Why Migrating from Magento to Shopify Maybe Worth It
Choosing the right eCommerce platform for you is an important step when you’re starting out as the features and usability of each are different and can affect how you work. Some of the most popular platforms in this space are Shopify and Magento.
If you’ve been using Magento and now want to migrate or just need some convincing, we’ll provide a quick comparison of the two and guide you through the migrating process. It is possible to migrate to Shopify but you must consider that these two platforms are indeed different. Nowadays, Shopify is the top choice for most brands whether big or small because of its ease of use, beautiful themes, and impeccable customer service.
Magento is a free open source software that lets you create an eCommerce store from scratch. It allows online merchants to use a shopping cart system, customize the website design and layout, content and functionality. It also offers plugins and other tools. They’ve also come up with Magento Commerce which is a more premium service comparable to Shopify Plus. It is sometimes called Magento Open or Magento Open Source to differentiate between the two.
Shopify is a commerce platform that lets merchants set up their stores and sell products online. Offline selling is also supported through Shopify POS. Their website builder has features that can be used by everyone from beginners to experts. Shopify is now the leading commerce platform designed for businesses of all sizes.
For the purpose of this article, we will be referring to Magento Open Source as Magento.
If you are thinking of moving to Shopify, one great reason to move is that it is hosted for you. The possibilities of your website crashing or slowing down during peak seasons is the least of your worries. Shopify’s interface is also easier to use making inventory management convenient plus the customer support is great. Let us share with you some of the pros and cons of both these platforms:
Shopify’s basic plan starts at $29/month, while a custom domain is $14/year. Joining isn’t free but you can take a 14-day free trial to test it out as well as some apps you may need in the future. These additional apps are usually free but there are also premium versions or paid apps. Shopify also charges transaction fees if you use third party payment gateways outside of Shopify Payments. Shopify issues and sets up an SSL certificate for every store so you won’t need to worry about it.
Meanwhile, Magento is free but you will have to pay for other things such as hosting (may start at $3/month), domain (starts at $12/year), and because you need to apply for an SSL certificate per year, this will cost $37/year on top of everything. However, they do not have transaction fees so you will only have to worry about gateway fees.
If you look at it, it may be more convenient to use Shopify as you can pay all those fees in one platform. Plus, not having to worry about website security and the possibility of breaching customer data is a great deal. With Magento, you will have to do payments in different channels and regularly apply for an SSL certificate, which in the long run may get bothersome.
Ease of use
As mentioned earlier, Magento is free but it is not hosted so you will have to procure it yourself as well as get your own domain. These processes add more steps than Shopify’s which may be inconvenient for some merchants.
Now, both Shopify and Magento are great ecommerce store building platforms. They are both well-designed and easy to understand to get a store running. The difference lies in the fact that Shopify provides a lot of features that basically hold your hand as you create and manage your store. One to note is the wizard mode that allows even non-technical users to set up shop in Shopify. This added service is great and really helps you when you need to launch right away.
Shopify offers 9 free themes, and 64 paid themes in their store. You may also opt to get a designer to do it for you to get a more unique, custom website. All Shopify’s themes are customizable except for the source code. Shopify themes are all mobile responsive so they will look great on mobile and tablets. Plus, their designs are all updated in terms of design trends and are visually appealing to customers.
Magento also has great themes in their marketplace but is quite limited. They have 16 themes including paid and free, and only 10 of these are mobile responsive. Magento does allow customization from the backend, so if you are experienced with coding or have knowledge on website design, you might like it. For beginners, you may need to hire a designer and developer.
Shopify provides 24/7 customer support and provides different channels for you to seek assistance: live chat, email or thru phone call. You may also check out their community forum for discussions from both users and Shopify experts. They also have many manuals that include step by step processes and Shopify Academy, a free online course that merchants can take.
Since Magento is free, there is no customer support service. However, there is a responsive community since a lot of people have used Magento over the years. Unfortunately, it may take a while to get the exact answers you need.
