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Shopify to Magento 2 Migration: A Detailed Checklist

Last Updated on 18th Jun, 2024 | Magento

shopify to magento 2 migration - a detailed checklist

How to Migrate from Shopify to Magento 2: A Complete Guide

E-commerce platforms provide online stores with the tools and functionality needed to build and manage an online presence. As a business grows and evolves, it may outgrow its original platform and require migration to a new system that better fits its needs. Migrating from one platform to another is a major undertaking that requires careful planning and execution. This guide will provide a step-by-step overview of Shopify to Magento 2 Migration.

Importance of Shopify to Magento 2 Migration

There are several reasons an online store may decide to migrate to a new eCommerce platform such as Magento 2:

  • Scalability – As sales volume increases substantially, Shopify’s hosting and bandwidth limitations may prevent a store from scaling adequately. Magento offers more flexibility for growth.
  • Customization – Shopify uses themes and apps for customization while Magento allows deep code-level customization for complete control over site design and functionality.
  • Cost savings – At high sales volumes, Shopify’s fees can become prohibitively expensive compared to self-hosted Magento.
  • Advanced features – Magento offers more advanced marketing, customer service, fulfillment and other omni-channel features beyond Shopify’s basics.
  • Business model shift – Changes like adding wholesale B2B sales may necessitate migration to a new platform better suited for the new business model.

Shopify vs Magento 2 Comparison (2024)

FEATURE

SHOPIFY

MAGENTO 2

Pricing

Monthly subscription fees

Open-source (free) or paid Enterprise edition

Customization

Limited customization options

Highly customizable with extensive features

Scalability

Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses

Ideal for large-scale enterprises

SEO Capabilities

Basic SEO features

Advanced SEO capabilities

App Marketplace

Extensive app store with paid and free apps

Robust extension marketplace for additional features

Hosting

Hosted solution, no need for separate hosting

Requires separate hosting

Themes

Limited free and paid themes available

Wide range of free and premium themes

Support

24/7 customer support available

Community support and paid support options

Payment Gateways

Supports multiple payment gateways

Flexible payment options and gateways

Mobile Responsiveness

Mobile-friendly design

Responsive design for mobile optimization

Ease of Use

User-friendly interface for beginners

Steeper learning curve but more powerful features

Security

Secure platform with regular updates

High level of security with regular patches

Reasons to Migrate from Shopify to Magento 2

There are a number of compelling reasons an online merchant may choose to invest time and resources in migrating from Shopify to Magento 2.

Functionality and Customization Capabilities

Magento 2 has vastly greater functionality for managing complex e-commerce business processes and enables complete control over the customer experience through unlimited customization potential.

Shopify uses simplified themes and apps, which limit customization. Magento’s modularity and open-source code base allow modifying or expanding every aspect of the platform, allowing developers to create highly customized features and functionality.

The level of flexibility Magento 2 provides is required for large catalogs, B2B functionality, complex promotions, advanced reporting, and unique customer experiences.

Third-Party Integrations and Extensions

Shopify offers a decent market of third-party apps and integrations that expand on its native features. However, Magento’s far larger developer community offers thousands of extensions, both paid and free, to deliver specialized functionality.

The integration options are nearly limitless. Magento can readily be integrated with ERPs, CMSs, PIMs, accounting software, CRMs, fulfillment systems, and almost any other backend system used by the business.

These deep integrations allow unifying systems into centralized repositories and automated workflows that are not possible within Shopify’s walled garden. This streamlines operations and reduces manual processes.

Scalability and Business Growth

Shopify stores are hosted on Shopify’s servers and are limited in scope by the subscription plans and resources allocated. As product catalogs and order volumes outgrow these limits, performance degradation and costly overage fees result.

In contrast, Magento’s flexible open-source nature allows businesses to scale their e-commerce operations to match their growth unhindered. Server resources can be excited to support massive catalogs and sales volumes that are not realistically feasible on Shopify.

These advantages make Magento 2 the clear choice for stores anticipating rapid growth or with existing scaling challenges on their current Shopify plan. The self-hosted model provides an almost unlimited ceiling for business expansion.

