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Shopify Migration : Answering Any and All Questions

Shopify Migration

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E-commerce platform migration is the most powerful approach to lifting your brand voice and gaining access to immense possibilities to do away with platform limitations, high costs, or poor performance. Recognizing platform migration as the most ‘uncomfortable’ initiative in the e-commerce industry, it gets delayed or rejected several times. But, why?

One old and vague idea is associated with replatforming or e-commerce platform migration. Most merchants believe the migration initiative may have a drastic impact on the SEO rankings - and more so, it yields no fruitful results. There are possible chances of migration failure only when you do not follow proper plans and methods.

An elaborate platform migration checklist can equip you with the proper technicalities and methods to efficiently migrate from any e-commerce platform to Shopify.

Here in this blog, we have brought you workable and helpful Shopify migration FAQs to help you move through hurdles with ease at every step of the way.

We are going to strip those confusing and daunting phases layer by layer and make them look easy to handle. Let’s master the migration process.

1. What is e-commerce platform migration?

The answer to what is e-commerce platform migration refers to transferring one e-commerce platform to another platform.

To simply put, moving your online store to another e-commerce platform is focused on scaling your business with a growing customer base by leveraging improved store functionality, efficiency, and profitability.

As you plan to move, you might look to migrate the WordPress site to Shopify or migrate from Squarespace to Shopify or move about any platform to Shopify.

If Shopify migration is your next big project with little to no hurdles and without post-migration costly repairs and fixes, our Shopify migration checklist can help you move smoothly. However, to have fewer replatforming headaches, you can leverage our best-in-class end-to-end Shopify migration solutions from HulkApps.

2. Why should you migrate your website?

Platform migration is a tough decision. The wrong platform migration mapping and planning extends the turnaround time and often runs over budget.

When planned carefully, migration turns out to be a problem-solving necessity. It is good to move over to another platform if your existing platform does not scale with you and brings you more risks than doing any good. Some good reasons to consider Shopify platform migration are,

Efficiency and performance: This is directly related to slow site speed, structure, navigation, and design, meaning your transaction may hamper if it does not interact appropriately with the appropriate attributes like directing to a cart page and then checkout.

Maintenance cost: Technologies are constantly changing, which impacts the functionality of a store until the updates are made. Open-source-based e-commerce platforms like Magento go through constant updates, requiring merchants to make the upgrades on their own for improved security and performance - that adds a substantial amount to the monthly budget set for maintenance.

Poor user experience: If your current site does not offer extended functionality for improved customer experience, migrating to a scalable e-commerce platform can be a real bonus for you.

3. What are the things to consider before you replatform?

Replatforming or switching platforms goes through several phases of iterations. Projected cost or time may be subject to change. Build your website migration strategy carefully.

1. Give your audience a heads up

You must notify your audience of the occurrence of the migration. As replatforming may interact with some glitches, it can impact user experience. That’s why you should alert your audience before migrating the platform.

2. Perform a sandbox test

Small iterative tests save you money and ensure project delivery on time. Before making your site live, do a test of a new website on the server. If you find everything such as redirects or navigation work right, move step by step.

NOTE: If migration involves moving everything - domain, host, and site redesign- try each task one at a time to restrict disruption or termination of the project.

3. Migrate during slow traffic

It is never a good idea to move your store or site when there is a vast sales peak, meaning traffic is high. You must plan for migration when you have fewer chances to lose traffic. On the other hand, moving during slow traffic helps Google crawl your new site faster.

4. Crawl your site

Crawl your old site. You can identify crawl errors and redirects. Website crawling is effective for,

  • finding broken or redirected links
  • redirecting 404 pages during migration

NOTE: As you set up your site for migration, keep in mind that search engines cannot access it; however, on-demand crawl is accessible for testing.

5. Set up your metrics and analytics

Get hold of Google Analytics data, which helps compare the old site and the new site post-migration. You can evaluate several parameters including,

  • Organic traffic
  • Organic rank
  • Pages crawled
  • Indexable URLs
  • Website speed

The findings are a benchmark you can use to fix any of the above glitches post-migration to Shopify.

4. What are the steps in the e-commerce migration checklist?

Migrating to Shopify gives you the best possibilities with thousands of integrations, support for high volume inventory management, fast checkout, and increased conversions. Provided the migration involves lots of complex procedures, you should have a better understanding in response to-

  • how to add multiple products in Shopify
  • how to import orders into Shopify

However, there are lots of things to consider when switching to Shopify. The universal e-commerce migration checklist is a valuable guide that helps you move from any platform to Shopify seamlessly. Here’s how you should do it.

