Ecommerce  —  Guides

Why And How You Should Migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce

WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms with around 40% of all online stores using it. We take you through why it is one of the best and how you can migrate to it.

Nick Marden
Nick MardenSeptember 9, 2021

As your business grows and evolves, its imperative that your eCommerce store is not only creating an amazing user experience for your customers but also giving you the best possible tools and functionality to remain competitive.

WooCommerce is one of the best eCommerce platforms available today. We even wrote a blog comparing the three of the top performing eCommerce platforms – Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce where WooCommerce came out on top for a variety of reasons.

We believe that you should use the solution that is best for your business – and whilst we recommend WooCommerce and it is our tool of choice, we acknowledge that it isn’t the only solution out there.

However, if you are currently using Shopify for your eCommerce store but wish to migrate it over to WooCommerce, then we have the solution for you as well as a few reasons why the move will benefit your business.

So why should you migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce?

1. Control

One of the standout differences of WooCommerce’s offering is that it is an open-source platform which means you have the power to customise your eCommerce website as much as you like. This allows your online store to perfectly align with your brand and gives the ability to provide an exceptional customer shopping experience.

2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

WooCommerce has gone to great lengths to make sure that the SEO capabilities of the platform outperform the competition. To do this, WooCommerce ensured that users have the ability to edit every single aspect of their SEO giving greater autonomy to store owners.

WooCommerce also has a brilliant range of SEO plugins which help websites meet the highest technical SEO standards giving online stores a better opportunity to rank higher on Google.

3. Flexibility

A huge benefit of WooCommerce is its flexibility and customization capabilities. As mentioned previously, being an open-source platform means a WooCommerce source code can be copied, modified or changed in whichever way you like unlike Shopify which is closed source resulting in limited flexibility. From a customization perspective, the WordPress plugin directory has more than 50,000 free options that can assist with all design, functionality and marketing elements allowing you to create an incredible online store with all the flexibility you could possibly need.

4. Pricing

Shopify is an expensive platform that does not offer a free service option. Not only will you have to pay a monthly plan fee but any add-ons that provide functionality also incur a monthly fee – for something as simple as a wait listing add-on, that notifies customers when products become available, could set you back $15 a month whereas the same extension on WooCommerce will cost $50 for the year. Shopify has its own payments system called Shopify Payments which when activated charges most Australian credit cards a 1.75% + 30¢ transaction fee (depending on tier). If Shopify Payments is not activated a transaction fee of between 0.5 – 2% (depending on tier) is added on top of the fees that payment gateways (PayPal) or credit cards charge. WooCommerce on the other hand does not charge any additional transaction fees.  

Both WordPress and WooCommerce are free platforms, the only costs that a site owner needs to undertake are its domain, hosting and any extensions to your website. The beauty of WooCommerce’s flexibility and customization attributes is that you can choose the most appropriate extensions that directly contribute to the functionality of your website and not be paying for permanent extensions that you don’t necessarily need which is the case with Shopify. For a full breakdown of how much a WooCommerce store costs, check out their blog here.

5. Community

The WordPress and WooCommerce community are cohesive and tightknit meaning a likeminded group of people who want to learn and excel together. The support that one can expect from WooCommerce is exceptional as all forums are supported and monitored by passionate volunteers and contributors who want to ensure that great software powers the web. WordPress is all about community over competition with group success being the ultimate goal!

6. You’re not locked in

Similar to point one – but with Shopify you are stuck in their platform. If tomorrow, Shopify decided to increase their prices 10-times, you’re stuck! With WooCommerce and WordPress you aren’t locked into a platform or pricing model, you can move your site to a new host or change website maintenance providers with ease.

How to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce

So now that you have an idea as to why you should migrate your online store from Shopify to WooCommerce, let’s walk through how exactly to do that!

First, it’s important that you have set up your WordPress site as WooCommerce can only operate off the WordPress platform. Below are three options to migrate your Shopify store to WooCommerce.

1. Use a Professional If You’re Unsure!

Before we get into the intricacies of migration, we first have to say that if you feel unsure or unconfident in undertaking the process yourself, it’s recommended you take on the assistance of a professional web developer who has experience with WooCommerce. Our team at Strong Digital are a phone call away and have the expertise with WordPress and WooCommerce.

2. Manually Import

This free and relatively straight forward method is your best solution to migrating your Shopify to WooCommerce.

  1. First export and download product data from your Shopify Store.
  2. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard, click on WooCommerce > Products
  3. Select the Import option at the top. Here you’ll find a built-in product CSV importer – more information here – that will make the whole process significantly easier.
  4. Click Choose File and select the CSV file that you want to import. Click Continue.
  5. You should see a Column Mapping screen – this is where WooCommerce automatically attempts to match the column name of your Shopify CSV file to the WooCommerce product fields. Here is where things might get a little tricky as you may need to map some of these yourself which you can do by using the dropdown menus to the right of each row.
  6. Select Run the Importer and wait until the import process is finished.

For migration of customer and order data from Shopify, we suggest you use either the Migrate and Import Shopify to WooCommerce extension ($79) or the Customer/Order/Coupon CSV Import Suite extension ($79).

3. Use Cart2Cart

Cart2Cart assists in migrating your store to WooCommerce in four simple steps creating a seamless transfer of store and customer data to your WooCommerce store. Here’s more information on the Cart2Cart extension which isn’t a free service with pricing, starting at USD$69, being determined on the size of your store and the data you want to be migrated.

Sounds pretty easy right!? Don’t feel trapped using an eCommerce platform that you aren’t comfortable with that is lacking in functionality and potentially charging you more than what a platform like WooCommerce charges. At the end of the day, you should be doing what is best for your business which we believe is having an eCommerce platform that creates an exceptional user experience whilst also helping your business grow into profitability.