If you are minimally involved in today’s e-commerce, you have surely heard of both Shopify and Magento: two of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world. We are going to talk about Shopify vs Magento. In the next section gives you a generic perspective on their similarities and differences.
Whether you work with them or not, our goal is to offer you the most common and robust features of both platforms in an intuitive comparison that knows how to get straight to the point at those points that decide whether you want to join them or not.
The figures alone offer us a very promising panorama of this industry. And it is not for less, since platforms such as Magento and Shopify make our e-commerce business something really easy to use and focus on what really matters: sales and dealing with our customers.
Comparison between Shopify and Magento
Recently Magento was enjoying great strength, but the forced upgrade to its second version, Magento 2, has led some to question whether its upgrade cost is worth it.
On the other hand, Shopify and its more advanced enterprise version for large businesses, Shopify Plus, is becoming increasingly relevant in the market.
E-commerce platforms have always existed. But the list is getting smaller and smaller as we increase the level of business since there is only a handful of them that manage to offer services that are adjustable to the needs of a medium or large company that sells online.
And more speaking of international markets and as globalized as those we have today. Even the popular Salesforce stepped into this niche market with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
However, Magento (and its large enterprise version Magento Commerce, formerly called Magento Enterprise. And Shopify Plus dominate the market like very few others and that is why we want to focus on these platforms.
The rise of Shopify Plus
Shopify does not stop growing. Especially in recent years and even more so since Shopify Plus made an appearance by automating the most tedious tasks with Shopify Flow and introducing script editing.
Both Shopify and the enterprise version, Shopify Plus, offer the entrepreneur a complete and intuitive solution for online sales without the need for major headaches. Although knowledge does not take place, great knowledge of code, programming, design or advanced SEO is not necessary.
Its scalability has always been confirmed as a great strength of the platform, since it is capable of processing thousands of transactions per minute, with great performance and security.
As we mentioned, the mandatory update to Magento 2 has opened the doors to consider Shopify as a more attractive option. So much so, that if we compare both platforms in Google Trends. Shopify emerged as the winner with twice as many searches as Magento at the beginning of 2022.
An interesting detail to keep in mind is that since the coronavirus pandemic. And the boom in online sales due to confinement. Shopify grew strongly while Magento maintained its levels. Even decreasing while Shopify occupied its ground.
Considerations of Magento and Magento Commerce
Magento, recently acquired by Adobe, is one of the e-commerce platforms that compete directly with Shopify,
In this sense, Magento 2 Commerce and Magento 2 Commerce Cloud, relatively new, have been designed to offer greater scalability than their previous versions. Thus being able to offer more optimal performance at all times of the year when traffic increases considerably. Let’s think about Black Friday or Mother’s Day.
The reputation and reliability of Magento in its first version were questioned on several occasions, as it was known for its bugs and lack of proper scalability, either when the business grew or because unexpected traffic did not support performance well. from the online store.
Magento 2.3 was an innovation and a key point in the evolution of the e-commerce platform. Several errors and bugs were thus solved, and new functions were added in different areas.
One of the most notable new features for Magento Commerce is the ability to build pages with a powerful authoring and design tool. It works in a very intuitive way and without the need for advanced knowledge in terms of web design.
After their integration with Adobe, they have also started to include other company products such as Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Sensei, functions that help the online store to develop more efficiently.
On the other hand, with the aforementioned Magento Commerce Cloud, entrepreneurs have had mixed feelings. Like the older Magento versions, Magento Cloud has also been updated and they have been able to avoid the bugs of their release since 2016, some of which were still fresh in the consciousness of the sellers.
If Magento features sound like a distant echo to you, don’t worry. We will delve into its functions in more detail throughout this article.
For now, we’re going to briefly look at Shopify, Shopify Plus, and their latest trends.
Shopify vs Magento: An Overview
Well, let’s get to what really interests us: a concise comparison between both platforms. For this, we need to differentiate its basic structure.
Magento is a self-hosted platform, that is, hosted by the owner of the store, who will have to host it by contracting a hosting service and quite possibly with the help of a developer to help him with this task.
The fundamental difference here is that Shopify is a complete platform. It includes hosting without having to worry about updates, security, or anything else that requires your attention.
