Last updated - April 21, 2021
Choosing the right platform is a crucial aspect when you are thinking about creating an eCommerce store. There are several different eCommerce platforms available that offers varied features and functionality. Magento and Shopify are two widely used platforms, but they have some fundamental differences. In this comparison – Magento vs Shopify, we will try to give a brighter picture of both platforms. After reading this article, you should be able to identify the standout features of both and understand which one fits your business requirement best.
When you are planning to create an eCommerce store, there could be several considerations. Ease of use could be one of the most important one among these. If you are planning to go the DIY route, you would want to understand how easy it is to get started with a platform. Similarly, it is important to understand how easily you can move things around, and make modifications to your store.
In a Magento vs Shopify comparison, Shopify wins hands down in terms of ease of use. It is extremely easy to get started with the platform, and also there is an intuitive user interface that allows you to handle everyday aspects of your store. Apart from this, since Shopify is a hosted solution, you can simply choose a pricing plan and get started with your store creation almost instantly.
On the other hand, Magento offers a steeper learning curve that is more aligned to coding experts. Now, if you are pretty fluent in coding, and you don’t really mind the technical efforts involved, Magento too offers a great user experience. Being an open source platform, it will give you a lot more control in devising the perfect customer experience that you are looking for. In addition, it handles complex eCommerce projects involving multiple stores, currencies, B2B transactions, etc., more efficiently.
So, if you are looking for a quick setup and easy store management, choose Shopify. For a more complex store, Magento will give better control, though you may need coding knowledge.
The design of your site determines how your customers are able to navigate through your site, and make easy purchases. Themes and templates will make it easy for store owners to customize the appearance and customer experience on their stores.
Shopify offers 64 paid and 9 free themes in their theme store. All these themes are responsive and offers great scope to customize them according to your evolving needs.
Magento offers around 11 themes in their theme store. In addition, Magento offers extensive documentation on creating a new theme.
Overall, Shopify is a better choice if you are looking for hassle-free design customization. If you have the support of a theme developer, Magento offers great customization option. Though this could suit large enterprises with hefty budgets more.
Payment integration is another crucial aspect for an eCommerce platform. Generally, eCommerce customers prefer having multiple options to make a payment. So, generally a platform that offers more options will be preferable.
Shopify offers excellent options when it comes to payment integration. You can use Shopify Payments, PayPal or integrate third party payment providers. On the Shopify website, you can check out all the available payment providers according to the country your business is based at. Moreover, it is easy to integrate digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.
Magento, relatively has lesser payment integration options. The open source solution offers offline payment options as well as PayPal Express Checkout and Braintree. It also lets you integrate Klarna and Amazon Pay.
Overall, for the choice of payment options, Shopify is a clear winner compared to Magento. However, keep in mind there will be transaction charges when you do business through Shopify.
Extending the functionality of the store
Depending on the growth patterns and analytics insights, you would want to tweak functionalities or add new features on your store. So, the capability of extending the functionality is a major concern while choosing an eCommerce platform.
Shopify offers a wide range of apps in its store, organized into different categories. You will be able to find an app that is suitable for your specific business requirement. Some of the categories that you will find in the Shopify app store are marketing, store design, inventory management, finances, etc.
Magento too offers a great marketplace, where you can buy suitable extensions for your store. Some of the featured categories that you will see in the Magento marketplace are customer support, shipping and fulfillment, site optimization, etc.
Both Magento and Shopify offers a good range of solutions to extend the functionalities of your store. There is not much to choose between the two, however, the requirement of coding knowledge for Magento could prove to be a challenge for some users.
Search engine optimization will be a concern for all online businesses. You may want to take a look before choosing a platform to understand how it is handling SEO aspects.
Shopify offers some essential SEO features automatically like generating canonical tags and sitemap. You can also optimize your content with options for editing title tags, meta descriptions, image alt text, etc. You need to rely on apps to implement more SEO strategies.
Magento offers excellent in-built SEO features for your store. For example, it offers features like SEO prompts and the ability to customize urls. Moreover, since Magento is an open source solution, you will be able to make more detailed edits in your website structure.
Overall, in terms of SEO, Magento is a more preferred option thanks to the flexibility that it offers in handling SEO.
For an eCommerce store owner, getting timely support is invaluable. So let’s take a look at the options in this Magento vs Shopify comparison.
Shopify offers excellent customer support options when you need it. You can contact their customer support team through phone, email, live chat or social media. In addition, you can also get help through their community forum as well. Also, there is a wide collection of articles and tutorials, which you can access through their Help Center.
Magento, being a developer’s platform is famous for its Resources Library. You will find an abundant range of tech resources, courses, documentation, videos, customer success stories and more. In addition, you can contact their support team through phone or by raising a support ticket.
Shopify’s support is ideal for non-technical users, who would like to resolve their issues quickly. Magento on the other hand, offers excellent resources to tackle enterprise-level problems.
Ease to scale
The requirements of an eCommerce store will be ever changing. Let’s take a quick look at how Magento and Shopify handles scaling requirements.
Shopify is a hosted platform, and that means you don’t have to really worry about hosting needs. You can easily update your hosting resources to suit your changing requirements.
With Magento, scaling is not as smooth as Shopify as it is a self hosted platform. When you are making major changes in your site, you will have to also consider the hosting service’s requirements.
While choosing an eCommerce platform, the cost will be an important concern. Here is how the pricing aspect shows in the Magento vs Shopify comparison.
Shopify offers thee pricing plans for businesses of all sizes. These are:
- Basic Shopify ($29/month)
- Shopify ($79/month)
- Advanced Shopify ($299/month)
Magento has an open source solution, which you can download for free. However, you will have to spend on hosting and domain name registration separately. Magento Commerce is another option that is suitable for established businesses up to enterprise level. For pricing details, you will have to contact them.
We hope this comparison – Magento vs Shopify has provided you with a good understanding of both the platforms. Feel free to leave us a comment if you have any queries.