In running an online business, choosing a right E-commerce platform is very important and considered as a critical factor to your success. A fully-featured and integrated e-commerce platform ensures smooth sailing of online stores, whereas, a wrong choice of e-commerce platform can cause serious damage to the online store’s performance and reputation.
There are many platforms which have confirmed their power in helping merchants succeed with their online-selling career. But in this post, we will only focus on two opt-debated platforms which most retailers get confused when it comes to figuring out which one is better for their site: Magento 2 and Shopify. Both of the platforms serve the same purposes but generally, they are different in most aspects. Now, we would like to show you those similarities and differences in each aspect between two platforms so that you can decide one that best suits your needs. Let’ read and find out!
Both platforms gain huge popularity in e-commerce industry: around 240,000 websites are powered by Shopify while 160,000 sites registered domains on Magento.
The biggest difference between these two platforms is the type of users. Shopify is extremely easy to use, which explains why it is preferred by small online stores which are new and inexperienced, whereas, Magento attracts most medium and large-sized stores. However, if you are running a small store but want to prepare effortless scalability in the future, Magento can be an excellent choice.
Shopify makes everything incredibly easy for users such as providing professionally designed themes which can be adjusted as per the user’s like. However, this also means that merchants don’t have full control over their site’s design and functionality. This matter can be blurred by apps and extensions which are designed to expand features for Shopify sites.
On Magento 2, on the other hand, storeowners can experience unparalleled flexibility. They are free to alter the appearance and functionality of their site to make it alluring to visitors and potential customers. But regarding the ease of use, Magento 2 is not the easiest-to-use platform. You may want to seek help from an experienced developer.
Theme & Customization
Free and premium themes are offered by both Shopify and Magento 2. These themes are jam-packed with multiple powerful features and come with responsive design. Regarding the pricing, many online marketplaces are selling them at a very reasonable price.
Now, again, we’re telling about the ease of use. Built on a drag &drop philosophy, Shopify provides extremely easy-to-customize themes. Meanwhile, Magento 2 offers more capable customization options, thus users can create a unique look for their site. Bluefoot, CMS and Page Builder recently have been fully integrated into Magento which makes its robust functionality even better than Shopify. Intuitive, extensible and allowing creativity where needed are exactly what to describe Magento 2 themes.
Each platform serves different take on inventory management. Besides standard features, users can consider inventory importing, categorizing and filtering, pricing variations, etc. to make their choice between Magento 2 and Shopify.
The targeted audience of Shopify is small online stores. That’s why it brings a simple and straightforward interface so that users can easily manage their inventory. Regarding advanced features, Magento 2 enables different variation possibilities such as product sizes or colors and third-party integrations for broadening the distribution network, those which are not offered by Shopify.
It is quite clear that at this point, Magento 2 gets the dominant status.
In the success of any E-commerce business, the contribution of SEO techniques is indispensable. Due to this, whatever platform you choose, make sure that it encompasses profound SEO principles.
Besides providing a basic set of SEO options such as easy-to-edit meta tag or product page optimization, Shopify offers in-depth optimization including modifying the file structure which makes searching easier. However, one thing which matters is Shopify stores are self-hosted so they don’t allow server-level configurations.
Unlike Shopify, Magento is an open-source platform which means you are free to alter every single aspect of your site. SEO is no exception. You can adjust permalinks for inventory items and content. More interestingly, Magento fully utilizes no-follow links, redirects and canonical tags which help the search engines to index e-commerce websites and understand it much easier.
Speed & Performance
A good strategy to keeping customers to return for next purchases is avoiding shopping frictions. But how it can be frictionless if visitors have to wait too long for the website to load? Thus, you should choose the platform which ensures a speedy load and professional performance.
Shopify is a hosted solution. This means the company is responsible for servers and website performance, you don’t have to deal with them yourself. Also, this platform offers a very reliable and highly-optimized performance which doesn’t require any maintenance.
Magento provides two options. The first one is Open Source which gives the owner and the operator ability to host their own store. As Magento said, it does allow them to “meet the basic commerce needs of business today”, but this does not mean that you’re on the hook for keeping the site online. The second one is Magento Commerce Cloud which hosts your store for you. The word “Cloud” itself means that your site will be always taken care and protected by Magento. Whether you are worried about hosting, web support, e-commerce functionality, or anything which you aren’t skilled at, Magento can perfectly help you with those things.
Shopify has a subscription-based model. You can start out with a free trial, but you’ll soon have to pay for it. The price varies from $29 to $299 per month for merchants to choose depending on their budget. The more you pay, the more advanced features you will be offered. Themes and extensions often go with the premium price. In case you don’t know what is “hidden fees”, Shopify charges those fees for payments made via external payment gateways including PayPal, Braintree, and others
In Magento Open Source, the price depends on where you choose to host: Magento’s Commerce Cloud or Magento. But in general, there is no fixed price as everything is custom to your needs. Users have to pay more for the premium experience and they will know the exact price only if they have a conversation with Magento Partner or Team Magento to talk about their needs and targets.
Whether you choose Magento 2 or Shopify, it will never be a bad decision as both platforms are endowed with great functionalities and capabilities. But to make your own optimal choice, you need to understand what your goals and needs are and ultimately, what best suits those.
Building your website with Shopify, users will enjoy a low price and easy installation but the obstacle is they are unable to customize and fine-tune as per their wants.
Meanwhile, investing in Magento 2 may be not a money-saving but money-worth solution. It does offer users amazing features and complete freedom of customization as well as the scalability for their store’s long-term growth.
All things considered, I do think Magento is a perfect platform to invest, as it overweighs Shopify in almost aspects I mentioned above. But anyway, it’s just my personal view and you can choose Shopify as long as it meets your store’s requirements.