Magento vs Shopify

Shopify vs Magento : Which eCommerce Platform Works Best For You?

Can’t decide between Shopify and Magento? Well, you’re not alone. Shopify and Magento are two most popular eCommerce platforms in this industry today.

Shopify – an easy to use eCommerce platform, perfect for building a customized online store. You have to pay monthly charges. It’s an eCommerce platform that is capable of supporting both high-volume and fledgling businesses.

Magento – like WordPress, Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform. It’s free to download and install onto your computer. However, you have to pay for hosting (costs up to $10 per month , extensions (they’re just like apps) and security.

Magento is certainly a powerful platform. However, you’ll find it hard to use it without knowing how to tweak lines of code. We believe it’s a suitable platform for big enterprises who have their own whole team of developers.

So now here comes the billion dollar question,

“Which eCommerce solution works best for you?”

That’s a tough choice. If you’re confused and you don’t know which solution is your right choice, then you have landed in the right place.

Shopify vs Magento

In this article, we’ll do a comprehensive Shopify vs Magento comparison that will help you to determine which eCommerce platform works best for you.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Shopify vs Magento: Overview

Shopify, a prominent self-hosted eCommerce solution that looks after the hosting expenses and technical aspects of a website. Founded in 2004, the talented Shopify team created a new product out of personal need and today it powers more than 1 million businesses globally.

Shopify

It’s a plug-and-play eCommerce solution that offers customer support 24/7. The user-friendly interface makes Shopify a lovable experience not just for you but for customers as well.

It’s a ready-made solution that supports not only big enterprises but startups too. If you own a startup, the Basic Shopify plan is perfect for you. It’s very easy-to-use and highly customizable.

Some popular Shopify stores are Red Bull, Tesla, and Kylie Cosmetics.

On the other hand Magento, an eCommerce solution created by Adobe in 2008 powers around 30% of all eCommerce stores.

Like WordPress, it’s an open-source product. The ever-increasing Magento community of contributors makes it stand out from the rest. If you have a knack for creativity, Magento is the best solution for you. It offers endless customization options to offer the best customer experience.

Magento

No matter if you’re a mid-level or large-sized enterprise, Magento offers two viable options Magento Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud that you can consider.

Some popular Magento stores are Ford, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser.

Now let’s compare both the eCommerce solutions in detail.

Magento vs Shopify – A Comparison Guide

1. Ease of use

Choosing an eCommerce platform that is too hard to use will make it impossible for users to create a store they want, which can also damage the image of a brand.

If compared, Shopify is pretty much easier to use than Magento and no one can deny this fact. Shopify is a drag-and-drop, one-stop-shop, website builder. It means you can easily move the elements around the site easily and just like how you want.

In essence, Shopify is quite suitable for all users. You can personalize your store, add/remove products, and you can even set up different payment methods. The Shopify wizard mode guides the newcomers through the whole store-making process. Everything is laid out cleanly on the dashboard, from marketing to inventory and all that.

However, Magento is only suitable for developers. Magento users must not only be pro at coding but able to proficiently handle the other technical aspects of it. It’s not at all user-friendly in terms of handling its CMS. However, it’s an optimal solution for those developers who want creative freedom.

Magento offers all-time support to its users via Magento Help Center Tools.

The Verdict: Compared to Magento, Shopify is customer-friendly and very intuitive. It makes it quite easy for beginners to create an eCommerce store with the help of stunning customizable templates. Magneto is a bit trickier to use which makes it hard for beginners to use it.

2. Themes

The design of your store plays a significant role in the success of your business. With that in mind, you need to choose the template for your store wisely. Always select a clean, impressive, and stellar template to make an embarking first impression on your customers.

Shopify offers only 10 free and 64 premium which costs around $140 to $180 each. All the templates are mobile-responsive which means they’ll still look great when displayed on a tablet or mobile. This is important considering the statistics that around 79% of smartphone users have shopped a lot in the last 6 months.

Once you have chosen a great template for your site, you can do as much customization you like. You can add new pages, resize or move elements, change the color palette, integrating social media feeds, and much more.

