Magento vs Shopify: Which is the Best Open Source Platform?

Magento vs Shopify

The battle between eCommerce platforms never come to an end. This time the battle between Magento vs Shopify. Both of them are the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market today. 

Just think you have chosen the wrong platform to start from scratch. This can be really time consuming and also frustrating.

But don’t worry, we are here to save you time and remove frustration.

Our comparison between Magento vs Shopify will highlight their differences and help you decide which one is the best platform for you.

Magento vs Shopify

Magento vs Shopify: How To Choose An Ecommerce Platform

No platform is perfect and fulfill your requirement. While there are some extra goodies that you might like on one platform over another. But those might not be the major thing to choose the right one. Generally, these factors are essential for eCommerce entrepreneurs to stay in the competition. Here are the factors:

  • Load time
  • Ease of use
  • User friendliness
  • Cost of the initial set up
  • Technical support
  • Design flexibility and mobile friendliness
  • SEO & Marketing tools
  • Up-selling & cross-selling
  • Types of Products
  • Robust content management system
  • Built in blog

At the end of this article, you’ll be able to come to a decision which one is best against those above factors.

Magento vs Shopify: Ease of Use

When choosing any eCommerce platform, ease of use should be one of your first, and most important factor to consider.

Shopify

Shopify is a popular website builder tool. With its drag and drop functionality, you can easily customize your store by moving elements around the page exactly what and how you want!

It gives you all the features you need to create an online store. With Shopify you can:

– Easily insert custom images into your theme to personalize your store.

– Quickly add products to start selling.

– Set up payments quickly.

– Customize the look of your store.

And, you can do all this without having technical knowledge of coding!

Get Shopify from here.

Magento

When getting started with Magento, the Content Management System (CMS) is less user-friendly than Shopify’s interface. There are lots of technical terms all over the place that will need to learn to navigate for the first-time user. 

Though Magento is open source and flexible platform, you’ll need to learn at least some code in order to take advantage of its full functionality.

Try Magento from here.

Magento vs Shopify: Speed & Performance

Speed and performance are correlated with each other regarding the success of every eCommerce store. Users don’t like to wait for a long time to load. This applies to online stores also. If an online store shows weakness in any of these areas, a user is more likely to visit another online store.

Shopify

Shopify is a hosted platform. With Shopify, you don’t need to worry about the page loading time or the overall performance of the eCommerce store. At the same time, you don’t have full control over your hosting environment and server level adjustments.

Magento

On the other hand, Magento platform is a self hosted eCommerce platform and you have the option to choose your own server and make all the necessary adjustments to boost the performance metrics.

When using Magento, you have two options: Community Edition (Open Source Community Edition) and Enterprise Edition (Magento Commerce Version). As per Magento, their Community edition “meet the basic commerce needs of business today”. And their Enterprise edition hosts your store for you on their Cloud project. This, of course, will cost you more but extremely helpful if hosting, web support, and eCommerce functionality aren’t in your skill set; Magento can take care all of it for you.

Magento vs Shopify: Pricing

The pricing structure of Magento and Shopify is different. But before moving to their different pricing plan let’s first see their similar pricing plan.

As we mentioned a para earlier, Magento has Enterprise edition or Magento Commerce version, where they will host your store on their cloud. It will cost around $22k and above for licensing and an extra cost for using the cloud platform, which also covers things like Fastly CDN.

On the other hand, Shopify has Shopify Plus plan which starts at $2k per month then increases based on your store.

Setup Charges – Shopify does not claim any setup charges. In fact, they offer a 14-day free trial with which you can test and evaluate all the functionalities and features offered by their eCommerce hosting platform.

On the Other hand, With Magento, the question of setup fees does not arise because it is totally free to use.

Monthly fees – Basically, Shopify offers four different plans with monthly fees. They are:

They have also another plan Shopify Plus – pricing plans start around $2000 per month + 1.6% and 30¢ per transaction.

On the other hand, with Magento, you’ll have to provide your own hosting, which is available at monthly costs ranging from $5 to $100.

Bandwidth fees – Shopify does not take any bandwidth fees on any of its plans.

But for Magento Open Source, this will depend on the hosting provider that you have chosen.