1. Plan the migration project scope

Just before you start the migration, define your objectives-

01. What do you want to accomplish?

02. Do you want to migrate for SEO performances?

03. Are you looking to switch URLs to improve indexing by Google?

04. Do you want to move to a new host?

05. Do you want to get a site redesign?

2. Discuss with stakeholders

After having an initial migration approach for your migration objectives, connect with all the stakeholders to discuss the project implementations on a deeper level. Work through several prospects including,

  • What is your budget for the migration work?
  • What data do you want to migrate?
  • Which method would you choose to migrate?
  • What are the restrictions on your existing site?
  • What type of support do you need for customization and product integrations?
  • What is your desired launch date?

Build a roadmap and keep it handy so that your team member can utilize it and ensure things are appropriate during the migration process.

3. Pick your e-commerce platform

It is a no-brainer that you need one of the Shopify plans to start with platform migration. Sign up for Shopify. Set up an email address, store name, shipping, payment gateways, and tax information.

4. Build your store

It is time to get your store up and running because it makes migrating your data to the new store easier.

Although you may retain some of the features of your old site, you must work with the site structure, layout, and style on Shopify for extended functionality. Get a theme from the Shopify theme store and customize it to reflect your brand essence. Have a Shopify development agency work on the site redesign and development to achieve outstanding performance and user experience.

5. Identify what to migrate

Make sure you cleanse old or outdated data that is irrelevant for your new site. Once your Shopify store is ready, review data and app integrations from an old website that you need on the new site.

Data to migrate

Data to migrate includes-

  • Products
  • Images
  • Order history
  • Customers
  • Images
  • Reviews
  • Policies
  • Blogs

Make a list of apps and services you want to migrate or update. However, ensure the existing third-party tool is available on the marketplace of the new site too. If not, look for a similar app.

6. Get database backup of the old site

Database Backup of the old site

Due to the complexity of the migration process, the chances are that you may have an error. Having a backup of your old e-commerce site enables you to retrieve data and resume the process.

7. How to prepare your data and services for migration?

Before you migrate to Shopify, prepare your data and services.

  • Ensure data is up-to-date and error-free
  • Remove HTTP and HTTPS from their URLs of store assets
  • Save and take a backup of the existing data
  • Allow third-party applications to sync with Shopify account

8. How to migrate data to the target cart?

Migrate Data To The Target Cart

There are several methods to migrate data to the target cart from the old store. As you have already decided which data to move to Shopify, you can follow these steps to transfer data.

  • Move data by copying and pasting from the old site
  • Transfer manually with CSV files
  • Use a custom app that uses Admin API
  • Third-party apps from the Shopify store

Data type and available migration methods

Data type and available migration methods

How can you import data?

From Admin Dashboard, you can import products, customers, historical orders using the CSV files.

CSV files can simplify the process of how to import orders into Shopify. Ensure to review the format of CSV files to match with Shopify format, or else the migration will fail.

Import Data

Import Data

Third-party apps for importing

If you want to import orders into the Shopify store, third-party applications are also helpful. To bulk import products or store information, they can reduce workload for you as you can transfer from one single CSV file.

Limitations of importing

In addition to moving products, when you reach 50,000 products, you can only import 1000 products a day. However, using an import app, you can automate imports and reduce the burden.

Migrating from Shopify to Shopify Plus or any platform to Shopify Plus requires a Transporter app and command-line tool.

9. Choose the data migration service

Having a lot of technical abilities keeps you on track while migrating from an e-commerce platform to Shopify because you can handle third-party apps and manual processes.

To focus solely on your business objectives and reduce the burden of replatforming, you can hire data or Shopify migration services.

Get started with a Shopify migration agency that possesses prior experiences with complex and diverse migration projects and has established its bond with the leading brands in the e-commerce fraternity.

HulkApps holds excellent Shopify migration skills and experience. They have scaled their capabilities year-over-year and boosted their confidence to help you with migration, store design, development, and, most importantly, drive e-commerce sales.

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10. Review migrated data

Make sure you have imported data without any error. Review all of them. If you have missed anything related to product dimensions and tags, you need to do them manually.

11. Build and optimize the checkout experience

Optimize The Checkout Experience

It is time to experiment with checkout functionality to know your store is properly functioning. Build a checkout platform and add payment gateways. Test an order. If that works properly, your Shopify store is ready to run now. You can start with the cash-on-delivery method.

12. What are the processes included in the pre-launch SEO-migration testing?

Pre-launch SEO-migration Testing

Before making your Shopify store live post-migration, there are certain things merchants must identify at an early stage. Pre-launch testing makes it super easy to identify issues between the old site and Shopify.

Failure to identify critical issues might affect the launch and result in massive traffic fluctuations at a later stage. To prevent direct impacts on SEO and UX, test everything.

1. Check mobile responsiveness - Identify any inconsistencies between desktop and mobile sites, i.e., mobile tagging or canonical issues. Fixing it allows Google to search your mobile sites in the right sources.

