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Magento vs Shopify: Pros and Cons

Magento vs Shopify_ Pros and Cons

The popularity of e-commerce is growing. In 2021, the global B2C e-commerce market size was valued at $3.86 trillion. By 2030, it is expected to almost double in size, reaching $7.45 trillion. More and more businesses are looking for a way to build an online shop. And e-commerce platforms offer an easier way to do it. In this article, we compare the two popular platforms: Magento vs Shopify.

According to Datanyze, both of them are among the top 10 most used e-commerce platforms globally. More than 600.000 websites were built with the help of Shopify (10% of the market), while around 70.000 are based on Magento (1,1%).

Magento and Shopify provide all the features you need to create, manage and grow your online shop. Therefore, your day-to-day operations become easier. Using either of them is cheaper and easier than building your online store from scratch. Also, it is more comfortable than relying on multiple plugins.

These e-commerce platforms streamline the purchasing process for your customers and help to prevent various technical issues or deal with them swiftly. Thus, you spend less time worrying about the online experience of your customers and focus on boosting your revenue.

Despite the similar benefits of Shopify and Magento for business, each of those platforms has its distinctive features. Read on to find out which of them is better for you!

Magento vs Shopify at a glance

Let’s begin our comparison with a short overview of each platform. The pros and cons Magento vs Shopify lists below outline the key differences between the two competitors that may have a crucial impact on your decision.

Shopify pros:

  • Hosted platform – hosting for your site is taken care for
  • Easy-to-use comprehensive e-commerce website builder
  • Swift online shop set up
  • Large variety of plugins for enhancing the functionality of your store
  • Plenty of checkout and payment options

Shopify cons:

  • Fee for every transaction if you don’t use Shopify payments
  • Most themes are paid

Magento pros:

  • Open-source and free to use
  • Almost unlimited customization options
  • Large variety of applications available
  • A lot of free themes

Magento cons:

  • Finding and purchasing (and, in some cases, configuring and managing) hosting is your responsibility
  • More technical knowledge is required than for using Shopify
  • Time-consuming and costly store set up

Features

Both platforms offer powerful functionalities for your online store. However, there are some important differences. Here is a detailed Magento vs Shopify Plus (Shopify) comparison.

Payment gateways

Shopify offers over 100 payment gateways out of the box. However, a built-in payment gateway is strongly promoted by the absence of the transaction fee. Magento, on the other hand, supports adding gateways as third-party add-ons. You can choose out of several hundred options. In this round of Magento or Magento 2 vs Shopify, none of the competitors seems to have a clear advantage.

Payment fees

With Shopify, you will have to pay a credit card processing fee from the payment provider and a transaction fee. Both depend on the plan you choose. Here is the information on the card rates:

The size of the transaction fee varies as follows:

Note that Shopify’s payment processor, Shopify Payments, is free. The use of Shop Pay comes with a free transaction for a customer.

Magento’s payment fee depends on the payment extension you choose. For example, PayPal charges 3.49% + $0.49 for each transaction within the US. For international cards, the fee is larger – 5%. There is no set-up or monthly fee.

SEO

In this aspect of Shopify Plus vs Magento comparison, both competitors offer similar options.

You can define how your e-commerce website is displayed in the search results pages by editing the page title and description. Also, you can add alt text to images. This way, search engines are able to figure out what they are about. Moreover, you can purchase some SEO apps in Magento's Marketplace and Shopify App Store.

Customization

Shopify provides simple menus to control the basic attributes such as colors, fonts. Also, there is a theme editor as well as the drag and drop sections to shuffle the content on your site. Magento offers maximum freedom with its open-source code. However, to harness all its potential, you’ll need an expert with web programming and HTML/CSS coding skills.

Blogging functionality

Shopify offers integrated functionality for easy blogging. Magento doesn’t have built-in features for that. Still, there are third-party extensions that may come in handy. Besides, with the help of a skillful developer, you can build a highly customizable Magento blog.

Loading speed

In Shopify or Shopify Plus vs Magento 2 loading speed comparison, one crucial difference has to be taken into account. Shopify is a hosted platform, while Magento is a self-hosted platform. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the performance of your Shopify website. It is taken care of by a team of motivated technicians. Still, beware of using too many third-party apps, as they may slow down your online shop.

To build a Magento store, you will either have to find a managed hosting or choose a hosting provider and manage its set-up yourself. In this case, it’s up to you to make sure your infrastructure provides satisfactory loading speed.

Add-ons

Shopify, as well as Magento, offers thousands of free and paid apps to choose from. They can provide a variety of enhancements like providing custom discount options, automatically emailing potential customers about new products, or showing trust icons to decrease cart abandonment.

Most plugins can be added with the click of a button, though some require the knowledge of coding. With a team of experienced and skillful developers, your potential for enhancing your store both on Shopify and on Magento is virtually limitless.

Software delivery time

Multiple built-in easy-to-use features Shopify offers make creating a website a matter of days. Thus, the time to market for a Shopify-based e-commerce solution is really short. A Magento shop requires lengthy custom development. You will have to create a website from scratch, host it on a server, connect a domain to hosting, and install plugins. Only then will your website be market-ready.

Data security

Shopify is compliant with the PCI data security standards for card information processing. Also, this platform uses SSL encryption to protect customers’ personal information. Magento does not provide PCI compliance out of the box, though your business can achieve it quite easily. Both platforms release security patches and updates. However, if you use Magento, the main responsibility for data security lies with your development team.

API

Shopify has a suite of APIs that enable developers to enhance its built-in features. Aside from adding new functionality, the APIs allow reading and writing merchant data as well as interoperating with other platforms. Magento is an open-source solution, and its users have complete control over the sites they build. Still, it also has a web API framework. The latter supports Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), accounting, marketing automation, and Product Information Management (PIM).

Inventory management

Both platforms allow you to offer an unlimited number of products in your store. You can easily create new products and group them in collections. However, Shopify has the advantage of direct integration to dropshipping inventory applications. Also, as we have already mentioned, hosting a Magento e-commerce website is your responsibility. Therefore, adding too many products to a Magento store may be an issue.

Shipping charges calculation

Both Magento and Shopify have some powerful options allowing you to calculate shipping charges. However, the latter also boasts integrations with some dropshipping tools that have shipping estimates. Also, Shopify offers precise shipping calculators. Thus, with this platform, you can provide your customers with very accurate shipping cost estimates.

Proving discounts and coupons

With Magento, you will always have the functionality for managing discounts. Shopify has this option in all plans except the Lite. Thus, it wouldn’t be an issue if we were talking about the Shopify Plus vs Magento Enterprise comparison. However, if we consider starter options, Magento does have a slight advantage in this respect.

Themes and templates

Both platforms have a large collection of themes and templates. Among them, there are some responsive templates, free and paid. Thus, with Shopify and Magento, you can easily keep up with the modern trends in