As the cannabis industry increasingly embraces eCommerce, choosing the right platform becomes a vitally important decision.
This blog highlights five areas to consider as you determine whether Magento or Shopify is right for your growing business.
1. Flex Your Options
Today’s cannabis consumers are no different than those in any other market – they want immersion in the digital shopping experience. To provide one, you need a flexible platform that allows effortless control over your site’s content for maximum engagement.
- Page Builder features an intuitive drag-and-drop content management interface.
- Create and design without the need for front-end developers – there is no code required.
- Thousands of extension options are available via Magento Marketplace to manage a range of issues from BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In-Store) to sales taxes and much more.
- A vast array of 3rd-party integrations allow for extensive customization, from marketing to inventory management.
- Many Shopify sites look very similar to the platform’s limited number of web templates.
- Fewer 3rd party solution integrations are available.
- The checkout process, one of the most important of all functions in an eCommerce site, cannot be customized.
2. Today & Tomorrow
Just as cannabis eCommerce is growing and expanding, your business needs a platform that can evolve. Magento’s out-of-the-box features provide solutions for your current and evolving scalability requirements as it moves onward and upward.
- Customization without limits – the Magento platform is designed to be fluid and evolving.
- Thousands of 3rd-party integrations allow for a plethora of options for your store and your growing customer base.
- The ability to add stores from a central control point as your business expands is a key part of Magento’s flexibility.
- Shopify’s limited basic plans can impose restrictions on growth and force you and your business to look elsewhere for new scalable options.
- Shopify does not support fundamental features necessary for an expanding enterprise, like complex product catalogs.
- Since Shopify is engineered for B2C use cases, its template-based approach is unable to handle the complexities of B2B transactions and associated workflows.
- Shopify is almost exclusively constructed for B2C, with complex B2B-related functionalities largely unsupported.
3. Growth & Expansion
Creating an engaging cannabis eCommerce experience is only half the battle – you must then launch, maintain, and continue the forward momentum. The right eCommerce platform has the features to allow you to focus on day-to-day operations and build for future growth simultaneously.
- Who says your site can only be in one language? In an ever-more-diverse culture, Magento allows for multiple sites in a variety of languages.
- Unlimited catalog sizes full of complex products – not an issue.
- Regardless of your primary and secondary goals, Magento Marketplace’s broad array of highly-optimized extensions can be customized to fit all of your needs.
- The data analytics power of Magento Business Intelligence will help you improve efficiency and operations as your business grows larger and more complex.
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- Shopify allows for far less customization, and its smaller number of app options limits the number of eCommerce solutions for problems you might not yet know you have.
- In areas where Shopify does offer customization, a proprietary coding language is needed, which can turn a seemingly minor implementation into a significant developer project.
- Shopify’s catalogs are limited, and so is the amount of detail allowed for products. For a customer base eager to know more about what you’re selling (and they’re buying), this affects them and can also impact your ability to expand.
4. Peak Performance Can Be Achieved
The cannabis industry is a discerning marketplace. Distributors, brands, retailers and customers are all focused on quality, reliability and lasting performance across a broad array of products. So, why should your eCommerce platform not measure up?
- Magento powers hundreds of thousands of sites in a wide range of industries, including dozens of the largest B2B and B2C eCommerce standouts.
- When it comes to the cloud, Amazon Web Services is the proverbial gold standard. Magento Commerce relies on AWS for its unparalleled operational performance.
- By allowing businesses the power to customize their sites in order to achieve specific targets and/or provide personalized shopping experiences, Magento’s unrivaled flexibility enhances its performance.
- Best-In-Class Business Intelligence features help you remain laser-focused on any and everything you want to monitor.
- Gridlock isn’t just out on the highway – if other Shopify stores are experiencing spikes in traffic, the system’s structure is such that your Shopify site can suffer performance issues.
- The metrics are easy to understand – fewer customization options mean less personalization and sub-optimally engaged customers.
- Shopify data analysis and insights are extremely limited relative to Magento’s.
5. The Support You Need
The cannabis eCommerce landscape is vast and complex. Having the right support network can make all the difference, whether it’s for current issues or future growth.
- Several hundred thousand developers worldwide support Magento by continually building and refining processes, creating innovations, and improving platform functionality.
- Magento goes far beyond tech support – worldwide partnerships with experts across a broad field provide a community available to aid and guide you in your eCommerce journey.
- Technical issues may not always result in receiving direct help from Shopify’s general support. You may be forced to post your question to a forum in order to receive an answer from a developer.
- Nothing else in eCommerce matters more than your store being live and problem-free – increased waiting and downtime impacts your bottom line.