In this article, we’ll discuss how to migrate from Shopify over to WooCommerce in WordPress and why you should.
Switching to eCommerce platforms might seem like a difficult and daunting task but it’s actually much easier than you think. In fact, the solution is that simple you don’t need to be a developer or WordPress expert to get it done, you just connect the two platforms and you’re done.
Why pick WooCommerce over Shopify?
More control over the shop
WooCommerce allows much more control over your website due to it being run in WordPress which is completely open-source compared to Shopify which is closed source. This gives you the ability to customize your site as much as you would like. You can create your ideal store with no limitations.
In WooCommerce you’ll have complete control over search engine optimization (SEO). SEO rankings are based on the work you put into your site and its content, but WooCommerce allows you to edit every single aspect of your SEO.
Another benefit is the seamless integration with WordPress. This allows you to easily publish quality and consistent content in line with your store.
Both WooCommerce and Shopify support integration with major payment solutions, the major difference is that WooCommerce allows you to use little-known payment gateways that might be required if you opt to have an international store. A list of payment gateways supported by WooCommerce can be viewed here.
WooCommerce also has its own payment integration called “WooCommerce Payments” which is a solution that makes the whole process much simpler. It allows you to manage payments, disputes, deposits, and recurring payments from the same place you handle the rest of your site. It also supports instant deposits so the money goes straight into your account, unlike Shopify which has a 2-day minimum.
Since you’re using WordPress with WooCommerce you’re also able to take advantage of free backup solutions. This would either be through your WordPress host (at SequelWP we have a number of available backup options including, our free 90-day daily retention or payable hourly backups) or can be done through WordPress itself with the use of a backup plugin. The use of plugins, allows you to have a variety of options. Shopify unfortunately only allows you to export customer data and orders for free. Website design and settings backups are payable addons.
A major difference in my opinion is WooCommerce has no transactional fees, unlike Shopify which can really narrow down your profit margins. If you’re a small store, these transaction fees can really break your bank.
Since WordPress and WooCommerce are open-source platforms the endless flexibility and customization are unrivaled which really allows anyone to come in and alter the code as they see fit. This can be a huge benefit on how your store performs overall. As Shopify is closed-source the options on customization are limited to what their templates offer.
Much like Shopify, you don’t need to be a developer to use WordPress or WooCommerce. The WordPress block editor really allows you to design anything you want for landing pages, blog posts, categories, menus, and much more. You’re able to add elements like text, images, galleries, or even videos in a few simple clicks.
Since WordPress and WooCommerce are free you only need to pay for the domain name and hosting, alongside any additional premium addons/plugins you want to use (these aren’t necessary, however). You can pick any host you’d like to use WordPress, however, feel free to read another one of our blog posts on why you should pick a Managed WordPress Host. You can also browse our pricing here.
Shopify charges much different from that of a WordPress-based eCommerce store.
Firstly you have your base monthly plan cost which ranges anywhere from $25-$299 a month. The more features you want available in your store the more you have to pay. For example, live shipping calculations are an additional feature.
Many Shopify add-ons that provide additional features have monthly fees on top of the base cost. Additional features like waitlists for your products can cost $14 a month. WooCommerce has a number of paid extensions but it also has a number of useful free ones.
You have to pay for transactions through external payment gateways, which can be anywhere from 0.3% to 2% per transaction plus a flat fee. These can add up extremely quickly which can really make or break the success of your online store.
The migration process
Enough about why you should be considering WooCommerce, lets get to the actual process of migrating!
Obviously, the first step is ensuring you have a hosting plan and have WordPress installed with WooCommerce activated. If you’ve got a hosting service with us, WordPress is already installed and ready to go. All you need to do is install the WooCommerce plugin.
It’s very important to note that this process does not migrate your website design or content. However, there are many available themes in WordPress to get started with.
For the data migration from Shopify to WooCommerce there a few options.
1. Manual import/export
The term manual sounds like it might be very time-consuming, which it can be depending on the size of your store, but it’s free and pretty straightforward.
- Export and download your product data from Shopify.
- In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to WooCommerce > Products
- Select Import at the top. From there, you will find a built-in product CSV importer that makes the process much easier.
- Select “Choose File” and then select the CSV file you downloaded from Shopify. Click Continue.
- Next you’ll see the “column mapping” screen, where WooCommerce automatically attempts to match the column name of your Shopify CSV file to WooCommerce product fields. You might need to map some of these yourself. You can do so using the dropdown menus to the right of each row.
- Select “Run the importer” and wait until that process finishes.
2. Hire a professional
If you don’t like the idea of doing the migration yourself it might be best to hire someone to complete it for you. Whilst we don’t have any specific recommendations on who can do this for you. A developer should be able to take care of the migration for you using the same steps as above.
3. Use Cart2Cart
This is a paid alternative via WooCommerce that helps you migrate your store to WooCommerce in 3 easy steps. You can use the free Demo Migration which showcases exactly how it’s completed.
The migration process doesn’t require any technical knowledge and your existing Shopify store will still run in the background so you don’t need to worry about missing any revenue.
Some of the data the can be migrated are listed below:
- Product data, like names, SKUs (Stock-Keeping Unit), descriptions, prices, weights and variants.
- Product category information, including names, descriptions and URLs.
- Customer names, addresses and email addresses.
- Order information such as dates, IDs, statuses, quantities, discounts and shipping details.
- Coupon names, codes and their respective discounts.
- Post information, such as titles, descriptions, dates, URLs, content and images.
- Page titles, dates, URLs and statuses.
At another additional cost, Cart2Cart can also create 301 redirects for all your URLs which is important in maintaining SEO rankings.
To use Cart2Cart you can just follow the steps below:
- Connect the source cart (Shopify). It just requires your current URL and API details.
- Connect to the target cart (WooCommerce). You can install the connection bridge in WordPress manually or automatically.
- Select the data you want to migrate. Select the data types that you want to move and match them to the corresponding WooCommerce fields.
After that, you just launch the migration and wait for it to finish. This can vary in time but it all depends on the size of the website.
That’s pretty much it in terms of reliable options. Whether you choose to do it yourself, hire someone, or use Cart2Cart. The migration can be done quite quickly so that you can get back to the important stuff!
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.