25 October 2022
Choosing the best e-commerce platforms is never easy. Entrepreneurs and business owners must consider multiple aspects when selecting the right e-commerce platform. First, you must understand the size of your store, the number of products available, the payment and shipping options you offer, and what you want your store’s user experience. Another thing is finding a platform that balances your unique needs as a retailer with your customers.
And in this article, we will compare Magento vs. Shopify. The two major e-commerce platforms with large online communities. Both platforms offer a unique e-commerce store experience, but they are vastly different in almost every area, including their target audience. The Magento platform caters to large, enterprise-level businesses, while the Shopify platform targets small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and businesses that want the ease of use over features.
Magento and Shopify are the two biggest e-commerce platforms that have been chosen by thousands of merchants worldwide. According to Builtwith, Shopify and Magento are the top three in e-commerce usage distribution in the top 1 million sites in 2022.
As a business owner or someone working in the e-commerce industry, who doesn’t know this famous e-commerce platform? But what about the differences between those two? Especially when you are considering changing your existing e-commerce platform to another one.
First, let’s talk about the definition. Shopify is an easy-to-use, with no technical skills required, e-commerce platform solution for building your own online store. All you need is to pay a monthly fee with the capabilities to support both fledgling and high-volume businesses.
Meanwhile, Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform that is free to install for your online business. If you choose Magento, you must pay for web hosting, security, and extensions. However, the capabilities of Magento are limitless and quite costly.
To understand each platform better, let’s find the key differences between those two major platforms below.
Price is essential when choosing an e-commerce platform. You should ask yourself, how much do you spend on your store? Which offers better prices, Magento or Shopify? And here are the differences in the pricing between Magento and Shopify that you should know.
|No monthly subscription
|Monthly subscriptions with fees according to the plan:
Lite Plan: US$9
Shopify Basic: US$29
Advanced Shopify: US$299
Shopify Plus: starts from US$2000
|Domain fees are US$10 – 15 per year
|Free domain or you can buy domains through Shopify at US$14/year
|Hosting fees depend greatly on the Magento hosting provider you choose
|No need to pay hosting costs, except for Shopify Lite
|Themes are free, but you can pay up to US$499
|Themes price are free up to US$180
|You can use a free app or add features up to US$15.000
|You can use the free app available or add apps, and pay starts from $15/month
|Transaction fees 2.9% + US$0.30 per transaction
|Transaction fees vary according to the plan you choose:
Shopify Lite: 2.4%
Basic Shopify: 2%
Advanced Shopify: 0.5%
Shopify Plus: 0.15%
Most entrepreneurs who build online businesses are not web designers or developers or have no tech background. Even users familiar with the basic skills still want an easy platform to set up and use. And what about Magento vs. Shopify? Which one is easy to use?
Regarding usability, Magento isn’t as user-friendly as Shopify, especially for non-tech-savvy users. Even though the platform gives the user complete control over his website, it requires extensive technical knowledge to install and set it up.
On the contrary, Shopify is extremely easy to use because of the hosted platform. Plus, Shopify is built for everyone, whether you’re tech-savvy or have a slightly more technical background. As a result, Shopify users won’t have too much trouble making their stores.
A theme only configures the look and feel of your website, but adding extensions is the way to add functionality. Both Magento and Shopify offer an app store and extensions. Most of these applications are click-to-use, allowing you to add multiple features to your e-commerce website.
Currently, Magento offers almost 3600+ extensions through Magento Marketplace. Moreover, no extensive programming knowledge is required to install and implement these extensions. Additionally, there are some beneficial highlighting extensions. For example, use Mageplaza to promote your products by offering custom discount options or use plugins to automatically email prospects on product pre-orders whenever new products are available.
Meanwhile, Shopify App Store offers over 4,200 free and paid apps to add features, manage your store, and increase sales. Here are some popular apps like Trust Hero from Booster Apps to reduce cart abandonment and the option to display a trust icon to your visitors and prospects. Not only that, but Shopify also offers the advantage of integrating marketing email campaigns, such as MailChimp accounts, to reach your target audience.
One of the first things many companies care about after budget and usability issues is how the platform looks. Therefore, the customer’s first impression is essential. Themes allow you to reflect your unique brand and personality. Check out our Magento and Shopify themes!
Shopify offers quite a wide range of themes, consisting of 13 free and 73 premium themes. As for the price of the premium theme, it might be a bit costly, around US$150 – US$350, for merchants who want an exquisite storefront design.
Magento provides six completely mobile-optimized themes, which cost you up to US$499. If you have resources (budget and tech knowledge), you may even create your theme from scratch, but you need deep coding knowledge or a specific budget to hire developers.
The highlight features:
|It offers more flexible customization (if you have a solid technical foundation).
|The drag-and-drop editor lets you add, switch, remove and resize your Shopify theme.
|You can add animations to make your store attractive.
|Add a product slider to your homepage
|Easily upload or create new pages.
|You can embed a newsletter option in your website footer.
|You can change or switch the color palette and images in keeping with your business.
|Place the “cross-sell block” on the product page.
|It lets you feature in social media feeds easily.
Did you know that an e-commerce website can optimize with SEO and can affect your store’s ranking? SEO is crucial when comparing Magento and Shopify, where both offer somewhat similar options.