For businesses that launch on Shopify but over time recognize that their business model and goals necessitate greater capabilities and customization, Magento 2 represents the ultimate “grow into” platform.

Pre-Shopify to Magento 2 Migration Considerations

Migrating an existing Shopify store to Magento 2 involves careful planning and preparation. Several key factors should be addressed before beginning the actual migration process.

Backing Up Shopify Store Data

All data, such as products, customers, orders, content, themes, and plugins, should be fully backed up locally before migration. This provides a failsafe if anything gets corrupted during migration.

  • Use Shopify’s admin Export tools to export customers and order CSVs
  • Use an app like Shopify Export Products to export product data
  • Manually copy blog posts, content pages, and other data from the Shopify admin

Having redundant copies of all critical business data is strongly advised when undertaking a platform migration.

Setting Up the Magento 2 Environment

The Magento 2 site should be installed on a server or hosting provider that matches the resource requirements and is capable of supporting the store’s transaction volumes and traffic.

  • Install a fresh copy of Magento 2 Open Source or Commerce edition
  • Configure hosting, domain names, SSL certificates, etc.
  • Complete basic System Configuration settings.
  • Disable cache initially to avoid migration data caching issues

Reviewing Data for Migration

Examine the data exported from Shopify to identify any that may need cleanup, organization, or other preparation before importing into Magento 2.

Data issues like duplicate products, inconsistent formatting, or structural differences between the platforms may need to be addressed prior to migration. Clean data eliminates difficult troubleshooting later.

Reviewing catalog structure, product fields like SKUs and IDs, order statuses, customer details, and other data characteristics will simplify migration mapping and import tasks.

Selecting the Appropriate Magento 2 Edition

Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce – The edition should be chosen based on the complexity of the business model and required features. Magento 2 Open Source provides the core e-commerce functionality, while Commerce Edition expands features for enterprise merchants. Analyze the current and planned business requirements and migration goals to determine which edition to utilize.

Shopify to Magento 2 Migration Methods

There are a few approaches to migrating data from a Shopify store to Magento 2: manual migration, automated migration using tools, or agency-assisted migration.

Manual Shopify to Magento 2 Migration

With a manual migration, store owners export data from Shopify and manually transfer it over to Magento 2 through CSV imports and custom data scripts.

Exporting Data from Shopify

First, all necessary data, such as products, customers, orders, etc., must be exported from the Shopify store. This produces CSV files containing all the raw store data requiring migration.

Importing Data into Magento 2

The exported Shopify data must then be imported into Magento 2 using the proper structure. CSVs may need adjustments to fit Magento 2’s database schema and match up fields correctly. Code modifications may be necessary to achieve complete feature parity.

Limitations and Challenges

Manual migration gives full control but also comes with limitations:

  • Labor intensive and time-consuming to migrate each data entity
  • Difficulty mapping Shopify data to Magento 2 equivalents
  • Custom modification is required to replicate complex features or promotions
  • Higher likelihood of data errors or omissions

Requires Magento 2 technical expertise for programmatic data imports, customization, troubleshooting, and validation.

Manual migrations can take months and still result in an incomplete replication of the original Shopify store and feature set.

Automated Shopify to Magento 2 Migration

Automated data migration tools streamline the process of migrating from Shopify to Magento 2 by managing the export, mapping, and import process.

Overview of Shopify to Magento 2 Migration Tools

Popular all-in-one migration solutions include:

  • LitExtension – Automates data transfer and moves the Shopify theme. Custom field mapping and migration testing.
  • Cart2Cart – Automated data migration between platforms. Generates detailed pre-migration report.
  • Firebear Studio – Full migration toolkit for data and theme transfer. Modular with

Benefits and Drawbacks

Automated migration tools benefits:

  • Greatly accelerate complex migration tasks
  • Reduce chances of data errors or omissions
  • Provide detailed migration analysis and logging
  • Offer support for addressing issues

Automated migration tools limitations:

  • Monthly licensing fees for paid tools
  • Limited flexibility for edge cases or complex custom migrations
  • Theme migration may require additional customization
  • Additional validation is needed for 100% accurate data transfer

For most standard Shopify to Magento 2 migrations, automated tools provide huge time and effort savings over manual migration. However, businesses with highly customized requirements may find limitations.

