Migrating from Magento to Shopify Plus: A Step-by-Step Guide for Large Ecommerce Stores
If you’re a retailer using Magento, why on earth would you want to switch to Shopify Plus?
We understand your pause. Re-platforming is a pain in the you know what, but it may just be worth your while.
Here’s the rundown on why switching to Shopify Plus could be right for you along with a step-by-step guide to completing the migration.
Benefits of Switching to Shopify Plus
Between the licensing fees, infrastructure costs, and human resources expenses that you have on Magento, we can guarantee that you’ll be saving buckets full of cash by switching to Shopify Plus.
Peace of Mind
Not only will you save money, but you’ll have a lot less grey hairs. Rather than self-hosting and having to worry about stability, scalability, and security, especially on high traffic (and therefore high revenue) days, you can rest easy. That’s not your problem anymore. Shopify handles all of the stability, scalability, and security of your store so you never have to worry about your store going down, even on these high volume days.
Increased Site Speed
Depending on how your Magento store was built, your new Shopify Plus store will likely be a faster site due to the infrastructure technologies of Shopify Plus. This will not only make your site more usable (and your customers happier), but also may help you in search results.
Vibrant App Community
Shopify Plus has an app community like no other. You don’t have to build much of anything from scratch. If you want to add the latest and greatest in marketing technology, let’s just say “There’s an app for that,” most of which are installed with just a single click.
Restrictions of Shopify Plus
With all of these obvious benefits, there have to be some drawbacks, or everyone would be on Shopify Plus!
Well, we’d say drawback, not drawbacks, but there is one, which is this: not limitless customizability. Why not say limited customizability? We wouldn’t call it limited. Shopify Plus is incredibly customizable. In fact, we haven’t crossed any customization that we couldn’t accomplish on Shopify Plus. However, it is limited compared to a self-hosted Magento ecommerce site. With a self-hosted Magento site, you own the code. You can literally build whatever you want.
With Shopify Plus, they own the checkout. This is how you get scalability and security without any headache of your own. They have made the checkout very customizable, but since they own it and guarantee scalability and security, there are a few areas you can’t touch.
Step by Step Guide to Migrating to Shopify Plus
Whether you are on Magento or another platform, below are the basic steps that you’ll need to follow to switch over to Shopify Plus.
1) Make sure Shopify Plus is right for you.
Shopify Plus is not right for every one… even Shopify themselves will tell you this. So make sure to use a company like ours or talk to Shopify themselves about the details of your business and your store before making a decision.
2) Get the right team on board.
Great! Shopify Plus is right for you! Now it’s time to think about the team you’ll need to make the transition.
Will you need developers? Yes, at times.
And you’ll probably some other experienced professionals too. That’s where a company like Metacake comes in. It’s why we exist.
3) Develop a migration strategy.
Especially if your ecommerce store is your primary revenue driver, you need to make sure that the migration and re-platforming are done really, really well and minimize risk.
4) Create a theme on Shopify Plus.
You can either build your theme from scratch or modify an off-the-shelf theme. This is what customers will see.
5) Build in upgrades.
You are already migrating and re-platforming your store. What better time is there to add in some new store functionality and upgrades? You have the opportunity to do things differently, to do things better. Take advantage of this!
Check out Shopify Plus’ vast app bank and make sure to add a rewards program, upgrade your reviews, and add some killer marketing functionality to your new store.
6) Develop an SEO strategy.
One of the biggest risks in re-platforming is dropping in search engine rankings. With the new platform, the majority of your store URLs are likely to change, so make sure that you are properly redirecting those URLs. You’ll also want to transfer over your meta data in addition to the front end store content. You likely need an experienced professional to handle this.
7) Migrate your data.
At the very least, you’ll be migrating your products over into the new store. You may also want to migrate your customers, orders, and additional site content. Regardless of what data you want to migrate, the process is fairly straightforward and with Shopify Plus, you have a dedicated Shopify employee to help you with this process.
8) Build any necessary integrations.
Depending on the complexity of your business and back office, you may need to build out integrations with external systems, whether that be enterprise ERP, accounting, or fulfillment systems. There may already be apps to handle these integrations, but if not, you’ll need to build them from scratch.
Carefully think through the launch of your store in advance. For high volume stores, we often a/b test the new store vs. the old store, slowly transferring traffic over to the new store to mitigate the launch risk. Also, make sure to have analytics installed so that you can monitor the new store’s performance closely when you launch.
Can Metacake handle the entire migration process?
Yes. This is what we do all of the time. We have successfully migrated huge brands from Magento and other platforms over to Shopify Plus.
Metacake is built to help brands grow, and re-platforming is a big part of that. The transition takes a lot of time and care. There are details that would easily be missed by someone inexperienced. So, whether it’s Metacake or someone else, find a trusted partner to help you with the migration.