In this article, you will learn how to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce and, through a brief, easy to understand guide, learn how to successfully implement this process in practice.
Why do Online Store Owners Migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce?
It may seem that there is nothing more to wish for with Shopify - free web hosting and subdomains (you can also connect your own domain name); SSL certificate support enabled by default; and the platform has its own analytics routines (moreover, it can easily be integrated with Google Analytics). It is also extremely easy to use, even for those who have zero knowledge of programming languages.
But, unfortunately, Shopify is not always an option for everyone who wants to create their own online store for little or no budget. The cost of a monthly license starts at $29 and, in addition, for the transfer of funds, the platform charges 2.9% + $0.30 when using foreign payment modules; if you want to use third-party payment gateways or your own merchant account, you will be charged an additional 0.5-2% for each transaction, depending on the tariff. Also note that most of the themes and plugins that you will, likely, find useful in the platform’s repository also cost money. For example, integration with social networks will cost up to $400 annually.
Despite the fact that these expenses pay off completely, due to the platform's convenience and overall capabilities, Shopify is still not the best choice for those who are looking for the cheapest eCommerce solution.
It is for these reasons that those who previously worked with Shopify are looking for more affordable solutions for transfers, which would be in no way inferior in quality.
Useful Features of WooCommerce
WooCommerce can be a good alternative to Shopify. Let us review the advantages of this platform.
Meager deployment costs. Despite the fact that, when you migrate Shopify to WooCommerce, you automatically commit to paying for hosting, a domain name, an SSL certificate (within the US, the total monthly cost of these three services is more than $90), there are also hosting companies that offer special prices for WooCommerce users. In particular, Bluehost charges only a hosting fee, and this service allows you to deploy your own trading internet site for less than $7 per month.
Extensive developer opportunities. WooCommerce, being a WordPress plugin, gives web developers free access to tens of thousands of absolutely free additions. In particular, they can be used to integrate payment gateways, optimize search engine results, speed up the operation of the site, and for any other purposes that, one way or another, help in improving the functionality. Also, programmers who do the setup unanimously note the ease and speed of this procedure (especially in comparison with the previous platform).
Flexible opportunities for the implementation of electronic payments. In WooCommerce, the integration with popular payment gateways - PayPal and Stripe - is built-in by default. If desired, you can add another payment gateway by simply setting the appropriate preferences in WooCommerce. It is also important to note that buyers who deal with online stores on WooCommerce do not pay any additional commissions when paying for goods, other than those prescribed by the bank that issued their card and the specific platform for processing electronic payments.
Low entrance threshold. A common feature of any online store based on WooCommerce is the ease of customization, which is provided by WordPress. By adding new plugins, you can easily and very quickly expand the functionality of your trading platform. It is quite easy to change the design of a website - in WordPress, there is a huge number of free and paid templates. In fact, the basics of WooCommerce can be mastered in a couple of hours and, if you do not have any resources to provide further maintenance, you can easily find assistance or even quickly tutor an employee.
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What other platforms are available?
In fact, WooCommerce is not the only choice.
There are various ecommerce platforms that provide prominent features to help your business grow, but the Dinarys team would advise you to also consider two of them - Magento and Shopware. We have experience working with these platforms and can advise them to our clients who want to migrate their store and take it on a new level. Let’s go into detail.
Magento is an enterprise-grade ecommerce platform targeted at web development professionals for medium to large online stores. Magento offers one of the most robust feature sets in the field, making it ideal for stores with big ambitions.
- Used on over 250,000 websites.
- A free version is available, as well as several premium options.
- Unlimited number of products in your store.
- Unlimited orders and sales.
- Supports extensions and offers a wide range of them, both free and paid.
- Offers a system of themes and many options for its implementation.
- Offers advanced security features as well as dedicated fixes to address any emerging vulnerabilities.
- Offers statistics and analytics for your store.
We suggest considering migration to Magento to enjoy its numerous features and robust performance. For more information, read our guide on Magento migration.
Shopware is particularly convincing due to its outstanding performance, the ease of use in the administration interface, the extensive range of functions, and the large, constantly growing number of extensions available.
Since the release of Shopware 6, the system has been running on a newly developed code base, it now has a new database model and a new administration interface. The excellent responsive default theme and the sophisticated functions for creating worlds of experience offer the perfect setting for emotional shopping and storytelling.
Shopware has the following advantages:
- Shopware impresses with its ease of use - for the end customer as well as for those involved in the project and shop operator.
- Numerous additional modules and plugins allow any extensions. Shopware can thus be individually and flexibly adapted to the wishes and requirements of the shop operator.