Agency-Guided Migration

E-commerce development agencies experienced with Shopify and Magento 2 migrations offer consulting and hands-on assistance. Typical services include:

  • Migration analysis, planning, and recommendations
  • Data migration through scripts optimized for the specific store
  • Replicating custom features or promotions
  • Frontend theme development and design implementation
  • Extension installation and integration
  • Testing and GoLive support

Agency-assisted migration combines tools for automating data transfer with the focused expertise of Magento specialists. This facilitates smooth end-to-end migration while optimizing the new site for merchants’ specific goals.

The customized touch simplifies complex aspects like B2B transitions, customized promotions, reporting needs, 3rd party integrations, and user experience optimizations. Agencies also assist with launching and stabilizing the new store.

The combined human guidance and automated migration provide the best of both worlds – automation with customization. However, hiring an agency carries added service costs on top of licensing automated tools. The investment aims to streamline the move to Magento 2 and improve business agility in the long term.

Shopify to Magento 2 Migration – Beginning to End Process

Migrating from Shopify to Magento 2 follows a sequenced process to transition while minimizing downtime smoothly.

#Step1: Setting Up the Magento 2 Store

The first step is preparing a fully functioning Magento 2 store that is configured to receive the migrated Shopify data.

Installing Magento 2

If migrating to self-hosted Magento, it must be installed on a server or hosting service capable of supporting the store’s resource requirements.

  • Acquire hosting and a domain name for the Magento 2 store
  • Install Magento Open Source or Magento Commerce edition
  • Complete the initial setup and System Configuration

For cloud-hosted Magento, steps like provisioning servers and installing Magento are managed by the cloud provider.

Configuring Essential Settings

  • Set up stores, store views, and websites
  • Configure shipping and payment methods
  • Establish tax rules and rates
  • Adjust Magento settings and options via the admin configurations
  • Configure caching, security, and analytics as desired

This prepares a functional blank Magento 2 store structure that is ready for Shopify data import.

#Step 2: Data Migration Process

Accurately transferring critical business data from Shopify to Magento 2 is imperative for a successful migration.

Transferring Products, Customers, Orders, and Other Data

  • The entire product catalog with all attributes, variations, quantities, prices, etc, intact
  • Customer information like names, emails, addresses, order history
  • All previous orders with their details, statuses, and associated data
  • Other data like CMS pages, blocks, redirects, menus, etc

This data will form the foundational business information powering the new Magento 2 store. Maintaining its accuracy and integrity is vital.

An automated migration tool can transfer most of this data seamlessly. Supplementary scripts may be required for specialized edge cases or complex migrations.

Ensuring Data Integrity and Accuracy

  • Check product, customer, order, and informational data were imported without errors
  • Spot-check imported items against the original Shopify store for parity
  • Load test site performance with large product catalogs and order histories
  • Have stakeholders review the migrated site to confirm the completeness

Isolate and re-import any erroneous or missing data until the Magento 2 store contains the full Shopify data payload correctly.

Accurate data migration avoids issues that cause delays closer to launch. It is better to validate thoroughly upfront.

#Step 3: Design and Theme Migration

Recreating the Shopify store’s look and feel in Magento 2 is key for a transparent user transition.

Migrating the Design and Theme Elements from Shopify to Magento 2

  • Export original Shopify theme code base, CSS, images, and templates
  • Recreate the theme in Magento 2 using a parent theme like Luma as the base
  • Match layouts, CSS styling, and theme functionality
  • Add custom code to replicate specialized Shopify theme features
  • Emulate custom template overrides, macros, and modifications

This allows perfect visual parity with minimal disruption for customers. Automated tools may assist with base theme migration and assets. More complex custom themes require developer assistance.

