Check out this article and find out what ecommerce platform will perfectly fit the needs of your online store – Magento or Shopify. What are the core Magento and Shopify ecommerce features, and how they differ in their pricing? What gateways do these platforms support? Find out everything about Magento vs Shopify, and pick the best platform for your store.
One of the key factors to creating a successful online store is the right choice of ecommerce platform. Currently, the market is blowing up from the number of options and making this crucial decision becomes a back-breaking difficulty. We are aware of how vitally important it is for you to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of the platforms, and we would like to present an honest Shopify vs Magento review – comparing two highly popular ecommerce platforms.
Table of contents:
What is Magento platform?
Magento is an open-source platform for ecommerce written in PHP, which is used by companies around the globe in order to optimize the process of making payments, creating customer accounts, setting the prices and developing the advertising strategy of online stores.
So, what is Magento software, and what features does it have? It is compatible with almost any platform and can be redistributed without difficulties. When it comes to designing and launching an online store, being open-source makes this platform wonderfully customizable, and it will provide you with a great amount of freedom. Among other platforms, Magento is known to be relatively easy to deploy if you have certain developer knowledge.
In early 2007 Magento officially started development and since then its software has been continuously improved and updated. This ecommerce platform provides online store owners with enhanced security and stability. Magento is actively implementing business intelligence, and is packed with additional integrated capacity and functions that will lead to increased sales, and eventually, to boosting your profits.
According to the evaluating research of the B2B ecommerce platforms, carried out by Forrester, which is one of the most well-known research and advisory companies in the world, the Magento platform is one of the leading B2B ecommerce platforms in the world.
Magento is one of the best options on the market for merchants who want to build and grow a unique online store from the ground up. The company’s public image and its high reputation among the customers who have trusted Magento to run their online stores are the main reasons why more and more small businesses and large companies around the globe choose Magento.
What is Shopify and how it works?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems that allows you to deploy, develop and manage your online store. The system is logically structured and offers a set of services, which includes making payments, developing a marketing strategy, shipping and customer engagement tools in order to make the process of running an online store simpler for the growing small businesses.
So, what is Shopify used for? It is a perfect solution for a quick start of a website within minutes, is known to be one of the top B2C and B2B ecommerce platforms. Also, with Shopify, you do not have to worry about self-hosting or buying a third-party domain. The company was founded in 2004, and since the day it was launched, Shopify came a long way to become one of the leaders in ecommerce.
The Shopify platform is fully cloud-based and hosted, which means that there is no need for you to upgrade or spend much time on maintaining the software. It provides you with the flexibility to run your business from anywhere you can go online, and sell anywhere your customers are, including social media and in-person. Arranging and designing elements can be done with a live preview in the backend.
Shopify has a well-developed beginner guide and extensive documentation, which makes it perfectly suitable for beginners in the online store creation field.
Magento versions vs Shopify pricing
Comparing Magento and Shopify pricing plans is one of the key factors for choosing a perfectly suitable ecommerce platform for your online store. Both companies have multiple options to offer, and here we will provide their description specifying the price.
Since the day it was launched, Magento has been constantly updating. Currently, there are two different Magento 2 versions available on the market, and below we will compare them to decide which Magento version is the best for you – Magento Open Source vs Magento Commerce.
Magento Open Source
Magento Open Source, which used to be known as Magento Community Edition, is a free ecommerce platform. It is a self-hosted open-source version available for download at the official resources. This latest Magento version can be downloaded and used completely free of charge. Using this Magento version, developers are able to implement the core files and add extra free and fee-based modules provided by the third-party developers. Since the first public beta version was released in 2007, Magento Open Source has been updated multiple times in order to make up a perfect basic ecommerce platform.
This scalable and backed by an extensive support network platform provides online store owners with the opportunity to create an unrivaled shopping experience for the users. Being highly customizable, Magento Open Source makes it possible to personalize your website as much as you wish with the help of native and third-party integrated themes and modules. There is also a Magento Open Source CMS, which is a powerful content management system that you can use to create rich content for your store. The latest Magento Open Source features are the following:
Magento Marketing & Conversion & Promotion
- Up-sells and cross-sells
- Customer groups
- Flexible pricing rules with the restriction making ability to customer groups, specific stores or products
- Minimum Advertised Price (MAP)
- New items promotion
- Magento Open Source CMS
- Configurable search with terms auto-suggestion
- Products comparisons
- Popular search terms cloud
- Product list format or product listing in grid
- Different designs within different categories and product levels
- Recently viewed products list
Payment & Shipping
- Multiple addresses shipping within one order
- Shopping cart with tax and shipping information available
- Saved credit card method for offline payments
- Integration with multiple PayPal gateways
- Gift messages
- Weight, subtotal and destination information
Reporting & Analytics
- Google Analytics integration
- Tax report
- Sales report
- Tags report
- Coupon usage report
- Total sales invoiced report
The features listed above are not the whole list of Magento Open Source capabilities, which makes it a perfect ecommerce solution for the gaining momentum businesses during their development. Since some of the middle and large companies with a bigger turnover may require an even greater level of customization and specific functions, for them there is another version – Magento Commerce & Commerce Cloud.
