How to Migrate from PrestaShop to Shopify

More and more eCommerce businesses are moving from PrestaShop to Shopify. Shopify's easy-to-use platform, built-in features and search engine optimisation are some of the reasons why a migration to Shopify is a popular choice. 

This article will explain why many online vendors are migrating to Shopify from PrestaShop, how to do it, and what to consider before you start the migration. 

Why migrate to Shopify? — Shopify vs PrestaShop

If you haven’t yet decided whether a PrestaShop to Shopify migration is for you, let’s go through some of the benefits of choosing Shopify. 

An easy-to-use platform

The Shopify platform has a built-in drag-and-drop website builder, which makes it simple to use, even if you don’t have a background in web development. In contrast, PrestaShop is better suited for business owners that have some experience with web development. 

Compared to PrestaShop, Shopify is also a more complete eCommerce solution, as it also takes care of hosting, security, upgrades and maintenance.

You get an extensive sales & marketing toolkit

While PrestaShop mainly uses add-ons for sales, Shopify has an impressive number of built-in sales features, such as abandoned cart recovery, abandoned cart emails, checkout customisation, discount customisation, and multichannel selling, to name a few. 

Shopify also has an extensive marketing toolkit with multilingual support, Google Ads credits, support for over 1,500 marketing integrations and more to help you grow your online store.

Built-in SEO features

Like PrestaShop, Shopify uses third-party integrations for SEO capability, but Shopify also has some built-in features. These include meta title and meta description optimisation, image alt-tags, and customisation of product page URLs. Shopify also has support for SEO tools such as SEO Booster and Yoast. 

24/7 customer support

Customer support is a point where Shopify shines, as they offer 24/7 technical support. You can contact them via live chat, phone, email, or social media.

Three ways to migrate Prestashop to Shopify

The first step of migrating Prestashop to Shopify is to decide between three main methods: 

  • A manual migration method
  • An assisted migration method
  • An automated migration method

These methods have different pros and cons, and which one you should choose will depend on how important data preservation is to you and how much experience you have with web development.

Manual migration to Shopify

The manual method of migrating to Shopify is the most challenging and means a higher risk of losing vital data. Migrating manually involves having to copy-paste all your products and other information from your PrestaShop to your Shopify store. 

This might sound relatively simple; however, it is not only a question of transferring product descriptions. It gets more complicated when it’s time to move underlying backend data. Consider information regarding your customers, payments, orders, stock etc. You don’t want anything to be left behind when you migrate. 

When to use manual migration 

The manual method is a possible route if you have a smaller business with few products. However, this might be a better option if you have some web development knowledge, as there are still some technical aspects to the migration. 

If you lack this kind of technical expertise, you might want to consider an assisted migration, where a professional helps with the trickier aspects of the move.  

When not to use manual migration

If you have a big-scale business with many products, migrating manually won’t be ideal. Transferring a large amount of underlying data manually will be quite a heavy workload and difficult to pull off without errors. 

Assisted migration to Shopify

An assisted migration is similar to manual migration, with the main difference being that a web developing expert assists your migration from PrestaShop to Shopify. 

As an expert will be helping you, there is a smaller risk of data loss, but it is by no means a foolproof method. And if a large volume of data is involved, the process is still resource-intensive and will require a lot of time and work.

When to use assisted migration 

If you have a smaller-scale business and no web developing experience, an assisted migration can be an option. It requires less work on your part, and you can ensure that an expert is in charge of transferring the data. 

When not to use assisted migration

If your business is large-scale and you have a lot of data, this method could get quite expensive. It is also risky if you have important data that you are concerned about losing, as the manual and assisted methods are not foolproof. 

Automated migration to Shopify

Migrating from PrestaShop to Shopify with an automated method means using automated store migration tools. Many consider automated eCommerce platform migration a smooth, safe, and affordable option for migrating to Shopify.

A couple of migration tools are Cart2Cart and LitExtension. Your online store and all its data are moved from the PrestaShop platform to Shopify without data being lost. It also means that there will be virtually no interruptions to your eCommerce operations as it runs in the backend. 

Automated migration tools can help you transfer: 

  • Product data
  • Product categories
  • Customer information
  • Customer reviews
  • Order data
  • Coupon information
  • CMS pages
  • Manufacturer/supplier details
  • Multistore data

The low risk of losing data is one of the most significant benefits of using an automated migration method.

When to use automated migration 

As it is affordable and requires no web development knowledge, an automated migration is a good option for most business owners. 

This is true no matter the size of your eCommerce store. Depending on how much data you need to transfer, the whole process can take anything from a few minutes to a few hours. 

When not to use automated migration

If you prefer personalised support throughout your migration process, you might want to opt for assisted migration instead. Assisted migration is not technically demanding for you and gives you the peace of mind of having an expert oversee the move.

How to migrate with an automated tool

Each automated eCommerce migration tool requires slightly different steps, but the following 6 points will summarise common steps to take when migrating with an automated tool: 

  1. Back up your PrestaShop store: Make sure your store data is backed up, either with a full system backup or a database and media backup. Then, perform a PrestaShop data audit to discard information you don’t want to be transferred. 
  2. Get your Shopify store ready: Select a Shopify subscription, choose a theme from the Shopify theme templates available or create your own. 
  3. Connect your stores: Link your source cart (your PrestaShop shopping cart) to your target cart (your newly created Shopify cart).
  4. Decide on data to transfer: Choose what data entities you wish to transfer from your old store to your new store. There is generally a “Select All” option if you’d like everything to be migrated. 
  5. Specify other options: Choose specific options, e.g., create 301-page redirects or manage SEO URLs to maintain your Google ranking. You can also specify customer groups and order statuses.
  6. Launch your migration: You can run the free demo if you'd like a preview. Then, to migrate all the data, get a paid plan and launch “full migration”. Make sure to keep your web window open during the migration process.

Implementing the steps above takes you from preparing your migration all the way to having a launched Shopify store — with all the data from your old store. 

What to consider before migrating

Before you start the process of migrating, you’ll have to consider how to manage your SEO and how your PageRank will be affected by the move. 

How SEO will be impacted by a migration to Shopify

A website migration almost always involves temporary traffic loss as Google needs to process the changes your migration leads to. One problem is that the two platforms have different URL structures, which means your optimised URLs will be lost. You can manage this problem by creating 301 redirects to decrease the loss. 

The good news is that Shopify has several built-in features which can help you improve your SEO ranking. Shopify’s SEO compatibility is one of the reasons many online vendors migrate to the online store platform. This means that if your SEO takes a hit, Shopify will hopefully make up for it and, in time, help your SEO reach its potential. 

Key takeaway about migrating to Shopify from PrestaShop

If you’ve been considering migrating from PrestaShop to Shopify, there are many reasons to implement those thoughts. The user experience and SEO features are two of many benefits businesses that move their shops over to Shopify enjoy. 

Manual migration, assisted migration, and automated migrations are the three main ways to move from PrestaShop to Shopify. If you want personalised and professional help in migrating, our team of Shopify migration experts can assist you and ensure your SEO is maintained as you complete your migratation to Shopify. 

Shopify Experts

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