How to choose an ecommerce platform

by Mariable P. SEO

Magento VS Shopify: Which to choose

Setting up a retail business is a daunting task. One of the biggest challenges is to choose the right platform. This decision should be made wisely. That’s why researching your options is crucial.

Nowadays there are many ecommerce solutions presented on the global stage and the two most popular platforms are Magento and Shopify. In recent years, Shopify and Magento underwent a lot of changes and presented some interesting innovations to become a leader on the market.

If you are on the fence, trying to choose between Magento vs Shopify — no worries! We will analyze the pros and cons of both Magento vs Shopify in order to choose the right technology for your business.

1. How to Choose an Ecommerce Platform 

In order to help you to make a final decision, we’ve come up with a side-by-side comparison of Shopify vs Magento. Let’s find out what is the best ecommerce platform for your business requirements.

1.1 Ease of use

One of the most important aspects of a novice merchant is how easy it is to start selling and making money. 

Shopify is the best choice for businesses that are new to website building,  as it’s incredibly easy to get up and running. It only needs 10 minutes of browsing the Shopify dashboard to understand how it works. Also it has drag-and-drop tools, making it fairly easy to customize your website by moving elements around the page the way you like. For more advanced features, you’ll need to add apps or use custom coding. 

Magento is relatively quick to deploy (in multiple languages, payment methods, etc), it will require technical knowledge and extended developer support. Magento isn’t the best choice for beginners, however, experienced ecommerce merchants will find every feature they need in a flexible, customizable interface. 

1.2 Features

All retail companies have various needs and priorities when it comes to the features. Magento has a wide variety of features, including its support for big product catalogs with multiple modifications, native product bundles, cross-selling and upselling features. 

General Magento feature list

  • Marketing, Promotions, and Conversion Tools

  • Site Management

  • Search Engine Optimization

  • Catalog Management

  • Product Browsing

  • Catalog Browsing

  • Checkout, Payment, and Shipping

  • Order Management

  • Customer Accounts

  • Customer Service

  • International Support

  • Analytics and Reporting

  • Mobile Commerce

Shopify has some native features as well, and other ones can be added through its app store. 

General Shopify feature list

  • Unlimited products 

  • Staff accounts 

  • 24/7 support 

  • Sales channels 

  • Manual order creation 

  • Discount codes 

  • Free SSL certificate 

  • Abandoned cart recovery 

  • Gift cards 

  • Professional reports 

  • Advanced report builder 

  • Third-party calculated shipping rates

1.3 Hosting

Shopify is a cloud-based platform, meaning you won’t have to search for third-party hosting. Shopify takes care of operating your servers, optimizing it for performance and security patches. However, control over it is limited, because it’s run, maintained and monitored by Shopify. 

Magento can be hosted on-site, in the cloud, or through a third-party. In cloud hosting, your ecommerce store is fully hosted and run by Magento, while in open source you need to purchase your domain and hosting. 

1.4 Theme Selection

The theme of your ecommerce website creates the first impression. The platform you select should provide a wide variety of themes. Both Shopify and Magento offer a large selection of themes. 

Shopify provides over 60 responsive themes. They also have a ‘product zoom’ function, allowing your customers to view each item in more detail. Some of them are free of charge but the majority are paid. Prices for themes range from $140 – 180.

Magento provides 12 free and paid themes, 10 of which are mobile-optimized. Themes are not expensive, but be ready to optimize it for mobile and other devices. Prices for themes range from $29 – 499.

1.5 Performance

When you’re running an ecommerce store, performance is essential to its success, since you might lose potential sales. None of the customers is willing to wait for store pages to load and is likely to look elsewhere to make their purchases. 

As has been mentioned above, Shopify is a hosted solution, so it takes care of the loading time of your website. However, if you have any issues related to speed, all you need to do is to contact the Shopify support team. 

Since Magento is a self-hosted platform, you can choose your own server and make all the necessary changes to speed up the store performance. 

With the release of Magento 2, many new improvements were added to Magento 2 that allowed you to optimize pages for fast delivery, minimize the server response time for store activities, and make backend operations more efficient. 

1.6 SEO

93% of online experiences start with an online search. Both Magento and Shopify ecommerce solutions provide different functionalities and extensions to guarantee higher SERP (search engine result pages) positions. 

