Lucid has been designing and building Shopify stores since 2006—the year they launched! With over 14 years of experience in ecommerce—and 20 since we were founded in 2000—we have gained a wealth of technical knowledge and have worked hard to refine our systems and processes to ensure projects run efficiently and smoothly.
We are big believers in asking questions and working to understand the core goals of our clients and the problems we are setting out to solve. We strive to bring a high level of expertise and pragmatism to our work so we can provide the best possible guidance and support.
Even with optimum planning and support, replatforming a live store with active customers can be a stressful experience. It’s even more overwhelming when you add the uncertainty of which platform to migrate to or how best to go about it.
We have written this guide to try to clarify the process and why we believe that Shopify is the best ecommerce platform for store owners migrating off more legacy systems like Magento 1.
While we will be focusing on replatforming to Shopify Plus, even if the technicalities may differ, the process is more or less the same for any platform migration.
Need help migrating to Shopify? Submit a migration brief
After June 1st, 2020, Magento will no longer provide support or maintenance for version 1. The only options for store owners still running version 1 are to upgrade to version 2 or to replatform off Magento entirely.
Upgrading to version 2 requires a full replatform as the architecture is entirely different from version 1. There is no simple, straightforward upgrade path from Magento 1 to 2.
For those of you still running Magento 1, there is an urgent need to decide whether to spend money on a rebuild on Magento 2 or to use this as an opportunity to invest in a new platform like Shopify Plus.
It is worth thinking back to when you launched your store and what you have struggled with over the years. Think about how your business has evolved and the things you would do if you had more control over your site and your content. Think about how much money you’re spending on bug fixing, simple maintenance, and upkeep that you could be spending on incremental improvements, conversion rate optimization, and easy wins.
If you’re currently questioning whether to upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2, now is the time to explore the alternatives. It may well be significantly cheaper to migrate from Magento 1 to Shopify Plus than from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
For a long time, Magento was the go-to ecommerce platform for both small and large ecommerce businesses—and it has dominated the space for at least a decade.
Out of the box, Shopify Plus has a number of enterprise-level features to help you scale quickly and effectively. We work with our clients to leverage the Shopify Plus superpowers so you are getting the most value out of the platform—to help automate, scale, and grow your business.
When you first built your ecommerce website, you may not have considered the long term needs of your business. We see a lot of retailers struggling with integrating third-party services—or finding that their ecommerce budgets are being eaten up by bug fixing and implementing bandaid-fixes on top of mounting technical debt.
We also see a lot of retailers struggling to train their internal teams with cumbersome content management systems and product catalogs. Shopify Plus is intuitive and easy to use and is designed first and foremost for store owners to be able to handle most day-to-day tasks themselves—such as merchandising and inventory management, content and storytelling, customer service, and fulfillment and order management. Its best-in-class admin interface enables people with no prior ecommerce experience to quickly learn the basics of running an online store.
It’s fair to say that no other ecommerce platform has had such a huge impact on lowering the barrier to entry for starting and growing online stores. For these reasons, we prefer Shopify over other ecommerce platforms and have made it our main focus and area of expertise over the past 14 years.
With Magento, stores are responsible for the hosting provider and fees. Hosting and the fees associated with server upkeep and maintenance can get really expensive. Shopify stores are hosted on Shopify’s servers—relieving you of the burden of finding a suitable hosting provider for your website and worrying about upkeep, maintenance, and scaling issues.
Whereas Magento tends to get more expensive as you grow—or the service can crash with surges in volumes—Shopify can handle tremendous volume without unexpected costs or downtime.
While Magento does offer a free Community Edition, the path to growth is complex in that merchants typically need increasingly costly support or may be forced to do a full migration to get onto a more robust version of Magento as they grow. Shopify handles the growth from startup to thousands-of-transactions-an-hour scale seamlessly—without any downtime or replatforming at all.
In fact, moving from Shopify to Shopify Plus is a simple contract change and a flick of a switch—no downtime, development, or migration required.
Store owners migrating to Shopify typically save significant amounts of money on things like server hosting and maintenance, security patches, and general speed optimization and upkeep.
If you migrate from Magento to Shopify Plus, support and maintenance—including 24/7 live chat—are included in your monthly fee.
