Note: This article was last updated on 5th November 2019 to reflect the latest comparison parameters.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is the first step towards the prospects of your eCommerce business. A lot depends on what your expectations are in terms of setting up your eCommerce store, (that ideally includes inventory and order management, capturing payments, shipping, along with customer targeting & services), and what features are you willing to include in a set budget. Take a look at the infographic Magento vs Shopify and choose the best one.
Magento Vs Shopify – Which Is The Best?
Magento and Shopify are two of the best available eCommerce platforms. More than often, they pitted against each other even though they are different in every aspect.
Magento is an open-source platform and is quite popular among all kinds of businesses. Its recent acquisition by Adobe paves the way for more features and updates. Shopify is a ‘software as a service’ or a SaaS-based platform where the code is never shared. Shopify is possibly one of Magento’s fiercest competitors in the market.
There are several characteristics that set them apart but each has its own significance and comparing them with each other isn’t easy.
For instance, Magento may appear to be a little complex in installation or usage and needs a separate hosting server. It is also far superior in terms of flexibility and functionalities. It offers a large pool of themes, templates, add-ons or plugins. This is in addition to the numerous inbuilt marketing, SEO, data analysis and security features.
Magento Vs Shopify – What The Numbers Say
When we look at the numbers, it is easy to see how much competition exists between these two platforms. Over 235,000 websites are hosted today on Magento (2019 update) while there are over 500,000 on Shopify! With Magento, the recurring costs are almost zero and you pay for hosting alone, but with Shopify you pay a smaller fee spread out over the lifetime of use.
Magento Vs Shopify- Features And Themes
As far as features go, Magento offers the following benefits and pitfalls:
- A large pool of external themes which can be purchased and customized almost endlessly
- It has a ton of apps and add-ons that you can use to run your retail business smoothly
- If you want to blog on your eCommerce site, you have to use an external plugin which may not always be ideal.
Shopify, on the other hand, is almost the opposite. Yes, external themes are available for Shopify and the choice is seemingly endless, but only about ten themes are free in total. It also has far fewer plug-ins currently. However, it does offer blogging functionality.
Magento Vs Shopify- Ease Of Use
In this section, Shopify wins hands down. Shopify has a simple drag-and-drop interface which makes it easier to use for beginners and those with no coding expertise. That said, if you have someone who can code well, Magento is the better option since you can customize almost everything with it.
Another factor that works against Magento here is that you need to pay for hosting separately, but on Shopify, it is included in your monthly fee.
Magento Vs Shopify- Marketing Features
This is where it gets tricky. When it comes to marketing features, both platforms have their disadvantages. Magento, for example, has very little social media integration although a few apps do exist for this purpose. Shopify is strong in social media integration but lacks other promotional tools. It also has a very basic newsletter subscription tool, although MailChimp integration helps to an extent.
As far as marketing features go, there is no clear winner. Both platforms have their disadvantages and you need to choose one where you can make do with plugins.
Magento Vs Shopify- Pricing
As discussed earlier, Magento is open-source software so the free community edition is available for no extra fee. However, the free version comes with no tech support which is bad considering Magento is relatively more complicated. The vendor edition that you pay for comes with tech support.
Shopify gives you a trial option and the fees can go up to $299 or more thereafter. The paid themes also start at $80 or more. That way, it is expensive on a recurring basis. But you can be up and running with your store in a few hours at most. You also don’t need a developer to make changes to your store.
Having said that, both offer basic yet powerful store functionalities that can easily be maintained. Magento enables you to create an eCommerce website the way you want. Shopify saves your time and the hustle and provides full support.
Simply put, if you are a code developer yourself or have a developing team, Magento can be a delight to work on. It has a wide range of plugins and customization built for you. However, if one has zero coding knowledge and wants a user-friendly platform, Shopify would be a better option.
Originally published at https://mofluid.com/blog/magento-vs-shopify/