ECOMMERCE PLATFORM: MAGENTO VS SHOPIFY VS WOOCOMMERCE, WHO WIN?
The advantages that eCommerce has brought businesses and enterprises in this era of internet and online shopping have definitely affirmed a bright future for the eCommerce platform. Needless to say, setting up an eCommerce website is now in the bucket list of almost every business. However, doing thorough research to choose the right platform is vital to all businesses at the beginning of their eCommerce journey. However, nowadays, there are plenty of eCommerce platforms that can help you to build a website. Therefore, it may be confusing to define the supplier that best suit your needs. To lighten your burden of choosing the appropriate eCommerce platform, in this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of the three most popular platforms: Magento vs Shopify, and Woocommerce. This text also provides a comparison so as to give you the essentials knowledge you need. If you are wondering about the eCommerce, let’s explore the article to find out the answer.
Magento is an enterprise-level eCommerce platform which has been a popular selection for medium to large businesses for its scalability, functionality, and reliability. Hundreds of thousands of online shops have been launched with this software!
First introduced in 2008, Magento has different versions that serve the various needs of its users. While Magento’s Enterprise version best suits larger-scale businesses for its premium functionality and extensions. Its Community Edition is free to download and is the popular choice of the small businesses and those who want to give eCommerce a try as an alternative retail channel.
Obtaining optimal positioning in worldwide search engines such as Google or Bing is important for e-commerce.
Much of the traffic from Amazon, Walmart, and other successful marketplaces comes from organic results, not paid ones.
Therefore, it is a pleasant surprise that Magento stands out in this sense, both in its web architecture and in the sections that can be customized in this sense.
For example, it allows you to modify the URL of each of its pages. It is also possible to alter their meta descriptions, the sitemap, and other aspects.
Among the advantages of Magento, scalability is a strong point that shines with unique intensity. This platform enables you to start your small business from a very simple shop. But as it grows, its design needs to be developed to meet the demand of a larger market. For Magento, scalability is essential, and therefore their programs are designed to promote this progression. Logically, it should be!
Multiple Customization Options
The web construction of Magento templates is amazing and changeable. This platform has a simple interface, with various customization options. Of course, you don’t need to know clearly about the IT languages like CSS or HTML to create a beautiful web.
On the other hand, Magento’s extensions are perfect for adding new features. Just go to Magento Marketplaces and click on Extensions – there are more than 4,600 to choose from! Do you want to improve any aspect related to customer service, payments, and security, SEO optimization? These extensions are perfect for it – some are even free!
Unlike Shopify, Magento usually requires a professional touch at the beginning of the eCommerce website development process. This platform also has some cons that you may consider:
Complex and Unitutive Customization
The flexible customization of Magento may be a good feature, but it is also quite complex when compared to Shopify.
It is true that it has many configurable options. It can practically be modified to 100%. But the performance of its interface, though simple, leaves a lot to be desired.
One of the biggest disadvantages of Magento that makes many customers confused is the price of its services. This platform has a free version (Magento Community Edition), directed at entrepreneurs and startups. However, if you want to have the support and usage of extensions, you have to pay more.
In the situation of larger companies and online shops, Magento becomes a very expensive solution (compared to Shopify, for example).
So much so that Magento Commerce Starter is priced at $2,000 a month. Magento Commerce Pro, on the other hand, costs $3,417 per month. However, it should be noted that these plans are aimed at businesses, not individuals. Read more at article: MAGENTO PRICING
Need for Hosting
Unlike Shopify and other eCommerce platforms, Magento customers must host their websites in hostings. Its configuration and proper operation, in addition, is the responsibility of the owners of the online store.
On the other hand, many of its competitors manage domain registration. But Magento does not. This platform provides the basic software but is not responsible for these technical details.
The problem is that many of your customers are not familiar with domains, hostings, etc. This requires certain skills that have to be learned beforehand, which is a big obstacle for some of its users.
Shopify is one of the leaders in the eCommerce space, and perhaps the easiest-to-use tool to build your online store with. Their mission is to build a hassle-free platform for setting up your eCommerce business.
