The ever-changing eCommerce industry comes with new trends that merchants are bound to follow in order to stay in the competition. New technologies are improving the customer experiences hence brands need to choose them wisely, allowing continued innovation. Along with trends, platform choice is equally important when building a strong foundation for your eCommerce. A strong base results in a lucrative and scalable business.
In this article, we will compare the two biggest and largely used eCommerce software solutions, Magento and Shopify. We will break down the analysis of the two platforms in terms of store management, ease of use, customizability, marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), performance, customer service, and pricing.
The ability for users to shop anywhere and anytime conveniently has become imperative. An advanced and robust eCommerce site renders the comfort to browse through numerous brands, products, categories, prices, and vendors in all sizes and materials.
The inclination towards eCommerce is the reason it provides the convenience of easy return, cancellation, or replacement of the item bought.
When the worldwide retail eCommerce sales were surveyed, it was observed that the adoption of eCommerce so quickly will grow its sales by $7.4 trillion by 2025. The stats show that there will always be scope for growth and scalability if you plan on investing in eCommerce and setting up an online store.
Shopify – Trusted By Millions of Businesses
Shopify is the most convenient and first option that comes to mind for those who want to begin their online store but with an all-in-one hosted solution. Shopify offers an intuitive user interface to captivate users and sell your products in no time.
Shopify makes everything effortless, including hosting. The platform offers everything from web hosting to SSL certification to ensure a seamless shopping experience. Moreover, eCommerce built on Shopify is highly responsive to help you grow your brand quickly. Your eCommerce site can be operated on any device and runs smoothly on a desktop as well.
Shopify renders a straightforward process with intuitive and functional, easy-to-use website builder tools and themes to integrate features you like and designs that match your business culture.
Regardless of its straightforward process, Shopify comes with a few cons as well. Shopify can have limited customization and requires expertise or professional support from eCommerce solution providers. We will study the pros and cons in detail. First, let us learn about Magento.
Magento – Build a Multi-channel Commerce Experience
The flexibility and customization Magento offers are exceptional, allowing you to customize designs from more than 4000 extensions. Magento is the best suite for those looking for complete control over the design and functionality of their site.
Magento is more community-driven, offering a vast audience the level of support they need. Users preferring a hands-on approach are likely to prefer Magento development services.
However, there is no cost to install or download the platform, yet the setup takes a very long time and again requires technical expertise to launch your online store on Magento.
Magento has separated its platform into two types to offer solutions for small, mid & large-scale organizations. Magento Open Source is for small and mid-sized businesses, while Magento Commerce is for large organizations.
Comparing the Two: Magento Vs Shopify
Let’s begin with the advantages of integrating each one of them.
Ease of Use
Both work differently for the startups when it comes to ease of use. Shopify seems to be easier for the first-timers as it offers a faster setup. Magento, on the other hand, requires technical knowledge and time for configuration.
Shopify asks to simply sign up to its website to have free 14-day access. The platform can set a demo store automatically with an intuitive interface for easy navigation, allowing easy configuration and relevant features into the store.
Magento, on the other hand, requires the download of Open Source and the choosing relevant web hosting, after which only you will have access to the new website and Magento dashboard. Further, you can keep track of orders and sales and count each item.
Store management consists of multiple features such as general management, payment, shipping, & more. Let us evaluate each one by one through Magento and Shopify vision respectively.
Here both Magento and Shopify allow unlimited product listings. Both Magento and Shopify can be equally right choices for online businesses of all sizes and types.
Both the platforms offer features to manage orders, sales, and billings through their respective dashboards. The only benefit you get from Shopify is that it offers analytics for its users to review the product return rates from their customers, conversion rates, and traffic rates.
While Magento allows users to categorize their products and configure them in catalogs on their website.
Shopify and Magento both offer their users to integrate multiple payment gateways. Where Shopify enables instant payment processor integration, Magento requires some coding knowledge and different gateway commands to integrate them, except PayPal and Braintree, which can be automatically enabled.
Shopify offers an added advantage with a dedicated Taxes screen. This feature helps users to calculate their sales and regions as it is necessary for the businesses to set up shipping zones before setting tax rates.
Magento, too, has a tax calculation feature that works on various factors, such as shipping method, region, customer type, and product type.
Shopify as well as Magento are flexible in terms of offering shipping options. Additionally, both provide multiple integrations, shipping costs, and several drop shipping & fulfillment platforms.
Shopify has partnered with various shipping brands & carriers, such as UPS, DHL, USPS, and FedEx.
Similarly, Magento enables merchants to integrate delivery & fulfillment methods with shipping extensions through the Magento marketplace, which includes DHL, UPS, FedEx, and USPS.