In Shopify Plus we can also observe a fundamental difference. Since the benefits of B2C and B2B are more than remarkable. And have been growing nonstop (as we mentioned before in relation to Google Trends), especially with customers with more turnover.
With the update to Magento 2, Shopify has taken advantage of this land movement to attract customers from Magento Commerce and those who come from Salesforce or SAP, among others.
Shopify has also experienced the rise of headless e-commerce, which deals with the “heading” as the name itself indicates, of the practical functionalities of the store with respect to the front aspect to offer other shopping services such as voice recognition, which does not require any showcase.
Be that as it may, with Shopify Plus it is possible to focus more on the sale itself than on the more technical section. And it all starts with the definition that it is a fully hosted platform.
Price comparison: Shopify vs Magento
The costs of Magento Commerce and Shopify Plus are high and are not accessible to all types of stores or business volumes. Here we deal with prices that are intended for companies with a relatively high turnover or directly for large companies.
However, we want to first break down the costs of the most basic plans to know what we are talking about first.
Cost of common Shopify plans
The most common Shopify plans are divided into 4 different ones, whose costs increase according to the number of services that we want to have in our online store. Namely:
- Shopify Lite: $9 per month
- Basic Shopify: $29 per month
- Shopify: $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify: $299 per month.
These costs vary depending on the subscription plan that we contract since if we pay annually. We will obtain a 10% discount and if we contract a biennial subscription. We would be receiving a 20% discount, as is the case with many other subscriptions in apps and various software.
To these plans, the cost per sale is added, which varies according to the contracted plan and is summarized as follows:
- Shopify Lite and Shopify Basic: 2.4% + $0.25 per sale
- Shopify (medium plan): 2.1% + $0.25 cents per sale
- Advanced Shopify: 1.8% + $0.25 cents per sale.
After the subscription cost,
we have to add the transaction cost if we use external payment gateways. When talking about these payment methods, we refer to using, for example, any conventional credit card or PayPal. The costs vary according to the contracted plan.
- Shopify Lite and Shopify Basic: 2.0% of the sale
- Shopify (Medium Plan): 1.0% of the sale
- Advanced Shopify: 0.5% of the sale.
To avoid these costs, we recommend using Shopify Payments, the standard payment method within the platform.
Cost of Shopify Plus
This is where the big league begins and where we will focus to compare the highest costs of both platforms at a level where they express their full potential.
In Shopify Plus subscription costs increase but commissions are reduced. Whether you use Shopify Payments or not, you’ll easily pay 2.15% + $0.30 per sale (US prices). Also, if you use an external payment gateway, you will be charged an additional 0.15% commission.
But the focus is on your subscription plan. Here things change and it is no longer based on conventional static costs depending on the type of plan contracted. But rather varies depending on our billing. Being a service where the more sales you have. The more you will use the support and the load on the servers. The costs increase depending on the number of transactions, that is, your profits.
- The minimum to pay? $2,000 per month.
- The maximum to pay? $40,000 per month.
Depending on your billing, your payment will fluctuate between these two amounts as you have a commission of 0.25% of the income.
For example, if you charge up to $800,000 per month, you will always pay $2,000 and the commission will start to go up from there (based on 0.25%). But if you earn $16,000,000 and up, the cap will be adjusted by $40,000 and you won’t go past that.
In both Shopify and Shopify Plus,
we have to consider some extra costs that, although overall the high costs of Shopify Plus seem somewhat small. It can be considerable, especially if we are starting with the most basic plan.
The additional costs are summarized in the apps and themes.
Apps are extra features to add to your online store (customer service, tax calculation, advanced SEO, etc.).
Themes are those professionally designed templates specifically designed for an online store. Some are one-time payments, while others require a subscription.
In short, we have the subscription costs, the sales commissions, the additional commissions for the use of an external payment gateway and the possible purchase of apps and themes.
Cost of Magento and Magento Commerce
If we take a first look, it seems that Magento is the cheapest option, but we should introduce this concept with lots of quotes. Why?
Magento is open source , that is, its code is freely open to everyone, but its costs are more hidden.
Since it is a self-hosted platform and you need more knowledge in terms of code, development and web design, you will have to consider costs such as:
- Hosting and domain costs
- Costs of the security of your online store, including SSL certificates so important for the security of online sales, transactions and data protection.
