Why migrate from commercetools to Shopify Plus?

Cloud-based headless commerce platform commercetools is a solution built on MACH principles (Microservice-based, API-first, Cloud-native and Headless). A leading solution in the composable commerce ecosystem, it provides APIs to power highly flexible digital commerce experiences. It is also a founding member of the MACH Alliance.

However, increasing numbers of retailers are finding that the reality of building with commercetools is more time-consuming, costly and frustrating than they had anticipated. For this reason we’re seeing a growing (and perhaps surprising) trend of larger retailers such as Universal Music migrating from commercetools to Shopify.

There are broadly two reasons for this.

Some retailers remain persuaded by the advantages of building a composable commerce stack, but are looking for a more flexible solution and a lower total cost of ownership than commercetools can provide.

In some instances, brands who have made the move to headless/composable recognise that they made this transition too early in their journey, and that their commercetools solution is putting a drain on budgets and (ironically perhaps) negatively impacting their ability to innovate. 


How does Shopify compare to commercetools?

Whilst Shopify has traditionally been strawmanned as a monolithic platform, and its suitability for enterprise brands frequently downplayed by the composable commerce movement, the tide is changing rapidly.

The launch of Commerce Components by Shopify (CCS) has cemented Shopify as a genuine contender amongst composable commerce solutions. It also validates Shopify’s place in the enterprise ecommerce market, with the capability to power the biggest and most complex global retailers.

For brands wanting the flexibility of a composable commerce solution, without the tech burden and user challenges of commercetools, CCS combines the high-performance, intuitive foundation of the Shopify platform with the ability to pick and choose modular components and access flexible APIs. Retailers on Shopify can now build digital commerce experiences – and scale their businesses – with more flexibility than ever before.

If you’ve been overwhelmed by your experience of commercetools and are looking for a more manageable, scalable solution that your in-house team is able to deploy more efficiently, there are various options available to you using Shopify Plus. These include headless options deploying Hydrogen (Shopify’s modern React framework) and Oxygen (Shopify’s edge network hosting counterpart), and even a more conventional tech stack built upon Store 2.0 (which unlocked a new level of functionality and flexibility for store owners and developers when it was released in 2021).

An intuitive platform known for enabling and expediting innovation, Shopify empowers users to deploy new features and campaigns quickly and easily, without the need for technical support. What’s more, Shopify retailers also have access to the platform’s market leading app and third-party ecosystem, as well as an advanced suite of checkout customisations in the form of Checkout Extensibility.

Versatile, flexible and remarkably scalable, Shopify Plus is a hugely powerful – yet affordable – commerce solution with an altogether compelling value proposition for enterprise retailers.



Replatform from commercetools to Shopify with Swanky

As one of the most experienced full-service Shopify Plus agencies on the planet, we have significant experience migrating the largest of brands to the Shopify platform. We’ve refined a robust replatforming process that ensures a seamless and secure transition for your data and your SEO rankings.

Discovery & analysis

The discovery phase underpins the entire project, guiding our decision-making throughout. We will study the performance of your current commercetools website, consult on your tech stack, assess any international store requirements, and scope out any custom development work that might be necessary.

Page template design

Our UX design team will transform their ‘look and feel’ design concepts into compelling page template designs that leverage data, creativity and consumer psychology.

Third party integrations

With technical specialists and app developers integrated into our New Builds team, we’re able to confidently navigate the intricacies of third party platform integrations and app configuration on Shopify Plus. We have extensive experience leveraging bespoke middleware development or integration tools like Patchworks.

Product data setup & import

During this phase, we will export your product data from commercetools and ensure it is correctly configured for your Shopify website. Your Swanky Project Manager will lead on this, leveraging their migration expertise to ensure a smooth import process.

Shopify Plus store development

Swanky’s development team will code a high-performance Shopify Plus store, complete with any bespoke solutions that were briefed at the beginning of the project. This could involve building on Store 2.0 or Hydrogen headless storefront development. If relevant, we’ll handle subscription and payment gateway migrations in this phase.

Order & customer data import

We will export your order and customer data from commercetools, before reworking it into a Shopify-friendly format and importing it into your new ecommerce platform.

Training & QA

We will provide training for your ecommerce team on core Shopify Plus functionality, ensuring you’re set up for success once your new store launches. Meanwhile, our QA team will test your new website according to key functional specifications.

User acceptance testing

Following a period of user acceptance testing by your team, your new Shopify Plus site will go live.

Hugo von Halle, Director of Finance & Operations at Olivia von Halle

Everything went according to plan. It was a real relief to have it all done on time. Swanky were very good at laying out the plan of action, with what needed to happen and when. It was really straightforward.


Shopify migration case studies

Find out more about the brands we’ve already migrated to Shopify Plus.


Resources to help your migration to Shopify Plus

Contact us about migrating from commercetools to Shopify Plus.

To find out more about our ecommerce migration service and how we can kickstart your new journey on Shopify Plus, reach out to our team today.