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If you feel like Shopify is limiting your online store and you’re thinking about migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce, this article is for you.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce, just like any eCommerce platform, have their advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, the choice of one platform over another depends on the characteristics and needs of your business.
WooCommerce and Shopify are platforms that work very differently, so before making a decision, it’s important to consider all advantages and disadvantages of each and they will affect your business. So if you're thinking of migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce, keep reading.
Problems with Shopify
If you’re currently using Shopify as a platform for your online store, you’re probably already familiar with the advantages it provides.
However, not everything is perfect on Shopify. You may be looking for a self-hosted solution like WooCommerce to have more customization possibilities and functionalities on your online store, or to avoid costs like transaction fees and subscription prices.
Shopify isn’t as customizable as WooCommerce. If this is a key element in your branding and selling strategy, turning to WooCommerce is probably the perfect choice for you.
If what you dislike about Shopify is the payment of fees and subscription plans, you’ll be glad to know that this problem isn’t commonly found with self-hosted platforms like WooCommerce. However, you’ll still need to take care of the server, domain, and security, among other things, all of which require time and money.
Advantages of migrating to WooCommerce
We’ve already touched on the main problems that Shopify users can face, but can they be solved by migrating your store to WooCommerce?
WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin, is open source, which allows you to create a web page with the aesthetics and functionalities that you want and need. WooCommerce has an intuitive and aesthetic design and interface, for both the seller and the customer, but its customization features may require a bit of programming knowledge. Therefore, in order to take advantage of these useful features, however, you’ll need to be somewhat familiar with coding or use the help of an expert.
The WooCommerce plugin itself is free. However, this does not mean that other costs won’t come up, since you’ll still have to take on the cost of the domain, server, etc., as well as the costs that come with store modification or the installation of WooCommerce plugins.
Another positive point of WooCommerce is that it’s well suited to an international operation. The platform is available in 24 languages and accepts payments in more than 130 currencies. Thanks to the platform’s multilingual and multi-currency features, as well as its open-source system and store extensions, scaling an online store on WooCommerce is a breeze.
Disadvantages of migrating to WooCommerce
WooCommerce also has its disadvantages. For example, uUsing WooCommerce also means that you’ll have to pay transaction fees for using a payment gateway.
FurthermoreApart from this disadvantage, you should consider the growth of your online store as a long-term project. In that regard, relying on too many independently created plugins (which is more common with WooCommerce) may cause compatibility problems and slow down your website load speed over time.
Scaling your business on Shopify may be easier, thanks to its subscription plans and Shopify apps.
Costs of migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce
Migration services can be found at different prices. Migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce is a process that can be easily automated with a migration extension since Shopify stores are very similar on a structural level. The cost of migrating will therefore depend mostly on the amount of data that has to be migrated. Generally speaking, switching from Shopify to WooCommerce can cost around a few hundred euros.
If you plan on hiring someone to do the migration, take into account that you’re putting all of your customers’ data in someone else’s hands. Choosing a professional agency is key to ensuring the safety of your business and your customers’ data.
How long does it take to switch from Shopify to WooCommerce?
The time required for a migration can be one of the biggest concerns for online stores, since carrying out a migration means not being able to sell for a while. That’s bad news for your online store, so we understand that you’ll want to reduce this time as much as possible.
Migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce can be done in as little as a few days or as much as a few weeks. It depends on the amount of information you have to migrate and the method you choose for the migration, whether it’s a migration extension or a migration expert who will do the job for you.
Risks of data migration: What can you lose?
The potential to lose all of your store data is one of the main reasons why businesses are often hesitant about migrations.
Your customer database, your business statistics and product pages are key elements of your business that cost you money and time to build —and you don’t want to lose them. This is why migrations should only be done if necessary, and if it is, you should be certain that you’ve picked the best platform to migrate to.
Tips to get the most out of the migration
Just as you would plan a housewarming party for a new home, you should celebrate migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce by inviting your customers to check out your new website and make some purchases.
Instead of champagne, offer discount codes and a tour of the new website. You can create a welcome video, implement pop-up messages to guide customers through the purchase process or include a bold banner at the top of the new site. Attracting and retaining customers has never been so easy.
The next trick simply follows human logic. We tend to be afraid of changes; therefore, facilitating purchases can only play to your benefit. Being original and creative is great, but don't forget that the goal of any online store is to sell. Too many unplanned changes can cause confusion for the customer, making them less likely to buy and holding back the success of your online store. Try to transmit the style and essence of your brand without complicating the selling process.
Use a migration to learn about your customers’ habits and preferences. Study customer reactions and behavior to find friction points and weak aspects of your business that can be improved. At the same time, look for competitive advantages and promote them. To do this, you’ll need to use analytical tools to find out how customers move through your website and the products they visit most. Perform this ‘audit’ continuously so that you can provide the best shopping experience to your customers.
As we have explained before, migrations aren’t a risk-free process. Carrying out a migration means that you could lose all your business data, and the switch will affect the performance of your team, at least at first. Migrating will also have an impact on the consumer, for better or for worse.
All that said, if you’ve already decided to make the migration, we want to emphasize the importance of choosing an expert for this process.
Putting all your business information and customer data into the hands of another person can be risky. As a precautionary measure, we recommend having a backup of your eCommerce data.
Once you’ve considered all the advantages and disadvantages of Shopify and WooCommerce and how they might affect your business in the short, medium and long term, you can decide which platform is better for your online store.
Before you come to a conclusion, think about the level of customization you want and need, the number of responsibilities that you prefer to outsource or leave to the platform, etc. We know it’s a tough choice to make, but hopefully deciding whether you want to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce should be much easier after reading this article.