And do you know what’s so good about Shopify? You can do all of this without even tweaking a single line of code!

Shopify Themes

Even though Magento offers 11 ready-made themes which cost you up to $499. With Magento, you can also create a fully-customized theme from scratch. However, you need to have deep coding knowledge or a big budget to hire developers for help.

Magento is more flexible as long as you know how to code. You can add animations, featured product sliders, incorporate newsletter features, and place ‘cross-selling blocks to your store.

Magento theme

The Verdict: Shopify offers a much cheaper and wider range of themes, compared to Magento. You don’t have to use code to customize themes on Shopify. However, to tailor the themes of Magento, you definitely need to know how to code which can be a problem for non-technical users.

3. Sales Tools

Sales tools and eCommerce solutions go hand-in-hand. It’s nearly impossible to do business with any one of them. Well, it’s time to see what Magento and Shopify have under the hood.

Shopify offers outstanding sales features to users which allow them to efficiently sell products and make money. Let’s take a look at some of the features of Shopify:

  • Abandoned cart recovery – to recover the lost sales, it automatically sends follow-up emails to customers that leave your store without completing the checkout process.
  • Sell digital products – allows to sell both physical and digital products.
  • Multi-channel selling – sell products on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Amazon via built-in feature.

Partnerships with DHL Express, USPS, Canada Post, and UPS – save you from finding your own courier service.

On the other hand, Magento’s inventory system feature is quite ground-breaking and impressive. It comes with outstanding built-in features including, multiple product variants, bulk product import from the site’s database, total visitor count, and total revenue report.

We also love some other sales tools of Magento like,

  • Multi-channel selling – install extensions on your Magento store to integrate your site with eBay, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Customized checkout – create fully-customized checkout for your online store.
  • Setting discounts – allows you to set fixed and percentage price discounts.

The Verdict: Shopify offers a more spectacular range of sales tools if compared to Magento. Undoubtedly, Shopify is one the great eCommerce solutions around as it offers plenty of useful features which are built-in, unlike Magento which requires expensive extensions to function properly.

4. Apps and Add-Ons

Launching an eCommerce store isn’t enough if you want to do some real business. It’s essential to add extra functionality to your store to streamline your business operations and offer a better customer experience.

The built-in features offered by both platforms are quite limited. Therefore, you’ll need to install additional features. Both Magento and Shopify enable you to install extensions, apps, and add-ons. But which platform is better?

Shopify App Store offers over 1,200 free and premium apps to simplify business operations like social media advertising, email marketing, order tracking, and more.

Below, we have listed some of our most favorite Shopify Apps,

  • MailChimp – allows you to integrate email marketing campaigns with your store to boost your eCommerce sales.
  • Trust Hero – showcase digital security badges on your store to encourage your customer to complete the purchasing.
  • Analytics Buddy – pulls out all your Google Analytics data and displays it on your Shopify store dashboard, provides helpful insights.
  • Trackr – use this app to get automatic updates on the whereabouts of your customers’ orders. It cost only $4/ month.
Apps

Magento offers over 5,000 extensions and 1970 of those are free. 10% of the paid extensions cost roughly $30 while some extensions cost up to $2,000. Pretty expensive right?

The prices of extensions vary depending upon the developers who created them, and whether you’ll be needing the assistance of an expert while installing and integrating on your store.

Our most favorite Magento extensions are,

  • Product Pre-Order – sends emails to customers automatically when you launch a new product on your Shopify store.
  • Banner Slider – add advertising banners with personalized links to your store to bring in more sales.
  • Amasty Multiple Coupons – add discount coupons and multiple coupons on one order to encourage customers to shop more frequently from you.
  • Remarkety – integrate social feeds and email marketing campaigns on your store.
Add-Ons

The Verdict: Shopify’s App Market is much affordable and easier to use. It offers more stellar and polished apps if compared to Magento’s Marketplace. Even if Magento offers more apps than Shopify. However, installing Shopify extensions is a complicated task because to install them you need to know how to code.

5. Pricing

The primary difference between the two eCommerce solutions is that Magento is a self-hosted eCommerce platform while Shopify is a hosted platform.

