Magento Vs Shopify 2021: The Pros and Cons
It’s no surprise that 20% of the UK’s Top 500 Retailers use Magento or Shopify. Both platforms create a foundation for online stores, set ecommerce businesses up for success and turn start-ups into leading retailers. Their prominence and popularity are well-deserved, but when faced with the option of Magento or Shopify after reading their multitude of benefits, you may find yourself scratching your head and stuck for choice.
We know how important that choice is, too. Your ecommerce platform is crucial to the success of your business. It’s not only the basis of your online store, it is your online store in its entirety – where all your managing, creating, maintaining, and money-making happens. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons and outlined the key differences between the two ecommerce giants. So, whether you’re planning an online store or upgrading your current set up, you can make that all-important decision based on the facts.
4 Key Differences Between Magento and Shopify
Crucially, there are fundamental differences between Magento and Shopify that you should know about before we dive into the pros and cons of each.
It’s worth considering these contrasting factors:
- Shopify is a commercial product that you pay for, whereas Magento Open Source is a free software.
- Magento requires you to provide your own hosting, install, setup and integration before you can go ahead and create your online store, whereas Shopify is a hosted solution. With a hosted solution, you don’t ‘own’ your store, you pay for it monthly.
- Magento has an elaborate user interface, loaded with features and options, which is ideal for advanced developers. Shopify, on the other hand, has a basic interface, which could be more useful for beginners.
- Although Magento Open Source is free, Magento does have a paid version. However, Magento Open Source is packed with advanced features and if you need extra add-ons, you can buy these separately, so Magento’s paid version isn’t essential to get your business booming online.
Shopify: The Pros
- Shopify is simple and easy to set-up and navigate, which makes it a great choice for retailers with more straightforward requirements, such as simple parent-child product relations and limited integrations.
- Shopify offer a lot of store themes, including free and paid for versions. You get 9 free eCommerce templates, and up to 67 paid templates. Your Web Developers can also build you a theme from the ground up to your exact requirements using Shopify’s native language.
- Shopify provide 24/7 customer support, which is especially valuable with a hosted solution which runs on its own servers. You can easily contact the Shopify Support Team by Live Chat, Email or Phone.
- Shopify offer a wide variety of checkout and payment options for customers and although there are slightly higher credit card transaction fees when using Shopify’s payment processor, it is a great system, and the rate of conversion will make up for the higher fees.
- Shopify offer a helpful app store to extend the functionality of your website as your business grows. The app store includes a wide selection of free apps, such as Shopify Email, which lets you market your products to customers via email, or BetterReplay, which records customers on your site so you can analyse each visit. If there are no apps that fulfil your requirements, your web developer can develop apps in any language to create the feature you are looking for within Shopify.
- Shopify is insanely popular and has a dedicated fanbase. As of 2021, it powers about 1.6 million online stores and has generated over £140bn in sales. Shopify’s reputation and popularity means you can easily find information on Shopify and speak to other Shopify users to discuss tips and issues.
- Shopify allows you to manage your site on-the-go with their Shopify app. The app is compatible for both IOS and Android users and means you can manage your online store from your mobile.
Shopify: The Cons
- Although there are a wide selection of templates and themes available, most of these have a price attached.
- You may require a lot of app add-ons as your business grows, which can make your store more complicated due to the volume of integration needed. These features that you need to add-on in Shopify are already included in the Magento platform.
- Unless you use Shopify payments, you will face a fee for every transaction via a third-party payment gateway and the fees in Shopify are higher than Magento.
- Shopify has a straightforward user interface and doesn’t come with as many customisable features as Magento, which could be a problem for larger retailers with more comprehensive requirements.
Magento: The Pros
- Magento has a large, supportive community, which offers guidance and help to other users.
- Magento comes with a lot of features and options for your web developers to customise and develop your website. Magento offers freedom, flexibility, and scalability.
- Magento offers an array of attractive design options, giving web developers the ability to customise every part of the website.
- Magento is open source and free to use.
- A lot of the app add-ons you see Shopify users buying come free of charge in the Magento platform.
- The transaction fees in Magento are lower than Shopify.
Magento: The Cons
- Magento is an advanced interface that’s packed with features and options. This means it isn’t always recommended for small businesses or stores requiring limited functionality.
- Magento can be a bit of a learning curve for first-time users and can take a while to get used to navigating.
- Magento requires hosting, installation, set up, and integration from professional web developers.
- Due to the cost of the initial set up, Magento normally works out more expensive than Shopify in the first instance. However, the cost of hosting and the low transaction fees provide greater scalability at a lower cost over time.
- The Magento community relies on agencies and web developers for maintenance and support. Phone support is only available to users on Magento’s paid version.
Who’s Your Winner: Magento, or Shopify?
Ultimately, Shopify stands out for being an all-in-one ‘hosted’ solution and Magento is the better option for bigger and more complex ecommerce sites that need flexibility and scalability. Overall, it appears more fashion sites favour Shopify due to the simple nature of the product types, whereas Magento is used across a wider variety of sectors, such as the automotive industry, home and garden, leisure, and hospitality. With every business having specific needs, we hope this comparison shows you the pros, cons, and key differences between the two ecommerce giants to help you come to a well-informed decision on Shopify or Magento.