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Looking to set up an online store, but can’t decide between Magento vs Shopify?
While both Shopify and Magento can be a powerful and flexible foundation for your store, you shouldn’t invest your money until you’ve thoroughly weighed your options.
To help you find the best fit for your business, we’re pitting Magento and Shopify against each other in terms of ease of use, features, pricing, and more.
Whichever you choose in the end, we have the perfect ecommerce marketing add-on for both: Omnisend lets you generate sales and grow your business on autopilot.
With that said, let’s see what Shopify and Magento are all about.
Shopify vs Magento: a quick overview
Both Shopify and Magento are well-suited to build online stores.
Before we dive deeper, let’s take a look at their main differences.
- Shopify is a proprietary platform designed for building online stores. You pay for a monthly subscription and get easy-to-use ecommerce software for small to mid-sized online stores with lots of templates but fewer options for customization.
- Magento, on the other hand, is free (with paid options), open-source, and much more customizable. As a result, it’s often the better fit for large, enterprise-level ecommerce stores that aim for a much more personalized shopping experience.
Both Magento and Shopify can serve as a solid foundation for your online store. But they’re not equally great in all aspects. You can easily migrate from Magento to Shopify.
|Is it beginner-friendly?||No||Yes|
|Does it offer scalability?||Yes||Yes, with add-ons|
|Is it secure?||Yes, and can be further improved with add-ons||Yes|
|Does it have powerful inventory and product management?||Yes||Yes|
|Is it budget-friendly?||No||Yes|
|Can you track the performance of your ecommerce store?||Yes||Yes, with add-ons|
|Can you create multi-stores?||Yes||Yes, with add-ons|
|Does it provide reliable payment gateways?||Yes||Yes|
|Will you get support?||Yes||Yes|
|Does it provide SEO capabilities?||Yes||Yes, with add-ons|
|Does it support product promotions?||Yes||Yes, with add-ons|
With all that in mind, here’s our in-depth comparison of Shopify vs Magento.
Magento vs Shopify: an in-depth comparison
In this comparison, we’ll go over essential considerations for ecommerce merchants when choosing between Magento vs Shopify.
We’ll start with each platform’s features, pricing, and ease of use. Next, we’ll cover their selection of apps and themes that can greatly improve your website’s design and functionality. Finally, we’ll compare their security features and quality of support.
Let’s get started.
Both Magento and Shopify are full-service ecommerce platforms and come with everything merchants need to set up a fully functional online store. In terms of features, though, they certainly have their differences.
Shopify’s feature set is one of the main reasons behind its massive popularity. Here are some of the highlights:
- App store: Whatever vanilla Shopify may lack in terms of features, the Shopify App Store will have an app for it—there are 3,200+ apps that cover everything from email marketing to back-in-stock alerts, which you can use to improve your online store.
- Automatic taxes: Shopify will automatically handle your tax rates.
- Built-in payment processor: Shopify Payments is the platform’s own processor that will handle your payments without additional transaction fees.
- Robust mobile app: Shopify has a mobile app that lets you manage your products, orders, and more on the go.
- Customer support: Shopify has 24/7 support, a help center, and an ecommerce academy.
- Ecommerce marketing: Shopify has basic marketing features like SEO optimization, social media integration, gift cards, and more.
Magento also has plenty to offer feature-wise, including:
- Add-on marketplace: Access thousands of add-ons on the Magento Marketplace to improve the functionality of your online store.
- Instant purchase: Magento allows your customers to speed through the checkout process using data that is saved in their account.
- Site management: Use a single admin to control multiple sites and stores.
- Advanced reporting: Magento offers 100 pre-built reports and allows you to create your own.
- International commerce: You can manage websites in multiple countries from the same store. There’s also support for multiple languages, currencies, and tax rates.
- Robust customer account management: Magento ensures a customer’s order details are centralized across all channels.
Magento vs Shopify: Pricing
Pricing-wise, Magento comes in three different packages–Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce, and Magento Commerce Cloud (renamed to Adobe Commerce and Adobe Commerce Cloud in April 2021).
Magento Open Source is free to install but can become very expensive in the long run. Essentially, the platform uses the Ryanair model: the base costs are low, but if you want to use the full feature package, the expenses add up rather quickly. And all these add-ons can run up to $2,000/mo or more.
For example, you’ll have to pay for hosting your website, or hire Magento developers and designers to help you customize your online store. That being said, this doesn’t mean that Magento can’t be a good fit for your business. You simply have to thoroughly calculate your potential short- and long-term costs if you decide to go with this platform.
