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Magento 2 vs Shopify: 10 Key Differences – One Winner

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Magento 2 vs Shopify, which one is the better e-commerce platform, has become a controversial topic in recent years. There are a lot of opposite opinions around that, which make the merchants so confused when choosing the most suitable foundation for their stores. If you are one of them, this blog post will help you to make the selection easier by comparing Magento 2 and Shopify comprehensively in terms of 15 different aspects. Many people misunderstand that these platforms are similar but actually, they are immensely different in almost every aspect. Let’s figure out now!

1. Prevalence Of The Platforms

Undoubtedly, Magento 2 and Shopify are very popular e-commerce platforms nowadays. There are more than 250,000 e-businesses empowered by Magento 2 and approximately 600,000 online stores built on Shopify. It seems that Magento 2 is preferred by most of the medium-to-large firms while smaller companies are more interested in Shopify.

However, both platforms are designed to serve any size company. For example, from my point of view, Magento 2 is an ideal choice for not only large but also small stores who desire to expand their businesses in the future.

Magento:

magento 2

Shopify:

shopify

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-1

 

2. Initial Costs

To begin with, Magento provides two editions, two choices for us, namely Magento Open Source (free) and Magento Commerce. So, if you choose Magento Open Source platform, you can start at $0.00. At the same time, Shopify offers a free trial for 14 days, but after that, you will have to pay.

Nevertheless, the initial cost of developing a new website from the scratch based on two platforms are significantly different. In order to build a Magento website, you need to have strong technical knowledge and experience; otherwise, you have to hire a professional Magento agency to do that, which comes at a cost. In general, it will cost you $2,500-$10,000 for hiring a website development company in Asia and at least $15,000 for working with companies in the US, UK, etc.

On the other hand, there is no setup fee for a Shopify store. What you need to do is choosing a monthly plan to start with and then, configure the site yourself since it does not require lots of technical skills. To be more specific, Shopify provides the drag and drop website builder tool; hence you can customize your store by just moving elements around the page as you want.

That’s why most of the small companies go for Shopify since low early investment. However, for the medium-to-large e-commerce stores, Magento development cost might be not a big deal and will also help them to save in the long-term. Keep reading to understand why.

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 0-1

 

3. Operational Expenses

As I have mentioned, Shopify users must select a monthly plan to start and they will keep paying their bill on a monthly basis until they… shut down the store. There are three Shopify edition – Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify, which cost you $29, $79 and $299 per month respectively. It’s worth noting that web hosting has already included in these packages.

On the other hand, you must not pay a monthly fee for using Magento 2 but the hosting fee (from $3-100/month based on your need). Although it does cost, you are free to choose the most proper hosting solution for your store.

Apart from that, Shopify also charges 2%, 1%, or 0,5% per sale (transaction fees) if you use external payment gateway instead of Shopify Payments. For example, if you want to include popular payment gateways like PayPal, Braintree, Authorize.net, etc. while using the Basic Shopify package, for every $100 order total, you will have to pay back $2. As a result, assuming that your revenue is $100,000 per year, $2000 from that will be paid to Shopify.

On the contrary, Magento 2 does not charge the extra fee for external payment gateways and also integrate PayPal, Braintree, Authorize.net,… on the website by default.

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-0

 

4. Ease Of Use

Here, I don’t talk about how to build the website anymore but the ease of managing the complete store.

Objectively, both Magento 2 and Shopify provides user-friendly and easy-to-use management dashboard for the admins regardless of their level of technical knowledge. Thanks to that, we can effectively manage products, customers, orders, CMS pages and create sale reports, and so on. However, from my perspective, I prefer the modern look of Magento 2 dashboard to that of Shopify.

Magento:

 

magento 2 dashboard

Shopify:

shopify admin dashboard

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-1

 

5. Functionalities

Both of these popular platforms offer fundamental functionalities to start and maintain your e-commerce business. Here are some examples with the comparison:

In terms of the discount and coupon codes, Magento 2 allows you to generate as many codes as you want by default. Although Shopify also provides this feature, it is not included in the Basic plan.

When it comes to the inventory management, Magento users are able to control an unlimited number of items. The same thing is provided for Shopify stores except who are using the Basic Plan – only 25 items are allowed.

In regard to shipping, both platforms offer flexible shipping methods and automate shipping fee calculation.