With Shopify and Magento SEO, you can easily edit page titles and descriptions to define how your store will appear on search engine results pages, add alt text to images, and help search engines can help understand your products.
But Magento has a wide range of functions and features with the ability to add modules and allow merchants to change meta titles and meta descriptions and add schema markup. Moreover, it also enables merchants to include star ratings, prices, and inventory levels in snippets of search results as Google functions. If you want to get more advanced SEO features, you can purchase SEO apps from the Shopify App Store and Magento Marketplace.
Besides SEO, Magento and Shopify also offer powerful marketing features to promote your business. For example, Magento allows users to create flexible coupons for different purposes, create landing pages for other categories, and manage newsletters.
On the other hand, Shopify offers a built-in email tool for promoting your products and sharing updates. The tool also has some stunning email templates to customize while maintaining professionalism.
Amazingly, Shopify stands out from other competitors by offering help and support that is pretty dedicated. They provide a dedicated team 24/7 by phone, email, and live chat to resolve customer issues. Additionally, Shopify users can access community forums, a help center, API documentation, and numerous video tutorials. Otherwise, you can also hire Exclusive Shopify Experts like Lime Commerce to ensure maximum problem resolution and smooth business operations.
As Magento is a self-hosted solution, it does not offer live chat, phone, or email support on the go unless you sign up for Adobe Commerce or Adobe Commerce Cloud plan for B2B. Instead, Magento users benefit from an excellent user community. You can get helpful advice from Magento experts or developers around the world.
If we talk about security, Shopify comes with an SSL certificate and fraud analytics to detect potentially fraudulent transactions. Besides, the platform is also GDPR compliant and PCI compliant.
On the other hand, Magento is a self-hosted platform, giving users the flexibility to improve the security of their online store on their own. However, you also have the option to install the related Payments & Security extension available on the Magento (Adobe Commerce) Store Marketplace.
The more payment gateways you integrate with your store, the better your customer experience and conversions. And both Shopify and Magento provide more payment gateways, such as debit and credit card payments. However, Shopify goes one step further by integrating its internal payment processor, Shopify Payments, to eliminate all transaction fees.
We charge a fee for each transaction when paying through third-party providers such as PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Pay. Shopify supports 100 payment gateways worldwide. Meanwhile, Magento offers over 300 payment integration options. But the downside of Magento is that it’s not easy to implement.
Magento and Shopify have many advantages and disadvantages. To give you a better perspective and understanding, let’s break down the pros and cons of each platform.
|Easy to use, even with no tech knowledge.
|Most of the theme options are not free.
|Reliable customer support.
|Transaction fees apply for every transaction unless using Shopify Payments.
|Support with multichannel and cross-platform selling.
|Integrating apps into the store is quite complex.
|Provides several checkout and payment options.
|Offer more than 80 mobile-friendly themes.
|Provides access to a well-stocked app store for extending functionality.
|The excellent and interactive community offers tons of support for users
|Has a learning curve.
|An open-source and free-to-use platform allows users to set up an online store at no cost.
|Time-consuming to set up the store.
|It offers unlimited customization capability.
|Immensely challenging for beginners and requires web development knowledge.
|It provides a broad range of themes to choose from.
|You may incur other integration costs while setting up your store to enhance its functionality.
|Offers a wide range of extensions for extending functionality.
|For Adobe Commerce, there is no need for coding knowledge.
And now it is time to reveal which is best, Magento or Shopify? Well, both Shopify and Magento are robust e-commerce platforms, but Shopify is easier to use because it’s a self-hosted and fully managed service. Another thing, Shopify is the winner as an e-commerce platform for building online stores with ease of use and powerful functionality.
Magento itself is free, but you have to buy hosting and do all the software or system setup and installation process by yourself, or you should hire developers or an agency such as Lime Commerce.
And decide whether Shopify or Magento is suitable for your business depends on what you want to do with it and your experience building websites. Shopify is great for beginners, but Magento offers more experienced users several design and theme options not found in more basic e-commerce apps.
Additionally, if you are considering a new platform and are switching from the Magento 1 platform, Shopify will be a major disappointment in terms of functionality. As a result, your search engine rankings will likely suffer after switching your platform to Shopify. Magento 2 is a safer platform-switching option.
Comparing the best two e-commerce platforms can be very challenging. But the key is that it depends on your business needs. If you want to create unique customizations for the best customer experience? Magento is great for creating personalized experiences for your customers that you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for simplicity? Shopify is suitable for merchants who want to develop a simple e-commerce website that requires little coding or technical experience.
However, if you have the technical expertise or have a team of developers, Magento is recommended. With its features you won’t find anywhere else and an open-source version enhanced by an incredible community, it stands out from the crowd. If you have limited time or money to invest in creating unique customer experiences, Shopify can provide a simple, customer-friendly storefront.
Are you still juggling to choose between those two? Lime Commerce is always ready to help you to discuss or give you the best options for your business. We are an e-commerce development company with both an Exclusive Shopify Partner and an official Bronze Partner of the Adobe Solution Partner Program with extensive experience for over eight years in helping clients deliver excellence. Let’s talk and tell us your business needs and how we can offer the best solutions.
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