Running an online business means knowing not just what’s best for your customers, but what works for your store. This includes finding the best avenue to institute and host your business. And if that doesn’t come naturally at first, you can always switch. A popular option for small online businesses is to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce.
Aspiring digital shopkeepers are spoiled for choice when it comes to online platforms. Among the two heavyweights, WooCommerce is the perfect virtual spot to set up shop. If you’re one of them, this is the guide for you.
Finding Greener E-Commerce Pastures
Before understanding the “how” of relocating to WooCommerce, the curious entrepreneur in you might want to address the “why”.
Being the two foremost players in the arena of online sales, both Shopify and WooCommerce have their advantages. In many ways, they’re similar in terms of what they offer. They’re both accessible to small businesses, user-friendly, packed full of e-commerce-friendly features, and perfect for creating responsive websites.
That said, even smaller e-commerce stores might appreciate paying for what is billed as a more high-end hosting experience. And Shopify, with its primarily paid services, certainly has some perks for e-commerce newcomers. This is what makes it the first choice for many.
However, the sheer volume of people ultimately choosing to go from Shopify to WooCommerce is also worth addressing.
Why Choose WooCommerce?
Moving from Shopify to WooCommerce isn’t so much buyer’s remorse as it is keeping your options open. Normally, shop owners understandably migrate the other way around to enjoy Shopify’s more exclusive offerings and dedicated customer service. But there are a few qualities that make WooCommerce the superior pick.
- Cost-Effective: New stores don’t have to pay again and again for basic access. There are costs down the line, like shop extensions or marketing fees, but those are highly scalable.
- More Customizable: More and more entrepreneurs are paying more attention to things like coding, customization, and other ways to improve the online shopping experience. With WooCommerce, you can create and enjoy store design and functionalities more tailored to your needs and preferences.
This results in a business venture that performs better than less innovative competitors, all for a lower price (if any).SEO-Ready: WordPress is the perfect CMS for setting up an organic SEO campaign. It provides specialized tools like Yoast SEO as well as a customizable framework built for boosting visibility.
The Shopify to WooCommerce Migration, One Step At A Time
Having decided to embark on a Shopify to WordPress migration, what you need is patience and a plan. This movement can be complex, and each store might experience its own set of hurdles in the process.
Still, it’s a worthwhile endeavour that can work if you follow the right steps, as follows.
Step 1: Backup Your Shopify Store
If your transition comes after investing time and money in Shopify e-commerce, you need to ensure that nothing’s lost in the move. So, it’s essential to back up your store’s data, files, and other important details. That way, you won’t lose anything if the move goes awry.
Plugins like BackupMaster perform daily automated data-saving procedures with secure providers of unlimited cloud space. This tool lets you save everything, from data about products, customers, and shipping zones to themes, metadata, blog content, searches, and more.
This ensures a stress-free migration from Shopify to WooCommerce from the get-go.
Step 2: WooCommerce Setup
Unlink Shopify, there are fewer upfront costs with setting up and registering with a WooCommerce store. You’ll just need to
- Register with WordPress.
- Install and activate WooCommerce.
- Choose a theme and start customizing.
Of course, while WooCommerce is largely free of cost, there are some charges involved in things like domain registration, hosting, and premium extensions. Luckily, with the amount of options you’ll have, you can pick something that works for your budget.
Step 3: Choose A Method Of Migration
If you’re planning to export Shopify products to WooCommerce, you can do it manually through CSV files or with a dedicated plugin.
The manual approach is fairly straightforward, though it can take a while depending on the volume of the data. To do that, simply
- Export CSV data from your Shopify store.
- In WooCommerce>Products, select Import and navigate to the product importer to find the Choose file option.
- Click it and then import your CSV data through Continue.
- Use the Column Mapping function to sync and allocate the WooCommerce product fields to the attributes listed in the imported CSV data. If this isn’t done automatically, use the dropdown menus next to the rows.
- Click on Run the Importer to start the migration.
This is a fairly simple procedure. But if you also need to send other information like orders and customer data, you might have to download separate plugins for each of those.
Instead, however, you can use a single plugin to deal with everything. Cart2Cart can help you automate and expedite the transfer process. All you need to do is enter the source (Shopify) and target (WooCommerce) stores, bridge the two, and select and manage the data you need to export right then and there.
This tool is secure, lightweight, and precise. Be sure to form a list of everything that needs transferring as you’re moving from Shopify to WordPress. This includes
- Products and their variants
- Customer data
- Tags and metadata
- 301 redirects
- Coupons, and so on
Step 4: Redirect URLs
With the onsite migration taken care of, you need to shift focus to the off-site stuff. If you have backlinks to your Shopify store, you need to replace them with something that leads viewers to the new WooCommerce shop.
First, you’ll need to locate your old URLs with a crawling tool and list them by content and presence. After that comes the task of redirecting these Shopify links to your new WooCommerce site.
Yoast SEO enables WooCommerce incudes a URLs redirection protocol in its repertoire of visibility-friendly capabilities. Meanwhile, specialized tools like 301 Redirects offer a more robust set of 301 and 302 redirect functions for a seamless Shopify to WooCommerce move.
Step 5: E-Commerce Configurations
A key step is to make sure that you’re providing the same level of customer service through, if not better than, WooCommerce as you did with Shopify. Make sure to activate payment gateways and expedite and validate the checkout experience for clarity and accuracy.
One area worth considering is shipping settings. Setting up shipping tables, rates, policies, and methods takes time, so it’s important to migrate as much information as possible from Shopify to WooCommerce. Perhaps you used shipping plugins for managing this, in which case you’ll need the WooCommerce equivalent. Table Rate Shipping Method is a good choice for this.
Once you’ve completed your Shopify to WordPress migration, the next step is to test that everything is working correctly. Revise the list you made when you started this transfer, and see if it’s functioning as it should.
Once that’s done and you’ve worked out any kinks, your store can go live.
Moving shop is always a tricky undertaking, even when you’re doing it online. But when the time comes to move from Shopify to WooCommerce, you might be looking to change the course of your e-commerce journey for the better. In which case, rather than look a gift horse in the mouth, it’s best to make a checklist and stick to it.