Shopify vs Magento Detailed Comparison (2021)

The e-commerce industry has been witnessing remarkable growth thanks to a decade-long shift towards digitalization which will continue into the future as new startups emerge.

In today’s world, there are two options for e-commerce vendors available:

  1. To sell their products on online platforms such as Amazon, eBay.
  2. To sell their products directly on their website.

Website design is crucial as it’s the very first thing your customers notice in your store. Shopify, Magento, and Woocommerce vs Magento are some of the popular e-commerce platforms on the market, and selecting the proper platform for your online store is incredibly important. That being said, let’s compare Shopify vs Magento, based on their features, cost, ease of use, and other parameters.

In this article, we’ll be providing you with a comprehensive Shopify vs Magento comparison for your considerations. Let’s check it out!


Overview: Shopify vs Magento

Shopify is a hosted e-commerce solution built for businesses of all sizes. It’s designed to be used by individuals who are not necessarily tech-savvy or programmers, but also for developers looking to build customized stores.

On the other hand, Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform that was first released in March 2007. It wasn’t until 2010 that it became available as a fully functional hosted service. Shopify and Magento are both highly customizable shopping carts, however, they differ greatly in terms of price point and features offered.

Comparing the two can seem daunting at first because they run on different coding languages, have different purposes, offer varying levels of hosting options – either cloud-based or self-hosted – and both have their own set of pros and cons. Here, we’ll go over the main differences you should keep in mind when deciding between Shopify vs Magento.


10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Shopify and Magento

We have outlined some of the most important factors that you should consider when looking for an e-commerce platform. These platforms will help your business thrive, so it’s essential to do research on which one best fits all of these needs!

Pricing

One of the first things that you’re going to want to consider when choosing a platform for your e-commerce business is whether or not you’ll need all the bells and whistles, which come at a cost, or if you can make do without them.

Shopify

Shopify is free to use and charges a small fee for every transaction made in the store. While this plan is ideal for startups or even established brands looking to test out selling online without large overheads, there are additional features in the works that come with the second plan called Shopify Plus which charges additional per month costs. On top of this, both plans require you to pay transaction fees when your customers purchase something from you. These fees start at 0.5% but can be reduced by linking your store to a credit card processing account such as Paypal.

Magento

On the other hand, Magento offers three different pricing options: Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce, and Magento Enterprise. The free open source version is very limited when it comes to features that are available with the paid versions of this platform. The open-source software is completely free to download and use with no hidden costs or licensing fees associated with it. There will be hosting fees through which you’ll need to factor into your budget for your e-commerce store if you don’t have server space already available.

Verdict

There is a tie as both Shopify and Magento offer different pricing based on their platforms. 


Ease of Use

Any good e-commerce platform out there needs to be easy to use if it is going to attract new users and encourage them to keep coming back. If your site is too complicated, people will get frustrated and go elsewhere where they feel like they can accomplish their goals more easily 

Shopify

Shopify is easy to use because you only have to drag and drop elements without worrying about customizing the coding behind them. It features pre-made themes that are very modern and attention-grabbing. You can also create individual pages for each product, allowing shoppers to learn more about what they’re interested in with ease. Magento allows its users much more freedom than Shopify when it comes to design and usability, but it requires a lot of customization knowledge or hiring someone who does know how to work on such a platform.

Magento 

Magento also offers a comprehensive catalog of features that can be managed through an intuitive dashboard but it takes some time to get used to as the interface isn’t user-friendly at first glance. Also, with Magento, you are responsible for hosting your site and then managing it yourself with any assistance or expertise that may be required.

Verdict

Shopify is the clear winner here as it is easy to use even without much experience in e-commerce, making it more accessible to merchants of all levels.


Themes and Templates

We can all agree on how important it is for any e-commerce business looking to sell products online to have a well-designed website (even if it is simple, like Shopify!). This is why themes and templates are so important for e-commerce platforms as they help users to create a solid starting point, opening up options for customization later on.

Shopify

Shopify offers over 50 free and premium themes that vary in functionality and style. This allows you to start your store off on the right foot without breaking the bank. You can also purchase or download bundles of Shopify themes at discounted rates if there’s a specific style you’re going for. Shopify templates are easy to use and very versatile. They have thought about their audience when it comes to themes, making them appealing for beginners or experienced users who just want something simple without too many frills.

