E-commerce business owners need to create, manage and maintain an online store. And it is the most important part of their e-commerce business. It is a critical issue for either be successful or failure in the online business. It becomes more critical for a small business who has a little resource and low budget. There are many E-commerce platforms out there but the most popular right now are Magento and Shopify. Shopify is the king of 'Self-hosted - all in one' platform and on the other hand, Magento is the long-time ruling king of 'Larger and complex' E-commerce platform (Open-Source).
Some days ago we covered another face-to-face battle between another two big players, WooCommerce vs Prestashop. So this time we arranged another battle between Magento and Shopify and find out which will be the perfect platform for your E-commerce site. If you are planning to create your online store or migrate your existing store to another, then you must have to keep in mind that, Shopify and Magento are one of the most widely used online shopping platform in this world.
Before we jump into the post, let's check below how these two platforms differ before making an ultimate decision.
- Shopify is a fully commercial product where you'll need to pay money for. But on the other hand, Magento is fully free, open-source software.
- Shopify platform comes with a self-hosting solution. While Magento requires your own hosting, installation, setup, and configuration before you can actually start your own store. All these processes require a medium to a high level of web development knowledge and programming skills.
- Shopify is for them who don't know or have a basic level of knowledge in web development. It is for beginners. A simple interface with drag-drop functionality. On the other hand, Magento is full of opportunities and unlimited featured platform. So it is more suitable for the advanced developer. If you an online business owner who doesn't know anything about development or programming, then you definitely have to hire a Magento web developer for your Magento store.
Magento or Shopify: Feature Comparison
Basic online store functionality
Both Shopify and Magento offer a pretty much simplistic and basic functionality. But in comparison with Magento, Shopify is fairly easy to set up, use and maintain. All the basic features like shopping carts, checkout modules, collections, and product pages are available in both of them. The main difference is, Magento has more integrated and advanced features built-in. In Shopify, you will have to add a certain app for some certain functionality.
Both Shopify (all plans) and Magento offer an unlimited number of products insertion option. You can easily add product and categorize easily on both of them. But here Shopify gets a thumbs up in one section, you can directly integrate to dropshipping inventory apps like Oberlo. An important note should be taken for Magento. As Magento is hosted by your self bought server, adding too many products may slow down your website loading speed. And it is BAD actually. This circumstance will not bother you and your website speed if you opt with Shopify. But as a Magento user, if your Host (server) performance (basically lots of space) is good enough, then this will not be an issue.
Calculation of shipping charges
Both platforms offer a flexible and powerful option for calculating the shipping charges. And this option is the fundamental of every e-commerce platform. Shopify also offers integrated dropshipping tools and more exact shipping calculators.
Payment gateway options
Here Shopify clearly gets ahead of Magento. Magento or Shopify comparison destroy here! Shopify has over 70 payment gateway while Magento has a far fewer number of gateway options. Though more gateways can be added through third-party add-ons. But you'll have to know some coding experience and knowledge to add this. If you use Shopify, then all the payment gateways are already added built-in. But if in an instant, you need to add another gateway outside of those 70 gateways, you'll have to pay first to buy that third party gateway. But for Magento, adding any third party gateway is fully free.
Themes and Templates
Magento and Shopify, they all offer a fair amount of free themes and templates collection. But compared to Magento, Shopify has less amount of free themes. As Magento is an open-source platform, they have an extremely large amount of themes and templates. Both Magento and Shopify offers free/paid themes. Shopify paid themes starts from whooping $80 where Magento paid themes starts from just $1!
Apps and Ad-ons
Shopify has well over 100 apps ready to customise your online store. These apps enhance functionality and increase productivity in various ways. And the Shopify App store is constantly growing bigger and bigger. Shopify strictly maintains and control the app store so that their customers don't buy and install any spam or harmful app and damage their site.
Whereas Magento is a home of nearly 5000+ apps and add-ons roaring around their app store. This is because Magento is based on an open-source platform and developers are very dedicated to offer just perfect apps. Apps and Add-ons for Magento offers both free and paid option.
Magento or Shopify: The cost
Shopify doesn't cost you a penny upon setup. Even they offer a 15-day free trial so that you can test and judge Shopify whether or not you are good with it. For this period, it will host your entire website. For Magento, it is completely free for a lifetime. No charge at all. But in order to setup Magento as your online platform, you need to pay for the hosting.
The monthly plan is only applicable for Shopify as Magento doesn't charge for their platform.
- Lite Plan: $9
- Basic Shopify Plan: $29
- Shopify Plan: $79
- Advanced Shopify Plan: $299
In case you want to see some real examples of Magento vs Shopify online shops in action, here are some fantastic Shopify stores and some Magento website examples. Now after reading the article what do you think? Will you go for Magento or Shopify?
If someone has an intension or interest to have lots of custom options or features or manage a very large number of products, then my suggestion is to go with Magento. And if you don't want to have such complication or go with the default feature, then Shopify would be my go. From my point of view, if you really want to grow your business or make it larger, then Magento is the best one. But remember, Magento maintenance requires expert Magento developers.