- Costs of hiring an expert in programming and web development to help you configure the store as you wish.
The higher costs are obviously the latter, as the most advanced Magento stores cost up to thousands of dollars to set up. Who wants something, it costs something.
If we talk about Magento Commerce, the version for large companies, its license costs start from $22,000 per year and increase according to the benefits and other aspects of the store.
It is worth noting that since Adobe’s acquisition of Magento, Magento Commerce and Magento Cloud products have increased significantly.
Magento Commerce license
The standard Magento Commerce license starts at around $30,000 per year and the most common cost is between $50,000 and $100,000 per year. Meanwhile, in Shopify Plus, the most common payment is around $24,000, that is, the minimum monthly payment that must be made to contract the platform: $2,000 per month, which increases according to benefits.
Seen what has been seen, and taking into account that the complexity of Magento is greater when it comes to needing a web developer and being aware of security updates, Shopify Plus becomes a winner by a landslide.
Let’s continue analyzing the fundamental differences between both platforms.
Store design and themes: Shopify vs Magento
The themes, apart from assuming a significant cost in the installation of your online store, define the showcase of your products. And therefore, it is important to choose the most appropriate for your specific product or service.
Since both Shopify and Magento are platforms designed specifically for online sales. They are prepared to offer high-quality designs made by professionals.
Some are free but surely you will end up deciding to buy one that fully meets your needs.
In the Shopify Theme Store you will find the themes that you can configure in the following ways, among others:
- Configuration of the color palette of your online store.
- Custom images applicable to specific products and pages.
- Configuration of the design of subscription to the newsletter.
- Edition of the navigation bar and its text.
The offer of your store is wide and the results can be filtered to find themes that are adapted to specific functionalities or products. That way, you’ll avoid making your website look too much like the generic look that Shopify offers as much as possible.
Shopify is a good option since some themes are very affordable. And it differs in that it does not require a high investment of time and money for the design of the store, unlike what happens with Magento.
If you decide to enter the world of Shopify Plus, you will access the total customization of the different order screens to modify all the details related to it, an important difference from the common Shopify plans.
To do this, you will use scripts or specific lines of code to create personalized experiences in the purchase process.
With Magento, the main stumbling block comes with the requirement of having technical knowledge in terms of web design code as mentioned above, or simply having an expert to help you out.
of course, is that being open source and with advanced editing options, it allows for a more varied design than Shopify. Its features include:
- Cross-selling and up-selling sections, that is, the creation of blocks for the sale of complementary products to what the client was looking for, and products of higher value than initially anticipated by him, respectively.
- Advanced integration of the shopping cart and payment gateways.
- Intuitive presentation with product carousels.
- Advanced search capabilities using tools like Elasticsearch.
- A footer or footer with expanded functions, including subscriptions to newsletters (like the ones we see on those web courses or online seminars asking us to continue with our subscription by email).
Both Magento and Shopify work great in this regard and both are mobile-ready. Recall that more than three-quarters of mobile users have made purchases through their devices.
Shopify’s design is easier than Magento, especially for those new to eCommerce, but Magento takes design customization for your online store a little further. The price to pay for the latter? The additional cost of web development and the complexity inherent in it.
We point out that although many vendors have predefined themes available in Shopify, very often they resort to the creation of fully customized themes. This is where a company like us, Webrito.com, comes into play.
Easy to use: Shopify vs Magento
Okay, this is all very nice. We know what we are going to pay and how it looks from the outside. But what is its ease of use? Am I going to understand everything or do I need a blackboard full of equations?
We would like to be a little more impartial in this section and answer you at the end, but we can’t help it: Shopify takes the cake, and this is a fact that many sellers agree on.
The first thing we see when managing the interface is its drag and drop function with which we can easily drag components from one place to another and have all the functionalities exactly where we want them, something that Magento does not have.
The store’s features can be further edited and expanded with apps from the Shopify App Store.
The section where Magento wins (and related to its open code that generally allows greater customization), is in the. In their store, you will find some functionality that does not exist in Shopify.
More than 4,700 extensions in its store will make you bored looking for the one you need the most at an advanced level. Although the change from the first version of Magento to Magento 2 is something that can be tedious for some, the extensions are already ready to be used when this happens.
