The eCommerce industry has witnessed a steady growth over the years with frequent spurts in between. The past few years have witnessed one of these spurts. This has been made possible by the advancements in technology, which have resulted in better connectivity and faster internet speeds.
With more people coming online, there is a greater need for businesses to have an online presence. This has given rise to a number of eCommerce platforms that allow businesses to set up their own online stores. For online stores, there are two options to sell their products:
- The first option is to set up online stores on their own websites
- The other is to put up their products on online platforms like Amazon.
As two of the most popular eCommerce platforms, Shopify and Magento offer businesses a lot of features and benefits. Both have their pros and cons and are preferred by different groups of people. Therefore, a Magento vs Shopify conversation is a must when one wants to set up an online business or an online sales platform for your existing business. Shopify is hosted and incredibly user-friendly—making it incredibly popular if you are just setting up your eCommerce business, whereas Magento is open-source and incredibly customizable and detailed meant—making it ideal for big-budget projects. Shopify vs Magento designs have a lot in common considering they both help create eCommerce websites. However, they have a few differing unique features as well.
But which one is the best option for your business? In this detailed comparison, we’ll take a look at the key features of each platform and see how they compare.
Shopify vs Magento Comparisons
Shopify is a comprehensive eCommerce platform that provides businesses with everything they need to create and run an online store. It is a hosted platform, which means that Shopify takes care of all the technical aspects of running your store, including hosting, security, updates, and more. Shopify is also one of the easiest platforms to use, with a user-friendly interface and simple tools for managing your products, orders, and customers.
Magento is another popular eCommerce platform, though it is less comprehensive than Shopify. Unlike Spotify, Magento is an open-source platform, which means that it is free to download and use. However, Magento is also a more complex platform than Shopify with a steeper learning curve, allowing for more customizations and the use of add-ons and integrations.
Pricing is a very delicate selection feature. Essentially there should be a balance of price to features. Both platforms offer a range of pricing options, depending on the size and needs of your business.
Shopify offers five main plans with a fixed monthly price: Starter Plan, Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify, Shopify Plus. The prices for these plans, respectively, are INR 399, 2200, 5990, 22680, and 1,60,000 (approx) per month. The key feature here is that Shopify is a hosted platform, which means that all your hosting needs are taken care of in the monthly plans presented earlier. Here are some additional costs
- Hosting: Free-$180
- App: Starts from $15/month
- Domain: Free or you can purchase domains through Shopify at $14/year
- Transaction: Shopify Lite(2.4%), Basic Shopify (2%), Shopify (1%), Advanced Shopify (0.5%), Shopify Plus (0.15%)
Magento is on an open-source platform so it does not charge a monthly subscription. It is free to download, install, update, and set up your store. However, this does not cover the cost of hosting and publishing your website. Therefore, those are additional charges.
The approx. development costs for the three types of plans are Open source ($12,000–57,000/year), Commerce (43,000–189,000/year), and Commerce Cloud (60,000–250,000/year).
- Hosting: You need to host Magento yourself. The cost of hosting will depend on the type of hosting you choose.
- Domain: Free or you can purchase domains through Magento.
- Transaction: Depends on the payment gateway you choose.
- Shipping: If you want to offer shipping to your customers, you need to purchase a shipping label from a third-party provider. The cost of shipping labels will depend on the provider you use as well as the type of shipping you offer (e.g., Standard, Expedited, etc.).
For a detailed breakdown of the total Magento Monthly costs, click here
Ease of Use:
Most business owners would obviously like an easy-to-use platform since most are not web developers or designers. However, there is a balance to be maintained between usability and scale of operations for your eCommerce. The more features you want to add, the level of complexity increases proportionately. The key here is what kind of balance are you looking for.
In terms of ease of use, Shopify definitely takes the cake. It is a complete SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that manages all aspects of your eCommerce business including hosting, payments, shipping, and even customer service tools.
The back-end administration is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. Everything is organized in a logical manner and you can easily find what you are looking for. The learning curve is relatively flat and most users will be able to get the hang of things very quickly.
Magento, on the other hand, is highly flexible and you can set up your store the way you desire; however, it is trickier to use because of the sheer number of options and directions available for you to utilize. The interface is not as user-friendly as Shopify’s, and the learning curve is significantly steeper.
It makes up for it in the fact that you can change just about anything in Magento to better match your brand or products.
Sales tools are crucial to eCommerce platforms as they allow you to upsell, cross-sell, and engage with customers in a way that encourages them to buy more from your store.