Customizing the Magento 2 Theme to Match the Shopify Store

  • Header, footer, and page layouts
  • Visual styling like colors, fonts, and element sizing
  • Custom features like animations or graphics
  • Replicate widget and block locations
  • Menu structure and navigation
  • VC pages and other content

Capturing the full user experience accurately eases customer familiarity with the new Magento storefront when launched.

#Step 4: Extension and Integration Migration

Reproducing integrated services and app functionality requires mapping Shopify apps to corresponding Magento 2 extensions.

Identifying and Migrating Shopify Extensions

  • Document all Shopify apps and integrations in use
  • Determine which are essential and must be migrated
  • Select the equivalent extension or integration method in Magento 2
  • Install, configure, and customize the extensions
  • Migrate relevant data where applicable

Focus on apps for core functions like shipping, tax, ERP, and CRM. Non-essentials may be postponed until after launch.

Integrating Magento 2 with Existing Systems

  • Payment gateways
  • Shipping providers
  • Accounting software
  • Other third-party integrations

Proper integration recreation maintains critical business system flows. The Magento marketplace offers extensions to replace nearly all Shopify apps.

#Step 5: Testing and Quality Assurance

Rigorously testing the migrated Magento 2 store is crucial for identifying Magento 2 migration issues to fix before launch.

Comprehensive Testing Plan

Functional Testing

  • Validate all storefront functionality – browsing, cart, checkout
  • Confirm admin interfaces work correctly
  • Test core flows like orders, shipping, returns
  • Have staff exercise real customer usage scenarios

Performance Testing

  • Check page load speeds and response times
  • Stress test with heavy traffic volumes
  • Load test large batches of data like catalog imports
  • Identify slow endpoints and unoptimized code

Security Testing

  • Perform penetration testing for vulnerabilities
  • Check Magento security best practices are applied
  • Validate that the site is PCI compliant if processing payments
  • Address any identified issues or gaps

Multilayered testing protects against invisible gaps only discovered by real system usage. Failing to test thoroughly heightens the risk of unseen issues impacting customer experience after launch.

Validating the Migrated Store

Verify Data Integrity

  • Spot-check products, customers, and orders for accuracy
  • Confirm no malformed or corrupted data
  • Check for translation issues, formatting problems, data gaps

Ensure All Features and Functionality Work as Expected

  • Catalog, cart, and checkout flows operate smoothly
  • Admin interfaces work correctly
  • Integrations, extensions, and APIs connect properly
  • Errors are handled and logged gracefully

Obtain User Feedback

  • Conduct UX testing with prospective customers
  • Request staff evaluation for bugs or operational issues
  • Address feedback quickly to maximize launch readiness

Careful verification aligned with core business priorities underpins a successful launch. Remaining agile to fix identified issues instills confidence.

#Step 6: Launching the Magento 2 Store

Executing a seamless transition involves planning and attention to critical details during the launch.

Finalizing the Migration Process

  • Re-validate all data, configurations, integrations, and functionality
  • Run comprehensive regression testing to catch last-minute issues
  • Confirm performance can support anticipated traffic
  • Implement maintenance mode on Shopify once final pre-launch checks are complete

Activating maintenance mode on Shopify prevents orders from coming in during the transition process.

Going Live with the New Magento 2 Store

  • Propagate DNS changes for the domain switch to Magento
  • Disable Shopify subscription and apps
  • Enable caches, redirects, and final configurations in Magento
  • Switch the Magento store to Live mode
  • Remove the Shopify site maintenance message
  • Announce launch internally and externally

The process aims to minimize downtime through rapid DNS change propagation. Shopify remains as backup if issues arise.

Handling Redirects and URL Changes

  • Create permanent 301 redirects in Magento from old Shopify URLs
  • Redirect product, category, pages, blog posts, etc, to new URLs
  • Update site links, sitemaps, navigation, etc, with new Magento 2 URLs
  • Submit new sitemaps to Google and Bing for reindexing

This retains site authority while avoiding broken inbound links from existing traffic sources. Redirect everything possible. Smoothly navigating the launch and transition period sets the path for longer-term success and growth in Magento 2.

