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Magento VS Shopify: Which One to Choose in 2024?

Is Magento right for you or Shopify? Both have their own benefits, a vast range of features & scalable opportunities to capture. But which one’s right for you? Here’s everything you need to know!

Home / Blogs / Magento VS Shopify: Which One to Choose in 2024?
Raghav Tayal

Head Of Operations - Digital Web Solutions

July 3, 2024

With the rise of eCommerce websites and online marketplaces, it has become crucial for business owners to choose the right platform for their online growth and success. This becomes even more crucial, considering hundreds of new businesses are launched daily, giving your venture tough competition.

Over the years, due to their reliance on and scalability, eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento marketplaces have made it easier for businesses to centralize how they sell products, manage inventory, and advertise their products and services.

Also, as these eCommerce platforms give small and enterprise businesses the same level of opportunities as large organizations, an impactful marketing approach, and strategic eCommerce planning can be game changers!

Ready to take a step further into expanding your eCommerce business? Here’s everything you need to know about Magento and Shopify:

Magento vs. Shopify: A Basic Overview

While both Magento and Shopify are eCommerce platforms that allow online businesses to set up their store and run business operations virtually, they are significantly different from one another. Here is a basic overview of what makes them worthy:

What Is Magento?

Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform that was launched in 2008. Since then, it has gained momentum, and over 200,000+ online stores use it for their business.

The platform offers innumerable options, integrations, and customization options, allowing businesses to truly take control of how their store will look, the experience it will provide, and the customer journey to ensure utmost satisfaction. Businesses can even add payment methods, create marketing campaigns, offer various shipping methods, and customize shopping cart settings to entice customers to purchase.

Magento SEO also enables these businesses to leverage the power of search engines to rank their website higher on search engine results pages, increasing visibility and discoverability. Additionally, companies can target people from different regions by customizing their stores in regional languages, further diversifying their reach and ROI.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a cloud-based eCommerce platform that was launched in 2006 and has over 4.4 million live business stores globally. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of use and setup. It has a straightforward user interface (compared to Magento), allowing beginner users to get started without any pre-requisite knowledge or experience.

Aside from this, Shopify also has a massive library of templates, native apps, and helpful marketing tools that aid business owners in taking advantage of and increasing their online presence.

Incidentally, the tool’s lack of customization options makes it suitable for small businesses that are looking to start simple and scale from there. A Shopify store is also an incredible way for businesses to streamline the relationship between a physical store and an online presence.

Who Are Magento vs Shopify Designed For?

Magento, an open-source eCommerce platform, offers the convenience of customizing the web store based on any business preference. Businesses can add unique features to their stores that retain customers, keep them engaged, and urge them to shop. However, adding these features involves extensive knowledge of coding and development, a skill that not many small businesses will be able to afford. As a result, big enterprises and businesses prefer Magento as they have the budget, skills, and technology to support customization.

On the other hand, Shopify is easy to set up and has an elaborate library of templates, making it easier for beginners to create their own online shop and add products and services right away. The Shopify app store also has a plethora of integrations that further make it easier for shop owners to increase the functionality and usability of their store.

Shopify lacks the freedom to customize in terms of themes available, leaving business owners with the option only to use available templates and integration options. Another disadvantage of running a Shopify store is the transaction fees, limited inventory management, and limited ability to make global sales. Shopify transaction fees are another worry that many small businesses often have to deal with when running their business on the platform.

Magento vs Shopify: Head-To-Head

Wondering which eCommerce platform can help you accelerate your business growth and visibility? Here’s a detailed comparison of both the eCommerce platforms:

1. Magento vs Shopify: Ease of use

Magento can be challenging to maneuver for people with little to no development or technical experience. While the platform offers website owners an incredible range of control and flexibility, initial installation, setting up, and launching a Magento eCommerce website requires thorough knowledge and coding skills.

While the Page Builder service can help avoid the hassle, the additional costs involved can be overwhelming for businesses with limited resources.

On the other hand, Shopify offers a simple drag-and-drop website builder that simplifies the process of creating your website even without knowing the nuances of coding. As a result, Shopify is an obvious winner, making it possible for people with little expertise and no coding knowledge to set up their websites.

