People today have a great deal of dependency on technology. So many business ventures are basing themselves on technology. Even many early establishments have made themselves online based. And every day the count is rising. Unlike the old times, someone can now start a store for their products virtually. Are you starting a new business from scratch? Are you updating your business from offline to online? There will be confusion that which E-commerce platform is the best match for you. Now there are many E-commerce solutions. One of the most dominating trends in the market right now is “Magento vs Shopify”, though they are very different fundamentally. It is crucial to choose the right one to suit your business. Among all the available alternatives liquid based Shopify and PHP based magneto holds the highest places. A person can be confused about which one to choose. In this article, we will discuss all the pros and cons of these two systems help you take the decision which will be the best for you.
Magento vs Shopify
Let’s go through a brief overview of both these platforms. According to the latest statistics, it is estimated that Magento powers 14% of the world’s e-commerce websites, vs. Shopify which powers 6% of the world’s e-commerce sites. The new Shopify has given the old well known Magento a tough competition.
Shopify is a proprietary software that is ideal for non-flexible business. Which means there is very little or almost no room for tweaking in the future with the sites designed with Shopify. This software is based on a special programming language named as ‘LIQUID’. It charges the user a fee for their services. It has four (4) types of pricing and a chance of 14 days trial for the interested parties. Shopify has a lower numbered community and a very few options for customization. It also has very lesser themes and add-ons comparing its market counterpart. But the bright side is it requires almost zero coding knowledge for setting up an online store in no time, though there are limitations for this system as well like Shopify is only good for small and medium businesses and options for making any form of changes in the business later is limited and costly. There is also a little number of resources like themes and add-ons are available compared to Magento.
Magento is open-source software which is based on the popular PHP coding platform which is free to use. It has enjoyed popularity for a very long time. After the launch of Shopify, it had some competition. Though the release of the second version of Magento called Magento version2 or Magento2 has inched them higher on the list making them an Ideal choice for all sizes of business. There is a lot of room for tweaking in magento2 to suit the business needs. Normally it is free to use but the Enterprise version needs to be paid. There are only 2 pricing options with the release of new features and large community support it has a lot of resources available. Both free and paid. Magento2 requires slight coding knowledge for setting up but it is possible with add-ons to bypass this. They are both free and paid.
Magento vs Shopify: Core Differences
There are some core sectors of Magento vs Shopify. They are listed below:
- Shopify is a proprietary software that can be used on a monthly basis subscription or a 14-day trial. Magento2 is an open source software that has free community version and a paid enterprise version.
- Shopify is hosted in Shopify itself, so you can start right away. But for Magento2 you need to configure a third party hosting solution, then install, setup or configure before you can start working on your own store
- There is a very little to no chance for expansion or tweaking in future in Shopify. But magento2 has this facility.
- You won’t need any coding skill to work with Shopify. But will need small to medium coding efficiency to work with Magento2.
- Both of these systems have a technology ecosystem with apps and themes to help you customize the store.
- Magento is suited for the larger businesses and Shopify is more suitable for the smaller or dropshipping businesses.
Magento vs Shopify: Comparison of different categories
The most common confusion that a user faces when setting up his e-commerce business is what platform to choose. Now let’s compare the pros and cons of Shopify and Magento2 in categories:
Numbers of sites and resources
Here in the table, a competitive comparison is given. All the information provided in this table is taken from Google Trends.
|Number of Apps and add-ons(approx.)||2400||3200|
|Number of themes available(approx.)||20||70|
|Pricing category||4 types||2 types|
|Number of sites powered||6% of top million E-commerce sites||14% of top million E-commerce sites|
A great way to compare them is to list out the companies that use them. A list of some well-known companies that used these systems is provided in the table below:
|Los-Angeles Lakers Store||Nike|
|Tesla Motors||Rosetta Stone|
Coding skill requirements
When it comes to coding them both vary in many ways. Shopify uses a special coding language called “LIQUID”. On the other hand, Magento2 like its predecessor uses “PHP” programming language. As we have said before Shopify is proprietary and Magento2 is Open-Source, it means we can change Magento based sites just as we need them to be. It means we can alter site template as much as we need to but Shopify being proprietary software doesn’t provide this facility.