Both platforms have a wide array of applications or plugins that can help you boost your store’s performance. They both offer free and paid apps for you to choose from. Some of these may be apps for loyalty programs, rewards, or email marketing. Though Shopify has fewer apps than Magento, you’ll be able to find one that you need. Shopify makes it easy to install apps to your store while in Magento, you might want to backup before installing any plugins.
Both have great SEO capabilities to drive organic traffic because of their powerful features and benefits. It’ll all depend on how you use it. Shopify’s SEO is easy to manage as they provide auto generated canonical tags to prevent duplicates in the content. Website map files are also instantly generated. Though if you are looking to create your own URLS, Magento might be more suited to you. It has more features like SEO prompts and the ability to customize URLS that are built in instead of Shopify’s where you’ll need an additional app.
In conclusion, Shopify is a great user-friendly website building platform that lets you sell and set up online faster while providing a supportive team. While Magento is for those who have technical know-how and love to do website building projects as you’ll be relying on their forums and your technical skills.
If you like convenience, a secure website, and a good support system, migrating to Shopify may be well worth it. So how can you do it? Here are some steps to get you started:
- Create your Shopify account
- Backup your Magento store
- Decide what to Migrate
- Migrate your data
- Get creative with your new Shopify store
- Create your Shopify account
Take advantage of Shopify’s free trial for 14 days to familiarize yourself with its features and interface. You can also try out the customer support for any concerns or questions.
- Backup your Magento Store
Before anything else, make sure that your data is secure so you don’t lose any important information such as your customer data, payments, and transactions.
To create a backup of your Magento store, go to the Admin sidebar, then ‘System’ >‘Tools’ >‘Backups’. From there, choose the type of backup you want to create:
- System Backup (a complete backup of your database and file system)
- Database and Media Backup (your customer information, and product photos etc)
- Database Backup
You might need a partner or backup expert to help you just in case. This is an important step so do take your time.
- Decide what to migrate
This is a key step if your Magento website has been in use for a long time. There may be data that you don’t need anymore like some that are very old and obsolete. While you may want to keep your order history, status updates, blog posts and static HTML pages. These can be brought over to your new store and made to fit the new theme which you can do yourself. Or if you’d like, Webinopoly also offers website migration services so you can just focus on other things.
- Migrate your data
As previously mentioned, you can opt to get the help of your Shopify experts at Webinopoly, (just contact us!), use other apps or do it manually. If you do it manually, you may need to export your Magento data as a CSV file. These may need some technical expertise and a lot of time, so you might just want to get a developer to do it for you. Over at Webinopoly, we’ve migrated over 1,000 stores in the past year so our term is pretty experienced. If you’d like to save some time and effort, just contact us.
- Review and check
The best way to check if everything is complete is to review all your data and inventory, and make sure that your store is running smoothly. Inspect all pages to see if everything is where it should be, the proper items are displayed, and everything is organized. You can also do a couple of test purchases to check that the customer journey is smooth.
- Get creative with your new Shopify store
Now that all that migration work is done, this is a great opportunity to update your design and store look. Since design trends come and go, you may need to revise your store’s old look to stay relevant in the coming months or year (Check: 5 Trends in Shopify Web Design for 2021). This is the perfect time to elevate your brand through website design.
As mentioned, Shopify does offer a lot of great themes from free to paid, so you have a lot to choose from, or you can choose to hire a team of Shopify experts to design and develop it for you. Our team at Webinopoly has been working with numerous brands and merchants over the past couple of years, so you’ll be in good hands, just leave us a message so we can get started.
When designing, make sure that your website design matches your brand, is cohesive with your products, and that everything is consistent, and soon enough your store will be up and running, and orders will start coming in!
Migrating your whole store can be taxing, and seems daunting, so you can take it step by step to make sure that everything functions. Choosing to work with a team can ease that burden for you, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the benefits of Shopify.
Who is Webinopoly and what can we do for you?
- Webinopoly houses a team of Shopify experts in web design and development customize a design for you to match your vision and brand;
- Webinopoly's developers are experts in providing the most efficient solutions to your customer’s problems
- We specialize in e-commerce marketing and advanced ecommerce Analytics for ecommerce and Conversion Rate Optimization service
- All examples used in this article are satisfied clients of Webinopoly