Magento vs Shopify-what are the differences?

20/03/2020 553
magento and shopify compare
E-COMMERCE

It is really important to choose the right platform for your online store. This is a foundation for the success of your eCommerce business. As the demand is high, there are many different platforms out there. However, Magento and Shopify are the two biggest ones. As a matter of fact, Magento vs Shopify has been a debate for the top name in the market. In this article, we will differentiate these two platforms so that store owners can decide which one is the best eCommerce platform for their needs.

Magento vs Shopify-what are the differences?

#1: Magento is more popular than Shopify

Magento eCommerce platform is more popular and widely used. Although both platforms have helped build successful business, there are plenty of big businesses that use Magento eCommerce, for example, Nike, Rosetta Stone, Olympus, and Ghirardelli. But that doesn’t mean Shopify is losing the battle for big business. There are a few big ones that are using Shopify, including Tesla and the store of Los Angeles Lakers. However, the majority of Shopify’s users are small and mid-sized businesses. 

#2: They use different coding languages

Magento and Shopify use different coding languages. While Magento eCommerce uses PHP as its coding language, Liquid is what Shopify uses. In addition, Magento is open source, which means the source code is freely available and you can modify them. But proprietary code of Shopify can’t be modified. Also, the template code can be altered with Magento to suit the needs of the store, but you can’t do it with Shopify. Users need to seriously consider these factors as they decide how successful your business can be.

magento and shopify compare
Magento and Shopify use different code languages

With that being said, Shopify is more suitable for simple stores, and Magento is ideal for more complex ones because they might require to change the source code for advanced functions.

#3: Magento has a larger and active community

As Magento is more popular, there is no surprise when you look at the wealth of its community. It allows Magento developers to create solutions for a vast number of user needs. Beginners can learn more about Magento eCommerce platform with a number of resources. Also, it is easy for you as a business owner to find a capable developer to work with. Any Magento user can go through Magento to find help, or access support and maintenance services.

#4: Magento is scalable and has better capability

Magento eCommerce platform is more suitable for large-scale stores with many products. If you are looking to open a small business, you should opt for Shopify. However, Magento is a better choice for you to grow an online business with more flexibility.

In addition, Magento is a robust tool with more than 5,000 add-on extensions, including free and paid ones. On the other hand, Shopify has over 100 apps and add-ons. So you know who wins when it comes to capability.

Using Magento, store owners can upgrade their online business anytime through the extensions. For example, the extensions enable you to add custom coupon error messages or multiple employee logins. Magento users can control every aspect of their website. Also, you can create and manage a few stores using the same admin panel. Most business owners would value this feature, depending on their goals.

Apart from that, Magento users are also offered more frontend features such as coupon codes, wish lists, order status modules, giftcards, customer dashboards, related products, and more.

#5: Shopify is easier to use

Shopify is perfect for non-developers. Shopify users won’t have many problems using the platform and it doesn’t take them a lot of time to set up their online shop after signing up. You can even use Shopify’s website-building tool to customize your store features in-house.

However, it doesn’t mean that Magento is difficult to use and you can’t use the platform if you are not a developer. Magento has been offering ready-made extensions for users, which makes Magento a lot easier to work with. In case you have any problems, contact CO-WELL ASIA to find your solutions.

shopify platform is easier to work with
Shopify platform is easier to work with

The new version of Magento also comes with a user-friendly admin panel. It’s simpler and easier for admin to sort customers, access advanced reports, or market products, etc. Without the need of advanced development skills, users can completely manage their stores.

Also, as an admin, you can accomplish more tasks in a short time, which is perfect for those who have long to-do lists. You can even manage eCommerce stores anytime, anywhere with optimization for various screen sizes.

#6: Expense for using Magento and Shopify

Using Shopify, users don’t have to pay for hosting service, but you have to pay a monthly subscription fee. If you first start using the Shopify software, you are given a free trial, but you have to pay after that. The price for a basic store is US $29/month, for a pro store is US $79/month and for an unlimited store is US $179/month.

Shopify provides users with access to more features like abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, and advanced reporting if they pay more per month. Meanwhile, if you use Magento eCommerce platform, you can add these features for significantly less per year. A complete abandoned cart recovery solution provided by CreativeMinds costs you only US $39/year with support and upgrades.

Shopify users will be charged transaction fees if they make payments through PayPal, Braintree, and Authorize.net. Every time you make a transaction, Shopify will take a cut from it. The more months you subscribe, the lower transaction fees you will be charged. However, users can use Shopify’s direct payment gateway to avoid these fees.

Meanwhile, Magento users can download the Community Edition for free. This is a great deal for both developers and small businesses. However, Magento is a self-hosted solution, so a third-party hosting service is necessary and users will have to pay for it. And with Magento, users can choose their hosting solution. The price of hosting service ranges from US $3.95 USD (SiteGround or HostGator) to over US $100. Depending on their needs and finance, they can choose a solution that they want and are willing to pay for. A good hosting service will affect site speed, storage, and the number of products your online store can handle. So be wise!

For both Magento and Shopify, you will have other potential costs such as the cost of any add-ons. Also, Magento users may need to pay for the services of a developer to set up and manage the store.

#7: Magento offers flexible design options

In order to create a successful online store, you need a unique brand with attractive design. You can find plenty of free and premium themes from both Magento and Shopify. The themes are responsive and function on different screen sizes. Keep in mind that more people are using their mobile devices to shop online, so it is important for you to have a mobile-friendly online store.

create beautiful site with Magento eCommerce
Users can create beautiful sites with Magento eCommerce platform

However, Shopify themes don’t allow for a lot of adjustments. Users can change colors and fonts, but they can’t fully customize themes. This will be a possible issue for store branding. Magento users are allowed to drag and drop visual editing. So even if you are not a coder but you use Magento eCommerce platform, you can create beautiful sites.

#8: Magento has better SEO scores

SEO scores play an important role in expanding your business. If it is easy to find your stores and products via Google or other search engines, your store is more likely to get more online purchases. The SEO capabilities of your platform help drive organic traffic to your online store.

According to a study which focuses on SEO scores of 16 shopping cart platforms, Magento ranks number 1, followed by Shopify and Woocommerce. The scores are close. Check  how to optimize SEO for  Magento.

#9: Shopify has slightly better speed

SEO is an important factor, so is website speed. This is also a determinant of whether customers buy from your store. If customers have to wait for a long time for pages to load, they are likely to move to another website.

The faster your online store responds, the more customers you have, therefore, the more successful your business becomes. Magento users used to describe the platform to be slow. However, the new version, Magento 2, performs an average of 20% faster.

#10: Magento vs Shopify: which one has good checkout?

It is crucial for an online store to have a quick and user-friendly checkout. The Magento 2 checkout process is full of exceptional features. It is automatic, free of distraction and more. Also, Magento separates shipping and payment information to avoid confusion.

Meanwhile, Shopify checkout is also a great process with the semi-recent introduction of a one-page responsive checkout. However, Shopify business owners who have lower tier pricing plans can not view real-time shipping rates, which is inconvenient for their customers.

In conclusion, it is not easy to determine which one is the winner in this Magento vs Shopify battle. Depending on your goals, budget and expertise, you can decide which platform is the best for your business. If you are still confused, please contact CO-WELL ASIA to look for help from experts.