The first step towards building an eCommerce website is choosing a platform. It is a crucial decision for the retailer since the online store’s success depends on it. Moreover, their number today is overwhelming.
Every business owner looks for a platform that meets all of their needs. Some can do it on the first attempt. Others can’t and have to transfer an existing site to another platform.
It can be challenging to guess what will matter as your business grows. Will you need the freedom to customize the parameters for yourself, or will ready-made themes be enough? Do you need to study Magento image optimization practices? Or do you need easy integration with your WordPress site?
In any case, you begin your search. The list of possible solutions for eCommerce goes on and on. BigCommerce, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Prestashop…
In this article, we will concentrate on Magento and Shopify. Let’s take a look at them from every angle, their pros, cons, and features. With our help, you can better understand which platform is right for you.
Magento & Shopify: Brief Overview
At the moment, 24.8% of online stores have been created on Magento. At the same time, 9% use the Shopify platform. The main difference between them is that:
- There is a free Magento version as it is an open-source platform.
- To enjoy all the benefits of the Shopify platform, you will have to pay at least $29 every month.
- Shopify offers users a complete solution, which even includes website hosting.
- Magento users need to buy hosting themselves and carry out further settings before their online store starts working. And such settings often require at least minimal programming knowledge.
As I said above, Shopify is an eCommerce solution with hosting. Moreover, Shopify is responsible for running the code itself. At the same time, users can make changes to the HTML and CSS of the site.
Shopify claims to serve over 1 million users nowadays. In short, this is the choice of those who need an easy-to-use, but at the same time, comprehensive solution. A convenient admin panel allows you to create an online store, even if you don’t have special technical knowledge.
Shopify is also constantly introducing new features like integration with Amazon. This innovation enables users to sell products on Amazon directly from the admin panel of their online store on Shopify. Or let’s bring up the Shopify and Pinterest integration, which allows retailers to transform their products into shoppable pins.
Magento is the choice of large B2B and B2C market players, as well as fast-growing businesses. This open-source CMS is owned by Adobe and offers a free basic Community Edition.
Magento is suitable for those who appreciate the many available extensions and the ability to customize their store. Therefore, you can find 70 companies from the Internet Retailer Top B2C eCommerce Leaders Report among Magento users.
In total, the number of sites powered by Magento is over 315,000. Top names include Asus, Paul Smith, Burger King, Seat, etc.
To create a Magento website, you need to understand programming or have a development team. It requires a big amount of investment and time and can take at least six months.
Shopify & Magento Differences by Category
1. Cost and Additional Expenditures
Shopify gives users a 2-week trial period so that you can evaluate the functionality of the future site. If you are satisfied with this platform, you will need to pay $29 every month for the basic version in the future. In addition, the platform charges up to 2.9% + 30 cents for CC transactions when using third-party payment modules.
Store owners can choose one of the Magento options. The first is the Community Edition. It is a free platform with no monthly subscription, which is ideal for small and medium businesses. If you plan to create a large online store, then your option is Magento Enterprise Edition, which starts at $22,000.
You can buy personalized features from the extension store or pay to create a plugin or extension from scratch if you need them. Don’t forget that you’ll pay for hosting separately. Since the Magento platform requires a lot of resources, it will be pretty expensive.
2. Performance Comparison
Load time directly affects conversion rate, as the Google research states. Your customers won’t wait and are 90% more likely to bounce if your site loads for more than 3 seconds. That’s why store owners prioritize a high level of performance across various devices and strive to provide a faster user experience.
At first glance, it might seem that Magento loses out to Shopify in this category. But let’s take a closer look.
Shopify takes care of all aspects of updating and maintaining the site as it is a cloud-based and self-hosted solution. Shopify’s performance beats Magento, which is rated 3.9 versus 2.8 respectively.
However, you won’t be able to improve your Google Page Speed score due to the nature of Shopify’s system. Even with all the efforts to optimize the site for desktop or mobile Google PageSpeed.
Magento’s performance suffers since this platform has advanced built-in features. For merchants, having a lot of features is an advantage. However, this affects the speed of the CMS.
You need to keep in mind that being a Magento client means purchasing cloud hosting solutions. In addition, you will need to use paid third-party services, configure and optimize all functions. All this can cost a lot of money if you hire experienced professionals. However, it is worthwhile to get rid of latencies and provide rich functionality.
3. Possibilities to Customize the Site
The number of extensions for Shopify is about 4,000. However, you can’t customize them and tailor them to your needs. They are less effective and powerful. You can’t change the source code and have less leverage for scalability. Thus, Shopify’s customization options are minimal.
Websites developed with Shopify have a simplified product category structure. The CMS users can’t utilize advanced search options nor customize the checkout process. Additionally, Shopify doesn’t allow stores to use their own payment gateways.
Magento 1 & 2 boasts nearly 6,000 third-party extensions that are constantly being updated. And if you haven’t found something for yourself, you can create it. However, it can be challenging and require programming skills or having a team of developers.
One of the benefits of Magento is the ability to optimize your site and convert it to a progressive web application (PWA). It means separating the front-end from the back-end, allowing you to optimize your eCommerce store for the headless commerce future as well.
To summarize, we can say that both Shopify and Magento are powerful platforms. But it’s important to realize that Shopify is much simpler. And it better suits those who are new to eCommerce. Moreover, this platform is a SaaS solution. So, you don’t have to think about your hosting, domain, and security.
The Magento platform, in contrast, is partially free. However, users need to purchase hosting and configure the system themselves, which is quite difficult without technical knowledge.
For more details, you can contact Nevpro India for discussing your Magento development services related requirements.