When it comes to sales tools, Shopify has you covered with everything you need to succeed. With features like automatic tax calculations, abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, and discount codes, and partnerships with courier services like USPS, DHL Express, UPS, and Canada Post, you will have all the resources you need to make your store a success.
Magento also offers a range of sales tools to help you boost your revenue. With features like customer segmentation, product personalization, and targeted promotions, you can create a shopping experience that is tailored to your customers’ needs and wants. Some of the classic sales tools from Magento include: customized checkout, multi-channel selling options, abandoned cart recovery, and set percentages with fixed discounts.
Access to effective marketing tools is crucial for any eCommerce business. After all, without marketing, how will you attract customers to your store?
Shopify comes with a built-in blog that you can use to write engaging content and connect with your customers on a personal level. In addition, Shopify also offers a range of other marketing tools to help you promote your business, including:
- Email marketing: With Shopify, you can send automatic abandoned cart emails, as well as product recommendations and order follow-up emails.
- SEO: With Shopify’s built-in SEO features, you can optimize your website and product pages for search engines to help you attract more organic traffic.
- Social media: You can use Shopify’s social media features to connect with customers on various platforms and promote your products.
- Advertising discounts: Shopify offers discounts on Google and Facebook Ads to help you get started with marketing your business.
Shopify also offers a number of features to help you run your business smoothly, including:
- Customer profiles: Shopify stores customer information so you can keep track of your buyers and better understand their needs.
- Shipping and payment options: You can choose from a variety of shipping and payment options to best suit your business’s needs.
Magento, on the other hand, is a more complex eCommerce platform that does not come with a built-in blog, but you can add one using the Magento platform. In addition, Magento offers a range of marketing and promotion tools, including:
- Email marketing: With Magento, you can create and send newsletters to your customers to keep them updated on your latest products and promotions.
- Coupons and discounts: You can offer coupons and discounts to encourage customers to buy from your store.
- Product reviews: Magento allows you to collect customer reviews and display them on your product pages.
Magento also offers a range of enterprise-level features, including:
- Customer segmentation: Magento allows you to segment your customers based on their purchase history, location, and other factors.
- Advanced product options: Magento offers advanced product options, such as configurable products and bundles.
- Multi-store management: Magento’s multi-store feature allows you to manage multiple online stores from a single Magento installation.
However, you will likely need to rely on a web developer to integrate your marketing tools if you want truly bespoke features.
Themes and plugins
Themes are a vital part of any eCommerce store, as they control the overall look and feel of your site. his is important as it allows you to have a foundation for further customizations later on.
Shopify offers a range of themes and plugins to help you customize your online store. You can buy Shopify themes from the Shopify Theme Store or from third-party providers. There are 10 free and 64 premium themes that cost anywhere from $140-$180 each. These themes are mobile responsive and once you’ve chosen one, you can go nuts with the customization including changes in the moving and resizing of design elements, color palette, and integration of the social media feeds.
Magento offers a wide range of themes and plugins to help you customize your online store. You can buy Magento themes from the Magento Marketplace or from third-party providers. There are currently over 3,000 themes, starting from the ready-made ones at $100 to custom-generated ones available ranging in price from $600-$2,500. These themes are also mobile responsive and give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to customization.
Apps and Add-ons:
Apps and add-ons are important for any eCommerce platform. This includes advanced checkout options, improved search functionality, and expanded payment options. These are important as well as they determine the overall performance of your eCommerce platform.
Shopify has a huge app store with over 4,400 apps to choose from. These apps can help you do everything from marketing and SEO to accounting and shipping. You can also find apps to help you create custom products, automate your order fulfillment, and even dropship products.
Magento Marketplace is not as big as Shopify’s, with only 2,000+ extensions available. However, you can find plenty of useful plugins to help with things like marketing, payments, shipping, and more. One big advantage of Magento is that it offers a lot more customization options than Shopify. The kind of apps that you can use with Magento include custom product options, price rules, and customer groups.
You can also create custom landing pages and checkout flows. This is perfect if you want to create a completely unique shopping experience for your customers. However, all this customization can be a double-edged sword. If you’re not a developer or don’t have access to one, then you’ll likely need to hire someone to help you with all the customization.
Integration and Migration:
A number of apps, add-ons, and extensions are available for your eCommerce website. These types of software provide additional features while allowing certain aspects of marketing to be automated. This is an important requirement because nobody wants to start from scratch.
Shopify offers a wide range of integrations with popular business tools like QuickBooks, Google Analytics, Xero, and MailChimp. You can also find plenty of apps to help you connect Shopify to your existing systems. If you’re migrating from another platform, Shopify has Migration Specialists to help with the process.
