Selecting the right platform for hosting your online store is extremely important, as it sets the foundation for a successful e-commerce business. If you are looking to change your existing platform or planning to start a new one, there are several options to choose from. However, two of the biggest choices amongst sellers are Magento and Shopify. Generally, these two platforms are considered as head to head in the race for the best eCommerce platform, but, in reality, they are completely different with a whole set of distinct features. Both the platforms have their own peculiarities, therefore, you need to carefully analyze them and choose the best one that satisfies your business demands.
In this article, we are going to make a comparative evaluation of these two platforms:
- Checkout process: Optimization of the check out process is extremely important for boosting conversion rates. On Shopify, customization of the checkout process is not possible and the sellers have to use the default options provided by the platform. While setting provisions and templates is possible in the payment gateways, no additional features can be added. The checkout process on Magento is a fairly simple, one-page process that can be customized by the seller as per requirement. Therefore, Magento provides better options for customizing the checkout process and a better shopping cart experience.
- Variation limitation: Shopify has a limit on the number of variations sellers can create for a product. It does not allow more than 99 variations of a particular product, which becomes a limitation in many industries such as the fashion and linen industry. Products in these industries show uncountable size, color, and print variations that easily cross the 99 mark. Magento can, however, do with unlimited variations of a product and caters to a wider range of customers.
- Attribute Limitation: Shopify does not allow more than 3 attributes of particular product variations. It is not easy to go beyond the limits even with extensions. Magento, however, allows limitless attribute variations and is clearly more flexible than Shopify.
- Custom, Bundle, and Group Products: Manufacturers often incorporate customizations in their products to increase their appeal. Magento comes with default options for creating a bundle and group products. It is also very easy to manage inventory, price, and promotions of those products in Magneto. On Shopify, sellers can use extensions to get these features. But as they are not a part of Shopify by default, it becomes cumbersome to use them.
- Highly Customizable: Magento allows the sellers the freedom to customize every feature on their website, just the way they want to. It includes endless customizations in the admin panel, themes, checkout process, SEO, etc, through various extensions. The scope for customization on Shopify is limited. Integrating with third-party digital tools like marketing automation systems, CRMs, and ERPs requires additional customization which is not easy on Shopify. Themes on Shopify don’t allow many tweaks as well. A seller can get some basic updates on the default themes given but options are very limited.
- Extensions: Extensions are important for creating a highly customized and feature intensive website. Magento has a wide variety of extensions for any required functionalities for eg: payments, shipping, abandoned cart email, etc. Shopify is not as diverse in this aspect and has fewer options in the case of extensions. As compared to 5000+ add on options provided by Magento, Shopify provides only 2000+ options.
- Advance Level of Promotions: Magento provides complex promotional tools including default options of customized coupons, offers, store credits, etc. All these features contribute to increasing conversion rates and boosting sales. Shopify does not allow complex promotions by default.
- Usage of API: Shopify degrades the data transfer calls between the integrated apps and the core platform. It hampers customer experience and can cause lag. However, APIs on Magento run smoothly and create different promotional pages that act like native apps on the phone and helps in attracting customers.
- Scalability: Shopify has rate limits that can be extended by moving to a higher plan in Shopify. Customers using Shopify often outgrow their needs from the platform and have to go back to planning in order to re-platform and accommodate changes. Magento allows high scalability through optimum inventory management and expansion of the website by incorporating unlimited extensions. Magento becomes a suitable option for any company looking to branch out.
- Hosting: Magento is self-hosted which gives the users control over the site speed, storage, and the number of products that it can handle. They can choose an appropriate hosting plan according to their requirement and the scale of their e-commerce business. Shopify on the other hand is hosted by the company and it limits the regulation of the site speed and storage. You need to move to a higher premium plan every time you want to upgrade.
All in all, there are several factors that you need to closely examine when selecting the best eCommerce platform for your business. You also need to weigh up various factors like budget, goals, and expertise before deciding what works best for you. Shopify is perfect for smaller businesses and beginners as it requires little maintenance and commitment overall. Whereas, Magento is perfect for more sizable businesses as it consists of more features and scope for scalability as well as customization. On the whole, Magento definitely has an edge over Shopify in every aspect, therefore, if you are planning to migrate from Shopify to Magento, then do it without further delay.