Magento vs. Shopify: Which Platform Wins for Business in 2024?

magento 2 vs shopify

Choosing the right platform for your online store is a big decision. Magento and Shopify are two of the top options out there, and each has its own set of benefits.

In this blog post, we’re going to compare Magento and Shopify across several key areas including ease of use, pricing, design options, and more. This comparison will give you a clear idea of what each platform offers, helping you decide which one is the best fit for your business.

Let’s dive into the details and find out which platform, Magento or Shopify, can meet your needs and help your online store thrive.

An Overview of Magento

Magento is a powerful ecommerce platform that allows you to build and manage your online store. This platform is like a big digital toolbox that anyone can use to set up a store on the internet.

What makes Magento special is that it is open-source. This means that the software’s instructions are open for everyone to see, change, and improve.

So, if you know how to code, you can make your shop look and work exactly how you want it to.

In 2018, a big company named Adobe bought Magento. Adobe is known for making popular software like Photoshop.

By acquiring Magento, Adobe added it to their collection of tools called the Adobe Experience Cloud. This collection helps businesses with their marketing and selling online.

With Magento now part of Adobe’s tools, it gets better support and more features that help shop owners sell their products online.

An Overview of Shopify

Shopify is a popular choice for people who want to sell things online.

It works on a subscription basis. This means that for a monthly fee, you can use Shopify to create and manage your online store.

One of the best things about Shopify is that they take care of a lot of the technical stuff for you. They make sure your store’s software is always up to date, keep it secure from hackers, and ensure that your website is always available for your customers to visit.

Shopify is like a one-stop shop for selling online. It gives you everything you need to start your business.

You can create a website that looks professional, add products that you want to sell, process customer payments, and even sort out shipping. Plus, Shopify has features that help you advertise your store to attract customers.

It’s designed to be an all-in-one solution, making it easier for anyone to start and grow their online business.

Magento vs Shopify: Full Comparision

In the following comparison, we’ll dive deep into Magento and Shopify, evaluating their capabilities, pricing structures, user-friendliness, and overall offerings.

This detailed examination aims to provide you with the information needed to make an informed choice between these two powerhouse platforms, ensuring that your business thrives in the competitive online environment.

1. Built-in Features

When looking at Magento and Shopify, it’s like comparing two toolboxes for building an online store. Both have tools to help you, but they’re designed for different kinds of builders.

Product Management

Magento is like a professional-grade toolset for managing lots of different products.

If your store sells many types of items, like shoes that come in various sizes and colors, Magento has strong tools to help you. It lets you describe your products in great detail, which is great for big stores with lots of items.

Shopify, on the other hand, is more like a basic toolset that’s easy for anyone to use.

Setting up products is simple, but if you have lots of variations, you might hit some limits. Shopify is best for stores with simpler products.

Catalog Navigation & Filtering

For finding products, Magento gives you a powerful search tool right out of the box. It’s like having a map that lets you filter by price, color, size, and more, making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for, especially in large stores.

Shopify offers a simpler search tool. You can still help customers find products, but if you want more advanced searching, you might need extra tools from their app store.

Marketing & Promotions

Magento gives you lots of flexibility for sales and deals, like offering discounts if you buy certain items together. It’s like having a variety of ways to attract customers to your store with different kinds of sales.

Shopify also lets you create discounts and recover abandoned carts. It has good basic tools for promotions, but for more complicated deals, you might need to add more tools.


Magento works well with many shipping companies and can calculate shipping costs in complex ways, which is helpful if you’re shipping different kinds of items all over the place.

Shopify makes shipping straightforward and can also calculate costs from major carriers. For very specific shipping needs, you may need to look for additional tools.

Customer Accounts & Management

Both Magento and Shopify let your customers create accounts, track their orders, and have wishlists. Magento offers more detailed options, like creating different customer groups.

2. Ease of Use

Shopify is built to be easy for everyone. You don’t need to know a lot about building websites to get started.

The control panel, where you manage your store, is clear and easy to navigate. Adding products, keeping track of orders, and starting marketing activities are all straightforward.

Shopify also has a tool that lets you change how your store looks by just moving things around on the screen, without needing to code.

Magento, on the other hand, is like a toolkit for experts. It has many more options and settings, which means you can do a lot with it, but it also means it’s harder to learn at first.

