Magento and Shopify have been the arch-rivals in the eCommerce platforms race aiming at the mid-market segment. Magento and Shopify are leaders in the open-source and hosted platforms segment, respectively. While Magento has gone up with its enterprise-level and cloud-hosted offerings, the platform hasn’t yet vacated the contention with Shopify in the mid-market space.
If you are in pursuit of choosing an eCommerce platform to power your digital commerce aspirations, a comparison between Magento and Shopify is the first thing you might want to know. So, we’ve made things easy for you. We have compared both platforms based on cost and key features to help you make an informed decision. We hope you’ll find it helpful.
In this blog, we’ll be covering key areas like
- Overview of Magento 2 and Shopify
- Magento 2 and Shopify Comparison based on
- Customization and flexibility
- SEO Features
Magento and Shopify Overview
Shopify – Variants, target segments, and market share
Shopify is a SaaS-based hosted eCommerce platform that offers multiple plans for businesses to choose from. ‘Shopify Lite’ is the entry-level version, while ‘Basic Shopify,’ ‘Shopify,’ and ‘Advanced Shopify’ are the plans provided under the Shopify hood aiming at the small and medium business segment. 3,613,329 brands across the world use Shopify, according to the latest data from Builtwith, which is around 2.7% of top-visited 1 million websites.
Shopify Plus is altogether a different ball game. The SaaS platform launched Shopify Plus to target enterprise brands in the year 2014. Since then, Shopify Plus has exclusively garnered a customer base of around 6,003, according to Builtwith.
Magento – Variants, target segments, and market share
Magento is an open-source platform that comes packed with a long list of built-in features to cater to the commerce and customer experience requirements of brands. According to the data from Builtwith, Magento powers 8% of the online stores. The US tops the chart with 64,741 websites, and the UK is the second largest (14,438 stores) market for Magento.
Magento, now owned by Adobe, is available in three major variants. Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce (now Adobe Commerce), and the AWS-cloud hosted version, Magento Commerce Cloud (now Adobe Commerce Cloud).
While Magento Open Source aims for the small and medium business market, Magento Commerce is for the big league. The platform’s 100 percent customizability, integration capabilities, and out-of-the-box features make it one of the most sought-after platforms. Magento has been named the leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce platforms consecutively three times since 2019.
Market share gained by Magento and Shopify from 2014 to 2021
Having looked at the version breakdown, target segment, and market share of the platforms, let’s look at the comparison of Magento and Shopify based on cost and key features.
Magento Vs Shopify comparison – Cost
Shopify’s subscription model offers five different pricing based on the plan and its features, ranging from $9 to over $2000 per month. ‘Shopify Lite’ plan costs $9 per month, which also includes a credit card processing fee starting from 2.4%. However, this cost also covers your expenses for the domain name and hosting.
‘Shopify Basic’ plan demands $29 as a monthly subscription fee. The ‘Shopify’ plan costs $79 per month, while the ‘Advanced Shopify’ plan costs $299.
‘Shopify Plus’ Cost – Shopify Plus comes with provisions for code customization. The average cost to build an eCommerce store is $60K to $250K. The annual licensing fee for Shopify Plus is $24K, and if the revenue crosses the $800K mark, .25% of every transaction adds to your overall budget.
Magento, being an open-source platform, doesn’t operate on a subscription-based model, unlike Shopify. The Open Source version is free to download. However, you’ll have to spend for development, hosting, extensions, and domain ($10-15/year). For Magento development requirements, you can go for an Adobe Partner agency. Adobe’s official partners will have certified Magento developers who adhere to Magento’s coding standards and best practices. The development cost in such agencies might cost you around $30 to $70 per hour.
Next up is extensions. You’ll be able to find 5000+ extensions in Magento’s marketplace. Premium extensions can cost around $50 to $500.
If you are going for the premium versions of Magento, the cost depends on the gross sales revenue. Remember, if you are going to build a store from scratch or migrate from a third-party platform, the license fee remains the same. To know how the Magento Commerce pricing plan operates, check out our blog on Magento commerce license fees based on GSR.