Magento Commerce & Commerce Cloud
Magento Commerce, which used to be known as Magento Enterprise, is a fee-based Magento version, and it provides a more advanced functionality set. There are different pricing plans, depending on the size of your business: a Magento Commerce Starter for the small business, and a Magento Commerce Pro tailored specifically for the middle and large businesses.
The Magento Commerce and Commerce Cloud price depend on the gross sales revenue of the enterprise. The average Magento 2 Commerce license fee is $22,000 per year and for Commerce Cloud, it amounts to $40,000 per year. The core Magento Commerce features are the following:
Marketing & Conversions & Promotion
- Promotional pricing for specific stores, categories or customer groups
- Customized shopping experiences with well-developed segmentation and targeting
- Automated reminders to customers with abandoned carts and filled wish lists
- Strong email marketing strategy powered by dotmailer and live store data
- Coupons for offline distribution, newsletters, and emails
- Improved Magento Marketing system
- Virtual products offer
- New products via a guided online process creation
- Receiving long-running B2B shared catalog updates in the background
- Minimum and maximum product quantities that can be added to the cart
- Notifications when inventory needs to be replenished
Payment & Shipping
- Real-time shipping rates from UPS, UPS XML, FedEx, USPS, and DHL
- Shipping integration with label printing for all major carriers
- Returns processing from within the Magento Admin
- Allowed destination countries based on shipping method specification
- Revenue Maximization, while minimizing the risks with Signifyd automated fraud detection tools
Reporting & Analytics
- Actionable insights with up to 100 predefined reports across sales, marketing and customers
- Up to 9 predefined dashboards
- 10 user accounts with advanced permissions
- Email summaries of key reports to members of your team
- Raw underlying data export to CSV and Excel
Magento Commerce Cloud is a new product in which you get Magento Commerce hosted on Magento’s custom AWS stack, with the other functions like the Fastly CDN and different tools for optimization. It also possesses business intelligence, so that you can use not only the power of Magento Commerce but also the Magento Analytics. The Magento Commerce Cloud features in addition to Magento Commerce are the following:
- Ece-tools package
- Seamless production deployment at an increased speed
- Workflow configuration
- Simplified deploy process management
- Local development template (to make cloud deployment easier)
- 100% increase in available memory
- Performance boost
Since 2004 Shopify was updated multiple times over the years. Currently, Shopify offers four types of online plans, such as Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus.
All the plans provide an opportunity to add products unlimitedly, file storage does not have any limitations, and you can get shipping label discounts and a package for retailers if needed. Certainly, there is a big difference between a variety of features suggested by the plans and their performance. There is also a free 14-day trial period for some of these options, which can help you make the right decision between them. Below we would like to provide a Shopify plan comparison.
Basic Shopify plan
The Basic Shopify plan possesses all the necessary tools for you to successfully launch and run your business in the field of ecommerce. This platform version as well as all the higher plans provides you with an opportunity to create and customize your online store to demonstrate your products to potential customers, and extended Shopify SEO capabilities. All the Shopify plans, including the Basic Shopify, have the following capacities:
- All your products, orders, and customer information can be managed from your Shopify admin.
- You can make basic changes to your online store’s fonts, colors, and page layouts with the help of Shopify’s built-in theme editor
- You can make more advanced changes to the unique look of your store with the help of a Shopify Expert or following one of the tutorials.
- In order to personalize your website, you can add up to 20 themes on your Shopify account.
- There is an integrated blogging function, which can be used to publish articles, notify the customers about events and promotions, and get comments and feedback from them.
- The acquisition reports, several behavior reports, and a marketing report will provide you with an insight into your online store traffic.
The Shopify plan contains all the features of the Basic Shopify plan, but at the same time, it has some of the extra features that can be found useful by the small and middle companies. In addition to the basic features that every Shopify version has, this plan offers you the following extra capacities:
- Professional reports available in your Shopify admin account if you are the owner of this plan, and valuable sales trends information that it offers will become the basis of your marketing and promotion strategy, and help develop a better understanding of your customers and their behavior on your website.
- Lower credit card rates and transaction fees if your sales rates are increasing.
