Last Updated: May 1, 2024


Rohit Rawat


According to Backlinko, Shopify has over 4.6 million live websites using its platform, with more than 2.8 million of those stores in North America as of April 2024. This proves how popular Shopify is as an ecommerce platform! However, as businesses grow, they might consider ecommerce replatforming to gain the flexibility and customization required for scalability.

Shopify is great for getting a store online quickly, especially for smaller businesses. You don't need to stress about setting up your own website or finding hosting – Shopify takes care of the technical side. It's designed to be user-friendly, so you can select a design, add your products, and start selling fast.

However, as your business grows and your needs become more complex, Shopify's "out-of-the-box" approach can become a limitation. This is where ecommerce replatforming comes in – migrating your store from Shopify to a different platform that provides greater flexibility and customization.

And for businesses seeking maximum control over the customer experience and future-proof technology, a headless ecommerce approach combined with custom development offers unparalleled adaptability.

This blog post will explore some of Shopify's biggest drawbacks and discuss when it might be time to switch to a custom ecommerce development that can support your continued growth.

Limitations of Shopify That Prompt Ecommerce Replatforming

Too Many Apps

Shopify wasn't designed to do everything. To get powerful features, you often have to add many separate apps. Plus, not all tools were made by the same company, so they might not fit together perfectly, causing glitches in your store.

Limited Product Options

Shopify doesn't handle complex products well. Say you sell shirts in a bunch of sizes, colors, and patterns – Shopify will struggle to display everything neatly. And if you want customers to personalize items, it gets even harder. If you have complex products or let customers design their own things, Shopify's limits become a real problem.

Hard to Organize

Shopify's way of organizing products is pretty basic. You can't have the kind of detailed categories that make shopping easy, like "Women's Clothing > Tops > T-shirts". This makes your store feel less polished, and even hurts your website's ability to show up in search results when people are looking for specific items. This becomes a real problem for small brands that rely on organic searches and ranking to reach their audience.

Checkout Troubles

You can't completely change how your checkout page looks or works on Shopify. This is a HUGE problem. For example, if you want to offer "buy now, pay later" options, but Shopify doesn't support it – you're stuck! Making checkout fast and simple is crucial for actually making sales, and Shopify takes away some of your control there.

These are the points that might prompt a business owner using Shopify to opt for ecommerce replatforming.

In the next section, we will discuss when you should consider migrating from Shopify to a custom ecommerce store.

Migrate to a custom ecommerce platform

When Should You Consider Ecommerce Migration From Shopify to Custom Ecommerce Store

Ecommerce Migration From Shopify to Custom Ecommerce Store

When You Need Extensive Customization

For a brand to stand out in the market, it needs to evoke emotions in its customers that will help with brand recall. We are sure you want the same for your brand too. But for that to happen, you need to have a bold vision for your store's design.

However, if your current platform limits your ability to achieve that unique look, feel, and customer experience, it may be time to consider replatforming. You may find Shopify's themes and apps too restrictive to achieve your unique look and feel. Additionally, if you require features that go beyond what's readily available on the platform, you might struggle to implement them effectively.

For example, you might need a highly interactive product configurator where customers can personalize an item in 3D. This level of customization might be difficult to achieve with Shopify's built-in features or apps.

While Shopify might get you part of the way there, achieving the exact functionality you envision could be difficult within their platform's restrictions. Also, polishing the feel to perfectly match your brand identity might also be a challenge.

How a Custom Ecommerce Store Can Help

A custom-built ecommerce store removes the constraints of pre-made themes and limited app functionality. It gives developers the freedom to bring your branding vision to life. This could involve crafting unique product displays, integrating interactive elements, or developing niche features perfectly tailored to your specific business model.

Instead of trying to cram your store into Shopify's boxes, a custom build allows you to create a store that's a perfect fit. It enhances your brand identity and provides a truly memorable experience that keeps customers coming back.

Learn More - Refactor Vs Replatform

When You Have to Scale Up and Improve Performance

If your store's growth is leading to significant traffic surges, like during big sales events, you might find that Shopify struggles to keep up. This results in sluggishness or even downtime. These issues can hurt your sales and damage customer experience. 

If scaling limitations like this become a serious concern, an ecommerce migration to a custom ecommerce platform might be the solution.

Additionally, if your site needs exceptionally fast load times to rank well in search results (especially crucial in competitive markets), achieving that level of optimization on Shopify can be tricky. 

And as your business truly scales, Shopify's transaction fees, while reasonable at smaller volumes, can begin to seriously eat into your bottom line.

For example, if a holiday promotion causes a massive spike in traffic, you want to be certain your store can handle the influx while customers remain happy. A slow-loading website during peak periods could drive shoppers away.

How a Custom Ecommerce Store Can Help

With a custom ecommerce multistore, you gain the ability to fine-tune performance and scale your infrastructure to handle any level of traffic. This means no more worries about your site crashing during peak seasons and eating up potential revenue.

By working with experienced developers, they can meticulously optimize code and server configurations for maximum speed, giving you an edge in SEO rankings.

Additionally, with a custom solution you're no longer stuck with Shopify's transaction fees, potentially saving significant sums as your business grows.

When You Require Advanced Integrations

If your business relies on specialized tools or proprietary systems, you might find that Shopify's pre-built integrations aren't enough. For example, a large enterprise might have a custom-built inventory management system, or a niche business might utilize specialized shipping software.

While Shopify offers numerous integrations, connecting these bespoke systems often requires a custom-built solution. In these cases, exploring ecommerce replatforming to custom ecommerce store might be a smart long-term strategy.

How a Custom Ecommerce Store Can Help

A custom ecommerce store allows developers to build seamless bridges between your website and these essential behind-the-scenes systems. That ensures smooth operations and avoids manual data entry errors.

When You Desire Total Control and Ownership

With Shopify, you're ultimately building your store within the confines of their platform. This means limited control over your store's underlying code, potentially hindering your ability to quickly implement urgent changes or unique features vital to your business strategy.

For example, if competitor analysis reveals a critical new trend you need to capitalize on, you're dependent on Shopify to eventually add support for that functionality (if they ever do). You're subject to Shopify's security practices, and their development roadmap may not always align with your specific needs.

This can leave you concerned about potential long-term vulnerabilities or changes to the platform's direction that could negatively impact your store. If these limitations become roadblocks to growth or innovation, ecommerce replatforming to a more flexible solution could be a viable solution.

How a Custom Ecommerce Store Can Help

A custom ecommerce website grants you complete ownership and control over your codebase.  This empowers you to respond to critical trends and pivot based on your own insights. It also allows you to implement new features without relying on a third-party platform.

You also gain greater control over security protocols, allowing you to tailor them to your specific needs and risk tolerance. With a custom solution, your store's future direction lies entirely in your hands, giving you the freedom to innovate and adapt without limitations.

When You Compare Cost and Benefit

Shopify's transaction fees, while reasonable for smaller businesses, can become a significant burden as your sales volume grows. These fees are typically a percentage of each sale. Additionally, there's a fixed amount per transaction, both of which can silently chip away at your profits.

For example, imagine a scenario where your store is averaging $10,000 in monthly sales with a 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction fee structure on Shopify's Basic plan. This translates to roughly $320 in transaction fees each month.

However, if your business experiences a surge in growth, reaching $50,000 in monthly sales, those same fees jump to $1,600 – a substantial chunk of your hard-earned revenue.

While Shopify offers plans with slightly lower transaction fees for higher volume stores, these savings may not be enough. This is when ecommerce replatforming can be a compelling option.

How a Custom Ecommerce Store Can Help

With a custom ecommerce solution, you can entirely avoid Shopify's fees.

It's important to be realistic moving to a custom ecommerce store is a significant investment, both in upfront development costs and ongoing maintenance. Unlike Shopify's predictable subscription fees, you'll need to budget carefully for developers, hosting, and continued updates. However, it's crucial to consider the potential long-term benefits.

A custom store's unique features and optimized performance can potentially boost sales and give you a leg up on the competition. This increased revenue potential should be factored into your decision-making process. It can help determine if the investment in a custom solution outweighs the costs.

Migration From Shopify to Custom Ecommerce Store

Opt for Ecommerce Replatforming with Narola Infotech

The decision to migrate from Shopify to a custom ecommerce platform is complex. It involves a careful assessment of your current limitations, future goals, and the potential gains from greater control and flexibility.

Ultimately, ecommerce migration to a custom solution is a significant investment, and navigating the technical details can be daunting. It's wise to partner with an experienced ecommerce development team who understands the nuances of this process. Such a team can build a platform tailored to your specific needs.

This is where Narola Infotech comes in,

With our in-depth knowledge of custom solutions, we would be happy to consult you on how you can make the switch to a custom ecommerce platform.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

See the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below.

Ecommerce replatforming refers to the process of migrating an online store from one ecommerce platform, such as Shopify, to a custom-built ecommerce platform tailored to the specific needs of the business.

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