Magento vs Shopify Comparison – Security
Shopify Plus is hosted on Level 1 PCI DSS compliant service. Shopify is a PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant platform which means your store is fine with accepting credit card payments. The 1 PCI DSS certification ensures that your store is compliant with all six categories of PCI standards.
Magento is a platform that keeps upgrading its security features with every newly released version. This ensures that the entire user base gets the opportunity to reinforce security. The platform also provides patches for users operating on older versions to stay secure, besides rolling out new features.
If you are choosing Magento, it is always advisable to upgrade to the latest version to leverage the latest security features of the platform.
To help merchants ensure top-notch security, Magento provides a built-in Security Scan Tool. With the tool, you can monitor security issues and risks and fix them.
Advantages of Magento’s Security Scan tool
- Security status check-in real-time
- Security fixes for resolving issues faster
- Track historical reports and monitor progress
- Merchants can run over 21,000 security tests
- Report on failed tests along with recommended actions
Magento Vs Shopify Comparison – Customization and Flexibility
Shopify – Customization and Flexibility
Shopify’s templates and APIs allow you to customize to a certain extent, but mostly you’ll have to settle down with the app options given. The level of personalization is up to the configuration limits provided in ‘Settings’. Clearly, Shopify allows less customization compared to Magento.
To address peculiar business specifics or challenges, building a custom application is quite difficult. Shopify does allow new functionality development, but that’s a privilege only Shopify Plus users with a revenue of above $50 million can enjoy.
Moreover, Shopify customization requires skills in a proprietary language that can turn a small requirement into a full-fledged development project.
In terms of integration, Shopify API can be leveraged to sync your eCommerce backend with external systems.
Magento – Customization, and flexibility
Magento’s customizability is unparalleled in the market. The platform is 100 percent customizable, making it one of the most preferred platforms to build unique eCommerce experiences.
From the home page to checkout, every page can be customized and bolted with functionalities of your choice. Page Builder makes adding dynamic blocks, desired page layouts, and widgets quick and easy to attract customers.
Magento is accommodative when it comes to integrating third-party applications. Any third-party system of your choice, ERP, CRM, payment gateway, custom-built extension, PIM, fulfillment system, marketing automation tools, can be seamlessly integrated. Thus the possibility to extend the capabilities of your eCommerce store is limitless.
Magento vs Shopify – Support
Shopify – Support
Shopify has a smaller community of partners located in North America, making it challenging to cater to the support requirements of various merchants spread across the globe. To receive support for minor technical issues, you might have to post your question to a forum and wait for answers.
Since the platform uses a specific language for customization, the number of developers with expertise is less, making it difficult to find support.
Magento – Support
Magento is supported by a vast community of developers (300,000+) who continuously contribute to the betterment of the platform and provide technical assistance.
The AWS-hosted version of the platform provides a responsive and dedicated support team consisting of experts from Magento who will assist you in clarifying doubts and fixing issues on demand.
Also, there are over 1,150+ solution and technology partners for Magento making it easy for you to pick and choose an agency to hand over your development or support and maintenance responsibilities.
Magento vs. Shopify Comparison – SEO features
Using Shopify, you can edit page titles and descriptions to determine how your page should be displayed for users in SERPs. Shopify also has SEO-specific free and paid apps in its marketplace to find and fix SEO-related issues.
Magento enables you to customize titles for the product, category, and blog pages. Also, anchor text with navigation links can be customized, and with canonical URLs, you can avoid content duplications.
Features like Rich Snippets, XML Sitemap, and Page builder allow you to map site contents to search engines, thereby earning SEO advantage and high search engine rankings.
With Magento, you can easily integrate essential Google marketing and tracking tools like Google Analytics, Privacy Setting, Content Experiments, and Tag Manager with your eCommerce backend.
Magento can help you build mobile responsive web pages to earn better rankings for mobile web pages. Moreover, Magento’s PWA Studio is an SDK with which you can build mobile websites with native apps like interface and experience. A PWA (Progressive Web App) of your store can achieve mobile web loading time under 3 seconds, a crucial ranking factor considered by Google.
