BigCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform for businesses of all sizes, but many BigCommerce users eventually decide to move their online store to a different provider. One of the most common reasons is cost, as BigCommerce's pricing structure can significantly cut into the budget of a growing business. Other BigCommerce store owners choose to migrate in search of an eCommerce platform that offers more essential features at a lower price point.
Shift4Shop is a popular choice for former BigCommerce store owners because it includes a larger feature set at a lower price, and also because BigCommerce's revenue tiers cause a growing business's monthly fee to grow rapidly. Of course, the thought of switching platforms can be intimidating, as many business owners have concerns about data loss, store downtime, or other problems. There's no need to worry, however — switching from BigCommerce to Shift4Shop is easier than you might think. This step-by-step guide will help you through the process.
Signing up for Shift4Shop only takes a few minutes, and it's free. Shift4Shop's interface is quite similar to BigCommerce's, but some of the sections are organized a bit differently, so it may take a little getting used to. However, Shift4Shop is easy to learn, and our support team is standing by to help you — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even during holidays.
BigCommerce has a lot of built-in features, but some are reserved for higher-tier plans. You may also have been using a few apps to enhance your store, perhaps to add a feature or to integrate with third-party software. What you should do now is look around in your Shift4Shop account to get an idea of how many more features you'll have access to. Shift4Shop's free plan has more features than even BigCommerce's Pro plan, so you might be able to change up your workflow so you'll no longer need outside tools.
Or, you may still want to use third-party software together with Shift4Shop. You're in luck, as we integrate with hundreds of different software platforms, so you're sure to find an app or built-in integration that corresponds to what you were using with BigCommerce.
Remember that you will need to unsubscribe from BigCommerce apps, even if you're going to use a similar app on Shift4Shop.
Tip: If you don't have a lot of products or just prefer to do things manually, you can skip the product migration outlined in steps 3 and 4 and instead opt to create the products manually in the Shift4Shop dashboard. However, you'll probably still want to migrate your customers, which we cover in Step 5.
BigCommerce provides tools for you to export several types of data into CSV (comma-separated value) files, including products, product options, customers, and more. You're also able to customize the specific information and columns included in the export, so you can tailor your CSV files to various needs. For complete instructions on creating export templates and exporting your data, visit BigCommerce's Import/Export Overview.
Your BigCommerce CSV will need some editing to upload properly into Shift4Shop, but it only involves some minor changes to the headings. Download a sample CSV from your Shift4Shop dashboard to see the required format. This may also help you create your export templates in BigCommerce more efficiently, since you'll be able to see the information and headings needed.
Before you import your CSV files, upload your product images using your method of choice: the Shift4Shop File Manager (better for smaller numbers of images) or FTP (best if you have a lot of images). This allows you to add each image's file path to your product CSV before you upload, ensuring that all product images are correctly "attached" to the relevant product pages.
Once you've done that, you're ready to start importing. First import your product CSV into Shift4Shop. If your products have options or variants, these will need to be uploaded in a separate CSV file after your main product CSV has been imported. You can find more information about the different CSVs your products may require in Shift4Shop's Knowledgebase; start by learning how to import Product Options into Shift4Shop and, if necessary, follow up with importing Advanced Options via CSV. You may also want to check out how to import product inventory counts.
Don't be intimidated by the prospect of working with CSV files. While it can seem like a difficult task on the surface, it's a massive time-saver and you'll get the hang of it quickly.
Migrating your customer records from BigCommerce to Shift4Shop follows a similar process as products and other types of information. First, export your customer list from BigCommerce and then visit your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager. Within the dashboard, navigate to Customers and then Customer List, and from here you can download a sample CSV file similar to the sample CSV for products. Reference the sample CSV to learn the headings and formatting needed, and edit your BigCommerce CSV accordingly. Once you're done with this, you're ready to import your customers into Shift4Shop.
Content pages include various pages on your website that aren't the homepage, categories, or product pages, such as "About Us" and pages for your different policies. You can't simply transfer these over with an upload, but you can recreate them quickly in Shift4Shop. Just create a new page in your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager, copy the content over from your BigCommerce website, and check to ensure it's formatted correctly. Shift4Shop's Extra Page creation tool resembles a familiar word processor, so you should find the interface easy to use.
If your BigCommerce website also had a blog via their built-in blogging tool, just copy the blog posts over in the same manner, and backdate the posts to retain their original posting date.
Now that you've done all the heavy lifting data-wise, it's time to choose a Shift4Shop theme! With products and other pages added to your site, you'll have a better idea of how each theme will look across various sections of your online store. Feel free to play with themes, use the Theme Editor (on Shift4Shop Core Themes only), and tinker with your store's design until you're satisfied with the look and feel.
While you can't directly copy a BigCommerce store design over to Shift4Shop, you're sure to find a theme in the Shift4Shop Theme Store that works great for you. If you were using a free BigCommerce theme, be aware that Shift4Shop provides dozens more free templates, so you have a much greater selection available without paying extra.
It's also a great time to customize your Store Settings, which include various details on your eCommerce website like the name and slogan of your store. If you want deeper customization, check out the Store Language section which allows you to edit all the text that appears on your website, including system-controlled messages, footer content, and more.
Shift4Shop is integrated with Shift4 Payments right out of the box, so you can get set up to take credit cards and popular alternative payment methods within a few minutes. Other alternate payments are also included in our integrations, so you can expand the options you offer your customer base.
Ensure you charge the right amounts of sales tax, based on the location of your business and your customers, by setting up the appropriate rates in Shift4Shop's built-in tax manager. You can define rates by country, province, state, and even a range of ZIP codes. Shift4Shop can handle VAT and you will find these settings within the tax manager as well.
Shipping methods are quick to set up, thanks to Shift4Shop's real-time integrations with several domestic and international carriers. Enter your basic information in your Shipping Settings and then add your carriers in Shipping Methods.
Once you're done transferring your data and following the other above steps, your migration from BigCommerce is almost complete. All that's left is for you to point your domain name to the location of your Shift4Shop store. If you already have a domain name, you'll need to log into your domain registrar account and change your DNS settings to connect to your Shift4Shop store. If your domain was registered for you by Shift4Shop, you can simply contact us to make this change for you. It can take up to 48 hours for your domain's new settings to propagate, but it usually happens much more quickly.
Your final step is to create 301 redirects to prevent any of your old BigCommerce links from breaking. Shift4Shop's built-in 301 redirect setup makes it simple to create them, so any customers visiting your old links will automatically be sent to the new ones. If you have a large number of redirects to create, you can import 301 redirects into Shift4Shop via CSV.
With this last step complete, your new and improved eCommerce website has gone live and is ready to accept orders. Congratulations on moving your business to Shift4Shop. We are proud to have you with us!
If you want help with your online store's migration, please contact Shift4Shop for a free Migration Consultation. If you're brand new to Shift4Shop, we welcome you to contact Shift4Shop Sales to claim a coupon for a free data migration from BigCommerce in which our experts will handle the bulk of the process for you.