Migrate Shopify to Magento: We Have All the Answers

Choose Magento
December 23, 2019
Choose Magento
Migrate Shopify to Magento: We Have All the Answers

We previously covered the biggest differences between the two ecommerce market giants and came to the conclusion that both have their own niche. Shopify is more user-friendly and super quick to launch, while Magento is more robust, has a steeper learning curve, and allows you to customize everything, including the backend.

Since you’re reading this, something or someone must have planted the seed in your mind that Shopify might not be the perfect fit.

Let’s dive deeper and see what all the talk is about. We’ll explain how to migrate Shopify to Magento — and much more.

Why migrate Shopify to Magento?

There are tons of options to choose from to replatform, so why Magento?

We encourage you to weigh the pros and cons of all the major enterprise-level ecommerce platforms, because you want your business to grow and the platform you choose has to be flexible.

Flexibility is one of the biggest reasons we chose Magento as our niche.  

We’ve gone in-depth on the differences between Shopify and Magento in previous articles, and we were able to highlight the seven strongest selling points for Magento.

1. Adobe acquisition brings fresh ideas and integrations

According to our own experience at the MagentoLive Europe Conference and TechCrunch’s analysis, Adobe is investing heavily in integrating Magento with existing Adobe products like Adobe Sensei (AI tech), Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Stock, and more.

Magento integration with Adobe
Source: TechCrunch

2. Magento B2B and Business Intelligence

Magento has powerful B2B functionality as well as Business Intelligence, which help merchants offer frictionless ordering and management with better business insights and results through data aggregation, analysis, and visualization.

3. Magento PWA Studio

Progressive Web App Community

One of the latest releases from Magento, PWA Studio is tailor-made for building Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs are the future of desktop and mobile browsing. 

4. Page Builder

Page Builder helps you create content for a best-in-class shopping experience without requiring technical skills.

5..The ability to customize anything and everything

Unlike most other ecommerce platforms (apart from the premium/enterprise versions like Shopify Plus) Magento is like a sandbox environment for developers. Magento can bring anything you dream up to life.

6. Lots of out-of-the-box features

With Magento, you get a lot of bang for your buck. For example, One-Page Checkout, Multi-source Inventory, support for multiple languages and currencies, setting up related products, up-sells, and cross-sells, and much more.

7. Magento Commerce Cloud

Magento Commerce Cloud is the cloud-hosted version of Magento Commerce. It is an even more robust solution that implies a content delivery network, easy/continuous deployment, B2B functionality, improved support, and enhanced security.

Check out more Magento benefits in the video below!

How much is migrating from Shopify to Magento going to cost?

This is a very loaded question which depends on how much you’re ready to invest. And, truthfully, it’s not going to be cheap. Instead of looking at it as a burden on your finances, think of it as an investment. Migrating to Magento takes your business to a new level.

To give you an idea, here is an example: 

Design costs (theme + redesign)

  • Cost of a new theme ranges from Free to $499 
  • Designing a custom small ecommerce site will cost $15,000 to $30,000
  • A custom medium-sized ecommerce will set you back $40,000 to $80,000
  • And a custom enterprise ecommerce site usually costs $80,000+

Data migration

We’ll look at what types of data can be transferred via automated tools and extensions a bit later. The two most popular Magento migration services are Cart2Cart and LitExtension. They work by connecting to both your Shopify store and your new Magento store to securely transfer the bulk of your data.

How much it will cost to transfer 1,000 products, 10,000 customers and orders using Cart2Cart

Platform migration Shopify to Magento
Source: Cart2Cart

How much it will cost to transfer 1,000 products, 10,000 customers and orders using LitExtension

Ecommerce platform migration


  • Similar to the Shopify App Store, Magento has its own Marketplace with 3,500+ extensions to choose from. Depending on what you choose, there are free and paid extensions. 

With Magento, you can create anything you want in it. You can build or buy an extension and add all the bespoke features you need. 