Transaction fees – Shopify does not charge any additional transaction fees if their own payment gateway is used. If utilizing any other gateway or method (such as COD), their transaction fee structure is as follows:

With Magento Open Source, no transaction fees are charged other than the gateway provider’s fees.

Theme/Template prices – Both platforms offer a good number of free as well as paid themes. Shopify and Magento premium theme prices starting at $80 and $1 respectively.

Overall, it’s tough to compare Magento vs Shopify in case of pricing. Shopify is most likely more manageable than Magento with its monthly pricing. But Magento is free. The main consideration is that you have to consider many other larger expenses with Magento.

Magento vs Shopify: Features Comparison

If you look at the features comparison of Magento vs Shopify, you will find that Magento has more features than Shopify.

Magento

Magento Features

Magento FeaturesMagento Community
Free Download
1-Click UpsellsYes
Abandoned Cart EmailPaid Apps
Digital ProductsPaid Apps
Personalized ProductsYes
Product Export/ImportYes
Product SearchYes
Ratings & ReviewsYes
Real Time Shipping Rates/TrackingYes
Reward PointsNo
SEO ToolsYes
Subscription/RecurringPaid Apps
Zoomable Product ImagesYes
Up-selling & Cross-sellingYes

Shopify

Shopify Features

Shopify FeaturesBasic ShopifyShopifyAdvanced Shopify
1-Click UpsellsPaid AppsPaid AppsPaid Apps
Abandoned Cart EmailYesYesYes
Digital ProductsFree AppsFree AppsFree Apps
Personalized ProductsPaid AppsPaid AppsPaid Apps
Product Export/ImportYesYesYes
Product SearchPaid AppsPaid AppsPaid Apps
Ratings & ReviewsYesYesYes
Real Time Shipping Rates/TrackingYesYesYes
Reward PointsPaid AppsPaid AppsPaid Apps
SEO ToolsPaid AppsPaid AppsPaid Apps
Subscription/RecurringPaid AppsPaid AppsPaid Apps
Zoomable Product ImagesYesYesYes
Up-selling & Cross-sellingPaid AppsPaid AppsPaid Apps

Magento vs Shopify: Integration

If you have a shop outside your online store, for example, Amazon then you might want to automate your inventory and orders. Look at the integrations on both platforms.

Magento

Magento falls behind Shopify in terms of integrations. And all integrations are manual installation. You’ll need tech assistance to complete it successfully.

You can integrate and sync your store with Facebook and Google product data feed and analytics, but that’s about the free integration you get.

If you have an Amazon store, you’ll have to install a paid extension to sync both storefronts together. The same thing with eBay also.

Look at the details Integrations:

Magento Integrations

Magento Integrations Free Download
AlibabaNo
Amazon 2 Way SyncPaid Extension
Amazon CheckoutFree Extension
Amazon FBA IntegrationPaid Extension
Drop Shipping IntegrationPaid Extension
Ebay 2-Way SyncPaid Extension
Facebook SyncYes
Google Ecommerce AnalyticsYes
Google Product Data FeedYes
Google Customer ReviewsPaid Extension
Email Marketing AutomationFree Extension
Paypal CheckoutYes
Printing On DemandPaid Extension
USPS IntegrationYes
WordPress IntegrationFree Extension
User Generated Content AutomationFree Extension

Shopify

Look at the details Integrations:

Shopify Integrations And PlansBasicShopifyAdvanced
AlibabaPaidPaidPaid
Amazon 2 Way SyncYesYesYes
Amazon CheckoutYesYesYes
Amazon FBA IntegrationYesYesYes
Drop Shipping IntegrationFreeFreeFree
Ebay 2-Way SyncYesYesYes
Facebook SyncYesYesYes
Google Ecommerce AnalyticsYesYesYes
Google Product Data FeedYesYesYes
Email Marketing AutomationFreeFreeFree
Google Customer ReviewsPaidPaidPaid
Paypal CheckoutYesYesYes
Printing On DemandFreeFreeFree
USPS IntegrationYesYesYes
WordPress IntegrationYesYesYes
User Generated Content AutomationFreeFreeFree

Magento vs Shopify: Apps and add ons

Both Shopify and Magento give you the basics to build a successful online store. But if you want to grow your store with more advanced tools, you need extensions.

