Migrate to Shopify
This guide outlines how to migrate your store to Shopify from another platform.
You can use it as a starting point and as a reference resource to make sure that you don't forget any key setup tasks.
On this page
- Step 1: Import your store's content and data to Shopify
- Step 2: Verify and organize your products after import
- Step 3: Make your website look great
- Step 4: Set up your shipping
- Step 5: Configure your taxes
- Step 6: Setting up a payment provider
- Step 7: Place some test orders
- Step 8: Add staff to your store
- Step 9: Set up your domain
Step 1: Import your store's content and data to Shopify
After you've created your store on Shopify, review your existing store and decide what data and content you want to move over to Shopify. A migration can be a good time to purge old, low-performing content, and give your site and business a fresh look. As an example, you might want to migrate the following data:
- Historical orders (orders that have already been fulfilled)
- Gift cards, certificates, and store credits
- Pages (such as shipping policy, contact, or about)
Next, choose a method to transfer each type of content. Review the following options, which range from the least technically complex to the most technically complex:
- Copy the content from your existing store and paste it in your new Shopify store
- Export your data into CSV files, and import them to your new Shopify store (some data can't be migrated this way)
- Use third-party migration apps from the Shopify App Store.
- Hire a Shopify Partner to manage and complete your migration
- Develop, or hire a Shopify Patrtner to create, a custom migration solution using the Shopify API
The best option for each type of content depends on the amount and complexity of the data. Individual pages, such as shipping or refund policies, can likely be copied and pasted into your new Shopify store, whereas a catalog of 250 products likely needs to be imported using a CSV file or an app. Review the following table to find the options available for each type of content.
|Data||Bulk migration options|
|Products||Export/import using a product CSV file, migration apps, Product API|
|Customers||Export/import using a customer CSV file, migration apps, Customer API|
|Historical orders||migration apps, Order API, Transaction API|
|Gift cards, certificates, and store credits||migration apps, GiftCard API|
|Blogs||migration apps, Blog API, Blog Article API|
|Pages (shipping policy, contact, and other webpages)||migration apps, Page API|
Step 2: Verify and organize your products after import
After you import your products to Shopify, it's important to verify that all your information was imported correctly. Details such as price, weight, and inventory can impact your business if they aren't imported correctly.
Check for common importing errors
|The import was successful, but something changed.||If any of the imported product information has changed, then a message appears in the Product review section of your import summary. Select View items to make any necessary changes.|
|Products were imported successfully, but not published.||If the products that you import are marked as hidden, then they aren't published until you make them available to your sales channels.|
|Details are missing from imported products.||Review the product description on the product page, and then fill in the missing information.|
|Product variants failed to import.||If a product is missing a variant option, then it won't be imported successfully. You can instead add the product to your Shopify store manually.|
|Some clients or orders could not be imported.||If you import multiple customers with the same email address or phone number, then only the most recent customer entry that contains duplicate data is imported. You can add any older customer profiles manually.|
Review and organize your products
- Review your product details, including the product description, images, variants, price, and meta description.
- Create product collections to organize your products into categories, which helps you group your products both in the Shopify admin and on your external website.
- Understand product inventory and transfers to keep track of the inventory in your business. Review the available inventory apps to determine if any are necessary for your business.
Step 3: Make your website look great
To help you get started, the Themes page of your admin has a default theme set up when you open an account with Shopify. You need to customize your theme to get your website looking how you want. If you want to customize a different theme for your online store, then you can add through the Shopify admin.
To add a theme for your online store, choose one of the following options:
- Add a free theme from within the admin.
- Buy a paid theme from the Theme Store. Although paid themes need to be purchased before you can publish them to your online store, you can try a paid theme before buying.
Add a free theme from the admin
Free themes are developed by Shopify. Help with customizations for free themes is supported by Shopify.
- From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Themes.
- In the Popular free themes section near the bottom of the page, click any theme to read about its features and to preview the available theme styles.
- Do one of the following:
Add a theme from the Theme Store
Paid themes are developed by third-party designers. Help with customizations for third-party themes is provided by the theme designer.
To add a theme from the Shopify Theme Store:
- Visit the Shopify Theme Store and choose a theme. If you're still in your free trial period, then choose a free theme to avoid paying any charges.
- If you've chosen a free theme, then click Add theme or Start with this theme. If you've chosen a paid theme, then click Buy to buy the theme. Paid themes are non-refundable. To be sure that it suits your needs, you can try a paid theme before you buy it.
- For paid themes, click Approve to approve the payment. The theme will be added to the Themes page of your admin.
Try a paid theme in your store
You can try a paid theme to see how it looks with your products, brand colors, and style, before making the commitment to buy the theme. When you preview a theme, you can make customizations by using the theme editor. Any changes you make are saved when you purchase the theme. You can preview up to 19 paid themes, which allows you to compare different themes before buying.