2. Magento vs Shopify: Pricing

Magento and Shopify come with their unique pricing, which depends on factors such as licensing, transaction fees, and additional costs. Here’s more to know:

The Basic Shopify version allows users to create their own online store while getting access to the platform’s sales channels. The platform also offers convenient features such as inventory management, product addition, and selective features at $29 monthly. The setup is fairly simple, and you will not require professional assistance, which saves resources. Vital, as a small business, generally works on a limited budget.

In the case of Magento (Adobe Commerce), the business will need to contact customer support directly to obtain the necessary information, available subscription packages, and other related fees. It is noteworthy that Magento Open Source is free for download, but businesses must pay for web hosting, development, and integration costs to launch and sustain the website.

Another critical feature of Magento is the additional support of artificial intelligence, which provides convenient features like product recommendations based on user behavior to enhance the shopping experience. In addition, the intuitive tools take away the stress of inventory management and data analytics.

Shopify’s Pricing:

  • The Basic plan starts at $39/month. If billed once yearly for solo entrepreneurs, it costs $29/month.
  • The Team Plan starts at $105/month. $79 if billed annually.
  • The Advanced plan starts from $399/month and is $299 if billed once yearly.
  • The Plus plan starts from $2,300/month.
  • Annual billing options will save you approximately 25%.
  • Anyone can get started for free without entering their credit card details.

Magento’s Pricing:

  • Adobe Commerce now houses all the products and features that Magento offers.
  • The quotes are customized, and the business is required to share their contact information, through which a sales representative will get in touch to understand your unique needs and curate a special plan.
  • Aside from the subscription costs, there are additional costs, enlisted below, to be paid:
    • Web hosting: $14.99 to $39.99 per month.
    • SSL Certificate: Up to $600 per year.
    • Domain: $10 to $20 per month.
    • Transaction fee: Anywhere between 2% to 4%.
    • Web developer support: Charged on an hourly basis, depending on the developer’s expertise.
  • There are certain one-time costs to take into account as well. These are:
    • Themes: priced at $17 to $399 for store themes.
    • For customized themes, the charges can be $5,000 or more.
    • Extension or add-ons: They will be from the Adobe Commerce store and can be free or cost up to $2,000.

3. Magento vs Shopify: Design and Themes

Shopify store has a ton of themes to choose from depending on what your business does and the type of visual aesthetics your customers could be expecting when they learn about your business. However, the themes available on the Shopify store cost anywhere from $170 to $400 (or even more), which can be a hiccup for some.

Additionally, as the store’s library is massive, it can take some time for you to find the exact theme and features you are looking for. On the other hand, Magento offers a set number of fully responsive themes that can be used directly to create your website.

They do come at a hefty price tag of $499, but considering that you get to customize your storefront in whatever way you desire, the long-term ROI makes it worth it. Aside from using existing templates, businesses can also create their own website from scratch, but they should note that extensive knowledge and hands-on expertise in coding are required.

4. Magento vs Shopify: Apps and Add-Ons

Magento offers an extensive range of free and paid apps and add-on options to choose from. These can be either from their own store or from third-party developers.

The installation and implementation of these apps and add-ons usually require technical knowledge, often requiring the involvement of coding skills. However, the platform’s open-source nature makes it easier to implement extensive customizations for a seamless customer experience.

Shopify stores boast an elaborate range of apps and add-ons that can be easily integrated and implemented on a website. As these apps are made by approved developers, you will never have to worry about losing crucial information to malicious apps.

Moreover, apps and add-ons can be implemented within a few clicks, making them ideal for businesses that are looking for on-the-go solutions. The limited scope for customization is, however, a factor that makes it challenging for many businesses to fully implement their ideas into reality. Another downside is that these apps require a monthly subscription (especially premium applications).

Magento is excellent if you are looking to implement extensive customizations to your app to align it with your marketing goals. Shopify is incredibly beneficial if you have a smaller range of products and services to show, with limited options for your target audience to choose from.

Add-ons and extensions become crucial if you are planning to introduce more features to your store later. While both eCommerce platforms have their own app stores, Magento’s open-source nature results in more flexibility and freedom to experiment.

