Are you thinking of launching an e-commerce store? In this big digital era, one of an uphill struggles startups and SBAs encounters is choosing an effective and easy-to-use e-commerce development platform for their business. Magento and Shopify, by the numbers, are two most prominent and widely used platforms available on the market today. We know that picking out a platform for your online store means deciding the fate of your business. For this reason, we don’t want you to make this critical decision just with a leap of faith. To help you select the perfect e-commerce web development platform, we are presenting a detailed and unbiased comparison between Magento and Shopify so you can be confident when making the final decision.
Magento is an incredibly powerful, open-source software plugin that enables thousands of businesses to convert their standard website into an amazing, customizable online store. This cutting-edge platform packs a powerful punch with flexibility, scalability, and an array of features and extensions. Magento is based on the PHP programming language and also requires a reliable hosting plan to run the software like WPEngine and Nexcess. Not to mention, its updated version ‘Magento 2’ has moved full-steam ahead by completely transforming the technology stack of e-commerce development industry for developers.
Shopify is a complete, leading SaaS e-commerce platform that is auto-scalable and has almost no hassles. By this means, it significantly reduces the engineering effort for building, configuring, and sustaining an e-commerce website by around 60 percent. The reason being that Shopify itself handles backend operations and deals with all technical aspects involved in the process, from handling payments and inventory to managing security and web hosting. This all-in-one platform allows your online store to automatically optimize itself for diverse sizes and screens.
An In-depth Comparison: Magento vs. Shopify
To understand these both e-commerce platforms better, let’s delve into a comprehensive comparison of Shopify vs. Magento and compare various aspects that can considerably impact your online store.
1. The Usage Numbers:
Shopify has powered more than 500,000 e-commerce businesses, whereas Magento has claimed over 250,000 stores. Shopify provides users with an excellent range of 67 fashionably sleek, fully customized themes (both paid and free) through its store. Magento comes with 15 themes, of which ten themes are fully mobile responsive.
However, many of the themes offered by Magento are poorly built and are very difficult to scale. Shopify, on the other hand, appears to have a superior handle on maintaining and vetting the themes, so there’s less likely to be any issues later. Since each theme has its own unique variations, you will technically get over 100 separate designs for your e-commerce website.
As far as the prices are concerned for both extensions and themes, the rate can be anywhere from:
Magento is an extremely compelling, effectual plugin that has three editions:
The cloud edition typically hosts the “enterprise edition” on the cloud via Amazon Web Services or Magento itself, which saves you from the hassle of purchasing and implementing the additional web hosting service yourself. On the other hand, Shopify is a cloud-hosted commercial product that has a few pricing plans as per the offerings and features.
3. B2B/B2C eCommerce
From a B2B eCommerce standpoint, Magento is, by far, the world’s most beneficial, succeeding Small-Medium Business (SMB) platform that allows merchants to work with both B2B and B2C stores. Magento can manage multi-lingual functionalities for internationalization or multi-brand websites, with in-built multilingual support while Shopify is relatively at a disadvantage here. This is because Shopify has lesser B2B eCommerce or multi-store capabilities. Additionally, it doesn’t provide flexible pricing packages per user or groups the way Magento can.
4. Inventory management
Both Magento and Shopify offer fundamental inventory management functionalities to set out and maintain multiple inventory items available in your stock on an ongoing basis. The Shopify’s basic plan that typically starts at $29 per month doesn’t allow more than 25 product items to be added to your store while Magento Community Edition enables users to store and sell a virtually unlimited number of products. However, on a side note, Shopify’s other plan options free you from the above (25 products) condition.
There’s one more thing that one should not ignore at any cost! Although you can add a core set of products or unlimited items and have multiple stores using these products, the response time can get affected significantly due to Hosting, VPS & Server, and loading.
5. Cost of Ownership:
There’s no denying that every person wants slightly more bang for their buck, which is why when choosing an e-commerce platform your website, you need to consider how much exactly it’s going to set you back. To say this quite bluntly, these both platforms have comparatively different approaches to pricing: Shopify has very transparent and straightforward pricing packages while it’s hard to jot down an exact figure for Magento.
Since Shopify is a cloud-hosted platform that takes care of stores of all sizes, it is an excellent choice for both medium and large businesses alike! It provides a simple subscription-based option including three packages as well as a custom enterprise solution.
Plan 1: Basic Shopify ($29 per month)
Plan 2: Shopify ($79 per month)
Plan 3: Advanced Shopify ($299 per month)
Select a plan that meets your needs and fits your operating budget.
6. Ease of use
Shopify is an out-of-the-box eCommerce solution which means you don’t need to download, manage, or update any software. As soon as you sign up, Shopify will walk you through a basic setup wizard, and you are done! Next, it is going to help you along the journey, asking about the nature or type of your store, providing you with various theme design options, and giving you overall tips. After that, you will be able to create your new online store, add products, insert images, manage inventory, and perform other countless tasks. With Shopify you can:
a. Add custom pictures to your theme so you can customize the outlook of your store.
b. Include product items into inventory to start vending in no time.
c. Set up and configure payment gateway so you can start accepting orders as well as processing credit card payments right from day one.
d. Use comprehensive checkout facets like discounts, shipping, taxes, etc.
And, you can perform all these development operations with no acquaintance of coding, even a single line! Since its interface is intuitive to use and alter, even for less tech-savvy users, you can easily drag and drop website elements around the page to personalize your online store – just exactly you want! Yes, you don’t need any site-building or specific technical skills to get started with the whole process. Additionally, one doesn’t have to worry about performance, security, compatibility, and backup issues.
Compared to Shopify, the learning curve is pretty steep for Magento since one will need to learn technical terms and coding, which put a lot of the development burden into e-commerce. Not to mention, setting up the store is one of the most daunting tasks itself. Even before getting started with the Magento, you need to take care of a couple of things, including:
a) Get a domain name
b) Find a reliable web hosting provider
c) Find and install a theme etc.