Magento vs. Shopify Comparison – Hosting
Being a SaaS platform, Shopify provides hosting and domain out-of-the-box. This is a cost and time-saving aspect for merchants but remember, the hosting infrastructure is shared among Shopify users. If a Shopify store experiences a spike in traffic, it might affect your website loading speed or availability.
Magento – Hosting
If you choose Magento, you can choose between on-premise hosting or third-party Cloud solution hosting. Though the hosting fee adds to your overall investment cost, the infrastructure will be dedicated for your eCommerce store. If you choose Magento Commerce Cloud, AWS cloud hosting is available out-of-the-box.
Magento vs Shopify Comparison – Omnichannel commerce
The ability to enable merchants to sell via offline and multiple digital sales channels determines a platform’s omnichannel support. On that front, both Magento and Shopify offer POS (offline), mobile (native app), and integration with third-party marketplaces like Amazon.
You can centrally manage your offline and online sales in a single dashboard. Magento provides a built-in SDK for progressive web app development, the PWA Studio. You can eliminate the expenses involved in building a native app for your eCommerce store. In the case of Shopify, you’ll have to depend on a third-party app to achieve the same.
Both Magento and Shopify are rich in terms of features and have their advantages and shortcomings when compared. Having discussed the key factors required for every eCommerce business, it is up to you to decide the platform that best suits your requirements.
If you need further assistance in evaluating the two platforms or making the final decision.
Frequently asked questions
Magento’s pricing happens to be one of the most important deciding factors, especially when compared to hosted platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce.
The price comes with advantages like – 100% customizability, built-in features, integration flexibilities, omnichannel and headless commerce support, and built-in PWA Studio.
Let’s look at the factors that make Magento pricing on the higher side.
Magento Open Source is free but finding the technical expertise (development cost) to customize the platform and build a store according to your business specifics demands investment.
Development cost breakdown – Code customization + Premium Extensions
Code customization – Your Magento development will involve code customization and purchasing paid extensions if you need any.
If you hire Magento developers from an agency that’s an official Magento partner, the average cost for development per hour ranges from ($30 to $100) per hour. This depends on the agencies, their partnership tiers, and the quality they deliver.
Premium Extensions –You’ll be able to find 5000+ extensions in Magento’s marketplace. Magento’s premium extensions can cost from $50 to $500.
Theme –Magento provides both free and paid themes. The price ranges from $0 to $499. If you are building a custom theme, that’ll also add to your overall cost.
Other factors – Hosting + domain
While hosting would cost $10–50 per month, a domain would cost $10 to $ 400 per year.
License Fee – If you choose Magento Commerce or Magento Commerce Cloud, you’ll have to pay a license fee.
Time –Now that we have discussed all the cost factors, you can arrive at a close to an accurate estimate of your Magento implementation project based on the hours of development effort required. The Magento agency you are partnering with will be able to determine the number of Magento development hours based on your project’s requirements.
Both Magento and Shopify provide eCommerce capabilities for businesses. After analyzing the platforms based on crucial factors like cost, performance, security, scalability, built-in features etc., make sure you take into account business considerations like your eCommerce maturity level, B2C and B2C plans, growth plans and cross-border selling to decide which one suits your requirements better.
Shopify is a hosted platform that bundles essential eCommerce features to help small businesses to go to market quickly, but the customization capabilities are limited. Magento is an open-source platform that provides complete liberty to customize, but the same advantage can be leveraged only if you have technical experts in your team.
Yes, Magento requires PHP coding skills. To ensure the Magento customizations performed for your store are high quality, you should deploy a development team that adheres to Magento’s coding standards and development best practices. You’ll be able to find such talents in agencies in Adobe’s Silver partnership tier or above. You can find such agencies on the Adobe Solution Partner portal.
Magento is on the expensive side when compared to platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WordPress, or OpenCart. Still, over 213,057 stores are operating on Magento. This is because the platform’s advantages outweigh the overall cost.
100% customizability, built-in features, integration capabilities, marketplace support, omnichannel support, headless commerce support and built-in PWA Studio, built-in search engine (ElasticSearch), multi-source inventory, built-in advanced analytics tool (Magento BI) are some of the advantages that Magento provides.