want to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify, the solution isn’t as complicated as you may think.
In fact, the process is entirely straightforward.
Do you want help in making the switch from WooCommerce to Shopify. This guide will tell you all you need to know.
Reasons to Stay and Leave WooCommerce
Everyone will have their own reasons for making the switch from WooCommerce to another eCommerce platform. Your store may be growing and you want a more dynamic, scalable solution.
You may just be unsatisfied with WooCommerce in general and want to move on. The worst mistake you can make is deciding to move on from WooCommerce when Shopify isn’t a better option for you.
In this case, you should reconsider your decision. Below are some reasons to stay and leave WooCommerce to help you make the best decision.
Reasons to Stay with WooCommerce:
- Completely Free & Open Source — Like WordPress, WooCommerce is an open-source platform. This means you can customize the design of WooCommerce nearly any way you like. It’s also free. All you have to do is install the plugin to get started.
- Amazing Flexibility — WooCommerce fits like a glove for a bunch of different online stores, regardless of their products or market niche. It can be configured to sell downloadable, virtual, and physical goods, as well as integrate to affiliate and other business models.
- Incredible Security — WooCommerce is one of the most secure eCommerce platforms on the internet. It supports numerous payment gateways and e-wallets.
- Large, Vibrant Community — WordPress is one of the largest online communities on the internet. If you have any questions or desire already-built modifications to your platform, look no further than the WordPress community.
Reasons to Leave WooCommerce:
- Excessive Plugin Use — WooCommerce delivers exceptional performance. However, the more plugins and extensions you install, the more you can hamper your online store’s speed and performance.
- Premium Extensions — Setting up a basic WooCommerce store is completely free. However, if you want to improve your store, such as accepting numerous payment gateways, you’ll need to pay for extensions. These costs can add up over time.
- Desire to Scale — WooCommerce is WordPress’ foray into the eCommerce industry. Other solutions, like Shopify, are more geared toward medium to larger online stores. If you want to scale your business, you may want to look elsewhere.
Reasons to Migrate to or Avoid Shopify
Shopify is one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms in the world. But, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. If you’re new to Shopify, here are pros and cons you should consider before signing up and beginning the migration process:
Reasons to Migrate to Shopify:
- Simplicity — As you may already know, Shopify makes it easy to start and run an online store. It’s drag-and-drop interface is perfect for beginners running an online store and dynamic enough for development experts.
- Available Support — The Shopify customer support team is very prompt in answering tickets. They are available 24/7 to assist you with anything you need.
- Wide Variety of Themes — Shopify has countless themes for you to choose from so you can design the perfect online store.
- App Store — One of Shopify’s greatest features is its app store with more than 1,200 plugins. This means you can customize your store the way you want it.
- Ease of Marketing — An online store is nothing without digital marketing. Shopify allows users to invest in effective search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns to bring more attention to their stores.
- Ability for Growth — Shopify is ideal for both small and large online stores. Particularly, it’s known for its ability to help small online stores grow.
- Fully-Hosted Platform — Shopify will handle all of your hosting. This means you won’t have to pay an additional cost for server fees.
Reasons to Avoid Shopify:
- Price — Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify is not a free platform to use. You’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee that will rise as your store grows.
- Customized Limitations — Shopify is not an open-source platform. It’s not as customizable as WooCommerce, which could be a cause of concern for larger online stores with a team of professional developers.
How to Migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify
If you’ve made it this far into the guide, that means that you’ve decided to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify. That’s not to fear. Below, we’ll highlight all of the steps you’ll need to take to complete the migration process without any problems.
Step #1: Export your Store Data from WooCommerce
Exporting all of your store data is the first step you’ll need to take before moving to Shopify. Think of the process like moving your belongings from one house to another. Once you export all of your store data, you’ll be prompted to download a XML file to your computer.
This file contains all of your store’s crucial data. This file is compatible and can be embedded into Shopify’s database. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow when exporting your WooCommerce store data:
- Go to your WooCommerce admin dashboard.
- Click Tools > Export.
- Select “All Content”.
- Click “Download Export File”
Step #2: Import your Store Data to Shopify
Once you’re finished exporting your store data from WooCommerce, you can go ahead and import the XML file to Shopify. It’s important to note that Shopify is only compatible with the “All Content” XML file.
If you don’t have this file, you can use a product import plugin or import separate store files manually in CSV format. In any case, here are the steps for importing your WooCommerce store data to Shopify:
- Visit the Shopify admin dashboard.