On the other hand, the integration with Adobe has allowed adding even more functionalities and integrations. Each platform has its advantages, but Shopify is once again made easier to use.
Basic functionalities and payment gateways
Here we once again highlight the fundamental difference between Magento and Shopify: the former is somewhat more versatile, but the latter certainly makes things easier by not requiring technical knowledge.
If we get heavy with this fact, it is because it is a scalable concept that increases in the time required and the level of knowledge necessary as your online store grows.
It is possible that Magento at first glance and with a newly created store seems like a sufficient solution that you do not need additional help. However, you will need to be aware of multiple factors once your sales start to grow and you need to update.
Shopify is designed to save you time, offering features such as:
- Insertion of personalized images in unlimited products
- Configuration of optimized payment methods
- Categories, tags and product attributes to classify them in a comprehensive list
- Gift cards
- Professional reports
- Customizable shipping method parameters
- Creation of additional online stores for international trade
- Access to a complete system for calculating shipping costs
- Total customization of the shopping cart and order screens
- Personalized support with an agent for website integration
- Store automation through a unique module, Shopify Flow
- Wholesale (B2B).
It, in turn, also contains a complete section for configuring your products and managing them in multiple stores if you wish (something you can also do with Shopify Plus).
Magento payment gateways are its strong point as it offers 148 different ones for international sellers. Many of them include support in different countries and languages. In this way, we will be able to sell directly to those customers who do not speak Spanish or English and carry out a campaign focused on a very specific target audience.
For payment, Shopify has its own gateway called Shopify Payments, which will take care of the transactions and the complete security of the service incorporated into the same platform. It requires no installation or maintenance and is used by millions of people every year around the world.
Remember that if you decide to use a third-party payment method, you will need to pay an additional commission, as we saw in the price section.
In any case, both platforms offer support for PayPal, Amazon Payments and Apple or Google Pay, among others.
Apps and extensions: Shopify vs Magento
Shopify calls them apps, and Magento calls them extensions. But we understand each other: they are plugins that add additional functions to the store.
Once you have created your site, you may find that some of its features do not add concepts such as a somewhat more complex shopping cart (unless you use scripts with Shopify Plus), advanced search and more developed payment options.
The plugins can be free or paid on both platforms, with a simple and intuitive installation.
They are installed much like themes. Instead of filtering by the nature of your product or store, your search can be filtered by functionality and separate those that are free or paid.
The number of Magento extensions is double that of Shopify (approximately 4,700 while Shopify has around 2,500).
With Shopify apps you can do the following:
- Store integration with social media and other channels
- Expansion of shipping options
- Basic SEO setup
- Calculation of specific taxes
- Extra features for customer service
- Translation and sale in multiple languages
- Product filtering and smart instant search
- Easy integration of GDPR and Cookies.
they are installed automatically and you will not have to worry about their updates.
On the other hand, with Magento extensions you can:
- Add advanced pre-purchase features.
- Add personalized reports for each product and observe the evolution of its statistics.
- Integration of advanced marketing tools.
In general, since Magento offers a little more customization due to its open-source, it also increases the cost when buying those extensions that are paid. It’s up to you to make sure you need that extra feature and whether it’s worth the cost.
Performance and scalability
After the basic functionalities and the possibility of adding plugins, we have to study their performance and scalability.
What is the difference between Magento and Shopify
Magento requires powerful hosting that must be expanded and reinforced as traffic increases in our store and we add more features to it.
Magento’s advantage in terms of extensive customization capacity can also become a weak point if we do not have adequate hosting since its multiple functions can affect load times, and therefore SEO.
This should not be the case if we have a specialist or an expert in web or back-end developer who knows how to assist us in the process. You will need to find a specialist who knows how to do what you want and, on many occasions, it is a complex process.
Shopify is somewhat lighter and does not require manual installations or updates. It is prepared to face any traffic 365 days a year with hardly any reduction in loading times.
It is true that it does not allow so much customization but its full hosting nature prevents us from thinking about whether we have hired the appropriate server or if we are doing something that may affect the scalability of our business when we sell more.
SEO Performance: Shopify vs Magento
In relation to what we have been commenting on in the previous section, loading times and quality hosting could make a significant difference in the SEO score.