- Visit the Shopify Theme Store and choose a paid theme.
- Click Try theme. A preview of the theme will load for your online store.
- Do one of the following:
- To stop previewing the theme, click Close preview.
- To purchase the theme, click Buy.
- To modify the theme settings using the theme editor, click Customize theme.
Even if you choose not to buy it, the paid theme is added to the Themes page of your admin. Paid themes that you're trying have a Theme trial label.
Step 4: Set up your shipping
It's very important to set up shipping rates and shipping methods correctly before you launch — you don’t want to have to refund customers for overcharging them, or to email customers asking them to pay more because you didn’t charge enough to cover the shipping of their order.
For more information about order shipping and fulfillment, click here.
- Review your store's address to get accurate shipping rates based on your location. If you are shipping from other places, then add them as locations.
- Create shipping zones to allow shipping to different regions, states, and countries.
- Configure your shipment dimensions if you're using carrier-calculated shipping rates. Many carriers use volumetric weight (the height, weight, and depth of a package) to calculate shipping rates.
- Set up shipping rates for the shipping zones that you've created.
- Pick a shipping strategy that works for your business. You might find it helpful to look through some options to find what meets your needs before making a decision.
- Look through fulfillment services and decide if you're going to ship orders yourself or if you'll let someone else handle order fulfillment for you.
Step 5: Configure your taxes
Charging sales tax is an important part of running your business. Depending on your location, there are different rules and regulations about sales tax that apply to your products. To make sure that your store meets those rules, take some time to understand Shopify’s tax setup process.
Charge taxes based on your shipping destinations
If you need to adjust taxes manually, based on a region with unique tax restrictions or based on a specific collection of products, then you can do so with a tax override.
Keep track of your taxes
When you configure the tax settings for your products, you should also think about how you are going to keep track of your taxes throughout the year.
If you’re not sure which system you're going to use to keep track of your taxes, you might want to review some accounting apps in the Shopify App Store.
Step 6: Setting up a payment provider
To make sure that customers can pay you, you need to set up a payment provider. A payment provider lets you accept credit card payments securely. Shopify offers its own payment provider (Shopify Payments) as well as a variety of supported third-party payment providers.
Set up a payment provider
- Select a payment provider from Shopify or from a supported third-party.
- Activate Shopify Payments or a third-party payment provider in your Shopify admin.
- Choose how you want to capture and authorize payments when customers buy something from your store.
Now that you've set up your payment providers, you need to configure your checkout page so you can process customer orders.
Set up your checkout
- Decide how you want to process customer orders so you have a strategy to fulfill the orders.
- Add your store's policies so your customers are aware of them before they complete checkout.
- Edit your checkout's customer information settings and decide if you want to collect email addresses to update customers about events and promotions.
Step 7: Place some test orders
Now that you've configured your payment settings, you should try out a few transactions to make sure that everything is working. Running a test order will help you understand the process your customers go through when they buy your products. You can access all the orders that customers place from the Orders page in your Shopify admin.
You can run test orders for a few different types of transactions:
- completing a successful and a failed transaction
- refunding and canceling an order
- fulfilling or partially fulfilling an order
- archiving a successful order
As you create, refund, and fulfill orders, you will see the emails that your customers receive for each action. You can edit the templates for these emails from the Notifications page in your Shopify admin.
Step 8: Add staff to your store
If you have additional staff helping you manage and run your store, then you can add staff members to your store so that each of your staff has a personal login. You can also set permissions for each user to restrict access to certain areas, which helps keep all sensitive information secure.
Step 9: Set up your domain
When setting up your Shopify store you can either buy a new domain or you can transfer the domain associated with your existing store to your new Shopify account.
Get a new domain
The easiest way to get a new domain is to buy it from Shopify.
- Purchase your domain through Shopify.
- Set your Shopify domain as your primary so it becomes the domain that's displayed to customers in their browser, in search results, and on social media.
- Set up email forwarding so that email messages that customers send to your custom domain email address are redirected to your personal email address.
Connect or transfer an existing domain to Shopify
If you have an existing domain, then follow these steps to point your domain to your Shopify store.
It's important to know that although you can use your existing domain, Shopify's link structure for individual pages is likely different from your previous service, meaning that old links to specific pages likely won't load for customers. For example, your old page about your shipping policy might have had the URL
example.com/policies/shipping-policy, but on Shopify that page might now be
To help customers avoid landing on error pages, before you transfer your domain, you can set up URL redirects in advance for any pages that your customers might have bookmarked, or links from third-party sources. This way, if they visit the old link after you transfer the domain, then they're redirected to the new link instead of receiving an error page.