Building a website is crucial if you would like to start a long-term business from a scratch, especially if you want to jump into the e-commerce industry. You may have many concerns to start an online store, in which the most common question is: which platform is right for your business?

Shopify and Magento are definitely two of the most prominent names for small and medium businesses. Depending on your preference and the requirements for your own e-commerce stores, you may have your own decision to choose Shopify or Magento. We will make a total comparison of these two e-commerce platforms to see, which one is right for your business. The evaluation will be based on those criteria:

  • Themes

  • Ease of use

  • