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An Alternative to Adobe Business Catalyst: Shopify

Moving From Adobe Business Catalyst: A Solution in Shopify

As I wrote previously, in Adobe Abandons Another Product, those of us who relied upon Business Catalyst for our clients’ e-commerce solutions were jolted out of our complacency by the sudden announcement that Adobe would be dumping the program. While Business Catalyst was hopelessly behind the curve in web development standards (not automatically responsive, and no responsive menu system), it had many features for customer management, marketing, and inventory control which made it effective for many clients’ needs.

Adobe was forced to delay its cancellation of the program by the outrage of customers and developers alike, who needed time to investigate and migrate their stores to other platforms.  This is especially true for clients with large inventories of products. In my research, I found that the best solution for my clients is Shopify. Shopify has most of the features of BC. It integrates with MailChimp, which replaces the BC newsletter feature. It has a way to create a wholesale area for distributors that retail customers cannot access.  It has a well recognized business and shopping cart platform and has been around a while.

There is a way to manually transfer information through CSV export files, but I found that using a third party service called Litextension’s Shopify Migration Tool, I was able to import all 330 inventory pieces, with their photos, for my client Ben-Dannie, Inc. And using an available App called Blogfeeder, I was able to transfer not only their blogs from BC but also from their Facebook page.   It took about 3 weeks to create a new design and complete the transfer, but overall it was relatively painless.

There are a few weaknesses of Shopify. It does not have a native drag and drop feature for page design similar to that of WordPress. You can purchase apps that allow your more control, or code it yourself, but most of the apps in their store require an ongoing subscription.  Its media library feature suffers from a lack of  robust search options and its layout is too restricted for easy scrolling or listing.  And Shopify does not host your emails, even if you transfer the domain to them, so you must find a third party to host your emails.  That is not really a problem if you already use an exchange server, but if you don’t it can present a small hiccup, not the least of which is caused by Adobe’s seeming inability to release email hosting if you have previously chosen it as your mail host.

So, if you are looking for someone to help you move, I’ve been through the learning curve and you can contact me at Peterson Design Studio.  If you prefer to do it yourself or already have a designer, I’d appreciate if you use this referral link to help me underwrite this blog.

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