Getting started with your store migration

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.

Step 1: Configure your basic administrative settings

Before you start adding products and setting up your payments, there are a few administrative tasks that you should do:

  1. Review the ecommerce store migration considerations to make sure that your migration goes as smoothly as possible.
  2. Complete the initial setup so that your store address, email address, and other store settings are up to date.
  3. Know where to manage your account and access your billing information.
  4. Add staff accounts so that each of your staff members has a personal login account and all sensitive account information remains secure.

Step 2: Import your store's data to Shopify

After you configure your store's basic administrative settings, decide whether or not you want to use a migration app to transfer your store's data from your current platform to Shopify. If no migration app exists to help you move data from your current platform to Shopify, then you can use CSV files to transfer content manually.

Find a store migration app

Migration apps reduce the amount of work you have to do to import your product information and store contents from your current online store to Shopify. You can find several free and paid migration and importing apps in the Shopify App Store.

Shopify-supported migration apps

Shopify-supported migration apps are made by Shopify to help you migrate your store efficiently. All of these apps are free:

Tip

The Bulk Discounts app is useful for migrating backer data from crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to Shopify.

For help using the eBay Importer app, click here. For help using the Bulk Discounts app, click here. For help using the Product Reviews app, click here. You can also access support directly from each app's page in the Shopify App Store.

Third-party migration apps

If you want to migrate an online store to Shopify that's currently based on a platform other than eBay, then you can use one of the third-party migration apps available in the Shopify App Store.

Import your store's data manually using CSV files

If you choose to import your data manually to Shopify, or if the migration app you choose requires it, then you can use CSV files to import data to your Shopify store. To learn more about CSV files, click here.

For help using CSV files to import product lists, click here. For help using CSV files to import customer lists, click here.

Step 3: Organize your products after migration

If you used a migration app to import your products to Shopify, then it's important to check that all of your product information was imported correctly.

Note

If you are selling digital products or services, then make sure you are familiar with the differences between digital and physical goods.

To verify your products after migration:

  1. Check your product details, which include product descriptions, images, variants, and meta descriptions.

  2. Create a collection to organize your products into categories and make them easier for your customers to find.

    You can add drop-down menus and create links to collections on your storefront.

  3. Get familiar with product inventory and transfers to keep track of the products that you have available in your store.

    You can find inventory apps in the Shopify App Store to help you with this task.

Step 4: 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. If you choose to get a new domain, then you can buy it directly from Shopify or you can use a third-party domain seller.

Get a new domain

If you decide to buy a domain from Shopify, then you need to:

  1. Purchase your domain through Shopify.
  2. Enable auto-renewal so that your domain registration doesn't expire by mistake. Make sure you know the regulations for expired domains.
  3. Set your Shopify domain as your primary so it becomes the domain that your customers see in their browser, in search results, and on social media.
  4. Set up email forwarding so your customers can email you at your @mycustomdomain.com address.
  5. Send yourself a couple of test emails to make sure that you can receive customer inquiries.

If you decide buy a domain from a third-party provider, then you need to:

  1. Purchase your custom domain from a third-party provider.
  2. Follow the instructions for custom domains to set up your subdomains and your root domain. If you use one of the popular domain providers, then follow the instructions for that specific provider.
  3. Claim your Shopify domain to identify yourself as the owner.
  4. Set up your primary domain so it becomes the domain that your customers see in their browser, in search results, and on social media.
  5. Set up email forwarding so your customers can email you at your @mycustomdomain.com address.
  6. Send yourself a couple of test emails to make sure that you can receive customer inquiries.

Transfer an existing domain

If you have an existing domain with a common provider, then follow these steps to point your domain to your Shopify store. If you don't use one of the domain providers included in Shopify's list, then follow these general instructions.

Step 5: Make your website look great

After you set up your products, it's important to make sure that you're happy with the way your online store looks. Shopify offers hundreds of beautifully designed themes in the Shopify Theme Store, many of which can be edited and configured to fit the style of your store.

To download a theme for your store:

  1. Visit the Shopify Theme Store and find a theme that you like. You can browse themes by price (free or paid), by industry, or by other categories (such as popularity or relevance).

    Note

    All free themes in the Shopify Theme Store are made by Shopify and are supported by Shopify. Paid themes are developed by third-party theme developers and are not supported by Shopify. For support using a paid theme contact the theme's developer.

  2. Install a theme for your store. Make sure you preview the theme before you download it, especially if it's a paid theme.

  3. Publish a theme to your store.

  4. Customize your theme to give it the look and feel that you want.

Theme customizations can range from basic to advanced. If you aren't comfortable customizing a theme on your own, you can contact Shopify Support or you can hire a Shopify expert to make the changes for you.

Previewing themes

For help previewing how products appear within themes and to compare quickly between different theme types, see below.

Preview products within themes

To see how a theme affects your products' appearance:

  1. Add more than one product to your store, then group some or all of your products as a collection.
  2. From your Shopify admin, click Online Store, and then click Themes.
  3. Select the theme you want to use. You can use the default theme, you can choose one of the free themes, or you can click Visit Theme Store to choose from a selection of paid themes.
  4. Click Customize theme, then click Collection Pages.
  5. Experiment with the settings found in Collection Pages to see how your products look within the theme.
  6. When you're satisfied, click Save.

Compare between themes

To compare between multiple themes:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Online Store, and then click Themes.
  2. Add more than one product to your store, then group some of your products as a collection.
  3. As you browse themes, click Install to add the themes you like to your theme menu.
  4. Click Publish theme to set a default theme.
  5. After you publish a theme, add collections/all to your store's URL in your browser address bar to navigate directly to your store's collections page. The collections page will change appearance depending on which theme you select.
  6. Open a new browser tab. Repeat steps 1-4, then switch between tabs to compare multiple themes easily.

Step 6: 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.

Note

If you are selling digital products or services, then you need to disable the shipping option because your customers won't be receiving any physical goods.

To set up your shipping:

  1. Add your shipping address to get accurate shipping rates based on your location.

  2. Create shipping zones to enable shipping to different regions, states, and countries.

  3. 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.

  4. Set up shipping rates for the shipping zones that you've created.

  5. Pick a shipping strategy that works for your business. You might find it helpful to look through some options to see what meets your needs before making a decision.

  6. 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 7: 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.

Note

If your store ships to Europe, note that there are regulations that apply when selling digital products.

Charge taxes based on your shipping destinations

When you set up your shipping, you can apply shipping taxes to your products based on the customer's provincial, state, or regional tax regulations. These are calculated automatically by Shopify.

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 about what system you are going to use to keep track of your taxes, you might want to look at some accounting apps in the Shopify App Store.

Step 8: Set 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.

To set up a payment provider:

  1. Select a payment provider from Shopify or from a supported third-party.

    Tip

    When you choose to use Shopify Payments, you can avoid paying additional transaction fees and you can view your payouts right from your Shopify admin.

  2. Enable Shopify Payments or a third-party payment provider in your Shopify admin.

  3. 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.

To set up your checkout:

  1. Decide how you want to process customer orders so you have a strategy to fulfill the orders.

  2. Add your store's policies so your customers are aware of them before they complete checkout.

  3. Edit your checkout's customer information settings and decide if you want to collect email addresses to update customers about events and promotions.

Step 9: 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:

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.

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