Magento Or Shopify — Which one’s better for your next E-commerce project?
Comparison between Shopify and Magento
Can’t decide between Magento and Shopify? You’re not alone. These two brands are two of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the market today.
Shopify is an easy-to-use solution for building online stores. You pay a monthly fee, and it’s capable of supporting both fledgling and high-volume businesses.
Magento is an open-source platform which, like WordPress, is free to install onto your computer. However, you’ll need to pay for web hosting (around $10 per month), security, and extensions (they’re like apps), which we’ll explain in more detail below.It’s a powerful platform, but you’ll find it hard to achieve your e-commerce goals without knowing how to code. It’s more suitable for enterprise-level businesses with their own development teams.
Following is a detailed analysis of both these platforms. After reading this blog, you’re the one in the driving wheel. You get to decide which route you should take.
Pros and Cons
Shopify Pros 👍
- Multichannel selling — On Shopify, you can sell on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay
- 70+ mobile responsive themes — 10 free options, plus 64 premium options starting from $140
- App store — extensive range of apps to extend the functionality of your site
Magento Pros 👍
- Large user community — the Magento Forum has a comprehensive answer for just about anything.
- Flexible platform — there are no limitations to how you can design your store, as long as you know how to code.
- Ideal for medium to large businesses — Magento is an advanced platform suitable for businesses with their own web development teams, or that have money to spend on hiring a developer.
Shopify Cons 👎
- Transaction fees — Shopify is the only platform to enforce its own fees, unless you use Shopify Payments.
- Cost of apps — it’s easy to get carried away installing lots of paid apps.
Magento Cons 👎
- Unsuitable for beginners — you’ll need to know how to code, and the software uses web developer jargon that isn’t very beginner-friendly.
- Not easy to install — unlike other open-source softwares, it’s harder to find a hosting provider that will support Magento (SiteGround is one that will).
Themes and Design
Although there’s a lot more to your website than how it looks, an attractive site is often more appealing and much easier to navigate. Having access to the right theme can allow you to offer a better user experience, as well as ensuring that you stand out from the crowd.
In terms of frontend appearance, Shopify has a lot of fantastic and fully customisable themes to choose from. What’s more, Shopify’s themes are easy to start using. As long as you can add your own content and products you’re basically ready to go.
Another great thing about Shopify from a design perspective, is that it’s themes are optimised for mobile. This means that they’ll impress Google and your customers whether they’re browsing on a desktop or not.There are features like product zoom to explore too.
On the downside, while there are a handful of free themes available, you’ll need to pay for the majority of the options from Shopify. This can mean that you end up over-spending on your site a little
On the plus side, if you have the cash, Shopify offers a ton of customisation options, including the option to change your color pallet, add new pages to your website, remove and resize elements and more. You can also integrate social media tools onto your page.
Magento, on the other hand, offers a lot fewer themes to choose from. There are 16 themes in total, and they come in a selection of free and paid options. 10 of the themes are mobile responsive, which means that your site can auto-resize itself to any device.
Magento also allows you to implement your own theme and update designs from the backend of your online business. However, this requires a lot more developer knowledge than you would need with Shopify, or even Shopify Plus.
Shopify has a wider (and cheaper) range of themes than Magento. You don’t need to use code to customize Shopify’s themes, either, which makes it really easy for you to tailor your chosen template to the needs of your brand.
E-commerce platforms and sales tools go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. Let’s have a look at what Shopify and Magento have under the hood.
Below are some of the best features on Shopify that enable you to sell products and make money:
- Abandoned cart recovery — recover potentially lost sales by sending automatic emails to customers that left your website before finalising a purchase
- Multi-channel selling — sell on Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram as a built-in feature. It makes Shopify Facebook selling and selling on other media more convenient.
- Sell digital products (as well as physical ones)
- Partnerships with USPS, DHL Express, UPS, and Canada Post — to save you the hassle of finding your own courier service
Magento’s inventory system is quite impressive, which comes with excellent built-in features such as bulk product import from your database, multiple product variants, total revenue reports, and total visitor count.
These sales tools from Magento stand apart:
- Multi-channel selling options — install extensions in order to integrate your store with Facebook, Instagram, and eBay
- Checkout customisation — create a totally bespoke checkout for your online store
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Set percentage and fixed price discounts
Shopify has a more impressive range of sales tools than Magento. Shopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms around, offering plenty of built-in tools like multichannel selling — something only available via installing expensive extensions on Magento.
Having access to powerful marketing tools should help your business reach new customers and improve your bottom line. What’s not to love?
Shopify provides brilliant marketing tools, including the ability to run email campaigns through third party integrations with Seguno, Klaviyo, Constant Contact, and many others. You can also advertise and sell directly on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. We also love Shopify’s ability to support multilingual sites, helping you sell products in different languages.
