Shopify migration

Avoid these costly pitfalls when migrating to Shopify

Avoid these costly pitfalls when migrating to Shopify

Migrating your e-commerce store to Shopify is an exciting step that can transform your online business with the most powerful e-commerce platform in the world. This process not only enhances your online presence but also provides robust tools and features to streamline operations, boost sales, and grow your business.

However, the migration can be complex and comes with potential pitfalls. By understanding these common mistakes and planning accordingly, you can ensure a smooth transition. Ready to tackle the migration with confidence? Let’s dive into how to avoid these common pitfalls and successfully migrate to Shopify!

1. Inadequate planning

Pitfall: Misjudging the complexity and scope of the migration.

How to avoid:

  • Develop a detailed migration plan: Start by outlining every step of the migration process, from data transfer to design updates.
  • Include timelines, resources, and stakeholder involvement: Allocate specific timelines for each task, identify required resources, and ensure all stakeholders are involved and informed.
  • Assign key roles: Make sure all team members understand their roles and responsibilities to avoid confusion and delays.

PRO TIP: Break down the migration into smaller, manageable tasks and set realistic deadlines for each phase. This approach helps track progress and makes the process less overwhelming. Additionally, conducting regular check-ins and reviews can keep the project on track and address any issues promptly.

2. Data migration issues

Pitfall: Loss or corruption of data during the transfer process

How to avoid:

  • Back up your data: Keep backups of all your data to prevent any loss during the migration process.
  • Use reliable migration tools: Choose trusted tools specifically designed for e-commerce data migration to ensure accuracy. Explore the top migration apps here.
  • Perform data audits: Conduct thorough data audits before and after the migration to identify any discrepancies.
  • Test migrations thoroughly: Perform multiple test migrations to ensure data integrity and address any issues that arise.

PRO TIP: Validate data to make sure product information is rendered correctly and customers can access their order history.

3. SEO disruptions

Pitfall: Loss of SEO rankings due to various changes during migration

How to avoid:

  • Implement 301 redirects: Set up 301 redirects for all old URLs to their new equivalents to maintain SEO equity.
  • Migrate SEO metadata: Ensure that all SEO metadata, including titles, meta descriptions, and image alt text, is transferred accurately.
  • Submit Sitemap.xml: Shopify automatically generates an XML sitemap, make sure you submit each of the sitemaps to Google Search Console.
  • Product structured data: Shopify themes will often have structured data built in, so before attempting to make any changes, spot test your pages using Google rich result test tool.

PRO TIP: Monitor your site’s SEO performance using tools like Google Search Console to catch and fix any issues early.

4. Broken links and navigation issues

Pitfall: Internal links breaking after migration.

How to avoid:

  • Update all internal links: Ensure all internal links point to the correct new URLs.
  • Test navigation thoroughly: Conduct comprehensive tests of the site navigation before going live.

PRO TIP: Employ tools like SiteChecker, SEMrush, or DrLinkCheck to find and fix broken links.

5. Design and UX inconsistencies

Pitfall: Poor user experience due to inconsistent and unfamiliar design changes.

How to avoid:

  • Retain effective elements: Keep design elements that work well for your customers instead of overhauling everything. Ensure the new design is consistent with the old one to provide a familiar user experience.
  • Optimise for UX: Ensure the new theme is optimised for a seamless user experience.
  • Align with brand identity: Make sure the new design aligns with your brand identity to maintain brand recognition.

PRO TIP: Involve your design team early in the process to ensure a smooth transition. Their input can help maintain the visual and functional aspects of your brand, ensuring customers have a consistent experience.

6. Function and integration challenges

Pitfall: Missed-out or incompatible critical functions.

How to avoid:

  • Evaluate current functionalities and needs: Map out the effective functions that your customers like and any new features you want to add. Identify which of these are supported natively by Shopify.
  • Plan for third-party apps: For any functionality not available in Shopify out-of-the-box, plan ahead to source third-party apps that can fill these gaps.
  • Test all integrations: Once you have these functions in place, test them thoroughly to ensure they work as expected without any compatibility or conflict issues.

7. Underestimating testing

Pitfall: Insufficient testing leading to functionality issues.

How to avoid:

  • Conduct extensive testing: After completing the Shopify store setup, design, and data migration, thoroughly test all site functionalities in a staging environment.
  • Perform user acceptance testing (UAT): Ensure the site meets all business and user requirements through UAT, focusing on the entire system's functionality.

PRO TIP: Involve different stakeholders in the testing phase to cover various use cases and scenarios. Their diverse perspectives can help identify potential issues that may not be immediately apparent.

8. Customer communication disruptions

Pitfall: Inadequate communication with customers about the migration.

How to avoid:

  • Inform customers in advance: Notify customers about the upcoming migration and any potential downtime.
  • Communicate new benefits: Highlight new benefits that the migration can bring to customers to encourage them to visit the site once the process is finished.
  • Allow customers to re-activate their accounts: Passwords can’t be migrated to Shopify due to security. Make sure you email your customers to provide them account activation links so they can visit the website to activate their access.

PRO TIP: If you use the new Shopify customer accounts which don’t require a password, customers will be able to request a one-time password email to their email address every time they access your site. Be sure to inform customers so they are not confused by the new process.


Migrating to Shopify can significantly enhance your e-commerce capabilities, but it's essential to avoid common pitfalls to ensure a smooth transition. By planning thoroughly, testing extensively, and maintaining clear communication with your customers, you can make the migration process seamless and successful.

Embrace Shopify's robust tools and features to streamline operations, boost sales, and grow your business. If you have any questions about this guide or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment below. For expert help, our Shopify migration experts are here to assist you in making the switch seamlessly. Your successful migration is just a plan away!

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