Are you using Magento for your online store? Then you should read the rest of this article.
The phasing out of Magento version 1.9 has raised many questions from potential customers. Often, these questions are characterized by concerns about what changes mean for them and their online store, and what it takes to migrate from Magento to another platform.
Over the years, we have conducted numerous migration projects from Magento to WooCommerce. This has provided us with valuable and extensive experience in handling such transitions.
Here are some of the most common and crucial questions we receive from our clients:
1. How will the change affect my online sales?
One of the significant advantages we observe in transitioning from Magento 1.9 to WooCommerce is an increase in mobile conversion.
The ratio between mobile and desktop conversion, termed as relative mobile conversion rate (rMCR), is a particularly useful metric as external factors like season, traffic, and offers do not influence the results.
For many clients, the relative mobile conversion rate (rMCR) is around 60%, with an average of 72% for our clients so far this year. For an online store with around 10 million in revenue, such an improvement could mean an increase of around 1 million in annual revenue.
Achieving these results starts with mapping and analysis. We initiate our migration projects with an analysis of the existing online store to identify which parts of the solution seem to be working and which parts can be enhanced to boost sales. We conduct both quantitative analyses (via Google Analytics) and qualitative analyses based on best practices, testing, and experience from other sites we have built.
Such analyses are crucial for making the right decisions that can save you time and money. For instance, we have seen that custom features a client had previously were not actively used by their users. By leaving such unnecessary functionality in the old solution, we could simplify both the migration and adjustments to the new online store.
Additionally, we conduct an SEO analysis. When migrating from Magento to WooCommerce or other platforms, maintaining rankings in search engines is crucial. Magento’s landing pages and URLs must continue to function after transitioning to WooCommerce. This is essential for SEO and also for other links shared on social media, email, etc.
2. Will my online store have similar functionality?
It can if you want it to. We recommend taking the opportunity to reconsider what your website needs. Magento-based online stores often have a lot of customization. Any changes can impact user experience and potentially the bottom line of businesses.
Like most other platforms customized for a business’s needs, there will be adjustments. When migrating from one platform to another, it’s an excellent opportunity to take a step back and look at the functional and market requirements of your platform.
By looking beyond, you can ensure that critical features are included, and unnecessary time is not spent on less critical functions. At the same time, with a new perspective, you may identify entirely new needs that users will benefit from.
A crucial piece of advice is this: if you are moving to a new platform, ensure that you conduct a thorough review with your future developers so that all stakeholders in the project gain insight into which features and customizations are in use.
3. Does WooCommerce have the extensions I need?
Your Magento website undoubtedly uses several third-party extensions for essential functions. Does WooCommerce include these functionalities by default, or are there comparable plugins?
It’s rare that you need to reinvent the wheel. Our experience indicates that most Magento extensions have a corresponding WooCommerce plugin. If you define the essential functional requirements for the online store in specifications, it should also describe how to cover functions previously handled by third-party extensions. Generally, we also find that the price range for WooCommerce plugins is somewhat lower than Magento extensions. However, there are individual differences.
4. Will my online store look the same after migration?
How do you maintain your customized online store during migration? Will you lose essential elements in the visual design experience?
You can’t move an existing theme from Magento to WooCommerce, but all themes, regardless of the platform, are built on the same foundations. So, there is no reason to believe that your design in Magento cannot be recreated in a WooCommerce online store. A good conversion analysis (CRO) can also reveal whether you should redesign parts of the website. Once again, you have a golden opportunity to create something better than the starting point through migration from Magento to WooCommerce.
5. Will data be lost in the transition to WooCommerce?
A common question we get from our clients is how seamless data migration will be.
Our experience suggests that if you have a good and organized structure in your current Magento solution, it will be easy to recreate this in WooCommerce. However, if you have a structure where attributes and filterable values are mixed, it requires some more manual work and cleaning to move over. The setup of configurable products also plays a role. If configurable products are set up correctly, you can easily migrate them directly to WooCommerce’s variable products. Be especially meticulous in checking how you have handled images on the variants side, as WooCommerce stores images a bit differently than Magento. If you have images on variant products, some work needs to be done to include them.
6. Will I transfer orders from the old online store?
The short answer is yes.
Although you can migrate orders from the old to the new online store, not all our clients choose to do so. Some keep it on the old online store as a reference because they do not want to include historical order details. In any case, most of our clients will connect to an ERP system where all orders are stored, and then we fetch orders directly from the financial system. This way, the customer gets to see their complete order history—not just orders from the online store.