Custom Magento tools and extensions developed by Elogic

Many of our clients opt to get custom functionality built to spec so their teams can optimize their daily workflows. 

Here are a few examples:


Elogic portfolio reviews
  • Custom Payment Module
  • Custom Shipping Module
  • Customized Shop by Brand Module
  • Custom Templates
  • Custom Form


Elogic portfolio reviews

Custom Gift Card Extension for DiggEcard, a GaaS (Gift card as a Service) company offering a white-label solution for B2B and B2C businesses.


Elogic portfolio reviews
  • Customization of the Multi-Source Inventory Module
  • Custom Marketing Tools
  • Custom Order Handling System
  • Customized ERP Extension
  • Custom Credit Decision Module
  • Customized Find a Cheaper Price Extension

Differences between Shopify and Magento (possible pitfalls!)

Our guides comparing Shopify and Magento point out the key differences in features, pricing, and other important factors that play a role in your decision-making process.

One thing we haven’t covered is the pitfalls in day-to-day use. Here are a few things to be wary of:

1. Magento/Shopify flat catalogs 

Regardless of what you read, both platforms have flat catalogs. The only difference is, Shopify comes with a flat catalog by default. A flat catalog creates new tables on the fly, where each row contains all the necessary data about a product or category. Where before enabling a flat catalog was part of the Magento Performance Best Practices, we learned that this is no longer the case.

Starting with Magento 2.3., the use of a flat catalog is no longer a best practice and is not recommended. Continued use of this feature is known to cause performance degradation and other indexing issues. A detailed description and solution are available in the Magento Help Center.

2. Configurable products 

Configurable products will be something new to you. Instead of creating a base product and using additional subproducts through variants of the first product (where every product has a separate SKU), in Magento you can create configurable products that are associated with the “parent products.” 

3. Magento Categories instead of Shopify Collections

Collections in Shopify = Categories in Magento. Apart from flat product catalogs by default, Shopify has flat categories. In your new Magento store, you can create sub-categories to your heart’s content.

4. Product attributes vs Tags

Magento uses the following to display and sort products with attributes. You can read more about product attributes here.

Magento product attribute
Source: Magento DevDocs

5. 301 URL redirects (SEO!)

A problem you may run into is how URLs are created in Magento. What you want to do is match up the URLs from Shopify with the new ones in Magento. 

In the next section, you’ll see that this is often an additional service on top of the regular migration services. This can also be managed in the Magento Admin interface, preferably by someone who knows what they’re doing.

To get a taste of what’s in store, log in to your admin panel -> Marketing -> SEO & Search -> URL Rewrites

Magento SEO URL Reqrites

What can be migrated from Shopify to Magento?

Luckily for you and the ecommerce tech crowd, migrating data from platform to platform isn’t rocket science. However, there are turnkey migration services like Cart2Cart and LitExtension that only need information for your target and source platforms to quickly transfer your data. 

Most migration services offer more or less the same scope of data, this is what Cart2Cart offers:

LitExtension cart mgiration services
Source: LitExtension
LitExtension cart mgiration services
Source: Cart2Cart

Please note that the additional options listed here are highly recommended —  preserve order IDs, skip product thumbnail images (Magento generates these automatically), and create 301 redirects.

Ecommerce platform cart migration services
Source: Cart2Cart

What can’t be migrated

Although it can be done (painstakingly), it’s not worth trying to migrate most of your design (theme, buttons, other page elements).

Finding Magento extensions that perfectly match the logic and functionality of your Shopify Apps can be a challenge. However, the good news is that Magento has tons of extensions available and you can take an existing extension, customize and seamlessly integrate it (something you can’t easily do on other platforms).