5. Magento vs Shopify: eCommerce features

Here are some key features of Magento to take note of:

  • Show your customers products that are related to what they are currently viewing.
  • Flexible coupons that come with the ability to restrict to stores, time periods, and categories. The coupons can be rule-based as well.
  • Multi-tier pricing option that allows your business to offer quantity discounts, encouraging customers to buy more.
  • Support for multiple languages and currencies, enabling your business to reach a broader scale of customers.
  • Web Services API ensures an easy integration between Magento and other third-party applications, enhancing the store’s functionality.
  • CAPTCHA functionality ensures bots and automated software are not spamming your website with fake logins.
  • Newsletter management and free shipping options that ensure your customers have an impeccable experience while shopping on your website.
  • Recently viewed and compared products to give your customers more options to shop from.
  • Option for account creation at the beginning of checkout to allow your customers to have an uninterrupted browsing experience.
  • To enhance the store’s safety, SSL security support for orders on both the front end and back end prevents any data from being stolen.
  • Magento comes with a powerful and insightful dashboard to help businesses understand user behavior and shopping trends for better ROI.

Here are some key features of Shopify to take note of:

  • Order management to ensure every customer gets the best shopping experience at your store.
  • Secure payments that prevent hackers from stealing data from your customers.
  • Intuitive mobile commerce to enhance browsing and shopping experience for customers logging in from mobile.
  • Powerful analytics tools highlight product insights, sales, and customer information that help customize strategies.
  • Real-time data ensures you are making tactical decisions, whether it involves getting new inventory or creating more enticing offers.
  • Review when your customers abandon the cart and create retargeting strategies that turn them into paying customers.
  • The Shopify point-of-sale system seamlessly integrates offline and online business activities.

6. Magento vs Shopify: SEO

Search engine optimization is an important parameter that helps businesses get the online visibility and discoverability needed to reach and convert the target audience. Both Magento and Shopify offer businesses the opportunity to implement SEO practices to their business.

In Magento, built-in features include customized slugs, meta tag optimization, robots.txt file and editing alt tags, and canonical tags for products alongside others to ensure you are able to take charge of your SEO growth. The performance of your SEO efforts can be measured and gauged with the analytics feature that comes with the platform.

The data from the dashboard is incredibly valuable as it allows businesses to understand their customers’ online behavior as they browse through the website. Magento platforms also integrate with Google Analytics and Google AdWords, making it easier for marketers to monitor optimization campaigns closely. Another highly appreciated feature of the platform is its suggestions to improve the website’s SEO.

Meanwhile, Shopify adds canonical tags to products, preventing duplicate content issues and automatically generating the store’s sitemap and robots.txt files to allow search engines to crawl smoothly. Most Shopify themes are mobile-friendly and responsive, a crucial SEO ranking factor today. Aside from these, the content optimization feature is incredibly helpful in creating page titles and meta descriptions.

The platform also allows the addition of image alt text to increase the accessibility of your website. Most Shopify websites come with the feature to add a blog section and leverage SEO to the fullest by targeting trending and relevant keywords in blog posts. However, unlike Magento, Shopify doesn’t have in-built SEO assistance, but there are plenty of apps that can be downloaded from the Shopify store to get additional help wherever needed.

Both platforms also allow users to update or change website URLs (including product pages). The expansive accommodation for SEO on both eCommerce platforms makes it easier for businesses to start growing their business online from day one.

7. Magento vs Shopify: Payment Methods

Creating safe and secure payment methods is crucial for eCommerce stores, regardless of where their audience is based.

Shopify can easily integrate with up to 100 payment gateways, giving your customers and your business the flexibility to make and receive payments without any hurdles. As a result, people with different payment preferences can shop from your website more easily without registering on a new payment platform altogether.

This lowers stress for your potential customers and speeds up the cart-to-payment process. Shopify Payments usually frees up businesses from having to pay hefty transaction fees. You can integrate payment platforms like PayPal, Authorize.net, Braintree, and Razorpay, which are popular choices. These integrations also work if you plan to set up pop-up shops or physical stores.

Magento, on the other hand, doesn’t have any payment gateway of its own; it offers the convenience of integration with platforms like PayPal, Authorize.net, Braintree, and Venmo to make it easier for customers to shop while making payments with their choice of method. However, third-party payment gateway systems have their own pricing structure depending on the extent of use, the country, and the number of monthly transactions.

8. Magento vs Shopify: Security

With the rise in cyber security threats like hacking and phishing attacks, it has become the responsibility of eCommerce websites to implement practices that keep customer data secure and prevent people with malicious intent from stealing vital data sets.

Fortunately, both Shopify and Magento are constantly working to improve their existing security ecosystem, allowing businesses to implement measures that prevent such attacks and gain the confidence of their customers.

