Please note that this is not a full review of the Cart2Cart service. We only had experience with migrating from a customized Zen Cart site to Magento 126.96.36.199. We make no attempt to critisise or praise Cart2Cart. This article simply offers a view into the benefits and pitfalls of the result in our specific case.
In one of my recent Magento projects, our client used the Cart2Cart service to import product, customer and order history data from a Zen Cart site into their new Magento site. The promise seemed great, the cost very competitive and the convenience of having all the customers order history was also compelling.
It is of note that the source Zen Cart site had some custom work done on it and the Cart2Cart service created a specific migration suite and performed the migration work manually in our case. In other words, we did not use any Cart2Cart online wizards.
So let’s break our experience up into the 3 areas:
1. Customer Import
This is the most straightforward import since Zen Cart uses the same password encryption mechanism and also stores comparable customer data as Magento. We found no issues with this part.
2. Order History
To our surprise, Cart2Cart successfully imported all previous orders into Magento. The order history gave us no problems either. Our client raised the question of the dashboard totals not being close to the actual sales figures but it transpired that most orders were imported in Pending state. I don’t really know what the orders original Zen Cart order statuses were and whether they could have been imported as Complete had their Zen Cart status been set accordingly.
In any case, Cart2Cart is the only service known to us that provides order history import into Magento, so big thumbs up on this.
3. Product Import
This area gave us the most headaches.
The original catalog contained mostly configurable products based on size attributes. We already had a size attribute set up in our default attribute set however, the cart2cart import ignored this and created new size attributes for almost every individual configurable product. To make things worse, for each of the new size attributes, the import also created a separate attribute set.
This means that the import ended up creating over 100 separate size attributes as well as the same number of attribute sets.
Ok, so the store can work fine with all this extra data but it looks and feels messy especially since the attribute names have long unique identifiers as you can see from the screenshots.
Another thing I noticed was that the category maintenance now had an additional tab called “General” with only a Short_description field. Presumably Zen Cart has an additional category attribute that was created and imported but at least I think it would be nice if it could have been added to the standard Magento General Information tab.
A good thing with the product import was that it managed to import the multiple product gallery images the original catalog had and most of the other product data was complete.
So far so good.
After we had the store live for a while, we began receiving reports that the products don’t automatically go “Out of Stock” after a purchase of the last product making up a configurable product. This issue was easily remedied by manually running the stock index refresh but this should not happen in a healthy Magento store since Magento implements an event observer on
sales_model_service_quote_submit_success (when a sales quote object is successfully submitted upon receipt of a new order) that runs the
reindexQuoteInventory() method that updates the stock status for the items in the order.
So we embarked on a hunt to find the problem. After many debugging hours, we finally worked out that the data in the Magento product database for configurable products was incomplete. It transpired that simple products are linked to their configurable product parents in two separate database tables:
The first one was set up correctly, however the second one did not contain the same parent-child links and this was the reason that the Magento stock indexer couldn’t update the stock status correctly for our imported products.
Once we ran a SQL query to update the missing data, everything was fine.
Re-saving an imported configurable product also remedied the situation for that particular product.
Cart2Cart provide a great service to store owners who need and want to migrate their existing shop data across to a Magento store. However, given Magento’s complexity this is not always a straightforward process.
I found the customer and order history import very effective and they also provided an incremental import script that allowed for the import of any additional orders and customers on the go-live date. This was very valuable as it made us independent from having the Cart2Cart team available on go-live.
The product import wasn’t so perfect as outlined. Had we only had simple products to import, everything would have been fine but in our case, the catalog is messy and there were issues we had to spend a lot of time resolving.
My opinion is:
Use Cart2Cart if you want to migrate customer and order history data but be careful if you have a complex product setup. If your source store contains only simple products, then it would be fine. If you have complex products, then I would check if the import could be run only to import simple products and manually create the desired complex products in Magento or accept that your catalog will be messy.
- Very reasonable cost of service (depends on the number of items imported)
- No hassle import of Customers
- Only service that imports Order History (to our knowledge)
- Product import covers multiple (product gallery) images
- Incremental import script we could run ourselves
- Configurable product import adds multiple attributes and attribute sets for the same attribute
- Configurable product data integrity after import is incomplete in Magento (Cart2Cart could address this)
- Additional category tab created
What is your experience with services that offer data migration to Magento?
We just read on the Cart2Cart blog that they have taken the points in this review seriously and worked on improving their service. We appreciate this course of action and definitely would recommend giving Cart2Cart a go.
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