Magento offers a few options for integration, including an extension marketplace, Magento Connect, and REST and SOAP APIs. If you need help migrating to Magento, there are plenty of resources available online, including tutorials and third-party services. There are some popular apps that you might want to integrate into your store like Free Shipping Bar or Sales Countdown Timer for example, which means that you’ll need to look at other e-commerce platforms if you wish something outside of the box.
Speed and performance become so important when considering whether or not to go with a particular e-commerce platform- after all, there’s no point in having a great theme/marketing strategy if your website takes hours to load!
Shopify is a true cloud platform, meaning it’s built on a network of servers that are always up and running. This makes for a very stable and fast platform that allows users to quickly load pages with little to no downtime. This is because it utilizes lightweight code and has CDN (Content Delivery Network) capabilities.
Additionally, Shopify has easy-to-handle caching mechanisms that make sure your pages load quickly while still delivering fast results when using search functions on your website.
Magento is an on-premises eCommerce platform, which means it’s installed on your own servers. However, because it’s open-source, you have the freedom to optimize it for speed and performance. There are a number of resources available online to help you troubleshoot any performance issues you may encounter. For example, the Magento Stack Exchange is a great place to get started.
Security is an important feature to consider because it helps to protect your website from attacks. This is vital because if your website is compromised, it could put your customer’s information at risk.
Shopify is a closed platform, which means that it takes care of all the security upgrades and patches for you. All you need to do is keep your Shopify account up to date. In addition, Shopify uses a 128-bit SSL certificate to encrypt data transfers, so you can rest assured that your customers’ information is safe. The functions they offer are:
- Fraud analysis
- SSL Certificates are available for every Shopify sites
- PCI Compliance
- GDPR Compliance
Magento is also a very secure platform. However, since it’s open-source, it’s important to keep your site up-to-date with the latest security patches. For example, the recent Magento 2.3.1 security patch addresses a number of critical vulnerabilities, including an SQL injection flaw that could allow attackers to take over your site.
Some of the security features offered by Magento are:
- Two-factor authentication
- PCI Compliance
- SSL Certificates
Mobile responsiveness and multilingual capabilities:
These are valuable features because they enable you to reach a wider audience.
Shopify is a platform that was built with mobile responsiveness in mind. All Shopify themes are automatically responsive, so you don’t have to worry about your site not looking good on mobile devices.
As for multilingual capabilities, Shopify offers an app called Lang Shop that can help you translate your store into multiple languages.
Magento’s mobile responsiveness is not as good as Shopify’s. However, it does offer a few responsive themes that you can use. And if you’re willing to put in the work, you can make your Magento site mobile-responsive with a little bit of coding.
Magento does have built-in multilingual capabilities. So, if you want to reach a global audience, Magento can help you do that.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) greatly impacts how well a business does online because most people start their search for products or services with Google.
Shopify is built with SEO in mind. All of its themes are automatically optimized for Google and other search engines. In addition, Shopify provides you with an SEO checklist to help you optimize your site even further. Merchants can simply set up their online store and start ranking for relevant keywords without any technical knowledge or prior experience, making it one of the best platforms for beginners. Additionally, Shopify alerts you to popular long-tail keywords that aren’t already targeted by your competitors
Magento is also built with SEO in mind. However, because it’s more complex than Shopify, it can be more difficult to optimize your site for search engines. For an experienced marketer, Magento does offer advanced features such as custom meta information which can help you rank higher in search engines. It also offers something called “URL Rewrites” which lets you create keyword-rich URLs for your online store pages without any technical knowledge required.
Payment gateways are an important part any eCommerce website as they are responsible for processing customer payments.
Shopify has its own payment gateway, Shopify Payments, which is powered by Stripe. It’s available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and a few other countries. If Shopify Payments is not available in your country, Shopify enables you to use several other payment gateways to make payments.
Magento is an open-source platform, so it doesn’t have its own payment gateway. You’ll need to choose and set up a third-party payment gateway that works for your business. Magento payment gateways comparisons could include PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout. These payment gateways cover most countries and you can include other payment gateways as per the scope of your sales.
As you can see, both Shopify and Magento offer a range of features to help you market your online store. So, which platform is right for you? It really depends on your needs and preferences.
Shopify is a great option, if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution with everything you need to get started. However, , Magento allows you more flexibility and customization, making it a better fit for extensive operations. Whichever platform you choose, we hope this comparison has helped you make a decision.
Our eCommerce development team at Pixel Street is experienced in using both Shopify and Magento, allowing us to help you determine which platform is the best fit for your business. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our eCommerce development services, please contact us.