While Magento requires a professional development team, its competitor – Shopify is well-known for its ease of use for beginners. You can easily and quickly get started all on your own, and that’s the reason why this 2009-established eCommerce platform is so popular amongst smaller eCommerce brands. However, this does not mean that Shopify is an inappropriate choice for large businesses. There are still some huge brands using Shopify as their eCommerce platform, as listed advantages below:
Simplicity of usage
The main goal of a business owner is to promote their sales without having to be bogged down by technology and other tedious official tasks. Significant advantages Shopify provides that other eСommerce platforms don’t include assistance with managing the store’s technological needs, a clear interface, and access to several useful ones. Shopify is a powerfully hosted platform that will also take care of your transaction processing time.
Customization of themes
Among Shopify’s top advantage are the beautiful storefront themes that they provide. They make a website look beautiful and professional, which helps you retain customers. Shopify provides merchants several theme options for their store. Themes are broken down by industry: Art & Photography, Jewelry & Accessories, Food & Beverage, Furniture, and much more. You have the option to filter them and choose whether they are mobile-only or responsive as well as use free or paid themes.
Shopify app store
Shopify’s plugins are one of their most substantial aspects. Shopify has over 1,200 different apps that can help you automate your tasks, which allows you to focus on other important such as marketing or increasing your sales. There are several apps available to assist you with accounting, customer service, inventory, reporting, shipping, and more. These tools will simplify your life by providing you with the technology to scale your store.
Selling products on multiple channels
Shopify encourages you to make use of other potential sales channels to increase sales. Here are some of the supported channels with easy integration of products: Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, Mobile Apps…
Besides the pros that help Shopify become more accessible to the customers, it also shows some drawbacks.
Customize theme using own PHP language
Shopify platform uses its self-developed PHP language called “Liquid”. All themes are coded in this format. It makes the theme customization harder unless you know how to code in Liquid or are willing to hire a developer who knows how to code Shopify themes. Several Shopify reviews from developers state that Liquid is an easy-to-learn language, but the customers may mess around with the code. Unless you want to edit theme core files, then you’re safe off sticking with their prebuilt ones. Alternatively, you can opt for a premium theme with support instead to avoid any coding problems.
No email hosting
Shopify doesn’t provide you with email hosting even though the web hosting is included in all Shopify plans. This means you can’t host a domain-based email address like firstname.lastname@example.org. What you can do is to set up email forwarding. This makes it so that whenever someone reaches out to email@example.com, the email will automatically be forwarded to your regular email account like Gmail or Yahoo. The same goes for replying to emails. To use the email forwarding function, you need to set up a 3rd party email hosting connection before you can reply from your own email account.
Apps come at a price
Although you can get a lot of useful adds-on from the Shopify app market, many of them are not free. For example, the Exit Offers app costs $9.99/mo and Intuit QuickBooks costs $29.99/mo. You might need to pay an extra $15/mo if you need the RetargetApp. While these apps offer great features, using all of them will definitely increase your overall costs. However, if a particular paid app can help you save time or reduce the amount of hassle in your workflow, it might be worthwhile as an investment. Pick your apps carefully and choose the ones that are able to help you in your everyday business.
Advanced features at a higher price
Like Magento, Shopify Basic plan only comes with the barest of features that you’ll need to run an online store. Advanced features like reports, fraud analysis, gift cards and real-time shipping rate only available on higher-tier plans. Shopify’s pricing ranges from $29 – $299 per month, depending on the plan you choose. The higher the monthly plan, the fewer transaction fees you need to pay and the more accounts and reports you get.
Aside from the pros and cons that we have already mentioned, one of the greatest benefits is that Shopify offers their flexibility to grow your business. Shopify is considered to be the most easy-to-use platform for both small and large eСommerce businesses because it brings merchants all of the tools they need to build beautiful eСommerce websites.
Launched a bit later than the other two, WooCommerce is rather a plugin than a stand-alone eCommerce platform, since you need a WordPress site, hosting platform, and domain registrar to start selling online. WooCommerce would be a great option worth considering if you already have a WordPress blog or website and want to add a shopping cart.