Speed of store
Another Important factor we should consider when comparing these platforms is the loading and navigation speed. It is an important factor in SEO and that denotes how a potential customer will interact with your website. If the products take too long to respond or load it is normal for the user to be irritated and flock away to an alternative. Research shows that even a 1% delay can reduce the traffic by 7%. So a speedy store is most likely to be succeeded. In this contrast, Magento has an old reputation for being slow. Though Shopify has an advantage. But the new Magento2 has all the necessary updates to deal with this issue. Compared to the old Magento1 sites the new Magento2 sites load up faster. In some cases, the speed can go up to 56% higher.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Friendly
No matter what your case scenario is, you must make your store SEO friendly to ensure adequate traffic. Almost half of the online purchases are started in the web via Google or any other search engines. So it is an important factor for your store to be SEO friendly just to ensure enough traffic. Some platforms are better optimized than others. Shopify comes as a highly optimized platform than any other competition currently exists. Magento is in the second position tied to another platform woo-commerce. But Magento 2 provides the user with a chance to optimize in an alternate way with the advanced options provided. In Shopify, it is possible to edit Meta descriptions, title tags, alt tags and image names as per requirements. In case of Magento2, it also supports some advanced SEO options like editing the robot.txt file or image tag optimization option.
Compared to the Shopify users there is another advantage that magento2 has. It is way wealthier in the form of the active community following. So Magento2 developers are able to create more solutions for more users in a short time to solve their problems. This also means the interested parties or potential clients will be able to easily find a skilled developer to work with. Since a user can recruit a third party developer to solve their problem. But for Shopify, it is a bit hard to do so since Shopify is a proprietary platform and has a smaller community than Magento2. And for that reason, it heavily depends on registered developers. But recently Shopify has opened up to third party developers and they are working on this matter.
E-commerce platformers always want to create a multi-vendor marketplace where other vendors can sell their products under one store or brand name using one shopping cart. Both of these platforms have add-ons to provide the feature for creating the multi-vendor marketplace. It is true that Magento beats Shopify in the case of store creating capabilities.
Because of its vast tweaking capabilities, it is a better choice for multi-vendor stores. After the upgrades came out in Magento2, It is now ahead in this criterion.
Apps, Integrations, and Add-ons
When it comes to applications, Integration, and add-ons Shopify and Magento2 both have a lot of choices but Magento 2 has a head start in case of numbers. Where there are around 3200 resources available for Magento2 Shopify has somewhat around 2400 resources available like Apps, Integrations, and add-ons.
So if you are looking for a way to integrate your ideas like a custom coupon code or custom error messages in Magento2 it is possible. So the possibilities for tweaking are limitless. But when it comes to Shopify these features are now available with paid and free add-ons but the possibilities are limited.
Magento2 resources much like the templates are thousands in numbers so you have to choose the right one then at some point code it to get your requirements. But for Shopify, if you want to do it you just have to pay for the add-on if it is available.
When you are comparing Shopify vs Magneto2 for capabilities Magento2 has an upper hand in term of capabilities. Whatever your Idea is, it can easily be integrated with your site with free or cheap add-ons. But for Shopify, there are a few free resources and the cost for these add-ons are higher than Magento.
With Magento2 the owners control all the aspects of the business. Even the owner can create and manage multiple stores that are controllable from the same admin panel. For Shopify, this feature has a limitation to make sure the store functions properly.
Branding and design
If you have made a successful store that means you have created a successful new brand. But the major aspect for this branding is its design.
Shopify and Magento2 both have a wide range of free and premium responsive themes. This means all these themes are viewable on almost all electronic mobile devices like mobile phones and tablet PCs. This is a very important aspect of branding as many people use mobile devices to shop.
