Shopify Ecommerce Migration Checklist – Top 15 Best Practices: Guest Post From Root Creative

Shopify Ecommerce Migration Checklist – Top 15 Best Practices: Guest Post From Root Creative

Thursday, July 9, 2020Eric Zegarski

15 Essential Best Practices When Migrating to Shopify

So, you are planning on migrating eCommerce platforms like many other merchants before you. Maybe you are migrating because Shopify is a much easier platform to quickly and easily make edits to your site in real-time without being a computer whiz. Many merchants migrate because Shopify has amazing support, 24-7, 365 days a year. Yes, that’s right. Even Thanksgiving and Christmas if you are here in the US. That’s just unheard of, even for massive corporations.

Regardless, you are researching information on migrating over to Shopify and you now are needing guidance on the next steps, best course of action, and good companies to work with to help you through the process.
Our development team at Root Creative™ has completed 100+ migrations over the past 2-3 years and there is quite a bit of information, research, and planning that goes into an eCommerce platform migration. Below is a checklist on some of the biggest things to think about prior to migrating platforms. 


Shopify Best Practices Migration Checklist  

 

1. Data Migration

  • Orders
  • Emails
  • Customer Accounts
  • Collections
  • Products
  • Images
  • Content
  • Pages
  • Blog Posts
All of the above will determine migration cost. Generally, the more data that you have the higher the cost of your migration. Please note, this is just a general rule of thumb. Cost always varies depending upon the individual client site and platform that you are migrating from, how complex the process is, and how easy it is to map the data from your old store’s format to Shopify format. 
 

2. Figure Out if You Want a Template Theme or Custom

Template Themes can be found on the Shopify Theme store. There are also other 3rd party marketplaces that sell Shopify themes. Custom Design is always highly recommended, but not entirely necessary. This just depends upon your budget, needs, and wants
 

3.Choose Which Apps that You Would Like to Integrate

We use these apps all of the time for our clients:
  • Google Shopping – helps you to setup Google Shopping ads  
  • AKO Retargeting – setup Dynamic product remarketing ads on Facebook & Instagram
  • Sputnik – SEO Setup - for Google, Yahoo, & Bing improved organic search results 
  • Instant SEO – advanced SEO tool if you are really serious about your SEO
  • Shogun – drag and drop site editor and page builder
  • Kit – for running Facebook & Instagram ads from text messages to your cell phone
 

4. Sync Any New Data Prior to Going Live 

  • Orders
  • Customers
  • Emails
 

5. Setup 301 Redirects  

This task is very similar to how physical mail forwarding works. When you move houses the post office usually gives you a change of address form. 301 Redirects are very similar, but instead of just 1 change of address form you might have 100’s or 1,000’s as eCommerce sites are usually much larger than service industry sites

This task is VITAL, and it is the most common mistake made when migrating platforms. If you have been on Shopify threads or forums and have heard migration horror stories about merchants migrating to Shopify and their organic traffic tanks within 30 days. Well this is not due to Shopify; this is 110% due to the developer or designer that migrated your site over to Shopify and them simply not setting up 301 redirects. Before you go live, make absolutely sure that your dev team setup 301 redirects or you can kiss goodbye to your current organic keyword rankings.

 

6. Send Out a Password Reset After Your Site Goes Live

If your old site had a customer login section, then this step is important. That login section may have stored previous customer orders, credit cards, and favorites. Our developer always sends out a bulk password reset to every customer in your previous store and prompts them to make a new Shopify password. Please note that the customer can use their same email. This step is just a password reset to create their own unique new Shopify login / password to your new store.
 

7. Setup Google Search Console

  1. Sign into your Google account. Make sure you’re using your business (not personal) account if it’s a business website.
  2. Go to Google Webmaster Tools.
  3. Click “Add a property.”
  4. Choose “Website” from the drop-down menu and enter the URL of your site. Make sure you’re using the exact URL that appears in the browser bar.
  5. Click “Continue.”
  6. Pick a way to verify you own your website (HTML file upload, domain name provider, HTML tag, GA tracking code, or GTM container snippet).
  7. If your site supports both http:// and https://, add both as separate sites. You must also add each domain (for example, mysite.com, blog.mysite.com, www.mysite.com)
  8. Check out this YouTube video for further steps and a video tutorial 
 

8. Setup Bing Webmaster Tools

  • Step 1: Open a Bing Webmaster Tools account
  • Step 2: Add & Verify your website (Click Here)
 

9. Submit New Sitemaps in Both of these 2 Accounts Above

  • sitemap.xml – is the default sitemap format to enter
  • Here are the instructions for Google – (Click Here)
  • Here are the instructions for Bing & Yahoo – (Click Here)
 

10. Have Google, Yahoo, & Bing Re-Index Your Site

Google has the old site meta data indexed onto their servers. Therefore, you need to update Google with your new real estate. Submitting a sitemap shows Google what you want them to index now. As long as 301 Redirects are properly setup, the old URLs will fall off over time. And your new URLs will start indexing on Google, Yahoo, and Bing
 

11. Setup 404 Error Monitoring with Google Search Console

Once you setup Search Console, Google will send you updates on: how your site is indexing on their server, if there are any readability issues, manual penalties, security issues, product readability issues, mobile issues, or broken pages. Google will auto-send you email updates to your email that you signed up for the account with


In general, it is good to add yourself, your developer, webmaster, or agency that you are working with to migrate your site over to Shopify. Always make sure to forward any error emails that Google sends you over to your developer or webmaster to diagnose and to see if any site changes need to take place as each site, theme, and store codebase varies slightly
 

12. Make Sure to Add in Your Google Analytics Tracking Code

Don’t forget to add in your GA tracking code onto your Shopify store. You can do this in the Themes -> Preferences section in the middle of the page. This will guarantee that you have no gaps in data and sales reporting.
 

13. Make Sure to Keep Your Old eCommerce Admin Active for at Least 1 to 2 Months

Many merchants forget about storing their previous store analytics. Some clients just keep this stored in a database for reference to compare previous year’s sales history (ie: this month vs. same time last year). Yes, you might have Google Analytics, but your eCommerce platform usually stores all of your live sales data and transactions, so this piece is very important
 

14. Make Sure that You Activate & Integrate Enhanced eCommerce

This is a pretty easy, but sometimes neglected step when migrating an eCommerce store over to Shopify. Enhanced eCommerce is a feature and functionality in Google Analytics that syncs your Shopify sales data into your GA account. This is important because it can show you where you are gaining sales from (ie: Direct, Organic, PPC, Social, Email, etc.). Without this type of reporting, it is really hard to clearly determine what is working and what is not working in terms of: where you are gaining sales from, on which channels, what the marketing spend was, and what the return on investment / sales were for the period
 

15. Think About Integrations

  • Accounting
    1. QuickBooks or other leading ERP solution
  eBridge Connections can integrate these commerce systems, learn more about the benefits of integration here
 
These are the top 15 migration best practices that are vital to a successful and seamless migration. If you are in need of migration help from one eCommerce platform to another, feel free to email us at marketing@constructiveroots.com and just say that eBridge referred you for special pricing.
 
Until next time!

Martin Masin
Shopify Migration Expert
 
Root Creative
600 17th St, Ste 2800 S
Denver, CO 80202
 
constructiveroots.com
(303) 634-2282