Comparing Shopify vs Magento: How to Choose an eCommerce Platform

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As retail is now firmly a part of the digital landscape, eCommerce websites have become indispensable for business owners. With so many eCommerce platforms available, building an online shop has never been so simple. However, choosing the right tool for your store can be a challenge.

Magento and Shopify are the leading eCommerce software platforms. In terms of market share, they fall in the top seven eCommerce solutions, with Shopify accounting for 10% and Magento 1.72%.

Although both solutions are very popular, they vary significantly in terms of features, pricing and target customers. This article compares Magento and Shopify to help you determine which tool is most suited to your organization's needs.

 

Magento vs Shopify: Essential Features

In a nutshell, Magento is an open-source, easy-to-manage, and scalable platform. It provides convenient navigation for viewers and supports mobile commerce. What's more, with Magento you can tailor elements with appropriate keywords to boost your search engine optimization (SEO), such as URLs, tags and descriptions. The platform ensures high-level security and allows effortless integration with external services and analytics tools.

Shopify is easy to use, thanks to a user-friendly back-end dashboard that helps merchants easily find the information they need. Flexible and scalable, the platform boasts an app store containing over 2,500 applications aimed at elevating the consumer experience. Advanced SEO and marketing functionality make Shopify your go-to assistant for attracting customers.

Here is a snapshot of the key features of Shopify and Magento:


Comparing Shopify vs Magento


How does Magento Compare to Shopify?

Let's analyze these two popular tools using certain criteria to discover the primary differences between Shopify and Magento.


Easy usage

Many online shop owners lack expertise in Magento web development and design, so simple installation and operation are crucial features of an eCommerce platform.

A hosted platform in its essence, Shopify is exceptionally easy to use. It's a superb choice for beginners, with fewer settings and customization options than other solutions. Shopify provides you with an ecosystem that includes everything you need to start your eCommerce activity right away. You don't need to buy additional applications and extensions to get your shop off the ground.

Magento grants users exhaustive control over their site but requires a technical background. Before you set up a Magento shop, you'll need to construct your website and deal with aspects such as domain purchase, hosting payments, SEO setup and more. You may also need extra applications to broaden the functionality of your store. However, with investment of time and resources, Magento will enable you to build a powerful eCommerce website.

 

Costs

Magento is an open-source solution, which means you can download it, install it and build your store for free. However, website hosting and extra capabilities carry additional fees. Shopify is a subscription-based solution that offers the choice of three tariff plans. Whether Magento or Shopify is best for you depends on your tasks and goals.

For instance, the least expensive Shopify plan is only $29 per month and includes a basic selling infrastructure. As your business scales up, you can consider advanced plans and take advantage of more extensive features.

 

Available themes

The look and feel of your store is critical in the eCommerce business world. User interface and experience determine whether a visitor will leave your online store in seconds or stay. The importance of enticing themes and templates cannot be overestimated.

Shopify offers over 100 themes that cost from around $150 to $350. They are easy to set up and use. All themes have been thoroughly tested, so they work smoothly and reliably.

Magento provides six themes that cost up to $499. You can customize your Magento theme, although this requires knowledge of coding.

This Shopify vs Magento comparison shows that Shopify delivers a wider choice of themes without the need for coding.

 

Applications

Available applications and extensions determine how much you can customize your store and expand its functionality. With the most appropriate applications for your business, you can add significant features, increase control over your store, and drive sales.

With over 8,000 apps, Shopify wins this round, as Magento offers about 5,700 extensions through its marketplace. If you have tough budget constraints, Shopify's free apps will cover your basic needs. Magento applications offer flexibility and don't require in-depth coding knowledge to implement. Magento and Shopify both have free and paid applications to choose from.

 

Marketing and promo activities

Shopify and Magento deliver a wide choice of marketing features to help you promote your eCommerce business. Each platform enables you to set up your website for SEO, including editing the page title and description, adding alt text to images, and more. Extended SEO features are available through additional apps.

Other marketing tools offered by both platforms include:

- Constructing landing pages

- Managing newsletters

- Running promos

Shopify also offers social media advertising.

 

Extra functionality

Depending on your requirements, you can benefit from numerous additional functions delivered by the two platforms. Both Magento and Shopify include such features as:

- Dropshipping

- Discount codes

- Numerous languages and currencies

- Scalability

Magento, however, outruns Shopify when it comes to available languages and multiple selling options. This platform empowers you to integrate your shop with social networks, customize checkout procedures, prevent abandoned carts, and leverage multilingual capability.

 

Support

When setting up and running your website, you're likely to require help at some point.

Users praise Shopify for its extensive support, which it delivers 24/7 via various channels.

Magento, as a self-hosted solution, delivers help through live chat, phone or email, but only within the paid plan. However, customers can get assistance from the extensive Magento user community and seek support at the online help center.

 

Which is better, Magento or Shopify, for Your Business?

Although our analysis of the two solutions gives the first prize to Shopify, it doesn't mean Magento isn't the perfect choice for you. Based on each tool's strengths, we can recommend the following subdivision:

Shopify is a great choice for:

- Small to medium companies with limited budgets

- Small startups

- Beginner entrepreneurs

- Dropshippers and print-on-demand sellers

- Influencers intending to promote their goods or offers on social media platforms

Magento is a superior choice for:

- Large enterprises

- Businesses with complex product catalogs

- Multi-store and international businesses

- Enterprizes with custom integration needs

- Companies seeking to scale

 

Final Thoughts

Magento and Shopify are the leading players in the global eCommerce industry. Although Shopify outpaces its rival in terms of market share, both platforms have unique strengths that can be beneficial to different businesses.

Selecting the right eCommerce platform requires an in-depth analysis of your needs, issues, opportunities and objectives.

If you're still unsure about which eCommerce platform to choose, look at each platform's use cases and consult IT developers specializing in online retail. The advice of IT professionals with profound eCommerce domain expertise is particularly valuable, as they will have an in-depth understanding of your business and its needs.

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