2. Create custom 404 pages - Create custom 404 pages with links to the popular pages for your new Shopify site. Integrating 404 pages with tracking code also helps you know the most visited 404 pages and enables you to take proper actions.

3. Update Meta Data - Identify and fix pages with missing and unoptimized meta data and descriptions.

4. Review Internal links - You can improve the organic search discoverability of your new Shopify website by ensuring all internal links are functioning correctly. Ensure interlinks across your site allow page accessibility within 3-4 clicks.

5. Review images - Ensure media files are SEO-friendly and they include proper alt text so that traffic could be redirected from the legacy store to the new store on Shopify.

6. Create XML sitemaps - You can improve search results by creating XML sitemaps. Create one for the old site and another for the new site. So, Google can identify the redirects while recognizing indexable URLs of the new Shopify site.

7. Review site performance - Conduct page speed of both sites. Use tools like Google’s Lighthouse or PageSpeed Insights to compare the results from both pages and take action.

8. Google Analytics set up - Before your new website goes live, make sure you have Google Analytics set up. Ensure e-commerce tracking is in place. To help with the implementation of the tracking code, you can take expert help.

9. Check redirects - Review that all 301 redirects are functioning properly.

10. Crawl new site - Perform cloaking checks to ensure new store on Shopify offers improved search engine accessibility. Identify broken links, incorrect canonical tags, and missing interlinks.

13. What are the crucial launch day activities?

Launch Day Activities

So, the day has finally arrived. You have imported data from your old web store to Shopify, customized your storefront, set up integrations, checked redirects, and all other necessary things.

Now, it is time to launch your new Shopify store by replacing the old site. During the transition from the old to the new site, your new website may remain temporarily down. Notify your users that your Shopify store is down for maintenance. So, they can come sooner.

Ensure everything is working properly once your site has gone live.

  • Review robots.txt file to identify crawling issues
  • Canonical tags for errors
  • Server responses for desktop and mobile
  • Redirects for top pages
  • Noindex and nofollow directives
  • Tackle duplicate content issues
  • Configure domain with the proper location address
  • Upload XML sitemaps
  • Make proper 301 URL redirects
  • Work on meta data

14. What to look for in post-launch testing?

Post-launch Testing

This is a phase that involves the same activities as pre-launch testing. In this stage, use data from Google Search Console to get actionable insights into your site’s performance and suggestions for improvement.

  • Look for crawl stats.
  • Review Index status report.
  • Monitor Crawl Error Reports daily.
  • Check HTML improvement report.
  • Ensure mobile device usability and errors with structured data.
  • Measure website speed.
  • Check your website’s server log files.

As you keep a watchful eye on your new site’s post-migration performance, you can leverage more data to improve your site and make a difference in user experience. However, it takes between 1-2 months to derive reports from Google Search Console.

15. How to review post-migration performances?

Review Post-Migration Performances

You have some more activities to review post-launch Shopify performance. Here’s how you can achieve them-

1. Track keyword ranking

  • Keep track of high-volume keywords. Make a list of at least 500 keywords that generated traffic for the old site.
  • Run keyword tracking before the migration so that you can compare search traffic between pre and post-migration performance.

2. Perform website crawl

Google takes at least two months to crawl your new website. The search engine giant reviews

  • Desktop visibility
  • Mobile search traffic
  • Organic results
  • Conversion & revenue

Do not forget to review the number of ‘not-found pages, Shopify store speed score, and metrics.

Does SEO migration testing cause you a lot of hiccups? Connect with HulkApps. Our range of SEO services takes care of essential SEO jobs that you need to implement all through the Shopify migration process.

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5. A quick view of the e-commerce platform checklist

  • Plan the migration project scope
  • Discuss with stakeholders
  • Pick your e-commerce platform
  • Build your store
  • Identify what to migrate
  • Get database backup of the old site
  • How to prepare your data and services for migration
  • How to migrate data to the target cart?
  • Choose the data migration service
  • Review migrated data
  • Build and optimize the checkout experience
  • What are processes included in the pre-launch SEO-migration testing?
  • What are the crucial launch day activities?
  • What to look for post-launch testing?
  • How to review post-migration performance?

E-commerce migration checklist Infographic

E-commerce migration checklist Infographic

6. Some more tips for platform migration to Shopify

To help you guide better in a migration plan, we have listed migration guidelines for you. Take a look to build a seamless user experience.

7. Conclusion

Shopify is a versatile, cost-effective, and highly customizable e-commerce platform that is suitable for platform migration. Needless to say, that platform migration is never totally hassle-free, which requires you to seek guidance. Leverage HulkApps Shopify migration service that provides 360° platform migration support for complex to high-volume websites. Not only do you have seamless data transfer flexibility, but you also get exceptional customization and integration support. We can help you perform data transfer across various shopping carts as trouble-free as possible without losing any data.

Get in touch with us to know your project scope and get started on building a high-growth business.

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