Migrating from Big Cartel to Shopify

Shopify's Import store app allows you to migrate your order and customer data from Big Cartel to Shopify. But before you can import your data to Shopify, you need to export it from Big Cartel.

Step 1: Export your store data from Big Cartel

The first step in store migration is to export your data from Big Cartel. When your export is complete, you'll have CSV files saved to your computer that you can use to import your data into Shopify.

Export your order and customer data from Big Cartel


  1. From your Big Cartel dashboard, go to Orders > Shipped.
  2. Click More Actions and check click Download CSV. A CSV file containing your data is saved to your computer.

You can follow the steps above to download your unshipped orders as well.

Step 2: Import your store data into Shopify

After you've exported your orders and customers from Big Cartel into CSV files, you can download your product data and then import your data into Shopify. You need to have Shopify's Import store app installed to begin.


  1. From the Shopify admin, click Apps > Import store.

  2. To download your product data, complete the following steps:

    1. Under Enter your Big Cartel store URL to import products, enter your Big Cartel shop URL.
      Big Cartel shop URL
    2. Click Download products.
  3. Under Upload files, click Add file and select your exported files. The Import store app lets you add multiple files, so you can add your CSV files at once.

    Files to export from Big Cartel

  4. Click Continue import > Import.

Step 3: Review and update your imported data

If your data import was successful, then you should see your order and customer data in your Shopify admin. If some of your customers didn't import successfully, then you can add them manually. Learn how to add a customer in Shopify.

The following sections describe some of the behaviors that you might see while importing your Big Cartel data into Shopify:

Import was successful with changes

When your import is finished, the import summary page shows you the details of your import. If some of your orders or customers were imported with changes, then you see specific messages in the CUSTOMERS TO REVIEW section of the import summary. You can edit your customers manually by clicking View items next to these messages.

Some orders or customers failed to import

You might notice that some of your orders or customers failed to import. If some of your customers did not import, then you can add them manually.

Any customers with the same email address or phone number aren't included in an import. Only the most recent customer entry with the duplicated data is imported.

Tags applied to imported records

The Import Store app applies tags to imported records. Tags make it easier to find the things you've imported, review them for errors, or make adjustments.

Tags automatically applied to each imported record are in the following format: import_<date>_<import_id>. Tags for any import errors can vary depending on your platform or error type; for example, missing-image or duplicate-variants.

You can keep these tags on your imported records, but this might create problems if you use tags as a method of organization for your store. For example, these tags could be visible to your customers on your online store. To avoid this, you can remove them once you've checked your imported records for errors.

Import data on top of an existing import

If you think you missed something in your previous import, then you can import your store data again on top of your current import by clicking Start new import.

  • If your Shopify store or previous import already contains customers, then they will be updated if a matching customer is found on the import so that no data on the customer in Shopify is lost. The customers are first matched on email address, and then on telephone number if no email address match is found. If a match is found, then the existing record is updated as follows:

    • Tax exempt and marketing subscription statuses are overwritten.
    • Tags, addresses, and notes from the import are added.
    • If the first name, last name, or telephone number fields are empty in the existing record and included in the imported customer record, then they will be added.
  • If your Shopify store or previous import already contains products, then this import ignores import of matching products. You'll see the list of skipped products in the Import summary after your import is complete.

Delete a store data import

If you’re unsatisfied with a data import, then you can delete it. For example, if your data import contains many failed items, then it might be helpful to remove that import and try again. You can delete only your latest import, and need to wait for the data to delete completely before you start another import.


  1. On the Import complete page, click Delete import.

Delete Import button on the Import complete page

  1. On the Delete import dialog, click Delete import.

After all your imported files are deleted, click Start new import to start another import.

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