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Which e-commerce platform is best. Magento vs. Shopify 2021. Comparison review

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The data-driven business decision about Magento vs Shopify online store

Always when making important decisions we gather information, to be sure we know enough to make the right judgments and act effectively to get specific goals. There is no difference when choosing the best eCommerce platform. Many business decisions are crucial for our future and often determine employees and their families’ lives, which also involves responsibility.

The increasing role of eCommerce platforms

In 2021 we observe the rising role of an online presence as well as the biggest ever competition on the online market also between eCommerce platforms. The market is changing faster and faster. To take advantage of the competition you need to adjust your online store and eCommerce platform to the changes and even more – you have to provoke and initiate the transformation. There is no other way to win. No more time to wait. Start actions based on facts.

The best e-commerce and shopping sites

Do you know that according to Alexa’s studies the best eCommerce platforms in TOP 100K are Shopify and Magento? There are over 27,000 Magento stores in the Alexa top 1 million. According to the SimilarTech survey, Magento competes with Shopify in e-commerce and shopping sites with an almost equal score of 6306 Shopify online stores vs 6697 Magento eCommerce platforms.

Magento vs Shopify which eCommerce platform to choose from?

It is crucial to understand the main differences. Both services provide the online store with a different kind of software and it depends on your preferences which one would be more suitable for you.

We hope to help you in rational decision making which will let you never regret and benefit from having a chance of permanent scaling and developing your business. To choose the right engine for your eCommerce business it’s worth considering a few parameters and features of Magento and Shopify online store.

Scale and customize with Shopify and Magento

When you have a clear vision on what to do and where to go with your e-commerce business not only today or tomorrow but also in several years, you will probably consider a more flexible system allowing an easy development when you grow in time. An engine that will handle your needs and the scale of your business.

  • Magento 2. Open Source platform

Magento offers a free, open-source ecosystem like WooCommerce (WordPress), with endless possibilities of customization to your needs. Technically you are supported by Adobe authority and the huge Magento Community developing the product. This software has spectacular achievements in contemporary technological progress. When participating in it, developing the community edition, you can get profit from this powerful, endless support. Magento exists in two models Community (no need to pay) and Commercial, called Adobe Commerce Cloud. The second one has some options and payments used in SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions, like a cloud server or customer service.

  • Shopify SaaS solution

Shopify is all in one SaaS (Software as a Service) type platform with monthly and transaction fees. Taking off more issues and unifying the solutions to all merchants using their services. Shopify gives you a server in the package while for the Magento platform you would need to host one unless you buy a Cloud Magento, which connects Adobe Cloud with e-commerce services and is paid.

Apps and extensions of Magento and Shopify 

Both systems deliver apps and extensions. Some of them are free, for others you need to pay.

Shopify offers in its App Marketplace more than 2 500 and Magento more than 5 000 additional features at Magento Marketplace. 

In Shopify additional functionalities often need installation of a new extension requiring additional custom coding, while in Magento a lot of features are built into the basic version of a system, and don’t require additional implementation.

Extensions and optimizations in Magento are tailored to your business goals from payment and fulfillment to customer support and marketing. Growing stores require more and more functionalities supporting increasing sales like order management, complex product catalogs, and subsite functionality. They are standard in Magento and are not supported by Shopify.

Shopify imposes limits on product attributes and catalog size, restricting its ability to deal with large, complex product sets or unique selling requirements such as configurable goods.

B2B and B2C approach in Shopify and Magento.

Shopify is created for B2C relations while Magento enables rapid expansion –  no matter if it’s B2B, B2C, or both – with dedicated stores for your several brands which can be centrally managed without re-platforming or creating additional niche commerce platforms. Shopify’s approach is based on templates that are not able to handle the complexities of B2B transactions.

Only very few big stores use Shopify worldwide. The biggest brands appreciate Magento’s multi-language, multi-site, multi-brand support, and integration with popular payment processors and shipping providers. Managing all from one single instance is easy and helps in the cross-border multi-channel expansion of your online business. Like inventory management, payment processors, search engine optimization (SEO features), payment gateways.

Themes from Magento and Shopify

The way your store looks is very important and most e-commerce owners want to distinguish it from the competition. They fight for the attention of the clients in the crowded market designing and creating unique projects.

Shopify offers 6 free and 64 paid themes all have certain customization options and are responsive. Rigid, standardized web templates may limit innovation, providing you with a Shopify store resembling every other Shopify merchant.

Magento has 17 paid themes and endless modification options. In this platform, you can create whatever you want now and in the future. There is also the possibility to customize themes to different groups of customers and markets using a multi-channel approach. The administration dashboard allows you to manage all from one panel. You would certainly appreciate simple IT features like drag-and-drop Page Builder (website builder) as well as Content Staging and Preview. This all allows you to create unique brand experiences.

Store management and business approach in Shopify and Magento.

Merchants operating Magento stores can deploy several multilingual sites, accept local payment methods, and cooperate with global shipping providers, all centrally managed. Powerful features like Magento Business Intelligence and Magento Shipping are included with Magento/Adobe Commerce and they significantly improve the operational agility of larger businesses. Such full out-of-the-box solutions decrease significantly business running costs, enabling to aggregate of all operation data in one place.

While Shopify has expanded support for multiple languages and currencies, each instance supports only one language and currency. Additionally require costly licenses for multi-country or multi-brand merchants – each instance is also isolated and must be managed separately with its own database and content.