Being a hosted platform, Shopify looks after all the hosting issues for you. All the hosting charges are included within the Shopify monthly plan, so don’t worry about the extra expense or effort required from you.

Like WordPress, Magento is free to download and install, however, you’ll have to pay for web hosting, domain, extensions, and security.

Shopify offers 3 price plans with fixed monthly rates. However, the total cost of Magento depends upon various elements.

If you want to use Magento, you’ll have to pay for web hosting. There are plenty of hosting providers that support Magento and SiteGround is one of them.

Shopify offers 3 price plans – Basic, Professional, and Unlimited. Each plan has a different price, charges different credit card rates, and offers distinctive features. Take a look at the pricing plans of Shopify below,

pricing plans of Shopify

On the other hand, Magento is free to install. However, to run an online store on Magento you’ll need a few things including, a web hosting server, a domain name, and an SSL certificate.

There are plenty of hosting providers, they charge you on a monthly basis which costs you around $10 to $100 per month depending upon the hosting plan and service you’re choosing. Secondly, you have to purchase a domain name and it can cost you $10 to $15 annually. For securing your site, you’ll need an SSL certificate. Some hosting providers offer it for free while some even charge around $1000 annually for it.

Apart from these primary expenses, you’ll need a theme and extensions to effectively run your store. As we have mentioned before, Magento extensions and themes are quite expensive and can cost you thousands of dollars sometimes depending upon the developer.

Therefore, if you’re planning to choose Magento then you’ll need a big budget to boot.

The Verdict: Well it’s a tie. Shopify and Magento offer different pricing plans because both eCommerce solutions are totally different. Shopify offers fixed pricing plans while Magento is an open-source platform and the price depends upon your requirements.

6. Help and Support

The more easily and quickly you can fix issues in your store, the sooner you can get back into the business. That’s why the platform you choose must offer spectacular help and support services.

Thankfully, Magento and Shopify both offer amazing customer support services.
However, Shopify outperforms other rivals as it offers dedicated help and support. A professional team of experts is available 24/7 for live chat, phone, and email that solves the users’ problems in a couple of minutes.

Shopify users can further dig into the help center, community forums, video tutorials, and API documentation.

Since Magento is a self-hosted eCommerce solution, it doesn’t offer phone, live chat, or email support unless you register for the Commerce Cloud plan of Magento specifically designed for B2B users.

But that’s not it, Magento users can take full advantage of the excellent user community. Here you can get expert advice from Magento professionals from across the globe. Apart from this, an active help community center also offers full-time support to users.

The Verdict: Magento clearly wins this one. Since it’s a platform that targets professional site developers, which significantly means the caliber of its support team is extremely high. Even though Shopify also offers great customer support options, it cannot match the level of Magento’s support expertise.

Shopify vs Magento: Which eCommerce platform works best for you?

Coming back to the billion-dollar question,

“Which eCommerce platform works best? Shopify or Magento?”

Honestly, it’s only you who can decide because it totally depends upon your business requirements. Reading through this comprehensive comparative analysis, you now have a clear understanding of which eCommerce solution works best for you.

Both eCommerce solutions, Shopify and Magento are excellent. However, Shopify is more user-friendly than Magneto. It guides you throughout the store-making process and a strong support team is always available at your disposal.

Magento is an optimal choice for web developers who look for creative freedom. It’s a perfect solution for those who know very well how to bring their vision to life.

You should choose Shopify if,

  • You want your store to start running as quickly as possible.
  • You have previously used eCommerce website builders like Squarespace, Wix or Weebly and are looking for a powerful platform to switch.
  • If you’re a beginner but want to develop a full-fledged eCommerce store.
  • You cannot handle the technical aspects of your business and find all-in-one payment options convenient.

You should choose Magento if,

  • You’re pro at coding and you want to build a medium or large-sized eCommerce business.
  • You want absolute creative freedom.
  • You already have a huge consumer base or international aspirations.
  • You’re prepared to invest thousands of dollars and a lot of time in your store.

On this note, we conclude our Shopify vs Magento battle royale. We hope this comparative guide will help to build a spectacular online store. We wish you all the best!

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