As Shopify themes are proprietary there is not much allowance for tweaking besides changing color and font. It is a downside for Shopify users that they cannot fully customize the theme they use. It can be a major let down for the branding image of some business cases. The new Magento2 allows the user to use the drag and drop customization. This helps both coders and non-coders to design the webpage as per need.
There is a very vast difference when it comes to the pricing of Shopify and Magento 2. One being proprietary software has a great deal of dependency on pricing and other being open source software has a less dependency on pricing.
Shopify is a fully functioning package which means their flat pricing plan includes everything from hosting to features. Though you have to pay an extra charge on credit card or other payment processors like Pay-pal on the transactions made. This can stack up a good amount of money. But you can also use “Shopify-pay” instead, which is their integrated payment processor.
On the contrary, when it comes to Magento there are only two options for pricing. One being Magento2 CE (community edition), which is fully free to get or use without any kind of fees. Considering the pre-installed features and updates it is an ideal choice for all small or medium business. As for larger businesses or enterprises, there is another option by Magento2. That is Magento2 EE (Enterprise Edition), which is ideal for large online stores or well-established businesses.
There is another pricing category for both of them and it would be their resources. Both of them have a wide variety of resources to get from. Both free and paid.
Here is list of pricing in the table below:
|14 Day trial – FREE||Community Edition (C.E) – FREE|
|29$\month – BASIC Shopify||Enterprise Edition (E.E) – Upto 22000$\year(including everything)|
|79$\month – Shopify||Enterprise Cloud Edition (E.C.E) – 22000$\year -75000$\year|
|299$\month – Advanced Shopify||N/A|
It is a commonly known fact that Shopify is easier to use than Magento 2, especially for the non-coders. You can start right away with their integrated visual web-building tool that is provided to set up your business. Unlike the Magento original but with readymade extensions of Magento2 it is a lot easier to work with than the previous. And it also doesn’t require coding for a simple solution that exists. Compared to the old Magento1 and add-ons alone the new Magento2 provides a far better user experience.
Magento2 has a better admin panel that is way easier to learn and comparing to Shopify it is easy for the admin to complete advanced features like managing payment processors, sorting product or customer in multiple ways. So it is possible to accomplice a lot in a shorter time with the new Magento2. In case of small and medium business, Shopify has a very easy to start setup. This helps to get started in a very short time. The con is their lack of flexibility. So if the user focuses on starting a business on a fixed premise Shopify is good, but if the owner is looking for a business that will expand or change over time Magento2 should be the choice.
Checkout is another important factor when we are comparing Magento vs Shopify. Shopify has a great one-page responsive checkout which has a great variety of features. But the only downside is the low tier pricing. Merchants are not able to see the shipping rates, so sometimes the customer has to pay a great amount of shipping charge. Magento2 has an exceptional checkout which has the issue of hidden shipping charge fixed. The payment and shipping information is separated to avoid confusion. Apart from that, it is loaded with a lot of features like distraction-free checkout, automatic guest checkout, one-click account creation and two-step checkout etc.
Before getting to any conclusion or making any final decisions about Shopify vs Magento 2 take a look at these questions:
- How are you planning on starting your business?
- What product or services you are going to offer?
- Which features are given with the installed version without the add-ons?
- Is it possible to try all the possible platforms before the final decision?
- Depending on the type of business what is the product number/range of your business?
- How are you planning to start your business?
- Do you have any plans for expansion later?
- If you are planning an expansion what are your requirements?
These are the most common questions that people go for especially who are planning to go online with their business. It is impossible to say that which platform is the best for every single type of store. So Judge your goal, budget, concept, and expertise then take a decision.
When judging between Shopify and Magento2 keep your requirements in mind then analyze them with the facts to know what will suit you best. Remember that, judge all the facts before you take the decision. If you are planning on a store that has 100-200 products and no plans of extensions, Shopify is your best choice. But if you are looking for making a store with unlimited potential for the future extension like adding features, better scalability, and vast customizations then Magento2 is your best choice. Decide for yourself.