What to consider when moving to a new ecommerce platform

Written by Tom Battcock

Due to its popularity, flexibility and scalability, many ecommerce store owners are considering the move from their existing platform to WooCommerce, however it can be a big undertaking to be able to move to a new store whilst also keeping the existing customer information as well as the order history stats.

Firstly when looking to migrate you should first identify the below:

  1. If there is any tools available to export your data from your existing provider
  2. If there is a plugin that will allow you to import your data
  3. What data you need to import, the below is a good starting list
    • Products, product images, product variants
    • Categories, category images
    • Customers, customer shipping address, customer billing address
    • Orders, order statuses
  4. When you are going to do the migration so you can make your customers and suppliers aware
  5. Set up the design of your new store with some test data

It’s important to remember to back up your installation before the migration so you have a roll back state in case anything goes wrong. 

Of utmost importance is making sure you are able to easily and cleanly migrate the data from your existing ecommerce site to WooCommerce. There are many cart conversion plug-ins you can use, such as the web-based Cart2Cart, litextension or the WP All Import plugin, which takes a CSV file and leads you through the import process.

Once you have migrated to WooCommerce, you’ll want to optimize for search engine optimization (SEO) and fully test your new WooCommerce online storefront.

FAQS:

What do I do if my data does not export into the same format as the import?

Whilst a lot of ecommerce platforms have some export option they may not give you the same columns or column types as the import expects, in this case the best option is to import it into a CSV such as excel or numbers and create some custom scripts to remap the data into the correct formats.

Do I need to keep my old orders or can i just import the products?

Whilst you don’t need to keep the customers and orders, you should consider the importance of that data for looking at trends and product sales history. However if you track that data or have a copy of it stored you can consider just the products, as long as you track recent orders incase of returns/refunds.

What do i do with my images?

Some platforms may export the image as a link to the existing image, when uploading them make sure you select the options to import the images into wordpress as new media from the existing link rather than just keeping the existing link.

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