Unlike Magento, Shopify pricing is subscription-based and starts at $29/mo for the Basic plan.
The plan includes access to most features, including the ability to use Shopify Payments, sell unlimited products, use discount codes, and more. However, you don’t get international pricing, country-specific domains, and performance reports.
Shopify’s standard plan starts at $79/mo while the Advanced plan will cost you $299/mo. If you decide to upgrade, you get access to more competitive payment processing fees, advanced reporting features, and larger shipping discounts.
If you already have a website, you can choose the Shopify Lite version. It starts at only $9/mo, works no matter what platform you’re on, and lets you sell a limited number of products and accept credit card payments.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Shopify Plus, which is available for large enterprises. This plan is custom-tailored for every business and starts at $2,000/mo.
Ease of use
Most ecommerce merchants aren’t web designers or developers. Even if you’re familiar with web development, you’ll probably want your platform to be as user-friendly as possible.
When it comes to ease of use, Magento is much less user-friendly than Shopify, especially for non-developers. With that said, all this complexity comes with complete control over your website. Magento lets you create a truly unique online store if you have the technical knowledge to do so or a large budget to hire Magento developers and do it for you.
On the other hand, Shopify is much simpler and easier to use than Magento. It’s built for everyone–both laypeople and tech wizards. As a result, it’s pretty much fool-proof, which means you’ll have no trouble building your online store.
Shopify vs Magento: Apps, plugins, and integrations
Both Magento Marketplace and the Shopify App Store offer extensive libraries of third-party apps, plugins, and integrations that can help you greatly improve your online store in a variety of ways.
The Shopify app store contains over 3,200 apps for online merchants to choose from, and many of them are free to install. In fact, if you want to level up your store experience, make sure to install some of the best Shopify apps.
Magento Marketplace offers more than 3,500 free and paid extensions. These extensions cover a wide variety of categories, including customer support, marketing, website optimization, analytics, and anything else you might need to make your store your own.
In short, both platforms offer a massive collection of add-ons. You should be able to find an app for anything on both Magento and Shopify.
Omnisend offers plugins for Magento and Shopify, helping merchants on both platforms build and run omnichannel marketing campaigns to grow their sales. Whichever platform you end up using, make sure to install the Omnisend plugin and take your business to the next level.
Themes, templates, and customization
Both Magento and Shopify have a sizable collection of templates and themes to help you beautify your online store. While Shopify offers a lot fewer free themes than Magento, the free themes on Shopify are better designed compared to what’s on offer at the Magento Marketplace.
On the other hand, you can get a premium Magento theme on the cheap (they start at a paltry $1), while paid themes on Shopify will cost you at least $80 to install.
While both Magento and Shopify offer a good number of templates in terms of quantity, theme quality seems to be relatively higher on Shopify.
No one wants to get hacked.
If you want your store to be safe from threat actors, platform security should be at the top of your must-have list. And patching is one of the cornerstones of keeping your online store secure from any hacking attempts.
While Shopify manages patches and updates for you, Magento requires you to install security fixes manually. As a result, you’ll have to invest more time and attention with Magento to keep your online store well-protected.
That being said, Magento can draw on the resources of its massive open-source community to find and fix any security holes.
Shopify, on the other hand, relies on a much smaller team of in-house talent as well as a public bounty program. While this doesn’t mean that Shopify is an insecure ecommerce platform, Magento has a clear advantage in this aspect.
Sure, Shopify makes managing your store’s security easier, but they can’t match Magento’s open-source community support.
However, just because both these platforms are relatively secure doesn’t mean that you can afford to be careless on your end of the equation. Most security breaches happen due to insider or user error, which means that you’ll have to implement basic security measures like strong password hygiene and two-factor authentication to protect your store from unauthorized access attempts before they happen.
Whether you end up using Magento or Shopify, don’t underestimate the importance of your own security practices.
Magento vs Shopify: Wrap up
At the end of the day, the choice between Shopify and Magento boils down to your needs.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful B2C ecommerce platform that helps you save time on managing your online store, Shopify is your best bet.
On the other hand, if you operate a massive online store that you want to make truly your own, and you have the technical knowledge and resources to do so, you’ll probably want to go with Magento.
Regardless of the platform you choose, Omnisend lets you automate the entire process of engaging your customers and driving sales. Start free.