Importing Orders without Importing Products

In most cases, the first thing you'll move from WooCommerce to Shopify is your products. However, if you have already recreated the products in Shopify, you may want to skip importing products and only import orders. While it is possible to do so, there are some drawbacks. 

In this article, we'll explain the pros and cons of skipping the product import. 

In order to follow along, you should have:

Linked Orders vs. Un-Linked Orders

In order for the app to create links between your products and orders, products must be imported via the app first. If you skip this step, orders will list the products but will not show images of the products or be linked back to them. This is because the app needs to be able to keep track of the exact WooCommerce variant that matches each Shopify variant to link them up properly. 

In some cases, other apps require the orders to be linked to products to function, and skipping the product import could cause problems within these apps.

In the first image below, products were imported via the Ablestar WooCommerce Importer app before orders. Because products were imported first, you can see both a picture of the item and a live link back to the Holiday Hippo product. If you click the link, it will take you to the product.

When products are not imported, you will not see the link or the picture of the item, as in the image below. In this image, the orders were imported via the app without importing any products. Although we do see the correct product listed, there is no picture or link back to the product. 

URL Redirects

If you're already selling products through a WooCommerce store, people and search engines have already saved links to your site. When you switch your store over to Shopify, many of these links will break because Shopify has a different URL format for products. 

The Ablestar WooCommerce Importer app has the ability to create URL redirects for your products, but it can only do this for products that it has imported. Skipping the product import will stop the app from being able to generate the URL links. You can read more about generating URL redirects here.

Product Reviews

When you move your store from WooCommerce to Shopify, you might want to transfer your product reviews as well. Unfortunately, Shopify doesn't have a product reviews feature built-in, but they've provided a free Product Review app that can help.

Once you've imported your products with the Ablestar WooCommerce Importer app, you can download a CSV file that is formatted so you can quickly upload it to the Product Reviews app. The CSV file will include all product reviews from your WooCommerce site and will link them to the correct products on your Shopify store. However, when you skip the product import, the app loses the ability to export the product reviews. You can read more about creating product reviews here.

Re-Importing Products

If you have already recreated the products but feel you would benefit from having the products and orders linked, you may choose to re-import the products even though you have already created them. There are two ways to handle this:

  1. Delete the existing products, and import the products via the Ablestar WooCommerce Importer app.

After the product import is complete, import the orders. The drawback to this method is that you will lose any changes you made when recreating the products in Shopify, and if any new orders have been created with the new products, you would lose the link to those orders.

2. Leave the new Shopify products alone to import the old WooCommerce products using the Ablestar WooCommerce Importer app, allowing duplicate products to be created. Then, unpublish the duplicate products.

The duplicated products are easy to isolate as they are all tagged when imported. (To find them, open the app and click the link listed under Import Tag, as in the picture below.) This method allows you to keep the new products and links to any new orders that have occurred while also keeping the old products and orders linked. The drawback is your product list may be a bit cluttered.

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