This is not the first list of platforms that we have published on our blog. We’ve already dealt with the comparisons:
- Shopify and WooCommerce – the latter is a WordPress plugin, but it can also work for single-product stores;
- Shopify and PrestaShop – PrestaShop, like Magento, is an open-source platform, the store owner must take care of software updates, security, etc.
The time has come for another clash of e-commerce engines. In this episode, we’ll talk about the similarities and differences between Shopify Plus and Magento. Especially the advantages and disadvantages that become visible in the case of online stores with high monthly turnover. Let’s get started.
Comparison of Shopify Plus and Magento: 7 points
Shopify Plus and Magento are competitive e-commerce platforms. We will compare their performance on the basis of ease of use, flexibility, performance, support, cost, agility and development possibilities. Do you already have your favourite? We’d love to hear about it. Meanwhile, read our comparison.
Which is easier to use: Shopify Plus or Magento?
Magento is an open-source platform. As we wrote in the guide Where to start an online store? , setting up a store based on an open platform is associated with the installation of software on your own server and responsibility for maintaining the store and its security. If you have programming knowledge or have technical support inside the company, the installation, integration and maintenance of the store will not be a problem. However, if you do not have such support, you must ask the agency for help, technical support or learn how to use the system, because not only maintenance but also the administration panel can be problematic.
Shopify Plus can be ready to sell within hours of signing up. All you need to do is decide on a template, connect the necessary integrations, upload products and it’s ready. The administration panel is transparent and intuitive, so you can perform these steps yourself. You don’t need a specialist. Shopify is responsible for maintaining your store, updating your software, and keeping it secure. And you, in saved time, can focus on business development. The only exception is when you want to add custom solutions. Then it’s best to use a specialist, but as a Shopify Plus user, you have access to the Merchant Success Program, in which you have the support of Shopify experts.
The Verdict: Shopify Plus is easier to use than Magento and has a much simpler template installation and modification.
The flexibility of both platforms
In the case of Magento, the user is the owner of the code and there are no restrictions in building solutions, adapting the platform to your business and preparing a template. What’s more, there are many ready-made Magento solutions on the Internet that you can use. There are many things that can be easily obtained thanks to the platform, e.g. headless solution, B2B sales, advanced reporting, managing several stores at once, etc.
Shopify works a little differently. We are not the code owners and all integrations are built using API. Shopify Plus has the most extensive API access, and you don’t have to worry about something you can’t do. However, if you don’t find a suitable application, you have to build the solution yourself.
Verdict: Both platforms are flexible and allow for the construction of original functionalities, and installation of plugins and systems such as CRM, PIM, ERP, etc.
The speed of making changes to Shopify Plus and Magento
Magento has unlimited possibilities for the expansion and implementation of new functionalities. However, making changes to the store requires the assistance of a developer. If there is no developer in your team, the cost of each new functionality increases, and most of all, each change takes time, which slows down the pace of development and irritates many entrepreneurs (this was the reason why Toys’R’Us moved to Shopify ).
Shopify allows for agile store management from the technical side. Each person on the team can independently install applications that will help them in customer service, marketing or sales, such as sales applications . And the preparation of new functionalities takes much less time. Migrating to Shopify from other systems alone takes up to 7 weeks.
The Verdict: Shopify Plus is more agile than Magento, especially when the store does not have technical support on the team.
Design and templates
Just enter “best Magento templates” in Google to get an endless list of image templates. Certainly, you will find one that will be appropriate, and if not, we can build our own without any obstacles. Most of the available templates are responsive, and customizing the look shouldn’t be a problem. What’s more, we can count on the template chosen by us to have blog functions, product filters or integration with social media accounts.
It’s similar with Shopify Plus. Shopify has a library of beautiful, modern, and optimized templates that we can configure however you like. And if none of them meets our tastes, we can start building the template ourselves.
The Verdict: Both Magento and Shopify Plus offer a wide selection of templates and the implementation of original designs that were built to order.
The cost of running a store on Shopify Plus and Magento
The most common reason why users leave Magento is the cost of running a Magento store. This platform is just expensive. Magento needs a dedicated server, support in maintaining and developing the platform, expensive functionalities, etc. Many companies choose to migrate their store to reduce costs. And how much does it cost to use the platform itself?
The price of Magento depends on the version we choose:
- Magento Open Source Edition – free version that has Adobe support;
- Magento Commerce Edition – extended version; price starts at $ 22,000 per year;
- Magento Commerce Cloud Edition – differs from the above version in that it is based on the cloud; the cost of an annual license starts at $ 40,000.
Shopify Plus costs about $ 2,000 a month, but for that price, you get hosting, an SSL certificate, purchasing process security, and store maintenance. Extra costs are app prices, which are usually sold as a subscription.
Verdict: Shopify Plus is cheaper than Magento, because we don’t have to pay extra, incl. for hosting, but the price increases with the number of integrations.
Magento vs Shopify Plus – Performance
Shopify Plus prides itself on high performance and reliability. We haven’t encountered any performance issues yet, but optimization is always advisable. Many of the above elements are on the Shopify side (e.g. we do not need Content Delivery Network or cache care on Shopify Plus). However, it is worth taking care of code minification or optimization of images and other multimedia in the store.
Verdict: Both platforms are efficient, however with Magento, a lot depends on the servers.
The community around Magento is very large and extremely helpful. There are many agencies on the market that deal with the creation and development of Magento stores. Likewise, with free help in the form of documentation or online forums. In most cases, there will be a person willing to answer bothering questions.
Shopify is slowly catching up with Magento in this regard. Many agencies, specialize in designing, helping and creating custom solutions for stores on Shopify. In addition, Shopify has an extensive Help Center, specialist forum and video support materials, and access to Shopify Plus provides individual assistance from experts in developing your store. Admittedly, paid versions of Magento also offer such support from Magento developers.
Verdict: Both platforms provide support and help from specialists.
Store on Magento or Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus and Magento are solutions for large online stores. We do not recommend these solutions to small to medium-sized business owners who are better suited to basic Shopify, WooCommerce, or Prestashop. These platforms differ from each other, among other functionalities, price, and development opportunities.