As two of the most renowned eCommerce platforms, Magento and Shopify boast a formidable presence in the market, commanding a market search of 10.17% and 1.11%, respectively. Their respective user bases consist of millions of satisfied customers, each cherishing the unique eCommerce offerings they provide.
Despite both platforms offering exceptional eCommerce experiences, they differ significantly in various aspects. The suitability of either Magento or Shopify for a particular business can vary greatly and depends on several factors.
Therefore, in this informative piece, we shall delve into a comprehensive comparison between Magento and Shopify, enabling you to make a well-informed decision in constructing your eCommerce website.
Magento vs Shopify: A Basic Overview
We can illustrate the distinction between Magento and Shopify by comparing a self-driving car and a manual car.
Shopify can be likened to a self-driving car, where the platform automatically manages technicalities such as programming and coding, allowing even those without coding knowledge to create and establish their website quickly. However, the trade-off is that customization options are limited.
Conversely, Magento is similar to a manual car, offering the ability to customize the website through specified inputs fully. However, utilizing the full potential of Magento requires a proficient understanding of coding.
We have presented a comparative table further to clarify the fundamental differences between the two platforms.
|Enterprises with Large Product Catalogs
|and Small-scale businesses selling limited products
|Magento Community Edition (CE) 2.4.5
|Number of apps and add-ons
|Current Live Websites for US region
|Requires a higher upfront cost.
|Variety of pricing plans with limited features
|Magento requires additional security measures, such as regular software updates, to be implemented.
|Shopify, by default, is a highly secure platform
|Requires a dedicated support team to manage technical issues.
|A strong support team and community.
Magento vs Shopify: What are the Main Differences?
The open-source version of Magento can be obtained at no cost, yet, several expenses are incurred for acquiring a domain name, hosting, themes, and add-ons. This free version is a viable option for entrepreneurs seeking to embark on their eCommerce journey.
However, for businesses seeking to augment their eCommerce website’s capabilities or grow their eCommerce enterprise, the paid versions of Magento, namely Magento Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud, are advisable. The cost of these versions varies based on the customization desired for your eCommerce website.
To obtain a precise cost estimation, it is advisable to reach out to experienced Magento development companies such as Scrum Digital, which specializes in customizing eCommerce solutions powered by Magento. On the other hand, Shopify provides a 14-day trial period and subsequently charges a fee on a subscription basis, offering a plug-and-play solution without the added expenses of outsourcing or in-house developer management.
Is Magento or Shopify more expensive?
Determining the affordability of Magento and Shopify is subjective, as both platforms possess unique pricing structures. Magento is open-source, and its cost depends on specific requirements, whereas Shopify has fixed pricing, which may seem more economical initially but has additional costs associated with apps and themes.
Magento presents five fully mobile-responsive themes, with costs reaching $499. While it is possible to create a custom theme from scratch, it requires a solid technical foundation or the budget to hire experienced Magento developers. Some of the standout features of Magento themes include
- Flexible customization options with a technical foundation.
- The ability to enhance engagement with the addition of animations.
- A featured product slider for the homepage.
- Newsletter options in the webpage footer.
- Cross-selling blocks on product pages.
In contrast, Shopify offers a vast selection of themes, including nine free and 88 premium themes, all optimized for mobile devices. These themes range in cost from $150 to $350, making them a more affordable option than Magento themes.
Shopify vs Magento Themes: The Verdict
As for themes, Shopify offers a broader range of articles at a budget-friendly price, eliminating the need for solid coding skills or hiring development specialists. Instead, it allows customization to align with the unique needs of your eCommerce brand.
3. Apps & Extensions
The Magento platform offers a plethora of extensions, with over 3600 available in the Magento Marketplace. These extensions are designed to help enhance the functionality of your eCommerce website without requiring extensive coding knowledge to install and implement. Some popular Magento extensions include Amasty Multiple Coupons, Product Pre-order, and Remarkety, to name a few. The Adobe Exchange Partner Magezon provides access to high-quality Magento extensions, such as Magezon Builder.
On the other hand, the Shopify App Store offers a vast array of free and paid apps, with more than 4200 options available. These apps aim to boost sales and improve the functionality of your website, with popular extensions like Trust Hero, MailChimp, Trackr, and Analytics Buddy, among others.
The Shopify app market is more user-friendly and offers a more refined selection of extensions than the Magento Marketplace. While Magento has a more significant number of attachments available, the installation process may require advanced coding skills.