In the opposite corner, Magento relies on its Marketplace for the bulk of its marketing tools. For instance, you’ll need to install extensions, such as Remarkety, to run email campaigns. What’s more, you’ll likely need to rely on the skills of a web developer to integrate your marketing tools if you want truly bespoke features, whereas Shopify offers plenty of built-in marketing tools to help your store scale.
Shopify wins this one. Both Magento and Shopify rely on their respective app markets for the most important marketing features, such as the ability to create email campaigns, but Shopify enables you to advertise on social media as a built-in feature.
Apps and Add-ons
While both Shopify and Magento have a lot to offer, you’ll still want to make sure that you can extend the functionality of your website with additional apps and add-ons. Whether you’re looking for a way to add WooCommerce or PayPal functionality to your store, that’s where integrations come in handy.
Apps and extensions are available from both Shopify and Magento, helping you to broaden the functionality of your website. You can turn your site into a community edition with links to various membership plugins. Alternatively, you might choose apps for things like countdown timers to boost your chances of making a sale.
When it comes to apps and additions, Shopify is much closer to WordPress in terms of options, there are thousands of free and paid apps to choose from. However, keep in mind that some of the options will require a little bit of coding knowledge.
The good news is that you can add most plugins just with the click of a button. These allow you to access things like trust icons that reduce your risk of cart abandonment, or social buttons to boost your chances of a community. You can expand your CMS and eCommerce solution however you choose.
On the other hand, Magento also has thousands of paid and free extensions to choose from. If you don’t belong to the subgroup of magneto developers on the market today, then you can still add a lot of functionality without coding knowledge.
With a click of the mouse, you can add gift cards and abandoned cart functionality to your website. There’s also the option for business owners to implement things like pre-order functionality, or banner sliders with SaaS apps from around the web. Whether you’re looking to improve your order management options or expand your market share, you can do a lot with
your e-commerce business through Magento.
Although Shopify often stands out as one of the top solutions for apps and extensions, it still doesn’t compete with Magento. One of the reasons that this site builder is so popular is its add-ons.
When you’re comparing options like BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and many others for your website, you’ll need to ensure that you have plenty of great ways to take payments. After all, your site can only be profitable if you can complete transactions safely.
Both Magento and Shopify allow you to take online credit part payments and other transactions from your customers. Shopify even has its own integrated payment processor, named Shopify Payments. If you use this option, then you’ll be able to avoid the transaction fees that you would otherwise need to pay with Shopify.
Alternatively, if you prefer to use a payment solution that your customers are already familiar with, you can still use things like Paypal and Amazon Pay. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to pay for each transaction.
Shopify supports more than 100 different external payment processors, which makes it one of the most incredible shopping tools there is.
On the other hand, Magento developers and beginners can also access a bunch of payment options, although they can require a bit more work to implement. Because you’re not working with a hosted platform, you will need slightly different skills.
Magento supports all the major payment processors that you know and love, with over 150 payment integration options. Additionally, you can access a bunch of payment options in different languages and countries, so you can sell to customers overseas too.
Magento has better payment processor options than Shopify. Shopify has fewer payment gateway options, and it imposes its own transaction fees unless you use its own option, Shopify Payments, which can be quite restrictive.
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO helps to increase the amount of visitor traffic from search engines to your website, which means gaining more paying customers and more money in the bank.
Magento really excels in SEO, and comes with plenty of SEO guides and prompts to help you get started. You can edit image alt tags (which help Google understand how to categorize an image on the image search platform), and customize URLs to help search engine users find your web pages more easily. All of these are built-in features, too.
On the other hand, Shopify is more reliant on apps for its SEO. While you can edit page titles and image alt tags, you’ll need to search the app store for the majority of your SEO tricks.
Magento edges Shopify in the SEO department. It has a wider range of built-in SEO features, such as SEO prompts and the ability to customize URLs. With Shopify, you’ll need to search for and install apps for many of your SEO wants and needs.
This blog has run you through the key similarities and differences between Magento and Shopify. Now you know which platform is right for you, let’s quickly recap the main differences between the two.
Essentially, Shopify is more user-friendly than Magento. You’ll be able to get online faster, and have a support team close at hand.
Magento is more of a project. It’ll take time and technical know-how to bring your vision to life, and you’ll be largely reliant on a Magento forum (or on developers).
You should use Shopify if:
- You want to get your store up and running on a timely basis
- You’ve been using an e-commerce website builder (like Wix, Squarespace or Weebly) and want to switch to something more powerful
- You’re just starting out in e-commerce, but are hoping to develop a fully-fledged e-commerce business
- You’d like the convenience of an all-in-one payment, and having a support team on hand
You should use Magento if:
- You have coding skills, and you want to build an online store for your medium or large sized business
- You want total creative freedom through coding
- You already have a global audience, or international aspirations
- You’re aiming to create a big brand with big revenue, and are prepared to invest time and money into design