- With fair and flexible price denominations, this plan will let you customize the gift cards that will be an incentive for your customers to make purchases for their family and friends.
- With this Shopify plan you can have your customers sorted into client groups according to the country where they make purchases from, define the number of one-time and returning clients and also you will get an overview of all your customers during a certain period of time or in total.
- The Shopify plan comes together with five personal accounts for the members of the stuff for better Shopify Management.
Advanced Shopify plan
The Advanced Shopify plan possesses all the capabilities of the Shopify plan, but creates extra opportunities as well. It perfectly meets the needs of the merchants who want to accelerate the growth of their business by means of using the analytic reports, and look for opportunities to move the online store to the next level boosting the sales. It is a good choice for the online store with a very high level The principal difference between the Advanced Shopify plan and the lower versions of Shopify is in the following features:
- The shipping rates will be calculated and provided by the third-party. It means that you will be able to use your carrier account to apply calculated shipping rates. You will also get shipping labels provided by either USPS or Canada Post at a discount, and your customers will be able to choose the shipping options, such as standard, express, and one-day delivery.
- This plan has the lowest transaction fees and credit card rates among the other Shopify versions.
- You will obtain lower in-person rates and payment providers, if you want to use some other than Shopify payments, will be at a significant discount.
- Advanced customer reporting is one of the main features of this plan, with the help of it you can define the loyal customers and receive at-risk reports.
- You will be able to customize your personal reports from scratch and create default reports for future use.
Shopify Plus plan
The Shopify Plus plan is a good choice for very big businesses with high revenue. It possesses all the features of Shopify Advanced, but it is particularly focused on fulfillment, security, and APIs. Also, it provides extended opportunities for Shopify Management. It is a perfect fit for enterprise business with an extremely high volume of sales.
- Obtaining the Shopify Plus, you will get an opportunity to integrate 20 channels within your Enterprise dashboard.
- You will receive over 100+ payment gateways in order to accept payments.
- During the time of pick sales when the uptime will be of prime importance for you, you will take advantage of Shopify Plus being able to process over 10,000 a minute and has a 99.98% uptime in doing so.
- The Shopify Plus will provide you with your personal account manager once you set up your account which will assist you in deploying process, and after that in managing your account with full support on the way.
- In case you want to get in touch with one of Shopify’s technology partners regarding your app idea, and you want to bring this idea to live, Shopify Plus is here to assist you, as it supports over 1500+ professionally built apps.
Key ecommmerce features: Magento vs Shopify
In the ecommerce field, the main features of the chosen platform will reflect the features and functions of your website. Talking about Magento vs Shopify pricing plans, we have mentioned some of the core features of these ecommerce platforms. Here we will provide you with an overview of the distinct Magento and Shopify ecommerce features and that makes them stand out among the competitors.
Magento 2 feature list
- Google Analytics integration
- Taxation management
- Mobile-device responsiveness
- Client groups sorting
- Roles and users permission system
- Different languages and currencies available
- Flexible coupons and pricing
- Persistent shopping cart
- Capability for managing several stores
- CAPTCHA functionality
- Six product types, including digital, downloadable, gift cards and bundle products
Shopify feature list
- Interactive real-time statistics panel in Shopify CMS
- Tracking shipping and payment status
- Inventory tracking
- Media assets linked to individual products or your shop as a whole
- Order cancellation with automated chargeback option
- Realtime notifications for orders via WebHooks
- Coupon codes for percentage or a fixed amount off, free shipping and the others.
- Certified Level 1 PCI compliant
- Developed Shopify SEO system
Nowadays, it is essential to provide the owners of online stores with the best customization opportunities as most of them want to tailor their ecommerce platforms according to their taste and needs. Although both Magento and Shopify offer a wide range of capabilities, the customization options are necessary in order to help the merchants realize the full potential of their stores.
Magento Marketplace extensions
If you want to extend the functionality of our online store or refresh its design to make the user experience even more unique, the best Magento extensions can be found on Magento Marketplace https://marketplace.magento.com/.
Online Marketplace is an ecommerce website where you can find various products and services supplied by different providers. The internal transactions are conducted and controlled by the marketplace operator and after that delivered and fulfilled by the participating retailers or wholesalers. All the marketplaces suggest products created by a long list of different providers, so the prices of the products are quite competitive, and the availability of them is higher than in vendor-specific online retail stores. Over the years, the system of online marketplaces has come a long way to become as abundant as it is now and take its deserved place in the sphere of online outsourcing of professional services in IT, search engine optimization and marketing.