The two e-commerce platforms have powerful features for SEO, especially when we think about installing apps or extensions that help us with the task.
Shopify’s common plans do not allow changing the URL structure and hierarchy to apply certain technical SEO aspects. However, we assume that if we want more advanced control of our Shopify store, we will contract Shopify Plus, which will expand the range of SEO options that we will have at our disposal.
What’s more, if we apply headless commerce, we will have full control over the URL configuration, since Shopify is not in charge of the store’s “showcase”.
Magento, apart from allowing the editing of metadata for greater SEO configuration. It also allows you to specifically configure other more technical SEO sections with products and store pages.
We don’t have a clear winner here, as it ultimately depends on what you’re looking for specifically.
Security and updates
And what about security?
First of all, those e-commerce sites that do not contain a secure connection with an SSL certificate will be penalized by Google with a warning to the potential buyer that this site is not secure. And who is going to trust to make a purchase on your site after that?
To do this, by contracting a plan with Shopify. An SSL certificate will be made available to you automatically, while in Magento you must contract and install it manually through your provider.
The same goes for PCI Compliance, which can be translated as the set of rules aimed at protecting financial transactions through the use of credit cards. Shopify has it built-in while in Magento you must acquire it from your provider.
On the other hand, to update your store, at Shopify we are in the same position: updates and patches are automatic and will be installed almost without your noticing.
In Magento, we find that updates and patches must be installed manually. And since Magento tends to update every so often (thankfully), you’ll also need to spend the necessary time each time this happens.
Therefore, we give Shopify the gold cup in this section. Since everything will be the order of the day without you having to invest extra time. Your store will be updated at all times and the safety of your customers will be guaranteed.
International sale: Shopify vs Magento
Globalization has made it easier and faster to reach international markets. It is very likely that you want to expand to other countries to sell your product or service. If that’s the case, you may be thinking of adding a new currency and more languages to your store.
Magento customization allows a web developer to edit the entire store code to be able to add additional languages directly, just like currencies.
With Shopify, you can’t edit the entire source code. You’ll need help from their store apps. As it is not something integrated into the CMS itself, you may run into some limitations. But in the end, you should be able to configure it without any major problems.
However, Shopify Plus has an extensive toolbox for international commerce, including specific variations for selling in each region. You can create up to 10 clones.
Although Shopify Plus does not have this feature 100% integrated and has to resort to creating copies of the store for different countries and currencies. There is already talk of developing such a multi-store feature and its launch is scheduled for this year.
B2B or wholesale capacity
A little look at the wholesale capabilities (B2B or business to business).
With the update to Magento 2, a suite designed for B2B sales has been made available to the entrepreneur with features such as the creation of customer groups, personalized prices by order quantity, specific promotions for companies, management of personalized offers, catalogs personalized, etc.
Shopify Plus, for its part, has a channel specialized in B2B, based on the default catalog of the store. Allows you to calculate discounts based on specific labeled products for special customers in B2B sales. This specific section of the store allows the integration of customer loyalty programs. And its control panel is really easy to use.
Many sellers choose to use one of the 10 copy or expansion stores as a B2B channel. In this way, they can customize it the way they want and implement specific promotions or key functionalities to satisfy their customers in B2B.
Let’s not forget that with Shopify Flow (only in Shopify Plus) we can automate the most mechanical aspects of our online store, including those for classifying customers or defining order parameters. This also relates to B2B.
Is Shopify better than Magento?
Of course, Shopify is better than Magento.
Conclusions of Shopify vs Magento
Shopify and Magento are powerful tools for online sales and will continue to dominate the market for years to come. There is no doubt about that.
Magento is a platform with great versatility and customization since we can edit large sections of the store.
We have seen how Shopify has grown exponentially in recent years and especially in recent months. His forecasts are to continue growing hand in hand with Shopify Plus, which offers a complete solution for the largest businesses.
The choice is yours, but we have to point out that Shopify is undoubtedly easier to use. We don’t have to worry about updates, servers, security or scalability.
It is true that some functions are not as editable as in Magento. But the savings in time, effort and web development costs frankly make up for this fact.
Do you need a hand to start your online store? Contact us (Webrito) and go ahead now to take the step with Shopify.
Thanks for reading us and we hope that this article has solved your doubts about the two kings of electronic commerce.