Magento offers a lot more flexibility from an SEO perspective and enables you to improve your strategy for maximum output. With Magento, you can make use of nofollow links, redirects, and canonical tags. You also can edit permalinks and meta tags and change URLs. 

Shopify also offers a basic set of SEO tools. With Shopify, you can edit meta tags, optimize product pages, edit the site structure, and benefit from a variety of SEO dedicated add-ons. All these features make it easier for search bots to crawl your website. 

1.7 Payment Solutions

To provide its customers with secure payment - it’s what every ecommerce business obliged to do, to make transactions seamless for your customers.

Both Magento and Shopify offer access to a great diversity of payment gateways. Magento offers a far lower number of gateways, but it can be implemented through third-party apps. Among the most popular payment gateways supported by Magento are PayPal,, Amazon Payments, Stripe. 

Shopify currently supports 70+ various payment gateways including PayPal, Amazon Payments. However, if you decide to integrate these third-party payment gateways with Shopify, be ready for additional processing fees (from 0.5%-2% on each sale).

1.8 Extensions and Integrations

Once you’ve set up your ecommerce store, you may find the lack of some features. Advanced navigation, elastic search, FAQ (frequently asked questions), one step checkout as a few examples. A set of functions that can be added to an ecommerce store are called extensions by Magento and Apps by Shopify. 

On the Magento marketplace, you can find over 5,000 extensions that integrate smoothly with the Magento backend. 

Shopify, on the other hand, offers much less – 3,000 Apps. At the same time, Shopify integration process is much easier.

1.9 Scalability

When you set up your ecommerce store you shouldn’t neglect scalability. If you’re considering expanding your business in the near future, your ecommerce solution choice also depends on the scale of that growth. Luckily, both Magento and Shopify provide the scope for scaling up or down.

With Shopify, to scale up or down is simple. There’s a clear plan for expanding your ecommerce business. You can easily scale up or down by choosing the lower or higher plans, which differ in price quite a lot from$29 – $200 per month. 

Shopify Plus offers enterprise-grade solutions for scalability, providing a fully hosted solution designed to deal with any level of volume. 

Due to its robust architecture, Magento can handle massive numbers of products. In fact, Magento 2 Commerce is designed with scalability in mind and can deal with up to 250,000 products. With Magento 2, if your sales increase by ten times from one day to the next, Magento will be able to manage it smoothly without causing any issues.

1.10 Costs 

One more crucial aspect to consider when selecting an ecommerce platform is how much it’s going to cost. 

The license cost of Magento depends on the edition you have. Magento Open Source Edition (Community) is free to download from Magento’s website,  but you’ll have to cover all development, design, hosting, security, and maintenance fees. 

Magento Commerce Edition (Enterprise) has a support package but is considerably more expensive. The license of Magento Commerce starts from $22,000 – $125,000 per year. 

Magento also offers the cloud-hosted Magento Cloud Edition. The cost ranges from $40,000 – $150,000 per year. 

Shopify has different pricing models depending on the business model. A Basic Shopify Plan starts at $29 and has basic features. The more advanced plan starts at $79 –$299 per month. Shopify Plus, designed for mid-to-large businesses, starts at $2,000 per month. Also Shopify provides a 14-day free trial so you can test it before choosing a suitable model.

Which Ecommerce Solution Will Not Work for You

Magento vs Shopify, which platform to prefer? After all, these leading players in the ecommerce market are best-suited for very different types of businesses. If you are looking for a scalable solution with unlimited features to handle your business growth, Shopify is not the best choice. It is the best solution for small retail to medium-sized businesses wanting to create an online presence. Shopify is known for its usability and provides great features for those who don’t have much experience building online stores and want to start selling ASAP.

 If you’re lucky to own a large company and enterprise, which requires advanced functionality and a high level of customization - Magento is the best choice for you.

Bear in mind that there are not so many qualified Magento 2 developers out there, so make sure you hire a Magento developer, or development company, that has enough expertise to handle your project. 

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About Mariable P. Advanced   SEO

57 connections, 0 recommendations, 136 honor points.
Joined APSense since, January 8th, 2020, From Talinn, Estonia.

Created on Jul 14th 2020 09:23. Viewed 536 times.


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