Magento Marketplace extensions include more than 5000+ fee-based and free Magento extensions. This platform has nine large categories, including Magento Marketing, Customer Support, Payment & Security, Site Optimization and the others, divided into smaller subcategories to ease the search for users. Besides the available free Magento extensions, there are also paid modules that are fairly priced and the average price ranges from $100 to $199. Check out the website mentioned above to find out about the best Magento extensions.
Another good way to ensure that your website will look modern and respond to the needs and expectations of your customers is by using one of the fee-based and free Magento themes available on the Marketplace.
Unfortunately, the list of both Magento free themes and fee-based ones provided by Magento Marketplace is quite limited, so if you did not manage to find the one that meets your demands, you can check among the options provided by the third-party marketplaces, such as TemplateMonster or Store BelVG, where you can find a wide range of Magento 2 themes.
Shopify templates offer you 21 free of charge themes for you to choose from, but if it is not enough for you, there are also over 100 options available for a certain fee to select in Shopify marketplace. Most of the Shopify templates are available at a price of $100.
In order to make more advanced customizations to the themes that you purchase, you can use CSS and HTML modules. All the Shopify themes are divided into categories, such as clothing, food, electronics, and others in order to optimize the search process in Shopify marketplace. Free themes are not as easy to customize as fee-based one, but there are multiple modules that can be used for their customization too. The company tends to share new Shopify themes on a consistent basis, and various third-party designers make them look more and more modern with every update.
Besides the fact that Shopify store design is unique, it is also relatively easy for users to make changes in it and update their templates, if you have created a template on your own, you can also upload it. The new Shopify Sections feature is speeding up the editing process since it is a rather simple drag and drop editor.
Shopify also has an app store where every merchant can find what they are looking for to customize their store. In case you want to get on touch with one of Shopify’s technology partners regarding your app idea, and you want to bring this idea to live, Shopify Plus is here to assist you, as it supports over 1500+ professionally built apps.
Help and support
Launching a profitable, successful website for ecommerce is hardly possible without sustainable support and timely help provided by platforms like Magento and Shopify. They act as a shoulder that you can always rely on. Realizing how important it is to receive it when you find yourself in need of support, we would like to compare these two companies help and support policies.
Magento Customer Support Service is provided together with Magento Commerce and Commerce Cloud versions only. It is not constant, but instead, it functions on the application basis upon request. And there is also a Magento Support forum where you can always ask the other users to share some tips, tricks and support. Tutorials and FAQ’s can give you the information you need as well.
The company provides 24/7 full Shopify customer support, which includes phone as well as chat and email support. If you ever wondered, what is Shopify built on, its outstanding help system is also managed by the Shopify tech support service, it is the access to a support system directly through their website, including user forums, tutorials and FAQs. Also, in order to improve your SEO system, you can follow the Shopify SEO guide.
A payment gateway is a service, which is needed by both small and large businesses, and offered by an ecommerce service provider. It authorizes the credit card or direct payments processing for ecommerce, online retailers and others. In simple terms, it is a software that facilitates a transaction by communicating the transaction data, and then it applies to the equivalent of a physical point of sale, which is located in retail outlets. Most of the ecommerce software providers suggest at least some secure default gateways options.
Magento payment gateways
The number of Magento integrated payment gateways by default is quite limited, but you can always take a look at the official gateway integrations list at the Magento marketplace. You can select the way of Magento payment processing that meets your customers demands best, and install it into your ecommerce platform.
The built-in Magento 2 payment methods are:
- PayPal Standard
- PayPal Payflow Link
- PayPal Payflow Pro
- PayPal Express
- PayPal Pro
- Sage Pay Direct
- Sage Pay Form
- Barclaycard CPI
- Barclaycard MPI
You can also obtain several available Magento payment gateway integrations:
- Google Checkout
- Amazon FPS
- Checkout by Amazon (as a free Magento extension)
- HSBC CPI
- HSBC API
Besides in-built and supported gateways integrations for Magento payment processing, in the first quarter of 2019, the company released Magento Payments – the native payment gateway tool. It promises improved conversions, automatically synchronized cash flow, and enforced fraud protection, is claimed to be an innovative Magento custom payment method.
Shopify payment gateways
Shopify payment gateways include several ways for customers to pay online without using a credit card, such as Amazon Pay, PayPal, and Apple Pay, and in case you need your website to accept alternative payment methods like cryptocurrency, it is also possible. The company suggests over 100 other Shopify payment methods around the world including use of the following:
- PayU Money
There is also an alternative Shopify payment option, it is their own Shopify payment processor, which integrates seamlessly with all your ecommerce store functions. It is called Shopify Payments, and it is claimed to provide highly competitive pricing and top-notch security.