The control area of Magento can seem complicated, especially if you’re new to this. If you want to change how your store looks or add special features, you might need to know how to code or hire someone who does.

3. Pricing

how to price a product

Shopify uses a subscription model, where you pay a monthly fee to use their platform. This fee varies depending on the plan you choose, which are differentiated by features and transaction volumes.

Additionally, if you choose a payment processor other than Shopify Payments, you’ll incur transaction fees. Shopify also has a marketplace for themes and apps, many of which require additional purchases or subscriptions, adding to the overall cost.

Magento Open Source is available for free, meaning there is no initial cost to download and install this version of the software. However, running a store on Magento Open Source comes with several additional costs.

First, you must pay for web hosting, the price of which can vary widely based on the specifications and requirements of your store. Magento stores often require custom development work to tailor the site to your needs, which means hiring developers if you don’t have the technical skills in-house.

Magento Commerce, designed for enterprise-level businesses, requires a paid license. The cost of this license is tied to your store’s annual Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and includes additional features and support not available in the Open Source version.

This version is suited for large businesses with significant online sales.

4. Designs and Themes

Shopify has a large collection of themes in its Theme Store. These themes include free options and others that professionals have designed for a fee.

Shopify’s themes are modern, aiming for a look that’s clean and eye-catching. One of the best things about Shopify is that it’s easy to change the colors, fonts, and layout of your pages without needing to know how to code.

This means you can make your store look the way you want more easily. However, if you want to make big changes to the way the theme is built, you might need to edit the code.

Magento offers themes through different marketplaces, like ThemeForest. While there are both free and paid themes available, the selection isn’t as large as Shopify’s.

The big advantage of Magento is its unlimited customization options. Because it’s open-source, if you have the skills, you can change every part of your theme.

This does mean that making changes usually requires coding knowledge. Magento stores often go for custom development to get a unique look, rather than relying on pre-designed themes.

5. Apps and Extensions

Shopify has something called the App Store, which is a place where you can find lots of different apps. These apps cover everything you might need for your store, like marketing help, ways to make sales smoother, shipping tools, and customer service enhancements.

Most apps are made to work well with Shopify, so they’re easy to use and set up. You can find both free apps and ones you have to pay for, which helps if you’re trying to stick to a budget.

Magento offers extensions through the Magento Marketplace. Magento’s extensions can do a lot of things, some of which are more complex or specialized than what you might find for Shopify.

However, getting these extensions to work with your Magento store can sometimes require a bit of technical know-how. Since Magento’s marketplace is a bit more open than Shopify’s, the quality of extensions can vary, so it’s important to do some research to find the best ones.

6. Payment Processing

Shopify makes this part pretty simple with something called Shopify Payments. It’s built right into your Shopify store, so you can start accepting money quickly.

If you use Shopify Payments, you usually pay less in fees than you would with other payment methods. Plus, it lets your customers pay in a bunch of different ways, like credit cards and digital wallets.

If you want to use another payment system (like PayPal or Stripe), you can, but Shopify might charge you extra fees on top of what those other systems charge.

Magento doesn’t have its own payment system. Instead, you pick from many different third-party payment gateways to add to your store.

This is great because you can find exactly what you need for your business, especially if you’re selling to people in specific places with their preferred ways to pay. The downside is that setting up these gateways in Magento can be a bit more complicated than in Shopify, and you’ll have to deal directly with whatever fees those gateways charge.

7. SEO

Magento offers a lot of control for those who are serious about SEO. Because it’s an open-source platform, it lets you tweak many technical details that can help your store rank higher in search results.

If you want to go even further, there are many SEO-focused extensions available. However, making these customizations typically requires some technical skills or help from a developer.

Shopify, on the other hand, comes with a solid set of SEO tools built-in. It automatically takes care of some basics like creating a sitemap for your site and setting up 301 redirects, which are important for maintaining your site’s reputation when pages move.

While Shopify makes these SEO tasks easier, it might not offer as much control as Magento. Also, you might find some limitations in Shopify’s ability to customize technical SEO settings compared to Magento.

8. Support

platform user support

Shopify is known for its strong support system. It offers help 24/7, which means you can get assistance any time through phone, email, or live chat, no matter which plan you’re on.

