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5 Tips for a Successful BigCommerce Migration

If you aren’t happy with your current e-commerce platform, you may be considering a migration to BigCommerce. From the security of a hosted SAAS platform to the plethora of features and functionality that BigCommerce provides, moving your website to BigCommerce can lead to increased sales and easier store management.

But like any big project, migrating your website can have risks if you don’t do it properly. I’ve helped dozens of merchants migrate to BigCommerce from platforms like Magento, Volusion and Shopify. Most store owners know the major tasks they need to do, but there are some things people can easily overlook. Therefore, here are my top five tips for a successful BigCommerce migration.

Clean Up Product Data Before Importing It

You’ve probably heard that old saying along the lines of “garbage in, garbage out”. That definitely holds true for an e-commerce website migration. There’s no point building a great new website if your data is bad. This is especially important for product information. You don’t want to launch your brand new store only to immediately have to start cleaning it up. Plus, you’ll likely want to promote your new website to existing customers. If they’ll be giving it a lot of attention, it shouldn’t disappoint!

Whether you’ll be manually importing your products or using a 3rd party app like LitExtension, I recommend cleaning up your product data before you migrate it. That means removing any errors in product descriptions, making sure your product images are the right size, double-checking all your prices, etc. If you’re using a 3rd party migration app, you’ll want to do this cleanup in your current platform before running the app. If you’ll be manually adding your products, you can do a lot of this cleanup in the BigCommerce import file before uploading it to your new store.

Copy Over Any Linked Images or Files

When doing migrations to BigCommerce for clients, I often encounter linked photos and files in product descriptions and blog posts. These can be PDF files such as product specs or instruction manuals, or embedded images like size charts and illustrations. Those files and images live on your current hosting platform, so when you switch over to BigCommerce, links to them will no longer work. You don’t want shoppers getting a 404 error or broken images on your new website.

Do your best to identify and document any linked files and images prior to starting your BigCommerce migration. Then either manually save them to a folder on your computer or use a browser tool like DownThemAll to automatically download them. Images can be imported to your BigCommerce store’s Image Manager, while files can be uploaded to the server using WebDav.

While migrating your content, you’ll need to replace existing image and file URLs with their new URLs so the links still work after your hosting change. If you’re savvy with Excel, you can use “find and replace” to update URLs in product descriptions with their new path.

Customize Your Order Statuses

When migrating to BigCommerce, you’ll want to keep your order statuses consistent to minimize customer confusion. For example, newly placed orders on your old website may have a status of “Order Received”, but on BigCommerce that status is “Awaiting Fulfillment” or “Awaiting Payment” by default. Existing customers may not know what those statuses mean after you migrate, resulting in customer service calls or emails.

But don’t worry, BigCommerce makes customizing order statuses easy to do in the Orders area of the control panel. Simply edit each status and change the display name and description as needed. In fact, this is one of the things I often help clients do when I’m consulting on their migrations.

Add Tracking Codes for Analytics & Advertising

After your migration, you’ll want to keep tabs on how your new website is doing. Analytics programs like Google Analytics are key to understanding your BigCommerce store’s performance. In addition, you don’t want there to be any gaps in sales tracking for your advertising channels, whether that’s email marketing, paid search or affiliate networks.

Before launching your new website, make sure you have copied over tracking scripts and conversion pixels to the Script Manager or Data Solutions area of BigCommerce. If your scripts include variables for order ID or order amount, you’ll need to update those to the BigCommerce versions, which can be found in this support article.

Upload 301 Redirects

The worst thing for customers (and your search engine rankings) is to end up on dead pages after you’ve migrated your website. Since your BigCommerce store likely won’t have the same URL structure as your old website, adding 301 redirects is essential. 301 redirects will ensure that any customer bookmarks and links in search engines will continue to work post-migration. In addition, 301 redirects tell search engines that your pages’ permanent address (URL) has changed, allowing them to update your indexed pages more quickly.

It’s easy to do a bulk import of old URLs and new URLs in the settings area of your BigCommerce control panel. You can even upload 301 redirects before you’ve made your domain change – BigCommerce is smart enough to update the domain part of each URL once you launch. Simply download the bulk 301 redirect sample file, fill in your URLs and then import them into your store.


Migrating to BigCommerce involves many steps, and it can be easy to forget some key tasks. But with the above tips, your transition will be more successful in both the short term and the long run.

For more helpful advice and insights, check out my BigCommerce consulting services. They’re designed to provide the expertise you need to navigate the migration process. Or for a less hands-on migration, check out my BigCommerce migration services.