As an ecommerce owner, you should understand that the key to success lies in providing your clients with the best customer experience. A great customer experience manifests in many things – clear navigation, a well-designed catalog, a variety of goods or services, reliable customer service and, naturally, comprehensive delivery services. Shipping is an important matter to consider whether you aim to deliver internationally or only locally – you should be prepared to provide all kinds of shipping services.
Your ecommerce platform plays a significant role in providing a variety of shipping options. Let us now consider the shipping options Magento and Shopify provide.
Magento ecommerce platform offers a comprehensive shipping and delivery functionality. A store admin has access to a wide range of shipping configurations, from Magento shipping table rates to Magento shipping methods. It is also possible to restrict shipping locations and set up free shipping in Magento. Moreover, due to the open-source nature, the platform is custom development-friendly, allowing you to create an individual set of features and even create a Magento custom shipping method. To learn more about the possible shipping settings, both from admin panel and programmatically, go to our article on How to Set up Magento Shipping.
In addition to all the shipping settings, the platform is natively integrated with the major global shipping providers, which allows to provide Magento international shipping from the very start. Below is the list of Magento shipping integrations:
DHL, an international courier company that deliveries at home and abroad, is the top Magento delivery partner. DHL Magento integration is available in both Open Source and Commerce versions.
This multi-national US courier company is known around the world for its fast delivery terms, a variety of shipping methods and reliable package tracking system.
UPS is one of the oldest international delivery providers around the world, which grew from a domestic carrier to international shipping provider with a solid reputation. UPS Magento integration is a default one, yet if you wish to expand the default functionalities, there is a wide selection of Magento shipping extensions to suit your purpose.
USPS is one of the largest courier companies in the world, delivering over 47% of international mail share. Magento USPS integration allows you to offer your customers international or domestic delivery.
As you can see, Magento offers a sophisticated domestic and international delivery functionality, which is guaranteed to facilitate your business development.
Shopify ecommerce platform has put a lot of labor into creating a sophisticated environment for business owners, and they paid great attention to the aspects of delivery and shipping. Shopify Shipping provides merchants access to pre-established shipping rates and labels with international shipping carriers, depending on your Shopify plan. For now, the rates are available only to merchants from the USA and Canada, yet Shopify promises to improve their shipping policy in the future.
The list of Shopify international shipping providers, available for US merchants:
For Canadian businesses, only Canada Post is available.
How to set up shipping on Shopify? It is a relatively simple course of action, performed from the admin panel of your store. First, define your shipping origin and choose a shipping carrier. Then, define shipping zones and calculate shipping rates. The final step is to download and print out labels for your packages. Moreover, you can schedule package pickups with your shipping providers at the time and date you want it.
All in all, Shopify provides great shipping functionality that will be a great asset for your online business.
Magento vs Shopify – what should you choose?
Drawing the conclusion, it would be fair to say that both platforms provide exceptional opportunities for retailers and large companies in the sphere of ecommerce, and possess unique functionalities, custom features, extensions and templates. It is an impossible task to single out just one, because both Magento and Shopify have the capabilities to offer the online store owners the service that will meet their demands, needs and goals.
#1: Willing to fully control the webstore, you should choose for the open source Magento, which will provide you with all the wanted freedom. However, the installation stage might require some developer skills from you. In case you do not want to take part in the maintenance and want your ecommerce to operate without your particular involvement, then you should go for Shopify.
#2: Both Magento and Shopify have sophisticated ecommerce features, as you could see in this honest review of Shopify vs Magento. The Magento key features that you may need in running your online store are a persistent cart, page builder and ability to create and manage multiple stores from one admin panel. In Shopify, it is an interactive real-time statistics panel in Shopify CMS, highly user-friendly deployment and order cancellation with automated chargeback option.
#3: Making an important decision of relying on a certain ecommerce platform, you should take into account how big and developed your business is at the moment. The free ecommerce platform by Magento will be a good choice because with it you can practice and improve your skills of running an online store without being afraid of making a mistake. But if your business is stable and already has a huge progressively growing revenue, Advanced Shopify is the right choice for you, as it perfectly fits large companies needs, and it also provides a free two weeks trial.
#4: Magento 2 and Shopify cost differently. Magento has a free ecommerce platform version, but in case you need some more extended features, it might be not enough. Shopify does not have a free option, but if you want to obtain an advanced version, the company will you an opportunity of a free trial for 14 days. The cheapest pricing plan for Shopify will cost you $29 per month. The custom development rates for both platforms also vary, but not sufficiently.
All in all, both platforms are excellent and reliable ecommerce solutions that will surely help your online store to run the online business smoothly.
If you have a question or comment, feel free to leave them down below.