In addition to it, Magento also offers its own integrated delivery service called Magento shipping, integrated with an intuitive design interface.
The most critical feature which today’s eCommerce platforms offer is seamless and quick customization but with limitations.
In terms of usability and simplicity, Shopify is better but when you need ultimate customization, Magento is the right choice for you. Magento offers a more advanced enterprise-level customization for business scalability.
Shopify allows your online store to add customized themes, apps, and website builder tools to add elements. Each theme can be viewed and applied to check its compatibility.
Magento too offers similar features through its Magento Marketplace, where users can purchase extensions that support email marketing, site optimization, customer support, and more.
Magento offers multiple ways to customize themes or complete the online store manually via code, following the best practices to ensure proper compatibility and usability.
Marketing & SEO
An online shop can only generate sales when it attracts substantial traffic, and what better option than marketing. The good news is that Magento and Shopify both come with SEO tools and guides.
With Shopify you can customize product’s meta tags & URL with keywords that rank. Shopify also comes with built-in social media integration tools to create backlinks and drive traffic.
Magento, too, allows its merchants to edit image alt tags and customize URLs. Magento empowers its merchants by offering best practices for SEO that can enhance the metadata and generate sitemap.
Who wouldn’t want exceptional performance and agility of their business. An underperforming website can push at least 40% to leave it. Magento here tops the list when it comes to exceptional speed and performance of an online store.
Choosing a hosting plan with sufficient resources allows you to scale features as needed with the help of a reliable web host.
Shopify, on the other hand, guarantees good performance allowing the hosted platform to take care of the maintenance and optimization processes. Shopify offers a list of best practices to follow in order to improve the speed and performance of the site. However, Shopify avoids complex edits or customization suggestions to the code in order to avoid any negative impact on the site.
Yet, to summarize, Magento is the winner in providing strong performance and fast loading speeds. With cloud hosting you also get unlimited bandwidth, multiple data centers, and isolated resources.
Your online site is your asset that promotes traffic and revenue generation. Hence, it is important that it is well secured with stringent security measures to enhance the brand’s credibility.
Picking Magento as your eCommerce Marketing Solution can leverage you with best practices for users releasing dedicated security patches timely. Magento offers freedom to the merchants to enhance safety measures by implementing the latest security technology.
Shopify, on the other hand, let merchants take their hands-off by providing essential security measures for online stores (256-bit SSL certificate). The platform maintains a secure server network with PCI compliance to protect the cardholder data, regular monitoring, and tests for security vulnerabilities.
It is difficult to say which is better for security, however, both have been hit by large hackers stealing customer data and payment details respectively. Hence it will be wise to have an extra layer of security on whichever platform you choose.
Here, both platforms offer rich-resource support. However, Shopify takes the lead by providing round-the-clock support that helps solve even the most unique problems.
Shopify has a dedicated support team, whereas Magento offers Magento community forums. The Help Center of Shopify offers general information along with a community discussion forum where they can participate in discussing marketing, troubleshooting, and accounting.
Similarly, the Magento community forum shares information, tips, and ideas that can help merchants build sites, whether fashion or Healthcare eCommerce website. Magento DevDocs page and also shares information regarding the installation and configuration of the website.
Talking about the value for money, then Shopify is recommended. However, for those who are looking for a low initial investment, then Magento is a better option to pick.
Shopify’s most basic plan starts at $29/month, whereas Magento’s Open Source is absolutely free to use. The mid-tier plan of Shopify is $79/month with 1% transaction fees, and the advance is $299/ month with a 0.5% transaction fee for each sale.
Shopify’s most advanced plan, Shopify Plus goes to $2,000/month with 0.15% transaction fees, whereas its Lite plan costs $9/month.
Magento, on the other hand, has an open-source and Magento Commerce that starts from $22,000/year. The best part is that there are no transaction fees to use Magento.
With Magento, Hosting charges are also involved that start from $799-$5099/month and for Shopify, there are no external charges for hosting.
In a Nutshell –
To compare the two eCommerce platforms, we can summarize and say that, if you are looking for a beginner-friendly, quick start-up process, integrated with intuitive website building tools, and convenient to use, then you should go for Shopify.
If you already run a fast-growing company and scalability, customizability, and complete control over the platform are your wish, then Magento is an ideal platform for you to invest in.
Author’s Bio: Scarlett works with the editorial team of A3logics, a leading company offering eCommerce consulting services. Exploring the latest technologies, reading about them, and writing her views have always been her passion. She seeks new opportunities to express her opinions, explore technological advancements, and document the details. You can always find her enjoying books or articles about varied topics or jotting down her ideas in a notebook.