Magento and Security:

Magento (particularly Magento 1.0) was the target of a hacking attack in 2020, leaving many business owners worldwide and the eCommerce platform shocked and worried about their customers and the well-being of their online shopping experience.

After the attack, Magento 1.0 reached the end of its life cycle, and while some brands chose to stay on the platform, hoping for solutions, others made a quick shift to other eCommerce platforms to keep their business running. Magento 1.0 still works, but it is without support from Magento, making it challenging for businesses to seek assistance in case of any cyberattacks.

Magento 2.4.7 is the latest version used by many businesses on the platform. Released in April 2024, the update provided over 300 quality fixes and upgrades, making the store relatively safer and more secure than its previous versions. These updates heavily focus on empowering website owners to take control of their data and use strategic methodologies to protect their websites from vulnerabilities.

Here are the security features that the eCommerce platform offers:

  • Magento Security Scan (free app) installations that enable businesses to regularly scan their website for threats and vulnerabilities by identifying potential loose ends.
  • Ever since version 2.3 hit the market, Magento made it possible for websites to include frontend/backend CAPTCHA and Google reCAPTCHA (now available on Adobe Commerce Store) to ensure any bot trying to use the website is denied access, adding more security to the website.
  • The addition of two-factor authentication has further enabled businesses to secure their websites by only allowing access to people with authority. Two-factor authentication also alerts website owners and managers about any possible unauthorized attempt to access the website.
  • Magento v2.3 and later also enforces the use of strong and complex passwords that make it challenging (and frustrating) for a hacker to crack.
  • Another key factor that makes Magento 2.3 and later secure is the granulation of access permission to the website. With this, website users can be assigned roles and the extent of information they can access. The platform also logs the activities per login session, maintaining more transparency and security at the user end.
  • On top of it, website owners can limit admin panel access to specific IP addresses, preventing anyone outside the addresses from accessing the website information.
  • Adding a secret key to URL configuration to protect against CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery or XSRF)

Shopify and Security:

Shopify had a critical security vulnerability that would allow anyone accessing the website to assign themselves as a ‘collaborator’ and make significant changes to the website without ever requiring permission from the website’s owner. This was a particular exploitation of the Shopify Partners Program. The vulnerability has been fixed now, and only people with authorized permission can access the website.

  • Data backups ensure you always have access to information after an update.
  • Two-factor authentication allows only limited and authorized access to the website.
  • SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate (also present in Magento) that establishes a secure connection between the customer’s browser and your website’s server.
  • Shopify Plus is equipped with fraud analysis tools that help detect fraudulent activities on the website by tracking prime indicators, including unusual sessions on the website, discrepancies in information, and high-risk payment method analysis.
  • DDoS Protection ensures your website is accessible even during an attack.
  • Like Magento, Shopify also regularly releases security updates and patch fixes, adding more layers of security to the eCommerce website.

9. Magento vs Shopify: Customer support

Adequate customer support is crucial as it helps business owners seek assistance, guidance, and help from experienced and trained experts whenever they are stuck. Both Magento and Shopify have a specialized team of experts who are available to answer queries, help with troubleshooting, or learn more about the products.

Magento, however, has a more involved customer support team that engages with business teams on a deeper level with their Customer Support Analysts (CSA).

Meanwhile, Shopify also understands the importance of providing adequate support to the platform’s users. Shopify support can be reached through emails, enabling businesses to share screenshots and recordings of the problems they are facing.

Magento vs Shopify – Which is better?

Magento and Shopify have their own benefits and disadvantages. While Magento requires extensive knowledge of coding and developer skills, Shopify offers the convenience of creating custom websites with a simple drag-and-drop feature. Both eCommerce platforms have their own stores updated with the latest apps and extensions, enabling businesses to empower their website with more features.

However, these apps and extensions may come with additional charges. Another distinctive factor that separates both platforms is the customization flexibility. While Magento can accommodate a wide range of personalizations, Shopify offers limited scope for making changes as you like. This can be a problem for businesses that aren’t able to find a solution for their problems and create one for themselves.

Aside from these limitations, Shopify has a clearly laid-out pricing structure, making it possible for new businesses to know how much they could possibly be spending on setting up and getting started. Magento, on the other hand, customizes its pricing structure based on the requirements.

While there’s no clear winner in the comparison, Magento and Shopify guarantee an eCommerce website packed with features that are sure to make your brand stand out, generate ROI, win customer trust, and become a recognized and loved business to shop from!

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