Ultimately, Shopify is a full PaaS (Platform as a Service) product in that all hosting, servers, software updates and new features, support, bug fixes, etc. are handled automatically and within the monthly service fee.
Where Magento typically requires all sites—small or large—to be custom built or custom configured, even the most ambitious brands can start with Shopify’s out-of-the-box configuration and scale to 7-figure monthly revenue with ease.
With Magento, the responsibility of ensuring that your website is secure, safe from hackers, and PCI-compliant falls entirely on you—or your outsourced team. This can become extremely complicated and expensive as you grow and it’s hard to ever feel fully confident you have the right systems and processes in place to protect against unknown security threats or vulnerabilities.
Because Shopify is a hosted solution with dedicated support, maintenance, and security teams maintaining a 24/7 watch on your servers—with a 99.98% uptime—you don’t have to worry about reliability, security, patches, or bug fixes. Shopify makes sure that all websites running on their platform are online, running smoothly, secure, and PCI-compliant—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether you have 1 visitor a day or 100,000.
Every Shopify website also gets a free SSL certificate.
Merchants generating more than 20,000 transactions per year need to meet PCI compliance Level 3, which requires merchants to perform annual assessments and quarterly network scans to ensure that their website meets the latest security standards.
Shopify Plus has many built-in features that can help automate redundant tasks and simplify your internal workflows—helping you to reduce human effort and scale more efficiently.
Shopify enables you to easily sell your products on a variety of different channels and marketplaces. The platform currently supports more than 20 channels—including Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay.
If you migrate to Shopify, you’ll get access to more than 50 global payment gateways that you can use to accept payments from your customers—including PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay.
Magento has an extension marketplace that’s similar to Shopify's app store. However, unlike Shopify apps, most Magento extensions aren’t turnkey solutions and require technical knowledge to set up and integrate with your online store.
While Shopify comes with a plethora of advanced ecommerce features out-of-the-box, the platform also boasts a large app ecosystem consisting of apps—or plug-ins—created by third-party developers.
Shopify’s app store currently offers thousands of quality apps spanning dozens of different categories that can be quickly installed to enhance your store and enable you to do things in moments that you might have needed a developer to custom build on Magento.
At Lucid, one of the reasons we love Shopify is due to the amazing Shopify partner community. Having been part of the Shopify ecosystem since 2006, Lucid has developed tight connections with dozens of best-in-class partners. This is a two-way relationship that enables us to work closely with our partners’ teams to craft the best possible solutions for merchants’ needs while staying agile and nimble to create growth opportunities—often without the need for custom development.
Of course, if a custom solution is needed, Shopify and our app partners make that easy, too. The quality and high standard of the APIs we have access to makes it easy to extend Shopify to do almost anything and our own integrations team can build custom middleware when needed.
As a Magento user, the only support that’s available to you is the one you can get from the platform’s community forums or through hiring a Magento developer to assist you.
Since Magento is hosted on your own servers, performing updates and maintenance is your responsibility.
Shopify offers support through phone, email, and live chat to all its users—with live, 24/7 support available to Shopify Plus merchants.
Further, if you choose to migrate from Magento to Shopify Plus, you also get a dedicated Launch Engineering team and Merchant Success Manager with whom you can communicate directly for expedited support and deeper knowledge of your unique requirements.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier, because Shopify is a hosted solution, you don’t need to worry about software updates or maintenance—this is all taken care of for you.
If you are still running on Magento 1, you need to migrate your store before June 1st, 2020.
If you are running a small store with low volumes of visitors and transactions, you may well not be ready for Shopify Plus but Shopify Advanced or even Standard would almost certainly be better for you at this point than rebuilding your site on Magento 2. You will likely save a lot of money and have the freedom and flexibility to grow your site in ways you simply couldn’t before.
If you are running a high-growth-potential store with a high volume of orders and transactions, migrating is going to be a big job however you do it. Shopify Plus has rapidly become the platform of choice for many of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing brands. There is no better time to fully assess whether it’s the best platform for your business to help fuel your future growth.
Either way, if you are exploring migrating from Magento to Shopify, we would love to help you do it as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Please get in touch to find out whether we might be a good fit or fill in a migration brief.