Magento

Magento also has many themes available but they’re usually designed by third-party suppliers which means they can have limited customization options included within them. There aren’t too many consignment template choices out there either so your chosen theme might not look exactly like the demo images. It offers more templates than Shopify. Giving you the option to choose exactly how your website will look. However, not all templates are user-friendly which means more time is required to get your site looking great. 

Verdict

Shopify is more versatile when it comes to themes and templates because of its ability to offer you more options that are search engine friendly.


Marketing Capabilities

Nowadays it’s not enough just to have a solid e-commerce platform- you also need to advertise and market! There are several different ways that both Shopify and Magento handle marketing but they each offer something unique in this area.

Shopify

Shopify has an app marketplace where you can install any apps (and there are many available) with ease, including those that will help you build a social media following or bring in new leads from other channels such as email marketing. In addition, the platform offers various types of advertising opportunities for those interested in promoting their store via popular ad networks such as Facebook and Google Adwords.

Magento

Magento also provides third-party apps which can be used to boost your store’s performance but these come at a cost much like Shopify’s. However, without adding any paid apps, Magento offers its users Google Shopping and we’ve found that it’s the only e-commerce solution out there that provides this service for free.

Verdict

Based on our experience with both platforms, Magento wins here because of its free Google shopping option available to all merchants.


Speed and performance

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

Shopify offers fast load times allowing users to access their store without any delay or annoying wait times. This is because they use lightweight templates with an open structure that requires less data transfer between servers allowing visitors to connect faster than ever before. It has a good track record when it comes to speed and performance due to its easy-to-handle caching mechanisms which minimize loading times while also delivering fast results when using dynamic request processing. With Shopify, you are locked into using their hosting service though which might put some off if they already have a website hosted elsewhere. It is recommended by Shopify to use a content delivery network (CDN) with your Shopify store if you have a larger catalog of products.

Magento

Magento also offers a fast and reliable e-commerce platform but it does require quite a bit of work to ensure that the performance is optimal as there are many speed-related issues that can occur when running on Magento. In addition, most CDNs don’t offer support for Magento so this may be another reason why merchants opt not to go with them. The good news though is that these problems have been fixed by hosting providers such as Cloudways who now include Magento 2 optimized servers which will provide faster speeds and higher scalability than previous versions.

Verdict

Shopify comes out ahead here because they’ve already optimized their hosting service to work well with Shopify which reduces the risk of speed and performance issues.


Upgrades Availability

The benefit of getting a frequent upgrade of the platform is that your platform always stays secure from all the known security threats and attacks from hackers and brute forces. Another benefit is that when the platform is upgraded its performance significantly boosts and new features and functionalities are added so that you don’t have to rely on other third-party integrations as much as you were before.

Shopify

Shopify has fewer modules available but ensures that those modules are updated regularly so they work properly. For example, Shopify offers a gift registry app that allows you to create a customizable sign-up form for wedding gifts. Once a customer buys a gift from your website they will be sent to their respective guest’s page where they can view or edit their gift selection. The only drawback of the app is that it does not integrate with any third-party apps such as Linnworks (the Magento equivalent).

Magento

Magento on the other hand has a tendency to be more expensive in the long run. Magento is compatible with various modules, which helps you achieve your goals if your site is to grow over time. However, many of these modules are very expensive and may no longer be available when you need them because they have not been updated by the developer or for any other reason.

For example, at one point Magento only had one module for gift registries which was Linnworks’ gift registry. If your store’s needs are more complex than what this offers, there were no alternatives to choose from. Also, Linnworks added an “upgrade fee” once you started using their gift registry that increased every year until it reached $150 annually. While this may not seem like a lot, as your site grows and your needs change, you could quickly find yourself with unusable module options because the developers have stopped developing them

Verdict

Shopify is the clear winner as Magento tends to be a bit expensive in the long run.


Payment gateway options

Payment gateways are an important part of any e-commerce marketplace as they serve as the interface between customers and online stores by offering secure transactions.

Shopify

Shopify’s payment gateway options are limited compared to Magento where you can take your pick from numerous providers such as PayPal, Authorize.net, First Data, and more. In addition, Shopify does not offer an offline payment option which means that if you wish to run a promotion or sale outside of your online store then this will not be possible unless you use a different e-commerce solution for this purpose.