Magento’s great opportunity is the connection between online and offline stores, binding them in one system fully compatible and cooperating to support your ROI results.

Performance attitude Magento vs Shopify

The customers expect faster and faster websites. If your site is not fast enough you will lose to the competition with other e-commerce sites. Magento is still working on performance improvement by introducing new technology (e.g Hyva Magento 2.) It develops instantly to find more and more efficient solutions for online stores. Magento stores are independent and self-controlled in all areas.

Shopify is a multi-tenant solution and performance in each eCommerce website depends on the whole architecture of the system. All Shopify stores influence mutually and may decrease the individual score. Each store is dependent on the performance of the system which will never be as agile as an independent platform. Peak demand in one Shopify store may degrade the performance of other eCommerce sites.

Performance monitoring tools in Magento and Shopify

Magento provides outstanding performance monitoring tools, giving you total control over e-commerce environments with options to optimize and tailor your site to specific business goals or deliver differentiated shopping experiences.

The technology of Shopify does not allow individual performance management and optimization. Your store fully relies on system efficiency – which may decide on your business results during high traffic periods. In Shopify, you have also very basic reporting tools providing limited data analysis. Which is essential in the data-driven market.

Marketing and SEO support for online store in Magento vs Shopify

eCommerce marketing for an online store is based on data analysis, it is worth comparing dashboards and data delivered by the system. Magento options of dashboard customization are great, in one view you can see sales growth from the beginning, last order, average order value, main keywords, best sellers, main clients, deliveries and inventories, goods availability.

SEO supporting features

It is worth mentioning that Magento fully supports SEO (search engine optimization) while Shopify offers only basic features to align that issue. Shopify’s attitude in this matter may be annoying in the long term when you realize that lack of SEO supporting functionalities blocks your online marketing actions and so the development of the store.

What is more, search engines are changing permanently and it is crucial to be up to date with all algorithm actualizations. To achieve that, better use a flexible system, independent and agile. You would be able to react fast enough to exceed the competition. If you plan to be the first, rely on powerful solutions that will not stop you.

User experience

Both platforms have customization options supporting user experience. While Shopify goes to certain limits, for example, most customer interactions can’t be customized, such as the checkout process, which may be problematic when fighting with the abandoned cart, Magento’s constraints lie in your vision only.

Customer support in Shopify vs Community support in Magento 2

Shopify as all in one service offers wide support for the customers –  7 days a week, 24 hours a day. The client can contact via telephone, e-mail, live chats every day and will be guided in all issues step by step. Which is an attractive option with no doubt and has a user-friendly potential.

Magento as an open-source system has a devoted community of developers working on the evolution of the product and being partners to the Adobe experts. To lead e-commerce with Magento engine and Community version you are recommended to cooperate with developers who can support you if you have no coding knowledge. Magento provides the customer attendants only with the Commercial IMO version. The learning curve may be more attractive in Shopify.

Magento Community

With Magento you are never alone, the Magento Community consists of over 260 000 developers worldwide creating innovations developing the Magento engine, which is not available for Shopify. There is also a global community of Solution Partners, Technology Partners, and Community Insiders. No matter what you need there is a chance it already exists or will appear soon. This platform is fully focused on connecting business and technology engaging enthusiasts from all over the world.

Shopify Magento
Type SaaS – Software as a Service  Open Source 
Cost monthly fee + transaction fee + domain purchase + paid features hosting + SSL certificate + domain purchase + paid features 
Ease of use no technical background – intuitive interface, user friendly technical background, Magento experts support
Themes 6 free and 64 paid, customization options, mobile responsive 17 themes free and paid and endless customization options
Apps and extensions +2500 +5000
SEO basic SEO features full SEO support
Performance dependant on Shopify system, very basic monitoring tools full influence and a wide range of monitoring tools
Security PCI Compliance PCI Compliance
Administration (B2B, B2C, online, offline, multilingual, multi-currency etc) distracted panels and licenses one administration panel 
Customer support email, phone, live chat, guiding step by step 24/7 community supports  (the Adobe Commerce provides support)
Business growth in long term may have annoying limitations no limits, more power, good in long term

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Conclusion

Whether you start up an e-commerce store or already run it, you have certainly a plan to develop it to achieve your business goals. You have many options to choose from, but it is worth realizing on which platform you may rely on to achieve the best result. All the solution costs but your return on investment (ROI) will probably be easier to achieve with an independent and agile eCommerce platform based on technology still developing with no limits and clear plans for the future.

Open Source and advanced technology from Adobe and Magento

Adobe Cloud and Adobe Commerce (Magento-based) are totally compatible and business-oriented solutions offering flexibility, independence, and security. You have a guarantee of quality and support of a huge Community. You take total control over your store. While Shopify may have a lower entry barrier comparison to Magento, it doesn’t let you command your business in every aspect you need. The power lies in the freedom of acting. It is more natural even if it depends on advanced technologies.

Why use an open-source e-commerce platform from Magento?

If you run an online and offline business and want to communicate to different clients B2C, B2B, markets in different countries you shouldn’t be stopped by technical constraints.

If you plan:

  • to scale your business under control,
  • achieve excellent sale results,
  • stay ahead of the competition.

Chose Magento and start cooperation with Panda Group – experienced and passionate Magento enthusiasts.

Here you have a contact form.

Sources:

https://magento.com/sites/default/files8/2019-10/Magento-Shopify-Comparison-Guide-v2.pdf

https://www.similartech.com/compare/magento-vs-shopify

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