- Shopware offers a suitable basis for optimizing an online shop.
If you are interested in moving to Shopware, read our step-by-step guide to Shopware migration.
To give you an idea of the migration process from Shopify, we’ll explain it on the example of WooCommerce.
Migrate Products from Shopify to WooCommerce: Six Steps
Let’s discuss how you can migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce.
Step One: Registering for the Cart2Cart Service
The easiest way to export Shopify to WooCommerce is to use the Cart2Cart online service. This resource provides a full range of services for the exporting of databases (customers, goods and everything else about relationships with customers) from Shopify to WooCommerce.
In order to start exporting, you will need to create a new account in Cart2Cart (you will only need an email address to get started). To speed up the registration process, you can also take advantage of your Facebook profile, as Facebook API can help with registration.
Registration completed? Now you must decide if you want to start the trial (it is free and suitable for testing how smooth the transfer process to the WooCommerce platform would be), or click the "Get Migration Package" button immediately.
Next, you will be presented with a form to complete, where you must fill in the necessary fields.
Step Two: Selecting Shopify as Source
In the “Source Cart” drop-down list, choose “Shopify”. Next, in the “Source Store URL” field, provide the full URL address to your existing online store on Shopify. The third field - “API Password” - requires a bit more work. Let’s dive in!
Step Three: Getting an API Password from Shopify
To designate an API password to access your store on Shopify, just follow a few simple sequential steps:
- Leave the Cart2Cart page open;
- Go to the administration panel of your store on the Shopify platform;
- Open the “Apps” menu item;
- Click on the "Manage Private Apps" button;
- Click on the "Create a New Private App" button;
- Input the app name (“Cart2Cart”) and allow “Read and Write” access for all options;
- Click the "Save" button;
- Copy the received API password into the respective field in the Cart2Cart service conversion wizard.
Step Four: Filling in the Target Store Fields
Here, you will need to select the WooCommerce platform as the target and fill the “Target Store URL” field with a link to your (yet blank) store on the WooCommerce platform, created in the first step. Now, the preparatory stage is finished.
Step Five: Connecting the Transfer Bridge
Follow the next steps to connect the bridge:
- Click the "Download Bridge" button. This will start the download of the connection bridge archive, which you will need to unpack and upload to the root directory of your WooCommerce store;
- Click the “Check Connection” button;
- When the next message appears, click on “Choose Entities” button;
- On the next page, you will need to, either partially or completely, designate the data that needs to be transferred from the old store on the Shopify platform to the new one on WooCommerce (usually all the categories are selected);
- You can also set the number of desirable additional options (available in both the trial and full versions of this service):
Step Six: Finalization for Migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce
Now, we are at the last stage of the migration. Click the "Start Full Migration" button and wait. After a few moments, you will get a complete analog of your online store on the new and absolutely free platform - WooCommerce.
You may think it’s all done, but there’s more
As you can see, the migration process from Shopify to WooCommerce looks simple and takes quite a few steps. Nevertheless, for those who are used to working with Shopify, WooCommerce may seem quite unusual at first, and adapting will take a lot of time and effort. Moreover, in order to change some of the settings and quickly adapt the trading platform to changing needs (needs of both the owner and the visitors of the web resource), you will need some programming knowledge.
All will be good if you have had some previous experience with WordPress - in this case, the process of transitioning from one platform to another will be less "painful" (you must be familiar with the bare minimum required to configure themes, plugins, and other add-ons, in this case). But what about those who are so accustomed to Shopify’s graphical interface that adjusting to WooCommerce is an arduous task? Is the migration idea unjustified in such a case? Perhaps, enough that even Shopify prices no longer seem outrageous? We believe that it is not.
WordPress websites are common enough that finding an expert or a team to help in the process of transferring, and further maintaining, the store on the WooCommerce platform is quite simple and cost-effective.
Interesting to read: Best Open Source eCommerce Platforms
Migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce: Conclusion
Summing up, if you feel that Shopify no longer serves your business goals so well, it may be time to move from Shopify to WooCommerce, Magento, or Shopware. The process of migration described earlier may sound simple, but the Dinarys team recommends taking it seriously to avoid technical issues and the loss of data.
Despite the fact that Shopify to WooCommerce migration takes only six steps, for those who have no previous experience with WordPress-based products, activities associated with further technical support of the online shop can be very difficult (especially regarding customization).
So, if you decide to move from Shopify, we do not recommend doing it yourself but, rather, turning to professionals for assistance. Your first step is to choose the best ecommerce platform to suit your needs. Contact us - we’ll gladly provide you with a consultation or a project estimate and share years of our experience in ecommerce.