The advantages of WooCommerce is undeniable, you may check it out:
Completely Free and Open Source
WooCommerce software stands out not only for being free but also open source. This means that any user, designer or programmer can alter its code because it is based on open collaboration. It is true that Shopify, Magento and other competitors of WooCommerce have free versions. But its advanced options require the hiring of premium payment plans. However, certain extensions of WooCommerce Extensions require a punctual payment or even monthly fees. This is a disadvantage that will be addressed later. On the other hand, WooCommerce is an especially advisable option for those who have previous experience with WordPress. Why? Because they will be familiar with your interface. This will allow them to quickly get started with the design of their store and, therefore, to make their first sales earlier.
Continuing with the advantages and disadvantages of WooCommerce, WooCommerce customization options also shine with special intensity. First of all, there are thousands of themes for this platform. After choosing the most suitable one, it is possible to customize all its sections: header, footer, product sheets, checkouts, etc. This is possible thanks to the free access to CSS, HTML and PHP style code. Therefore, WooCommerce is suitable for professional users as well as for beginners.
Another of WooCommerce’s greatest strengths is its flexibility – it adapts like a glove to all kinds of online shops, regardless of their market niche or their products! WooCommerce can be configured to sell physical, virtual or downloadable products. It can also be adapted to affiliate systems and other business models.
But among the benefits of using WooCommerce is also security. This platform is regularly updated to keep up to date with cybersecurity. But the WooCommerce plugin does not include elements such as the SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) or backup tools, to make backups. These elements can be easily added to WooCommerce. When it comes to payment security, WooCommerce is perfectly complemented with secure gateways and e-wallets, such as Stripe, PayPal, WePay or Payza.
Excellent performance is hampered with plugins and plug-ins
WooCommerce has one and a thousand plugins! It’s amazing how many tools and features can be added. But this has a disadvantage that goes unnoticed by less experienced users: installing too many plugins and extensions tends to slow downloading speed and overall performance. This is because they take up a lot of memory. It is best to implement the desired functions through CSS, jQuery or HTML codes. If this is not possible, it is advisable to limit the number of plugins installed. Of course, a detail that should be considered along with other pros and cons of WooCommerce.
WooCommerce plugin developer has some prominent disadvantages as well. First and foremost, users should understand that this is not a whole eCommerce content management system, but a WordPress plug-in. However, the installation of WooCommerce is quite an easy task. WordPress comes with an installation wizard and uses have to follow the information of that wizard to install this plug-in for eCommerce development.
Though, WooCommerce still has some disadvantages that you need to concern about before you want to start an eCommerce website with this platform.
WooCommerce is an open-source and free to install the platform, certain features are to be paid by the users. WooCommerce plugin offers wide ranges of paid themes and eCommerce features. Though they are paid, they are not costly rather pretty affordable. As the development cost is not too high with WooCommerce, small or startup businesses can develop their professional eCommerce websites with the help of this seamless plug-in of WordPress.
Frequency of updates
Constant updates to the code and other features will cause inconvenience for users. This means that you will have to constantly change and always update the latest features to be able to optimize your website.
Hard to implement multi-currency
Another drawback of WooCommerce is that this eCommerce platform does not support you to pay with multiple currencies like other platforms. This will limit you want to expand your market in other countries. About this feature, WooCommerce is inferior to other platforms.
4. Conclusion MAGENTO VS SHOPIFY VS WOOCOMMERCE , which is best to chose?
It is worth saying that all the mentioned comparison of three eCommerce platforms have a lot of similarities and different features which their users can be proud of. The eCommerce market is very crucial and if you don’t select the right eCommerce platform than it leads to a loss of your business.
If you are determined to create an eCommerce website for long-term and sustainable business, it is best to choose a reputable platform with a large user community. We want to mention Magento as a way to help your products be optimized and reach more users. Magento is currently the website with the most users, and all the statistics have shown that this is a website with many utilities suitable for diverse business models.
Proud to be a solution partner of Magento, CO-WELL Asia always meets the rigorous needs of the customers who want to create an eCommerce website with the utilities and features that help optimize the profitability of the company. Visit our website immediately to learn more about eCommerce and be provided with useful information that helps you quickly conquer the online business in the 4.0 era!