These are the five major things you’ll need to plan and map out before migrating since you will have to replace them:

  1. Design — theme, buttons, some images, Shopify-specific page elements like carousels.
  2. Shopify Apps — sit down with your team and think about which Magento extensions you can replace your apps with.  
  3. Custom development — you can’t take any custom code or add-ons with you to Magento. 
  4. Tax, Shipping, Payment rules — Shopify handles these differently (for example they charge a separate fee for every transaction). 
  5. Platform optimizations and security — Again, this will have to be recreated and reinforced for Magento. Keep in mind that if you opt for a non-cloud hosted (Magento Commerce Cloud) version, part of the responsibility to keep your site secure will lie on your shoulders. 

Do you need outside help to migrate to Magento?

The short answer is — yes. The reason is that the two platforms are inherently different and handle data differently. For example, the database where all of your products, categories, orders, and customer info are stored organize data in a different way. 

Our recommendation would be to go with a shopping cart migration service like the ones already mentioned. But that’s just the beginning. The next step is crafting your new Magento 2 store.

To get started, you’ll need to choose the right development team. Go for a Magento Solution Partner — they have the Magento stamp of approval and have tons of tech and business expertise to plan and launch your store on time and within budget.

The migration process: A simplified 4-step guide

If you take out the migration, learning curve, and other platform-specific tasks, migrating from Shopify to Magento is just like any other IT project. This is our four-step process:

Step 1 Conceptualize 

Ideally, you should either get in touch with Magento or an experienced Magento partner (at least a certified Magento developer).

They’ll ask you a bunch of questions like:

  • Who is your target audience (geography, tastes, needs, gender, age)?
  • What are your marketing channels and selling points?
  • What are your scaling plans for the next 3-5 years?
  • What is your country’s tax policy?
  • How many currencies/languages will you have on your website?
  • What are the user roles and desired access/actions for them?
  • Do you plan on having third-party integrations (CRM, ERP, PIM, etc.)?
  • What payment methods/payment gateways do you plan on using?

To see what an ecommerce specification document looks like, check out our article on How To Write an Ecommerce Website Requirements Specification Document: Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices

Step 2 Define tasks and draw up a plan of attack

The most important part of this step is to have a clear Definition of Done (DoD). This step is where you write a work-breakdown structure to outline the project into separate components — technologies, requirements, features, and project roles. With this in hand, you can move forward with developing a roadmap with a DoD at the end. 

Step 3 Migrate, design, and create the store

When your product team and your internal or external Magento development team are in sync and you’ve agreed upon a timeline, you can start migrating data, writing code, designing the store, and any other tasks. One thing to keep in mind is, even with contingencies and risk assessments, there can still be setbacks.  

Step 4 Launch, support, and optimize

Once you’ve tested and re-tested multiple times to make sure every component of the store works, you can open a bottle of champagne…and put it right back down because now comes the hard part — learning a brand-new platform from the ground-up. 

Set aside time in the overall migration plan to include post-launch support (getting accustomed to Magento, fixing bugs, optimizing the store).

Takeaways on how to migrate from Shopify to Magento

Migrating to a different platform is like moving to a new apartment/house. You need to plan everything out — what to pack, when to ask for help, what the new environment is like, and what pitfalls you may encounter.

  • When you migrate from Shopify to Magento you can take all your belongings (products, catalogs, content, etc) but you can’t take the theme, customizations, or extensions with you.
  • Since Magento is more hands-on and flexible, if your experience is purely associated with Shopify, there will be a learning curve. Plus, you’ll likely need experts to guide you to get the most out of it. 
  • The biggest takeaway is — migration is 100% possible and the time it takes to migrate depends on your existing Shopify store and expectations for your new Magento store.     

What next?

  • Your next step: check out our replatforming package. We can help you migrate from any platform — Shopify, Woocommerce, Bigcommerce, WordPress, and even custom ecommerce platforms. We can get you up and running in no time. Data security guaranteed.
  • Check out these links to the Magento User Guide (Open Source and Commerce) and Magento Resources (guides, webinars, case studies) so you can get to know your future platform better.

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