Last updated – November 11, 2022
The emergence of high-speed internet, e-commerce, and software development has transformed the way we run business stores. To run a successful online store, one must emphasize technical implementation, e-commerce platform, workflows, and business logic to outclass their competitors.
If you already own an online store, then probably you must use either Shopify or WooCommerce e-commerce platform to manage your business website. Both platforms come with their own set of pros and cons, and you can customize and configure them to cater to your business requirements.
However, if you are planning to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify, then the process isn’t as intricate as you may think. In this blog, we will share a comprehensive guide, which you may follow while performing the migration from WooCommerce to Shopify.
What is WooCommerce?
It is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress, which helps store owners to develop and maintain an online store. It is a free plugin that comes with a plethora of features and abilities that can transform your existing WordPress web portal into a true e-Commerce store.
What is Shopify?
It is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that allows enterprises of all sizes to develop an online store. It is a subscription-based e-Commerce solution, which offers online retailers a full-fledged suite of online services such as marketing, shipping, payments, and numerous customer engagement tools.
Differences between WooCommerce and Shopify
|Ease of use||It is slightly difficult to use for non-technical people||It’s very easy to use|
|Set-up time||Takes time||Takes very less time|
|Security||Needs manual efforts||Handles itself|
|Cost||Free as it is open source||Offers different pricing plans|
|Payment options||Offers fewer options||Multiple options available|
|Customization||Unlimited customization||Limited customization|
|Cost to build an e-commerce store||Could incur high cost||Comparatively very cost-effective|
|Built-in e-commerce tools||Paid tools and plugins are available||Tools are included in the package.|
Why should you leave WooCommerce?
Although WooCommerce is a capable and robust e-commerce platform, it comes with its own set of demerits. Here we have some fundamental issues which led organizations to move away from WooCommerce:
It is very easy to set up an online store using WooCommerce. However, if you want to enhance your store by adding some capabilities such as Popular Payment Gateways, then you will need to integrate premium extensions. The cost of adding such extensions will only go up over time.
WordPress Specific Plugin
It’s WordPress specific plugin; hence you can use it only with a website developed on WordPress hosting. You need to change your website hosting and structure to use WooCommerce with other CMS and hosting services.
Excessive Plugin Use
There is no doubt that WooCommerce delivers outstanding performance. However, you need to install more extensions and plugins to avail more features, but that will hamper the performance of your online store.
Why must you migrate to Shopify?
Shopify is known for its wide range of features and scalability. Here we have a couple of reasons why you must migrate to Shopify:
Shopify is an end-to-end hosted platform, that manages your all hosting-specific concerns. This also means you will not have to shell out more money to acquire a hosting server and other services.
It is known for simplicity and flexibility, which enables users to set up an online store with few clicks. It offers an efficient drag-and-drop interface, which helps beginners to manage and maintain their online store without having much technical know-how.
Ease of Marketing
Digital marketing is a vital aspect of an online store, as it drives the customers to the stores. Shopify enables users to create and run efficient SEO campaigns, which helps digital marketers in bringing more potential customers to their portal.
The process to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify
We hope the above-mentioned facts must have helped you to understand the fundamental difference between WooCommerce and Shopify. If you have decided to migrate your online store to Shopify, then you can follow the below-mentioned steps:
Step 1: Determine the most suitable method of migration
You must choose the best method to perform the migration. Usually, we have 3 fundamental methods, you can select the optimal method based on your business requirements.
- Manual migration method: Export and import manually
- Hire a freelancer or a web development company
- Utilize an automated shopping cart migration tool
Step 2: Set up your online store on Shopify
To perform a migration, first of all, you must set up a target store on Shopify in advance. To set up an online store, you must sign up for a Shopify account.
- Go to the Shopify website
- Click “Start Free Trial”.
- Fill in the required details and store name.
- You must choose a unique store name, or else Shopify won’t allow you to purchase the domain name.
- Click on the “Create your store” button and then fill in your personal and business-specific details about your business.
- You also need to provide details to configure tax rates and currencies and tax rates.
- Once you click on the “Enter My Store” button, you will be moved to the admin panel of your online store.
Step 3: Export your Online Store Data from WooCommerce
In this step, you must export your online store data before moving everything to Shopify. Once you export the data, you will be asked to download an XML file on your computer. This is a vital file as it contains all data about your existing online store.
This XML file is compatible with the Shopify database and could be embedded with it without any hassles.
You must follow the below steps to export your WooCommerce store data:
- Access your WooCommerce admin dashboard.
- Click on Tools > Export.
- Then you must select “All Content”
- Click on the “Download Export File” button
Step 4: Import your online Store Data to Shopify
Now you can import the XML file to Shopify. Here it is important to understand Shopify is compatible with only “All Content” type of XML file. If you don’t have this file handy, then you can import the store file manually in the CSV format, or simply use the product import plugin.
You can follow these steps to import your store data to Shopify:
- Open the Shopify admin dashboard.
- Click on Apps then select Store Importer.
- Click on ‘Import your data’ option
- From the given drop-down, click on WooCommerce.
- Select the file and upload it.
- Finish the import function.
Step 5: Review and Remediate any Imported Data Issue
If your data import process is successfully completed, then you will see your online store’s data in your Shopify admin panel. Sometimes, you may experience an issue with products or customers’ data.
Here are a few results you might witness while importing your online store data into Shopify:
- Import was successful with changes
- Some customers or products failed to import
- Bundled products failed to import
- Products imported successfully but not published
- Product variants failed to import
- Imported products no longer have their dimensions
- Digital products imported successfully but not published
- Tags applied to imported records
You need to evaluate these errors and implement steps to resolve the data import issue. In most cases, a manual data import can mitigate such issues for you.
Step 6: Delete the store data import
If your data import is not successful, then you can go ahead and delete the data import files. If your data import throws errors or shows failed items, then it is recommended to remove that import and try again from the scratch.
You must follow the below steps to delete the data import:
- Click the ‘Delete Import’ button on Import complete page.
- Once your imported files are deleted, you can initiate a new import to move your data from WooCommerce to Shopify.
Step 7: Post-migration activities
Once the migration is completed successfully, you must perform the following tasks to ensure everything is up and working :
- Verify if your entire data is migrated successfully
- Design and configure your Shopify store
- Switch Domain and change DNS as well
- Configure your shipping options
- Setup your payment methods
- Try placing some test orders
Both WooCommerce and Shopify are highly popular e-Commerce platforms that are suitable for online stores of all sizes. Although, both platforms come with their own merits and demerits and some fundamental differences in their functioning and managing the technical aspects of your online store.
WooCommerce is a perfect tool for techno-savvy users, who can leverage their knowledge to make a wide range of customization. On the other hand, Shopify is a perfect tool for those who want to manage their online store without having much technical knowledge.
Shopify offers a wide range of features and a wonderful experience, but that comes with a slightly higher cost. If you expect the best results for your business, then we would advise you to choose Shopify over WooCommerce.