Magento and Shopify are currently considered two of the best eCommerce platforms for online merchants. Both platforms offer advanced features for creating a feature-rich online store, despite some weaknesses. If you're considering migrating from Magento to Shopify or vice versa, this article by LitExtension - a leading expert in shopping cart migration - will provide a comprehensive comparison to help you determine which platform is the best fit for your business.
Continue reading to learn:
- A brief overview of Magento and Shopify
- The main distinctions between the two platforms
- Which platform, Magento or Shopify, is the best option for you?
Magento vs Shopify – 8 Key Differences
Pricing & Costs
When selecting a shopping cart, cost is a crucial factor to consider. How much money do you plan to allocate for your store? We will compare Magento and Shopify's pricing options to help you decide which platform offers a better value for you.
Magento does not require a monthly subscription. The platform is free to download, install, and set up your store. However, you will need to pay for a domain and hosting to publish your website. Therefore, the cost of Magento can vary based on your choices.
Additionally, if you want to enhance your store's capabilities, you can add various integrations to your website through the Magento App Market, which can cost up to $15,000.
In contrast, Shopify's pricing is subscription-based. There are five pricing tiers to choose from, ranging from $9 to over $2000 per month. This plan includes both domain and hosting fees, so you don't have to worry about additional expenses.
Furthermore, Shopify offers more affordable themes and website templates, with the maximum price for a theme being $180, compared to Magento's maximum of $499. Additionally, Shopify's transaction fees are calculated based on your subscription plan.
#2. Themes & Templates
Appearance is an important aspect for many companies when selecting a platform. Themes allow you to showcase your brand and individuality. Let's compare the themes of Magento and Shopify.
Shopify offers a wide range of themes, including 11 free and 95 premium themes. However, the cost of these themes can be on the higher side, with prices ranging from $150 to $350.
The drag-and-drop editor allows for customizing, adding, switching, removing, and resizing elements of your Shopify theme.
All themes are mobile-optimized.
You can easily add or create new pages.
You can change the color palette and images to match your business.
Easily add social media feeds.
Magento offers six fully mobile-responsive themes that can cost up to $499. With Magento, you can even create your own theme from scratch, but it requires advanced coding knowledge or a budget to hire help.
Offers more flexible customization options for those with a strong technical background.
Allows for adding animations to make your store engaging.
You can add a featured product slider to your homepage.
Incorporate newsletter options in your webpage footer.
Add "cross-selling blocks" to your product pages.
#3. Ease of Use
Many e-merchants who set up an online business are not web designers or developers. Even users who have basic knowledge want a platform that is easy to set up and operate.
Let's compare the ease of use of Shopify and Magento.
Magento Ease of Use
In terms of usability, Magento is not as user-friendly as Shopify, especially for non-technical users. Although this platform gives users complete control over their website, it requires a comprehensive knowledge of technology to install and set up their online business.
Shopify Ease of Use
On the other hand, Shopify has an advantage over Magento in terms of ease of use. As a hosted platform, it is easy to use and built for both tech-savvy and non-technical users. Therefore, users on Shopify will not have much trouble building their stores.
#4. Apps & Extensions
Themes only make up the look and feel of your website, however, to add additional functionality, adding extensions is a solution for you. All systems offer app stores and extensions. Most of these applications are just a click away, allowing you to add multiple features to your e-commerce site.
Magento provides nearly 3600+ extensions through the Magento marketplace. These extensions can be installed and implemented without comprehensive coding knowledge (read more about top 7 Magento Extensions).
Some popular extensions include Mageplaza, which allows you to promote products by providing custom discount options, and the Product Pre-Order plugin, which sends an email automatically to potential customers when a new product is available. Another notable provider of high-quality, trusted Magento Extensions is Adobe Exchange Partner, Magezon, which includes the key product package Magezon Builder and many free products.
Shopify App Store provides over 4200+ free and paid apps to add features, control your store, and boost sales. Some popular apps include Trust Hero by Booster Apps, which allows you to show trust icons to visitors and potential customers to decrease cart abandonment (read more must-have Shopify Apps).
Additionally, Shopify also offers the advantage of integrating marketing email campaigns such as the MailChimp account to contact your target audience.
#5. Marketing Features
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important aspect of online business as it affects your store's ranking. Both Magento and Shopify offer similar options for optimizing your eCommerce website for SEO.
On both platforms, you can easily edit the page title and description to define how your store displays in search results pages and add alt text to images to help search engines understand their content. For example, you can refer to this Magento SEO guide to improve your online store's ranking on Google.
Magento has a wide range of functions and features, including the ability to add modules and is SEO friendly, allowing you to edit the meta page title, meta descriptions, and add schema markup, which is useful for Google to pull in review stars, price, and stock levels within the search results snippets.
You can also purchase additional SEO apps in the Shopify App Store and Magento's Marketplace. For example, SEO Booster is a Shopify app that allows you to find and solve SEO issues in a timely manner.
Other marketing features
Both Magento and Shopify come with a powerful set of marketing features to promote your online business. For example, Magento allows users to create flexible coupons for multiple purposes, create landing pages for different categories, and manage newsletters.
On the other hand, Shopify offers a built-in email tool to promote your products and share updates, along with a variety of stunning email templates to customize while still maintaining professionalism.
#6. Payment Fees
Shopify offers over 100 Payment Gateways to choose from, but you need to pay specific fees.
Credit card processing fee: Your payment provider will charge a fee for completing transactions, which includes data transmission between buyers, sellers, issuing banks, and acquiring banks. The fee varies based on the Shopify Plan you choose.
Transaction fee: Shopify charges a specific fee for each transaction based on the plan you choose. The fees are as follow:
Shopify Lite: 2.4%
Basic Shopify: 2%
Advanced Shopify: 0.5%
Shopify Plus: 0.15%
To save costs for e-merchants, Shopify has its own payment processor called Shopify Payments, which is free to use. Additionally, if customers use Shop Pay, they can enjoy a free transaction!
Magento does not have its own payment processor, meaning you have to download the extension of the payment processor through the Magento marketplace, and pay a transaction fee for it. At present, Magento provides 339 selections for store owners to choose from.
For example, if you choose PayPal as your Magento payment gateway, PayPal will charge 3.49% + $0.49 for every transaction processed within the US and 5.0% for international cards (with no setup or monthly fee).
Furthermore, the payment apps of Magento support multiple languages, so if you want to expand your eCommerce business globally, multi-language support
#8. Help & Support
Shopify offers dedicated help and support that outperforms its competitors. The professional team is available 24/7 for phone, email, and live chat to quickly solve customer problems. Additionally, Shopify users have access to community forums, a help center, API documentation, and numerous video tutorials. Users can also hire professional certified Shopify experts to ensure maximum problem resolution and smooth business operation.
As a self-hosted solution, Magento does not offer live chat, phone, or email support unless you register for the Magento Commerce Cloud plan for B2B. Instead, Magento users can benefit from an excellent user community, where they can receive informative advice from Magento experts worldwide. Additionally, there is an active help center that provides support around the clock, as shown in the image below: