Magento 1 to Shopify migration — Madam Glam case-study
About the business
Madam Glam is a New York City based beauty brand which was founded in 2014 and specializes in professional gel polish, with a focus on vegan and cruelty-free products. The Madam Glam online store was initially launched on Magento 1, and the client contacted us to migrate the business after the platform had announced the end-of-life for its first version.
Challenges and solutions
Madam Glam was an existing business with an active and extensive customer base, so the migration service was far from a simple data transfer. When done properly, migration of a business also includes development, design, and other related tasks, ensuring that the client would get the same or an even better online store, but on another platform.
The process initially began with migration of the store data, followed by migration of the online store itself, including its design and functionality.
We carried out extensive work on theme customization, built new apps to provide the required functionality, and polished it off with implementation of the client’s email marketing strategy. In this case study, we’ll cover the migration process to the Shopify platform.
Initially, the client had been deciding between the Magento 2 and Shopify platforms, so we provided them with all the information needed to make a decision.
Magento is a self-hosted solution, which means that the source code needs to be downloaded and then hosted by the user on the third-party hosting service, with no support from the platform. On the other hand, Shopify is a Software-as-a-Service solution, which handles everything from hosting to security, in addition to the 24/7 live technical support.
When also taking into consideration the high cost of Magento development services and complex maintenance issues related to migration to Magento 2, Shopify presented an easier and more attractive solution in terms of development and maintenance, even with the most expensive Shopify Plus plan.
Migration of data
The key factors to consider when deciding on the best method for migration of store data were — the specifics of the client’s store, and the difference in database structure between Magento and Shopify.
A database structure is essentially a chart with columns, where each column has its own name and value. On Shopify, the software is managed only by the platform and is licensed on a subscription basis, so there is only one data format. This makes the database structure uniform across all Shopify stores.
On the other hand, Magento is a completely customised solution where there is access to the source code, so the format in which data is contained is defined by the user. Consequently, the database structures of different stores using Magento are almost always different, which creates problems when the business owner wants to move to another eCommerce platform. It’s not possible to simply copy and paste the data, and some information can be lost if migration is not done professionally.
In these cases, mapping is used to safely migrate data from one platform to another. First, the database structure of the client’s store on Magento has to be examined to learn where on the server and in what format the information is stored. Then certain columns and values on Magento are connected with the corresponding but differently named columns and values on Shopify. After that, the store data is uploaded from Magento to the new store on Shopify.
The whole process is automated, but there were two ways we could have done mapping for our client’s store: to use a third-party service or to build our own custom application. Considering the specifics of the client’s business and the large amount of data to be migrated, we decided not to use a ready-made service. A typical standardized solution would not be able to take into account all the nuances of the client’s extensive database, so some data could potentially be lost without the possibility of retrieving it.
We built a custom migration app tailored to fit the unique specifics of the client’s store database, which ensured a completely safe and seamless migration with no data lost. With the help of the app, we migrated all store data: customers, products, collections, reviews, discounts, orders made by existing customers, product tags, SEO URLs, redirects, etc.
Migration of the business
An online store consists of the front-end part (everything that the user sees) and the back-endfunctionality that lies behind the interface and makes it work. So migrating the Madam Glam store data was just the first step, as the full-fledged business migration required additional development to transfer both functionality and the design from the old store to the new one.
Migration to a new platform is also a great chance to enhance design, as was done with the Madam Glam website. A new theme was selected with our help for the new Shopify store, and the client created layouts for the new website pages. Then we extensively cooperated with the client’s design team to match the user experience and functionality behind the layouts, and optimized the development cost of their later implementation.
Because the technologies on Shopify and Magento are fundamentally different, it’s impossible to copy the store’s code and paste it to Shopify, so we built two more custom apps to migrate the required functionality to the new Shopify store.
We helped Madam Glam to safely migrate their business from one platform to another, and get an enhanced and much more functional online store on Shopify. This is what our client says about working with us:
Originally published at https://spur-i-t.com.