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Magento to Shopify Plus Migration Guide

Magento to Shopify Plus Migration

Are you currently running a Magento store and considering switching to Shopify Plus? This article will compare Magento to Shopify Plus and explain how your store can get started with a data and platform migration.

Download a copy of this guide.

Why would you Migrate from Magento to Shopify Plus?

There are many reasons you might consider moving away from Magento and considering Shopify Plus, here are some of the common reasons:

  • Save money on license and server fees
  • Tired of moving all of your customer, order and item data each time Magento releases a new version
  • Managing your own server on Magento is expensive and time consuming

These are the primary reasons that many people are thinking of switching from Magento to Shopify Plus and now let’s do a detailed side by side comparison.

Magento vs Shopify Plus Feature Comparison

Price and feature comparison of Magento to Shopify Plus based on a store with ~$10M in yearly sales.

Magento Shopify Plus
Server & Database Self Hosted – MySQL Cloud Based – Proprietary
License Fees/Cost* $4,000/month + $2000/month
Server & CDN Costs $1,000/month + Included
Security & SSL Certification Your Responsibility Included
Maintenance Hours Significant Limited
PCI Compliance Your Responsibility Included
Feature Enhancements Extensions Apps
Mobile Friendly Yes – with Customization Yes – with Customization
Wholesale Ordering Yes – with Extensions Yes

*License Fees/Cost estimates based on $10M/year in ecommerce revenue.

Server & Database

Magento requires that you host your own server and maintain security. Shopify Plus is a fully hosted ecommerce product and Shopify professionals manage server administration for your store.

Magento relies on a MySQL database to store product and customer transaction data. With Magento Community and Enterprise editions you have full access to your database and create almost any level of customization that you need for your store. Shopify has a proprietary database that Shopify Plus merchants use to store product and customer transaction data. Shopify Plus merchants need to implement public apps or develop their own custom apps to extend the functionality of their store.

License Fees

For Magento 1 Enterprise Edition you pay $24,300/year per server and if you are running multiple servers for load balancing your yearly costs can quickly escalate. Magento 2 license fees are based on the revenue of your store. For example if your store is doing $10M/year in revenue you can expect to pay $49,000/year for your Magento 2 Enterprise Edition license.

With Shopify Plus you pay a monthly fee of $2,000 and only pay more if your sales exceed $800,000/year, for a full break down of Shopify Plus pricing see this write up.

Server & CDN Costs

Magento license fees do not cover server and CDN costs and if you are doing ~$10M in sales your server and monthly CDN costs are most likely a $1,000/month (and often more). You will need more than one dedicated server for load balancing and a CDN to make sure your store is loading quickly for people all over the world.

Shopify Plus does not charge you extra for your server and CDN (Shopify uses Fastly), they both are included in your $2,000/month Shopify Plus fee.

Security & SSL Certifications

Outdated Magento stores running older versions of the software are susceptible to scripting attacks. Hackers can use scripts to steal users’ credit card information and in late 2016 it was estimated that over 4,000 Magento store were left vulnerable to an attack. With Magento you are also required to maintain and update your own SSL certificate for your store.

Shopify is a fully hosted solution so your instance of Shopify Plus will never go out of date. The server and database that Shopify Plus run on are upgraded behind the scenes and don’t require you to do the updating yourself like on Magento. Also when you sign up for Shopify plus you get access to a Level 1 PCI DSS compliant server and 128-bit Free SSL certificate at no added cost.

Maintenance Hours

This is often a major incentive for Magento store owners to make the switch to Shopify Plus. Running Magento requires you to manage your own server, CDN and website with a team of professional programmers. Most merchants outsource this work and pay significant monthly retainers to contractors to ensure their site is running smoothly and stays online.

Since Shopify Plus is a fully hosted solution you don’t need to pay as much monthly to contractors to help you manage your store. Each Shopify Plus site receives a dedicated marketing success manager (MSM) from Shopify that can help find a contractor to help you if you need assistance with your store. There are also maintenance plans available for Shopify Plus store owners and most Shopify Plus stores take the extra money saved on maintenance and put it towards growth programs to increase sales.

PCI Compliance

With Magento you will need to make sure you are compliant with the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). If your store is processing more than 20,000 ecommerce transaction levels a year, you will be required to meet the bar of PCI Compliance Level 3. There is significant work involved in meeting PCI Level 3 and you will need to bring in outside consultants to conduct security and vulnerability testing.

Shopify is PCI compliant and certified as Level 1 PCI DSS compliant. With Shopify your store is automatically PCI compliant and their certification covers your store.

Feature Enhancements

Magento has an extension marketplace where you can purchase add ons to extend the functionality of your store. For example if you are looking for advance search capabilities, email marketing, sales tax tables, customer management and much more you can purchase an extension for your store. Magento Connect is the most comprehensive ecommerce marketplace for finding extensions for your store. For most of the extensions you will want a programmer help you install and configure to make sure it’s setup correctly for your store.

Shopify Plus allows you to customize your ecommerce site with apps. There is an extremely robust app eco system where you can add reviews, product customizers, custom search, product tabs and much more. The majority of apps on Shopify Plus can be installed by the store owner and you can use Shopify Scripts to offer price and shipping discounts to your customers. You can also create custom apps that are specific to your store and allow you to add any feature you want to your site.

Mobile Friendly

Magento 2.0 came out in 2015 and responsive design is baked into most of the themes, though older store aren’t responsive by default.

Most Shopify Plus themes are inherently responsive (mobile friendly), but just like Magento you will want to review the different pages of your site to make sure they are conforming to different screen sizes on different devices.

Wholesale Ordering

Magento 1 and 2 offer a variety of wholesale ordering extensions that allow you to install this functionality on your store.

Shopify Plus includes wholesale ordering for free when you sign up for Shopify Plus. You can create tiered pricing and give your wholesalers access to specific price lists.

Migration Overview

The number one obstacle holding back companies on Magento moving to Shopify plus is the pain of the migration process. There is no doubt that migrating ecommerce platforms is a lot of work, but if you make sure to follow the right steps you can make sure your products, customer data and URLs over correctly to Shopify Plus. Shopify offers guidance on completing your migration, but in most cases you will want to hire consultants to advise you on the proper steps.

Product Migration

Shopify Plus has a partnership with nChannel to offer product migration from Magento 1 or Magento 2 to Shopify Plus. Shopify Plus uses product types, collections and tags to create a hierarchy of products and it is important that you correctly map your products to your new Shopify Plus store. Ambaum also offers a free consultation on product migration, if you have questions about how your store’s products would map to Shopify Plus, shoot us an email and we can set up a call.

Customer Data Migration

You can also move your customer data from Magento to Shopify Plus so existing customers can see their past order history. There is no requirement that you move over your past customer data, but for larger stores it is necessary to ensure your customers have a seamless experience as you transition to a new platform.

301 Redirects for your URLs

Moving from Magento to Shopify Plus means that many of your product URLs will change. You want to make sure that 301 redirects are in place to map your old URLs to your new URLs. This will allow customers using Google search to click on your old URLs and be taken to your new URL at Shopify. Eventually Google will re-index your new site and replace your old URLs in the Google search results but this process normally takes a month or 2 (depending on the size of your site).

Store Migration Apps

You can use a 3rd party migration apps to help you move your Magento to Shopify Plus data. You will want to be very careful with all apps as your custom store may not fit perfectly into how the app is configured to work. We often get merchants coming to us after trying out a 3rd party migration app and having a poor experience.