An often necessary change for a growing ecommerce company is the dreaded platform migration. Depending on your type of business, you are going to need to migrate products, orders, content, customers, reviews, discount codes, and account data from one platform to another. This can be a major undertaking and we normally advise our clients to take a realistic approach to data migration.
In order to keep costs reasonable there is undoubtedly going to be some level of data clean up that needs to happen. Your business is also likely to use this as an opportunity to clean up product data and improve the overall site. The time it takes to migrate platforms is often underestimated and should be started well in advance of your intended launch date. We generally recommend a timeframe of 3 to 6 months depending on the amount of data and level of improvements your business is looking to complete.
Here at Cadence Labs our team has migrated several Magento eCommerce websites of medium to large size to Shopify or Shopify Plus. One of our recent migrations included over 250,000 legacy orders. In order to help others with the process of migrating platforms we put together this comparison of the tools that are available for the migration process. Like all products, there are good experiences and bad experiences. Below is a comparison of three of the data migration tools we have used and our team’s experience with each one.
|Delete & modify data||✔||✔|
|Preserve Order IDs||✔||✔||✔|
|Preserve Customer IDs||✔||✔||✔|
|Strip HTML tags||✔||✔||✔|
|Automated Data Migration||✔|
This CSV migration app is currently at the top of the list for the most seamless and user-friendly tools.
Excelify provides the opportunity to import everything you need during a typical migration:
- Draft Orders
Products Demo Import Example
Customers Import Example
Orders Import Example
The Excelify app gives you complete control over your data. An efficient perk is that you are able to update your existing store data based on where the last import left off, without having to re-import everything. You can also easily execute test data imports and quickly edit and delete data in a few minutes. One highlight many of our clients have found useful is the ability to migrate the history of Magento order comments. Additionally, you are able to execute a dry-run of your import to ensure the data will import successfully.
This app is also especially useful for WordPress blog migrations. The blog migration process is an easy WordPress export (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-all-export) and then a simple copy and paste into the Excelify blog tab in the CSV template.
Blog Posts Import Example
Reasons We Recommend Excelify:
- Import templates are provided
- Easy data mapping and error fixing for large CSVs (500,000+ rows)
- In the event a CSV is too large to open, there are free tools such as www.splitcsv.com that can be used to split large CSV files into smaller and more manageable data files.
- Comprehensive error notes included in import results for resolution
- Dedicated Slack channel for questions to the Excelify team (shopify-excelify.slack.com)
- Reasonable import time
- Efficient way to delete and modify data
- Numerous tutorials that offer step-by-step instructions
- Provides an easy to understand method to import very large Magento tables of customers and orders
Reasons We Do Not Recommend Excelify:
- Requires a lot of manual work and human hours. This could be cumbersome for small businesses with limited resources.
- Millions of data records could potentially be overwhelming to import manually. An automated solution might be a more feasible option in certain instances.
Overall, after having used this tool for a few large migrations this year, we have not encountered any cons that would prevent recommending Excelify as one of the top migration tools currently available in the Shopify app store (https://apps.shopify.com/excel-export-import).
Check out the Magento migration tutorials here (https://excelify.io/migrate-to-shopify/magento/).
Lit Extension markets itself as an extensive, complete solution that helps existing shops built on various other platforms to be transferred to Shopify. Lit Extension supplies an advanced tool enabling you to carry out automatic data migration properly and also swiftly. You can migrate products, clients, orders as well as other data from your Shopify store instantly.
Lit Extension offers for the following for Shopify migrations:
- Product Categories
- Cms Pages
- Multiple Languages
- Clear Data On Target Store Before Migration
- Preserve Order IDs
- Create The 301 Redirects
- SEO URLs Migration
- Preserve Customer IDs
- Strip HTML tags
- Migrate Additional Images
- Preserve Product IDs
We have used Lit Extension on several projects with success in year’s past. Unfortunately, our more recent experiences with this service were less than ideal. While the Lit dev team did a great job migrating over a large number of redirects, the customers and orders came over incorrect and duplicated. Additionally, one of our migrations stalled overnight and had to be fixed.
We also experienced several headaches reaching out to customer support. The professionalism you would expect as a paying customer was not provided. After several attempts to fix the wrong data, we ended up using Excelify instead on our most recent project.
Reasons We Recommend Lit Extension:
- Offers an automated way to implement redirects
- Provides several add-on options that are affordable and time-saving alternatives to manual methods
Reasons We Do Not Recommend Lit Extension:
- Difficult customer support
- Confusing user interface
- Unclear billing practices
- Unable to trust data integrity
Lit Extension might be a great service in some scenarios. Unfortunately, we do not recommend using this service for most standard Magento to Shopify migrations.
Shopify Plus Transporter
The Transporter application is part of a suite of tools that makes it simpler to move on-line shops from other platforms to Shopify Plus. You can use the command line tool to extract and also convert records from one system right into CSVs. The command-line device is an open resource Ruby gem. You can also use the Transporter app to import products, customers, and order information right into Shopify.
Transporter offers for the following for Shopify Plus Merchants:
Products Import Example
Customers Import Example
Orders Import Example
We started using Transporter for a client with a large amount of legacy data. We opted not to use the command line tool due to a long list of outstanding fix requests to the Github code. We found the data mapping in the spreadsheets understandable and easy.
We did a test run of 100 orders, customers, and products. A definite advantage of Transporter is that it is lightning fast. We noticed a much faster import speed compared to other migration tools.
There is definite value in using this app, however in our case, it made more sense to use Excelify in this scenario. From a developer perspective, Transporter seems to still be in beta mode. The import errors are delivered as simple text files, which is great. The main issue we found were bugs with inconsistencies on actually providing the error reports. We would have to re-upload the same file multiple times in order for the error report to be available.
Reasons We Recommend Transporter:
- Best for Shopify Plus businesses with uncomplicated data to migrate
- Fast import speed compared to Lit Extension and Excelfiy, however migrated data details are not as complex.
- Import templates are provided
- Detailed error reports
Reasons We Do Not Recommend Transporter:
- Outstanding software bugs
- Intermittent error reports cause delays
- Import options are not as robust as Lit Extension and Excelfiy
All in all transporter appears to be a decent data migration tool, but has not been an appropriate option for us yet.
In conclusion, all three of these tools could work for specific merchants and Shopify Plus customers. If you have a large database of legacy data with more than just the typical products, customers, and orders that need to be migrated, Execlify is the recommended option.