- Click Apps > Store Importer.
- Visit the Import your data into Shopify page. Next, choose WooCommerce from the drop-down menu.
- Next, upload your files. You can choose any number of files you want. If you choose to upload products, you’ll need to add the exported files for both the Bulk Edit and Default templates in order for the data to import properly.
- Complete the import process.
If the platforms mentioned on Shopify’s importer prompt doesn’t list your store’s platform, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click the “select a different platform”.
You should be able to choose WooCommerce from the drop-down menu.
Step #3: Review and Fix all Imported Data Issues
If your data import session went by without a hitch, then you should see all of your online store’s information in your Shopify admin. Sometimes, a few products and customers won’t import.
If this issue has occurred, you can rest easy knowing that you can import them manually. This can only take place after a failed or incomplete data import from WooCommerce to Shopify.
Naturally, you may encounter a lot of various issues when importing your WooCommerce store data to Shopify. The following sections will discuss some prompts you may see when carrying your store data over when developing on Shopify:
“Import was successful with changes”:
After your data import is complete, a summary page will show up on your computer screen. It will present the details of your import. Make sure you review the messages in the “review section” of the summary page to make sure there aren’t any issues.
You can choose to edit all of your imported information manually by clicking “view items” directly next to error messages.
“Some products or customers failed to import”:
Again, there is a chance that some products and customers fail to import on the first try. If this happens, you can add a product or customer manually. Certain data issues can cause Shopify to overlook particular customers and products.
For example, if two customers have the same phone number or email address, the older data will be skipped. Therefore, make sure that your data is refined before importing to eliminate these issues.
“Bundled products failed to import”:
There is a chance that some of your products will be bundled on WooCommerce. In that case, you’ll need to add these missing products to Shopify manually. You will need to download a third-party app to bundle products.
Luckily, the Shopify app store provides these types of apps.
“Products imported successfully but are not published”:
This issue can occur if your products on WooCommerce had their visibility set to “hidden”. By importing your store data to Shopify, it will similarly be set to “hidden” as well.
You can undo this change by updating these products and making them available to a sales channel.
“Product variants failed to import”:
If your product has any variants and one of them is missing an option, the product will not import to Shopify. To fix this error, you’ll need to add this product to Shopify manually.
For example, let’s say that you sell skinny jeans and have different options for colors and sizes. If one of your variants has information for the color and not the size, the product won’t be imported at all.
“Imported products no longer have their dimensions”:
Product pages need to be as descriptive as possible, mainly to assist the customer in determining whether or not a product will suit them. If you want to add dimensions of a particular product, you can add them directly to the product description manually.
“Digital products imported successfully but are not published”:
This error message is only for downloadable products and digital goods. This means that you’ll need to download a third-party app to sell digital products on your online store.
There are tons of solutions available to perform this type of service.
Considerations After Your Data Import
Just because your data import is finished doesn’t mean you won’t have any questions. Below are some important things to learn once you’re finished importing your WooCommerce store data to Shopify:
Imported Record Tags:
Shopify’s Store Importer app will apply tags to all imported records. These tags make it easier for users to locate all of the data you’ve imported, review all of them to check for errors, and alter them.
These tags are shown in this format: import_<date>_<import_id>.
These formats will differ based on errors when importing your data files, depending on the platform you’ve used.
Delete a Store Data Import File:
The good news is that you can delete a data import you are unsatisfied with. For example, if your data import contained far too many failed items, you can delete it and start over again.
Now, you can only delete your most recent store data import file. Make sure this file is deleted in its entirety before you create a new one. Here are the steps to follow to delete a store data import file:
- On the import complete page, click “Delete Import”.
- Confirm you want to delete the import.
What to Do About Customer Passwords:
All customer passwords are encrypted for privacy and security reasons and to prevent potential data breaches. Therefore, you can’t migrate these passwords from WooCommerce to Shopify. Because of this, customer records, and not accounts, are migrated to Shopify.
Do You Need Help Migrating from WooCommerce to Shopify?
As you can see, the process of migrating from WooCommerce to Shopify isn’t too difficult. However, a lot of things can go wrong throughout the process. Also, you may not have the time to do all of this work yourself.
In that case, it’s best to hire a reputable website development expert to spearhead this transition phase. At Dev.co, we specialize in creating dynamic online stores with both WooCommerce and Shopify.
If you would like to speak with experts about moving your online store from WooCommerce to Shopify, then you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to speak to a member of our ecommerce website design & development team about starting the process.
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