My name is Alice and I'm a part of the Guru team here at Shopify, and I'd be happy to help you out with your query!
If you want to duplicate, backup, or transfer your store's data, you will need to export a series of CSV files from your original store, and have them saved to use again in the event of something happening or you wished to move to a new store. You can also download a copy of your theme as a backup. You can see more on how to do this here.
If you wished to backup using an app either, you could do this using an app such as Rewind which saves products and product images, customers, orders, blogs, blog posts, comments, collections, themes and all the theme files in the secure Rewind Vault.
Hopefully this will help you out, and if you have any more questions on this, we're happy to help out 24-7! ?
You're right - the manual process from Shopify is laborous, complicated, and in fact doesn't even really work. (If your products get deleted - all the images in your CSV file won't be imported when you import the file).
The only way to get a true backup of your system is to install our backup app, Rewind, into your Shopify store. We'll backup your products, orders, customres, collections, themes and theme files, and a few other things, and save them in our Rewind Vault. You can go back to any previous version of any item at any time.
Rewind is the #1 backup app for Shopify, and is currently backing up over 1 billion items for thousands of store owners.
Typically we see customers needing a backup because of three reasons:
Rewind protects your store against all of these potential causes of disaster.
I'm happy to answer any questions you have about Rewind, or backing up your Shopify store in general.
For this I would suggest the Excel Import Export app, which will allow you to save all Products, Collections and Customers in one Excel file: https://apps.shopify.com/excel-export-import
And if you damage something in your store, you can just import that same saved Excel file back as Import.
There are a number of reasons why exporting data to Excel isn't a sufficient backup solution. We wrote a blog post about it at https://blog.rewind.io/2017/05/08/3-reasons-your-shopify-product-csv-file-might-not-help-you-when-yo...
(Although that talks about Shopify CSV files, it applies to all CSV exports)
The main one is that the images in the file are deleted when products are deleted. A backup system needs to save and rewind those images in the case of an emergency. There's a reason why our backup app Rewind has 250 5-star reviews - that's one of it's main benefits.
Yep, you are super right about that - I have also stumbled on that same issue about images.
Well, our Excel Import Export app is brand new, we don't have reviews yet, so you - great job, guys! Total Respect.