Magento

Magento also offers multiple payment gateway options but these are not as easy to implement as with Shopify. However, there might be some merchants out there that prefer this option so they can select their payment provider which offers the best terms for them.

Verdict

Magento takes the lead here by offering more than one payment gateway option and helping merchants save money on fees where possible.


Integration

The number of apps and add-ons available for your e-commerce brand is an important aspect as it can help to improve its overall performance. Not only do these types of software provide additional features, but they allow certain aspects such as marketing to be automated which means less time will be required to manage those areas. 

Shopify

Shopify has created an easy way to find apps for your store through their app store containing plenty of free as well as paid applications. These can be used to increase your business productivity and the number of features available to you. Shopify offers its users a wide range of third-party apps that come highly rated and reviewed by other merchants who are currently using them. These include apps like Oberlo for dropshipping, Product Discount (a discount coupon generator), Sales Pop (order tracking notifications, etc.), and more. If you’re looking to do anything outside of THE ESSENTIALS of running an online store then Shopify will most likely have you covered.

Magento

Magento offers fewer apps but this is by design as it caters to more advanced users. These are also very well rated on the Magento Marketplace which shows that merchants trust them and find them useful. 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. This could be considered a downside of Magento though as WordPress is another place where merchants can get app deals from so they might not know about great deals on Magento extensions.

Verdict

Magento is clearly the king here because of the larger range of apps that are well-reviewed by other merchants.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

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

One of Shopify’s key strengths has always been its ease of use and this extends to SEO as well. 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. It also offers a built-in Google Keyword Planner tool so that you can easily search for new keywords and see how frequently users search for them on Google or YouTube. This keyword research tool lets you discover popular long-tail keywords that aren’t already targeted by your competitors. If you’re looking for a platform that is easy to use then you might want to go with Shopify as it caters to beginners and experienced merchants alike.

Magento

Magento on the other hand is not as SEO friendly as its direct competitor because of the steep learning curve involved. This means that if you’re already an experienced marketer who knows what they are doing or have prior experience with e-commerce platforms, then 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. However, it’s harder to use than Shopify and if you’re a beginner then SEO will be the last thing on your mind.

Verdict

Shopify takes the win here because it caters to all types of merchants and offers easy SEO controls that even beginners can use without any third-party apps or add-ons.


Customer Support

Support is incredibly important when deciding on a software platform because no matter how great your website’s features are or how easy it is to use, you’ll probably receive product or service inquiries from consumers who need help. However, if they’re unable to find the answer they’re looking for easily, they might turn elsewhere instead.

Shopify

Shopify stands out from the crowd in its range of customer service options, which go above and beyond what you would expect from most other e-commerce platforms. Whether you get stuck trying to set up your online store or need assistance getting your products into different currencies, Shopify’s support team is available by phone 24/7 every day of the year (even holidays) so you never need to wait around wondering what to do next.

Magento

Magento also offers support via email and social media channels but takes it a step further by offering live chat. This is great for quickly getting in touch with customer service reps whenever you need help at no extra cost.

Verdict

This one is a tie because both platforms offer almost identical customer support features. So, unless you need live chat 24/7 then Shopify would be the way to go.

Shopify vs Magento: Which One Should You Choose?

Shopify and Magento are two of the biggest players in the e-commerce space, each with its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand how they stack up against one another.

Shopify and Magento are relatively similar in many ways, with both having strengths and weaknesses. However, they are fundamentally different e-commerce CMSs that cater to slightly different audiences. Shopify tends to be easier for beginners (and more affordable), while Magento has a lot of power & flexibility (and typically costs more)


Conclusion

E-commerce websites offer many benefits and can increase customer satisfaction and profit. An e-commerce website allows consumers to shop online using secure payment systems and provides several advantages over traditional stores.

The right e-commerce website is key to any successful business. These two platforms really stand out from each other in terms of their competence; however, it all depends on what your goals are for running this site so don’t hesitate too long before deciding between them both – just make sure whichever one fits best will be perfect because as we know: there isn’t always room enough at first glance.

Get in touch with the Pixel Street- Web Design Company today for all of your web development needs! We’ve helped many businesses grow their online presence and would love to do so again. Reach out, we are here waiting on you 🙂