Migrating from Big Cartel to Shopify

The Store Importer app can migrate your product, order, and customer data from Big Cartel to Shopify. You need to export your data from Big Cartel before you can import it to Shopify.

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, your computer downloads CSV files containing your Big Cartel data, which you can use to import that data into Shopify.


  1. From your Big Cartel dashboard, go to Orders > Shipped.
  2. Click More Actions and 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 export your orders and customers from Big Cartel into CSV files, you can download your product data and then import your data into Shopify.


  1. From your Shopify admin, click Apps > Store Importer.

  2. On the Import your data into Shopify page, select Big Cartel from the drop-down menu.

  3. Under Upload files, click Add file and select your exported files.

  4. 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.
    2. Click Download products.
  5. Under Upload files, click Add file and select your exported files. You can select any number of CSV files.

  6. Click Continue import > Import.

Step 3: Review and update your imported data

If your data import was successful, then your order, customer and product data is now available 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. Review the messages in the review section of the import summary for any errors. You can edit your imported information manually by clicking View items next to these messages.

Historical orders

Orders that were imported from your previous platform are migrated to your Shopify store only for historical purposes. These orders are automatically set to the Archived status. While you can technically unarchive them, you'll not be able to perform any functionality normally reserved for orders created in a Shopify store.

Some products, customers, or orders failed to import

If some of your products or customers didn't import, then you can add the products manually or add a customer.

Any customers with the same email address or phone number aren't included in an import. If two or more customers share an email address or phone number, then only the most recently created customer entry is imported.

Tags applied to imported records

The Store Importer 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 that are automatically applied to each imported record are in the following format: import_<date>_<import_id>. Tag formats for any import errors, such as a missing image or duplicated variant, vary based on the platform that you are importing from.

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 are updated. The customers are first matched by email address, and then 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 are added.
  • If an import contains products that are already on your Shopify store, then the matching products in the import are skipped and not imported. A list of the skipped products is shown in the Import summary after the 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. Wait for the data to delete completely before you start another import.


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

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

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

Considerations for customer passwords

Because passwords are encrypted, you can't migrate customer passwords from another platform to Shopify. As a result, only customer records are migrated to Shopify instead of customer accounts.

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