7. Can WooCommerce handle my volume of products?
A common myth is that you should choose Magento if you have many products.
WooCommerce has no challenges in handling many products compared to other platforms. The key is to ensure that you have a good enough infrastructure around the store, which can handle a larger quantity. Generally, with WooCommerce, you can get away with slightly less need for server power than Magento. We also know that if you have a very high number of products (our largest client has over 1 million products), you also have supplementary systems for PIM, logistics, and financial systems to handle the quantity of products.
8. Which payment solutions are available for WooCommerce?
The market for payment solutions is extensive, with several alternatives.
Most payment solutions are available for both Magento and WooCommerce. The most commonly used today are Klarna, Vipps, Nets (formerly Dibs), Paypal, and Apple Pay.
9. Is WordPress and WooCommerce as secure a platform as Magento?
Yes. You can have as good (or bad) reliability on a WooCommerce online store as on Magento, Mystore, Shopify, or any other online store. As long as you take security seriously and have a good secure setup around the installation, you will not be more exposed than on other platforms. Our usual advice applies: make sure to use secure passwords, avoid cheap and shared hosting, keep everything updated, and take backups. Following these simple recommendations will keep you secure. You can also let a WooExpert like us take care of security for you.
10. How do I move my online store from Magento to WooCommerce?
There are several alternative paths to migrate from Magento to WooCommerce. Which one is right?
We have tested most alternatives and, over the years, developed our preferred method. This method uses our own cloud-based integration app, Maco, ready to feed in data. There may be other methods that suit you better, so we also mention some other options that can be considered.
Maco – Maksimer Connector
Our preferred method is, naturally, the one we have developed ourselves based on the experiences we have gained. Over the years, we have developed a cloud-based integration tool called Maco. This tool is used daily by several hundred online stores to ensure that products, orders, inventory, and prices are synchronized two ways with their ERP system.
To make our migration projects seamless and painless, we have expanded Maco with a module to fetch data from Magento to WooCommerce. Here, we can efficiently configure all possible combinations of structures and data. The infrastructure around Maco allows us to easily handle hundreds of thousands of products that need to be moved.
Importing from Magento to WooCommerce is a straightforward job with our integration tool. We recently completed a project for a large Norwegian retail chain where we moved products, categories, images, and associated meta-data. The job took one working day to complete. Order data is fetched and sent directly from the customer’s financial system. If you don’t need order data from the financial system, it’s wise to run a new job to fetch order data at the launch of the new store to include orders that accrue on the existing online store during the development period.
Manual Export and Import
Manual export and import via CSV or similar can work well if you don’t have thousands of products and need to handle images manually.
SAAS migration, for example, with Cart 2 Cart, can work. This method is best suited if you have few customizations and not too many products. The migration method starts cheap ($50), but when moving over a few thousand products and simultaneously including all the needed data, the cost can quickly be multiplied tenfold.
Additionally, you are dependent on using a company that is often in a different time zone, and it’s common to wait until the next day to make a change in the import and then run it again.
This process can, therefore, be time-consuming. However, it might be worth running a $50 test to see how close you get. If you find that it becomes costly and you need a more advanced migration, we recommend investing in a development environment that can create a completely tailored migration based on your data. It’s important to know that you’re not comparing apples to apples when looking at the entry price of these services. You may also need consultant hours regardless to ensure that the component you’re going to install on Magento and WooCommerce servers has all the accesses it needs to function.
API to API
Another option is to use the API access from Magento and WooCommerce and write a job that retrieves data via the APIs. Here, you often need to hire consultants to tailor the job. The advantage is that you will have full control over the fields made available via the API and can combine it with file transfers, etc., to fetch images and documents.
Migrating to WooCommerce from Magento is a safe and smart alternative if you want to be on a platform that is easy to customize, requires less server power, does not have enterprise licenses to unlock essential functionality, and enables rich content on products. It is also a fantastic opportunity to have a more efficient online store with a better user experience and higher earnings.
What does migration from Magento to WooCommerce cost?
It depends on how you solve it. We have created a calculator that helps us find a quick ballpark price for our migration projects.
11. How do I move another online store to WooCommerce?
We have customers moving from Shopify, MyStore, and other proprietary platforms to WooCommerce. Migration to WooCommerce from platforms other than Magento generally follows the same principles, where the first step is to assess the scope and potential for increased sales. Then it’s a step-by-step process of moving content.
Head of E-Commerce Manager Team
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Get in touch with us for a non-binding conversation on how we can assist your company with the migration from Magento to WooCommerce.