Shopify

Shopify’s App Store offers you more than 2,400 free and paid apps to choose from. These can make your website more powerful, giving it more potential to make you more money. It can be mentioned that Shopify-specific apps require some coding snippets also.

Shopify App Store

Here’s a snippet of Shopify’s apps:

  • Display trust icons to customers to reduce cart abandonment and increase purchases.
  • Integrate marketing email campaigns for welcome emails and promotions.
  • Integrate 10 social media feeds.
  • Add order tracking functionality to reduce time wasted answering the complaint ‘where’s my package?’.
  • Add analytics to your page to see where your customers drop off and then rectify this to boost sales.

Magento

Magento Marketplace has also a huge range of around 3,000 free and paid extensions. Compared with Shopify, Magento extensions are great as they don’t require any coding knowledge and you can add them to your site with just one click of the mouse!

Magento Extension

Some of the cool things you can do with Magento’s extensions like:

  • Add custom discount coupons and apply multiple coupons to one order.
  • Add pre-order functionality to check out the demand for new products.
  • Integrate email marketing campaigns and social feeds to promote and show off your products.
  • Insert advertising banners to create another source of revenue for your store.

Magento vs Shopify: Payment Gateway

In order to start making money selling online, you’ll need to connect a payment gateway to your store.

Payment gateways are services that allow you to take online credit card payments from your customers.

An easy way to understand payment gateways is to think of them as the online version of a card machine.

With both Shopify and Magento, you can connect to a payment gateway in just a few clicks and start making money in no time at all!

Shopify

Shopify is the first eCommerce platform on the market to introduce their own payment processor – Shopify Payments.

There are 100 different payment gateways on Shopify (including PayPal or AmazonPay). If you use them you’ll be charged transaction fees ranging from 0.5%-2% on each sale.

But, if you use Shopify Payments, you don’t need to pay transaction fees. And you can make more money from each sale.

Magento

To access payment gateways in Magento, you’ll need to go to the Marketplace to get your apps.

Magento support the major payment gateways such as PayPal, AmazonPay and Stripe. In their Marketplace, Magento have about 148 payment integration apps.

Magento offers a wide range of payment gateways that support different countries and languages. This is great if you’re looking to take your store international and connect with customers who can speak languages other than English.

Magento vs Shopify: SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps to increase traffic to your store. That means more traffic, more sales and thus more revenue.

When it comes to SEO, both the platform offer pretty similar functionalities. Stores built on both platforms are user friendly by Google and other search engines. This means that Shopify and Magento stores both have the potential to rank high in the search results pages.

On both platform, its really easy to make your store more search engine friendly. In Shopify’s editor and Magento’s CMS (Content Management System) you can take the necessary steps to optimize your store.

This means without adding any apps or extensions, on both platforms you can:

  • Edit the page title and description to define how your store appears in the search results pages.
  • Add alt text to images to help search engines understand what they’re all about.

Magento vs Shopify: Customer Support

Shopify

Shopify comes with dedicated customer service and support. They have 24/7 phone support, live chat and email functionality available. They also have a forum where you can exchange website building and general business tips with other users.

Magento

Magento offers dedicated community-based support that includes a range of experts including Magento certified individuals, back-end and front-end developers.

You can search for your every query on the huge database of user generated content. You’ll usually be able to find quite a comprehensive, but simple to understand, explanation whatever you’re looking for.

You can even get support from a Magento partner agency that helps with everything from store creation, setup, and management.

Magento vs Shopify: Blogging

By blogging you can draw a massive traffic in addition to ads. Writing high-quality content about your product and target market can convince customers and build trust.

Shopify has a built-in blog with their platform. If you want to extend it, you can use apps like Shogun Page Builder to build templates for user-friendly posts.

But in Magento, there is no built-in blogging system. You’ll need to install an extension to get a blog. There are many of them available for this purposes. Aheadworks is one of them, or you can also install a WordPress module.

Magento vs Shopify: Conclusion

While both of this platform are fairly powerful eCommerce platforms, Shopify provides greater ease of use since it is a hosted and fully managed platfrom.

Magento, though free, requires you to purchase hosting and carry out all the software/system setup and installation procedures by yourself – something that only fairly tech-savvy people can do.

It’s really very tough to declare which platform is the best. The decision is yours!

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