4. Marketing Features
In contrast to Magento, Shopify offers an all-in-one solution that is equipped with in-built marketing tools. With Shopify, you don’t need to rely on third-party extensions or hire developers to integrate marketing features. Shopify can advertise and sell directly on social media platforms and integrates with robust email marketing solutions such as Seguno and Klaviyo. Additionally, Shopify supports multilingual websites, making it a suitable platform for businesses targeting a global audience.
Who’s marketing features are exceptional, Magento or Shopify?
The outcome of comparing the marketing features of Magento and Shopify is not a clear-cut victory for either platform. While Shopify boasts a range of in-built marketing features, it is restricted in its ability to optimize for search engines. The platform’s fundamental characteristics, including URL structure, hierarchy, and server-level configurations, cannot be altered.
On the other hand, Magento provides business owners with a more comprehensive suite of marketing features and greater flexibility.
5. Ease of Use
As a Magento Developer, proficiency in coding and technical acumen are essential components in ensuring a seamless user experience with the Magento Content Management System (CMS). In addition, conducting thorough research to leverage the wealth of information available in the thriving Magento developer community is imperative.
While handling Magento may prove challenging for non-technical individuals, it presents a unique opportunity for developers to showcase their creativity and innovative solutions. On the other hand, Shopify offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer simplicity and ease of use. The “drag and drop” functionality of the Shopify platform enables even the most technologically challenged individuals to establish an online store quickly, be it B2B or B2C.
Magento or Shopify: Which is Easier to Use?
Personalizing the store, managing products, and setting up payment methods are made effortless with the platform’s 24/7 support, live chat, and email options.
6. Core Functionality
As a comprehensive eCommerce solution, Magento boasts two central functionalities:
- Robust Inventory and Order Management: With Magento, businesses can leverage a robust inventory management system, creating unlimited products and customer attributes, organizing data, and customizing user experiences through extensions and custom solutions.
- A Multi-Channel Business Expansion Tool: Magento allows businesses to integrate their online stores with comparison shopping sites, social media channels, and marketplaces. The platform also enables the bulk uploading of product catalogues to different channels.
On the other hand, Shopify offers the following core functionalities:
- Cart Abandonment Reduction: Shopify automatically sends emails to customers who abandon their shopping carts, reducing cart abandonment rates.
- Shipping Provider Partnership: Shopify has partnered with shipping providers such as UPS, USPS, DHL Express, and Canada Post to simplify order fulfilment and offer discounts.
It’s worth noting that both Shopify and Magento offer Point-of-Sale (POS) functionality. The distinction lies in Shopify offering a first-party POS system, while Magento provides third-party POS options through extensions.
7. Sales Tools
Magento offers a unique inventory system with built-in features like bulk product import from the database, multiple product variants, total visitor count, and total revenue reports. In addition, Magento provides the following sales tools:
- Multi-Channel Selling: Magento allows businesses to integrate their online stores with popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and eBay through extensions.
- Checkout Customization: Magento enables businesses to enhance their checkout process to meet their specific needs.
- Cart Recovery: Magento offers options to recover abandoned carts, which can result in potential sales.
- Discount Management: Magento allows businesses to set percentage and fixed price discounts.
On the other hand, Shopify provides a broad range of sales tools, including
- Cart Recovery: Shopify offers abandoned cart recovery options to recover potentially lost sales.
- Multi-Channel Selling: Shopify allows businesses to sell their products on popular platforms like Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
- Product Types: Shopify supports both digital and physical product sales.
- Shipping Provider Partnership: Shopify partners with shipping providers like USPS, DHL Express, UPS, and Canada Post, offering delivery options through any courier service.
Regarding sales tools, Shopify offers a more extensive range than Magento, which requires installing expensive extensions to access similar features.
8. Payment Processors and Transaction Fees
In payment processing, Magento offers a broader range of options, which can be downloaded from the Magento Marketplace. However, this means that transaction fees will apply to each payment.
In contrast, Shopify features a built-in payment processor known as Shopify Payments, which eliminates transaction fees (except standard card processing fees). However, if you opt not to use Shopify Payments, the following payments will apply per transaction: 2.9% + 30$ for Shopify Basic, 2.6% + 30$ for Shopify, and 2.4% + 30$ for Shopify Advanced.
