Online retailing can be a fickle business. So much so that you may find yourself having to sunset one store and merge it with another in order to open up a new store that can increase your revenues. As easy as Shopify is for creating and running online stores, it is limited in its ability to merge multiple stores into one.
According to the official Shopify documentation, it is possible to merge accounts by exporting account information from the store you want to sunset and importing it into another. But you cannot do the same with order history or products. To preserve order history, you would have to export the data prior to closing your store. That data can be kept as a separate file for reference purposes. Any products you want to carry over would have to be entered manually.
Exporting and Importing Customer Data
The good news for merging multiple Shopify stores is that exporting and importing customer data is relatively easy. The process described below assumes you are not using a custom CSV template for your customer data. If you are, you might want to consult the Shopify documentation to ensure your custom document is correctly formatted prior to import. Otherwise, not all of your data will import properly.
To use default settings, open the Shopify store you intend to sunset and then navigate to the admin section. Click on ‘Customers‘, followed by ‘Export‘. You will be presented with a number of options:
- Current page
- All customers
- Selected customer
- Customer search.
Set your parameters and then export to a CSV file. CSV files can be read by most of the spreadsheet programs on the market. If you don’t have a spreadsheet or do not want to use one, export your customer data as a plain text file. A plain file can be read by just about any text editor or word processor.
To import your customer data into your other store, open that store and navigate to the ‘Customers‘ page as you did before. Instead of clicking ‘Export‘, click ‘Import customers’. You will be presented with a new dialogue box; click ‘Choose File’. If there’s a possibility you may have duplicate customers in both stores, you can click the checkbox to overwrite any customers that have duplicate e-mail addresses. Click ‘Import customers’ whenever you are ready.
All of this should be relatively straightforward for the most part. However, there is one limitation here: password data will not carry over through the export and into the import. Any customers you merge with another new store will have to be invited to create new account passwords. You can send individual e-mails or use Shopify’s bulk e-mail app available in the Shopify store.
Once you’ve imported customer data and saved order history and product information to separate files, you can sunset the old store and then redirect your URLs as you wish. The Shopify documentation explains URL redirecting if you are not sure how to do it.