Are you looking for the best platform for your eCommerce business? The most contested ones for the top slot are Magento and Shopify even in 2018. But when you are choosing one of them, you are supposed to dig deep as it will decide the fate of your business in future. And of course you would not be happy to witness any hindrance in the growth and success of your online business due to an inappropriate platform. Hence, take time for researching well through the best options available. Otherwise choosing a platform on being allured for their top performance in industry might land you in dire consequences.
So in order to ensure you extract the maximum ROI from your ecommerce platform; you need to build your ecommerce store on the sturdiest platform. And here we are about to take you on a reality check and explain where these two contenders of your eStore differ.
Magento is an open-source, feature-rich, enterprise category E-Commerce platform. It is one of the world’s most popular platforms that powers thousands of stores. It is a self-hosted platform with an exceptionally huge user base and a strong community of developers. Magento has a Community version which is free to use and a paid one called Enterprise version. It provides vast range of functionalities for Small Medium Businesses (SMB Ecommerce) and large enterprises to effectively build online Ecommerce stores. It has been known for its high flexibility offering unlimited opportunities to customize and scale your online business.
After its launch on March 31, 2008, it brought a revolution in the e-commerce platform market. Magento is written in PHP therefore it gives you an ease to add more features and functionalities to deliver an exceptional user experience.
Shopify is a hosted SAAS ecommerce solution with a growing base.It is a paid subscription software that allows you to build, edit and manage your online store without having to indulge in the coding or design aspects. It has a focus on serving the needs of retailers who want a zero coding estore. Its users experience a friendly interface and find it very easy to open their very own online stores and sell their goods or even services. Be it uploading a new theme to your store or other technical installations, ecommerce builder makes it so easy to build dynamic store in minutes. Moreover, this platform also hosts your store which means that you can purchase, maintain a domain and its hosting services.
Magento and shopify part ways on various attributes, following are some core differences between them:
1. User Friendliness
While choosing the right platform, the foremost thing that should be kept in mind is that the store is specially designed to cater the needs of consumers. Hence being user friendly is an important essential to nurture.
For the start ups and small businesses, shopify is a one stop shop. Everyday function like adding and editing products, managing categories, adding modules, etc. is really easy in Shopify and can be done without much technical expertise.Simple tools like drag-and-drop makes it easy for the store owners to modify the basic attributes of the store.
Whereas when we talk about big enterprise and large scale online stores, Magento is on demand for any e-commerce website design and development. Being highly flexible, more dynamic and accurate solution provider for online businesses, Magento lets you easily take full advantage of this and scale up your position.
- Payment Gateway Options Shopify is the first ecommerce platform which has introduced their own payment processor. If you use shopify payment processor options, no transaction fee will be charged. If we use the external payment processor such as PayPal or Amazon Pay, transaction fees ranging from 0.5%-2% on each sale is charged.
In Magento, to access the payment you have to go through the Marketplace (where you get your apps, it has 148 payment integration apps. If you do your business internationally, there are perks of using this platform because it offers a broad range of other payment processor that supports different countries and languages.
- SEO and Marketing From Marketing and SEO perspective, Magento and Shopify have different approach and set of tools to increase the ROI.
Shopify have basic set of rules for optimisation, you can edit meta tags,optimize inventory, robots.txt, sitemap.xml files and optimize inventory and product pages in SEO-friendly ways.Furthermore, this platform allows in-depth optimization that includes modifying the file structure which in turn makes it easier for search crawlers to do their job.The most prominent limitation with Shopify is that being a hosted platform, it gives you no control over the hosting environment and even server-level configurations.
On the contrary, Magento provides robust SEO features with friendly URLs, site mapping, and Google content API. It also has the ability to integrate and implement your digital marketing strategies along without any issues. Magento allows you to customize your store design and even your SEO strategy for best performance and maximum output. You can also add apps to make your Magento site social media friendly. In this case, Magento clearly wins with its out-of-the-box tools and uncountable features including up selling, promotional pricing, flexible coupons, related products, free shipping, product bundling, etc.
A very important factor while choosing an ecommerce platform is how much it is going to set you back.
Shopify is a hosted platform and facilitates the cost on the basis of subscription model. In this platform you can either start with monthly subscription starting from $29 plan to upto $299 for the Advanced plan. Paying more obviously gives you access to extensive features including advanced statistics, gift cards and much more. Free domain name is provided within the monthly package. You can purchase your own domain through shopify. Transaction fee for the payments made through external processors like PayPal, Braintree and others is charged.
Magento is a self hosted and an open-source platform, where hosting is closely related with bandwidth. The cost of hosting depends on where you choose to host. Otherwise Magento Commerce Cloud and Magneto in general, the cost of hosting is not fixed as they are based on the store’s customization needs.
This is a robust platform mainly used for mega stores giving them the ultimate premium experience. When you purchase your hosting and bandwidth package, you need to keep an eye on the future growth of your online store. For chalking out the exact price for hosting your store will not be known unless you contact Partners of Magento or the Magento Team itself for your goals and requirements. While choosing this platform you have to purchase your own domain from third party.
- Themes and Templates.
While choosing a theme always look for long term investment. Your design reflects and inspires the customer’s trust in you.
Both Magento and Shopify offers large range of themes for your online stores.
Shopify themes are mobile optimized; they look great on mobile, tablets and even traditional desktops.
Magento themes are fully mobile responsive, that means it will auto resize itself on all the devices; saving your time and efforts. Magento is a very flexible platform; you can customize the theme in any way you want.
- Add Ons
Magento is a huge repository; you can integrate large number of extensions to enhance the functionalities. It empowers the retailers to deliver high quality shopping experiences across every device.
Whereas Shopify has small repository for add on. Though it has bunch of extensions to increase the customer experience but in comparison to Magento it offers less number of variations in themes.
- Inventory Method
Both the platforms have individual takes on inventory management. Inventory management includes inventory importing, categorizing, filtering and even price variations as standard features. Shopify is not meant for large and voluminous stores with huge inventory. It just allows you to take control of your inventory, though it has several extensions with advanced features.
Contemplating the inventories of the ecommerce platforms like Magento and Shopify, in case of shopify you can charge a lot for large inventories as long as you invest in their plans. But Magento is an exception in this case, you can upload unlimited inventories, you can integrate the broader distribution of the network.
Magento has an out-of-box inventory upload system along with one which extends its advanced features. With its exceptional customization, Magento can upload unlimited products with its variations in terms of size and colors. Hence, Magento can handle it all with third party services for integrating a broader distribution network. The costs and the work involved in doing so gets paid off in long term.
After bringing various important points of difference to light for you, the decision actually lies on you. As both the platforms have their own pros and cons and strengths, you need to choose that one which best suits your business goals and objectives.
If Shopify is easy to use then it also has costs to use. On the other hand if Magneto requires technical expertise then its free to use along with open potential of being scaled with your growing business.
Although most people suggest Shopify for small businesses or start-ups but they can choose Magento as well for a safer future empowered by incredible modules and functionalities.
Still we suggest you to choose only after thorough analysis of your business prospects and the platform’s feasibility.