Turning to multiple languages setup, you can add as many languages as you want to Magento 2 store by easily installing language packs. For Shopify, you have to look for some language apps.

Another common feature of e-commerce stores is blogging, which is available on Shopify and can be added to Magento by using a free or paid extension.

The last essential functionalities provided by both platforms are related to SEO & Marketing. In fact, Magento 2 and Shopify gives us similar SEO abilities such as editing meta tags, meta titles, meta keywords, URL keys, alt text, etc., which help to improve website rankings on the SERPs.

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-0

 

6. Design & Customization

Website design is one of the most crucial things that determine stores’ success. There are numerous Magento 2 and Shopify themes for you to choose from, both free and paid. In general, most of the templates are responsive and mobile-friendly, which therefore will be presented nicely regardless of the devices customers use.

responsive website designThe thing is that you can do nothing but altering the basic colors and font in Shopify themes. On the flip side, Magento 2 is a flexible and extensible platform, which allows you to customize and create a beautiful and unique design with your creativity.

Regards the code, Magento 2 utilizes PHP, whereas Shopify uses Liquid; Magento is open source while Shopify is proprietary. Due to be open source, Magento 2 gives you a power to freely customize the code to suit your needs while it’s impossible to modify the code of Shopify.

As a result, Shopify is just suitable for small firms who accept simple websites with a common look and feel. Meanwhile, Magento 2 can meet the needs of the medium and large e-commerce businesses who often require unique and complex stores.

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-0

 

7. Speed & Performance

Website speed is a pivotal factor of an e-commerce store. Many surveys indicated that even 1-second delay can lead to a 7% decrease in the conversion rate. There is a high possibility that the customers will leave your site if they experience slow page load.

Since Shopify is a hosted solution, its website performance is guaranteed by the company. It’s true to say that Shopify websites in most cases have a stable and reliable performance.

For Magento 2 websites, their website speed majorly depends on the selected hosting services. If you choose a strong host with proper website optimization (codes and images throughout the site), you don’t need to worry about the site performance.

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-1

 

8. User Experience

One of the most important aspects when evaluating the quality of an e-commerce platform is the user experience, especially checkout convenience.

Magento 2 provides us with an easy and fast two-step checkout process (including Shipping Information, Review & Payment Information), with several outstanding features such as guest checkout and one-click account creation. Also, there is a discount code box placed directly on the checkout page.

Shopify also offers a convenient one-page-checkout. The thing is that in the Basic Shopify plan, it does not show the real-time shipping rates from the beginning, which can result in a higher rate of cart abandonment in the checkout.

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-0

 

9. Modules & Plugins

Although Magento 2 and Shopify have already provided almost everything you need to go online, it’s highly recommended to consider using some third-party extensions to enhance the website performance and functionalities.

Up to now, Shopify offers more than 2,300 apps on its store, which is fewer than the current number of Magento 2 extensions on the marketplace (over 3,000). In comparison, Magento 2 not only provides more plugins in the number but also in terms of the quality. Its list of extensions cover all aspects of store improvements and enhancements, from accounting & finance, marketing, content & customization, customer support, payment & security, reporting & analytics, and so on.

magento 2 extensions

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-0

 

10. Scalability

There is no doubt that Magento 2 is better than Shopify for medium and large-scale e-commerce stores with thousands of products. If you just want to build a small website without the long-term commitment, Shopify might be a good choice. But, if you want to develop an online business that is likely to grow and evolve strongly in the future, Magento 2 comes to the first place.

Score (Magento 2 vs Shopify): 1-0

 

Magento 2 vs Shopify. Who’s the Winner?

All things considered, the final score is 9-4 and the winner is Magento 2. However, it might not be true for all e-commerce business. In order to find the best platform for your firm, you need a balance between the platform’s potentials and your goals and budget.

If you need to build a store with a small number of products and within a short period of time, Shopify is exactly what you need. On the contrary, if what you expect is an online store with lots of features, scalability, and customization, Magento is the best choice.

For me, I’m more inclined to Magento 2. What’s about you?

 

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April LeeMagento 2 vs Shopify: 10 Key Differences – One Winner

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  • Santhosh - October 8, 2018 reply

    A well-written informative article. However, I would like to mention an important point that you missed out. Magento worldwide community comprises around 60,000 developers and more than 300 solution partners which results in constant improvements and enhancements for the platform. Since Magento has the biggest and most powerful community, it stays ahead of all of the other platforms.

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