Regarding payment gateways, Magento supports over 150 payment gateways, primarily targeting more prominent businesses, and also allows integration with popular payment processors like Stripe or Square via the Marketplace.
On the other hand, Shopify offers support for 100+ payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. Although, it’s important to note that these gateways come with a transaction fee.
To summarize, Magento provides more payment processors and more flexible transaction fees, while Shopify offers limited payment gateway options, with transaction fees applied to each payment.
With the discontinuation of support for Magento 1 by June 30th, 2020, upgrading to Magento 2 has become imperative. The latest version of Magento presents a multitude of enhancements, including a sophisticated product catalogue, robust framework upgrades, and an optimized approach to daily administrative tasks. This migration process incurs a one-time expense but is poised to deliver substantial returns in the long run.
Alternatively, Shopify has introduced a newer iteration of its eCommerce platform, Shopify Plus, which is well-suited for businesses that have surpassed the limits of the standard Shopify version and are poised to make a significant impact in the market, with annual revenues estimated to be between $1-2 million.
American food processing giant, Heinz, runs on Shopify Plus and successfully launched their online store, “Heinz to Home,” within a week of the announcement, providing a quick and convenient option for customers during the pandemic. Although Shopify Plus comes with a wide range of extensions and features, its cost is correspondingly higher, starting from approximately $2000/month and potentially reaching $40,000/month.
Comparing Magento and Shopify Upgrades: The Decision
When considering the options of Magento vs Shopify Plus, Magento appears to be a suitable choice if you desire a comprehensive management solution for all your stores.
On the other hand, stores powered by Shopify Plus must be managed individually.
A notable example is Legend Footwear, a footwear company powered by Magento 2, which achieved impressive results after our Magento-certified team at Net Solutions optimized their store.
Our efforts aimed to enhance site speed, design a mobile-friendly website, provide an improved user experience, and streamline the checkout process. A more in-depth examination of these improvements is available upon request.
Magento vs. Shopify: Pros and Cons?
Pros of Magento:
- High level of customizability, allowing for unique and tailored solutions.
- Robust performance capabilities.
- Scalable to accommodate growth and expansion.
Cons of Magento:
- Moderate user-friendliness, requiring technical knowledge to utilize its features thoroughly.
- High cost of implementation and maintenance.
Pros of Shopify:
- User-friendly platform with a streamlined interface.
- High level of performance and scalability.
- Moderate cost of implementation and maintenance.
Cons of Shopify:
- Limited customization options compared to Magento.
- Dependence on third-party apps to add certain features, which can increase the overall cost.
When choosing an eCommerce platform, both Magento and Shopify offer their unique benefits and drawbacks. Magento provides a high level of customizability, robust performance, and scalability but with a higher cost and less user-friendliness. On the other hand, Shopify offers an easy-to-use platform with high performance and scalability but limited customization options and dependence on third-party apps. Ultimately, the decision between Magento and Shopify will depend on each business’s specific needs and goals.
If you’re still unsure which eCommerce platform to choose, let Scrum Digital help! Our team of experts will work with you to determine the best solution for your business and ensure a seamless transition. Contact us today to get started!
Frequently Ask Questions –
Q1. Which one is better, Shopify or Magento?
The answer to which one is better – Shopify or Magento – ultimately depends on each business’s specific needs and goals. Shopify is known for its user-friendly interface and ease of use, making it a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses. On the other hand, Magento offers a high level of customizability and scalability, making it a good choice for larger, more complex eCommerce operations.
Q2. Is Shopify based on Magento?
No, Shopify is not based on Magento. Shopify and Magento are separate eCommerce platforms with unique features and capabilities.
Q3. Shopify’s differences between Magento and Shopify
Some critical differences between Magento and Shopify include:-
- Customizability: Magento offers a high level of customizability, allowing for unique and tailored solutions. Shopify has limited customization options but offers a more streamlined interface.
- User-friendliness: Shopify is known for its user-friendly interface, while Magento is less user-friendly and requires technical knowledge to utilize its features thoroughly.
- Performance: Both platforms offer high levels of performance and scalability, but Magento may offer more advanced performance capabilities for more extensive eCommerce operations.
- Cost: Magento can be more expensive to implement and maintain, while Shopify offers a more moderate cost.
- Support: Both platforms offer a high level of support, but Magento may offer more advanced support options for more extensive eCommerce operations.