Shopify also has a large collection of guides and tutorials that can answer many of your questions. There’s a very active community forum too, where you can talk to other Shopify users and find answers.

If you need specialized help, Shopify has a marketplace called Shopify Experts, where you can find professional help for anything from setting up your store to marketing.

Magento Open Source mainly depends on help from its community. If you have a question or run into a problem, you can look for answers in the Magento forums or online resources.

Magento Commerce, on the other hand, comes with its support as part of the package you pay for. This version of Magento is more expensive, and part of what you’re paying for is this direct support.

9. Security

Shopify makes things easier for you by handling a lot of the security stuff itself. Since Shopify is a hosted platform, it means they take care of the big security tasks for all the stores on their system.

This includes making sure all Shopify stores meet high security standards, known as PCI DSS compliance, which is essential for safely handling credit card information. Shopify also keeps your store safe by automatically updating it with the latest security fixes.

Plus, every Shopify store comes with tools to help spot and stop fraud, and SSL certificates, which keep the data sent between your customers and your store secure. However, there are still things you need to watch out for, like making sure your passwords are strong and being careful about which apps you add to your store.

On the other hand, with Magento Open Source, you’re pretty much in charge of your store’s security. This means you need to pick a secure place on the web to host your store, apply security updates yourself, and make sure your store’s setup is tight and safe.

If your store takes credit card payments directly, you’ll also need to work on being PCI DSS compliant. This can be a lot, especially if you’re not a tech expert, and you might need to hire someone to help keep your store secure.

Magento Commerce, the paid version, does offer some extra security features and tools that you don’t get with the Open Source version. Plus, if you’re using the Cloud Edition, you might have some additional security measures in place thanks to the way it’s hosted.

10. Scalability

If your store starts to grow, Shopify makes it easy to move up to plans that offer more features and can support more business.

For really big stores, Shopify has something called Shopify Plus. This is for stores that sell a lot and need the most support and customization options Shopify offers.

Even though Shopify can support growth, there might be times when a very large store or one with very specific needs might find Shopify’s setup limiting.

Magento lets you build a store that can grow as much as you want. Since Magento Open Source is something you set up on your own hosting, how much your store can grow depends a lot on the hosting you choose and the work you’re willing to put into it.

You can make a Magento store handle a huge number of sales and visitors, but it can be complicated. You’ll need the right hosting and might need to make a lot of technical changes to keep everything running smoothly as your store gets bigger.

Which Platform Should You Choose?

Deciding whether Shopify or Magento is right for your online store depends on what you need and how you plan to grow.

Who Should Choose Shopify?

Shopify is a great choice if you’re starting your first online store or if you want something simple that still has plenty of power. It’s also perfect if you don’t have much experience with building websites or if you don’t want to spend a lot of time managing the technical parts of your store.

Shopify makes it easy to start selling quickly, and it can grow with your business through different plans, including Shopify Plus for very large stores.

Who Should Choose Magento?

On the other hand, Magento is a good pick if you’re aiming for a store that’s very customized or if you’re planning to sell a huge number of products. It’s especially suitable for businesses that have unique needs that can’t be met by Shopify’s more straightforward approach.

Magento gives you the freedom to build exactly what you want, but you’ll likely need some technical skills or the budget to hire someone who can handle the development work. It’s also worth considering if you expect your store to grow significantly and you’re prepared to invest in the technology and expertise to scale up.


Which one is better Magento or Shopify?

Choosing between Magento and Shopify depends on the user’s needs. Shopify offers ease of use and streamlined operations, ideal for beginners or small to medium businesses. Magento provides extensive customization and scalability, suited for larger enterprises with specific requirements.

Why use Magento over Shopify?

One might choose Magento over Shopify for its superior customization and scalability options. Magento’s open-source nature allows for extensive modification, making it ideal for businesses with unique or evolving e-commerce needs and the technical resources to develop and maintain a complex online store.

Why Shopify over Magento?

Businesses may prefer Shopify over Magento for its user-friendliness and lower initial cost. Shopify provides a hosted solution with an intuitive interface, making it accessible for users without technical expertise. It offers a quick setup, comprehensive support, and a vast app ecosystem for extending functionality.

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