Post-Migration Steps

The work does not end once the new Magento 2 store launches. Additional post-migration efforts optimize the transition.

Addressing Any Issues or Concerns

  • Troubleshoot new issues that arise after launch
  • Respond to customer difficulties and product feedback
  • Fix bugs that may emerge under load
  • Revise any inaccurate or problematic data identified
  • Refine integrations and extensions causing problems

Optimizing the Store for Performance and User Experience

  • Improve page load speeds through caching and optimizations
  • Enhance imagery through proper image compression
  • Identify and fix bottlenecks slowing responses
  • Simplify slow lookups like complex product queries
  • Improve UX through A/B testing and data analysis

Implementing SEO Best Practices for the New Store

  • Set up Google Search Console for Magento store
  • Submit new XML sitemaps for indexing
  • Create 301 redirects from old to new URLs
  • Ensure meta tags, titles, and Alt text are properly populated
  • Produce new SEO-friendly content pages and blogs
  • Monitor organic rankings and improve as needed

Implementing Magento SEO best practices retains search visibility and prevents declines from the Shopify migration.

Benefits of Magento Hosting for Shopify-to-Magento Migration

Using a specialized Magento hosting provider brings considerable benefits both during and after migrating from Shopify to Magento 2.

  • Performance Optimization
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Technical Support
  • Compatibility
  • Enhanced Customization
  • Automated Backups

Specialized hosting optimizes every stage, from migration through post-launch at the enterprise scale. The enhanced performance, scalability, and technical support empower growing businesses to maximize their success on Magento 2.

Final Thoughts

Migrating an e-commerce store from Shopify to Magento 2 allows merchants to unlock greater sophistication, flexibility, and customization as business needs dictate. However, porting an existing Shopify store over to Magento 2 requires extensive planning and meticulous execution.

While complex, a methodical Shopify to Magento migration sets brands up for scalable success and greater control over delivering remarkable shopping experiences tailored to their strategy. Partnering with a specialized Magento agency can further streamline the transition and unlock the platform’s immense power.

The investment pays dividends for merchants seeking more advanced capabilities needed to grow profitably. By following these best practices, brands can migrate confidently and unlock Magento 2’s possibilities.

Shopify to Magento 2 Migration FAQs

What are the main reasons for migrating from Shopify to Magento 2?

The top reasons to migrate are greater functionality, more flexibility and control, lower costs at scale, advanced features like B2B capabilities, and removing platform limitations that restrict business growth and complexity in the long term.

Does migrating improve SEO?

If done properly, migrating to Magento 2 can improve SEO through enhanced content capabilities, more customizable URLs, microdata support, and other integrated features. However, care must be taken to retain search authority through redirects and XML sitemaps and not disrupt rankings history.

How long does a typical Shopify to Magento 2 migration take?

The timeline depends heavily on store size, customizations required, and the method used. The typical range is 2-4 weeks for simple sites and up to 3-6 months for complex migrations involving heavy customization and testing.

What are some Shopify limitations Magento 2 solves?

Key Shopify limitations Magento 2 resolves include finite scalability, a lack of open code access that limits customization, fewer B2B features, fewer third-party integrations, an inability to unify systems into a centralized hub, and restrictions on managing enterprise-level complexity.

Does migrating improve page speeds?

Magento 2 offers more caching and performance optimization capabilities through tools like Varnish and Redis, merging JS/CSS files, image optimization, efficient code practices, CDNs, and advanced hosting. Properly optimized, Magento 2 can achieve much faster speeds than Shopify stores.

What happens if the launch does not go smoothly?

It is prudent to keep the existing Shopify site operational as a failsafe until stability is proven after launch. This provides a backup to rollback to. Issues should be debugged and resolved immediately while KPIs are monitored closely before problems compound.

Is an agency required, or can merchants migrate themselves?

Technically capable merchants can self-manage using Magento expertise and an automated migration tool. However, agencies add professional guidance and support that greatly eases complex aspects like custom features, B2B, migrations at scale, theme design, launch, performance monitoring, and testing.