Digital shopping has already become an indispensable part of our everyday life, and ecommerce platforms offer more and more opportunities for merchants to really set their stores apart and win customers.
It is only natural online store owners are tempted to switch their software to get more capabilities with sales. Today, our topic at hand is migration from OpenCart to Shopify - key reasons and the “DIY” way to bring over your ecommerce data like products, customers, orders, etc.(in fact, a lot more) without coding skills.
Reasons to Trade OpenCart for Shopify?
- Unlike OpenCart, Shopify is a hosted solution, so it’s easier to manage and there will be no more dealing with hosting, backups and stuff like that.
- Shopify is very user-friendly and allows even a newbie to perform pretty much all basic store operations by themselves.
- OpenCart presents more freedom with customizations, but unless you want (and can) get your hands dirty with some programming, you’re going to need some professional help.
- Shopify is one of the most popular and quickly growing platforms. This means, if you’re running a store on Shopify, you’ll be up for the freshest updates and features in the ecommerce world.
- Shopify’s got tons of marketing features, multiple sales channels, and integrations available to maximize selling effectiveness.
- Shopify offers a built-in blog functionality to attract customers at all stages of the sales funnel.
Shopify vs. OpenCart: important statistics
According to Datanyze data for December 2019, Shopify’s net gain is 817 websites, while OpenCart has lost 297 sites.
According to Google Trend, Shopify is a hands-down winner in terms of popularity worldwide in the last 5 years.
But… Nothing’s perfect and Shopify is no exclusion
Time for a fly in the ointment, is it? All the benefits of Shopify come at a price - a fixed monthly fee starting from $29 (it’s $9 actually, but it’s not so easy to find) you pay for using it plus transaction fees. OpenCart, as you know, is free to download and use.
So why do people leave it? In many cases, managing an OpenCart store requires hiring a developer, especially if you have some specific requirements, and this isn’t cheap either. If you run an OpenCart store and are worried about the financial outcome of the migration, calculating your current expenses and potential Shopify fee is an easy way to evaluate the gains or risks.
Is Shopify right for you?
Shopify is a good fit for merchants who want to focus on selling, have control over their store appearance (drag and drop editor provides for this) and functionality and not worry about technical aspects of their store, plus don’t mind paying the price the convenience.
For more info on the carts in question, check out our post with a full-fledged comparison of Shopify vs OpenCart.
As to the migration process itself, below you’ll find a detailed guide to an affordable and user-friendly database transfer.
How to Migrate From OpenCart to Shopify (a Non-Tech-Savvy-Friendly Way)
Get your new Shopify store ready
To start with, sign up for a trial account at shopify.com and select a theme for your store.
Note. It is best if you save the customizations for later and choose the default theme before the data import to Shopify.
Find your OpenCart and Shopify store admin access details (they will be necessary during your data migration setup)
If you are planning to migrate user reviews, you will need a “destination” for them, and a free Product Review app might be one, and it should be installed before the migration. Check this link for installation instructions.
Take care of OpenCart to Shopify data transfer
Data migration is one of the bottlenecks of store migration - and no need to explain why - without the right tools, it might take days or weeks to transfer the content (or significant sums to pay a specialist who will handle this task).
Cart2Cart is an automated tool that enables data exchange between your two stores and allows to move your ecommerce content to the new platform in hours, after a quick setup via a handy app:
Establish a connection with your OpenCart store
Basically, download a connection bridge file and upload it to the OpenCart root directory via FTP (you can also choose to have it done automatedly by typing in the necessary credentials).
Connect your Shopify store
All you need to do here is to fill in the form with the necessary access details.
Choose the data entities you need to move to Shopify
Pick the desired additional migration options
Though they are optional, below are the things we recommend you to pay attention to:
- pick "Migrate Source Store categories into the Shopify Automated Collections" option, to have your OpenCart categories migrated.
- consider choosing “Create 301 redirects on your target store after migration” option to preserve your SEO juice.
Launch your Demo migration (it’s totally free)
Check the result
Make sure you look in the backend since the migrated data might be not visible in the frontend due to default store settings.
Go on setting up your Shopify store
- Select a new theme or customize the existing one as you like.
- Install the apps from the marketplace (start with the necessary ones).
- Test your store.
- Get ready to welcome customers. You can use this handy Shopify store launch checklist not to miss a thing.
- Inform your customers you’ve moved (they will need to reactivate their accounts). We recommend the “Bulk Account Invite Sender” app to send an invitation email to all your customers.
And that’s it! At this point, you will be ready to welcome buyers into your new online shop. Do share your tips or ask questions (we’ll be happy to know if there’s anything we've missed).
And now it’s time you started your own migration to Shopify - you’re a few clicks away from starting a new life of your store!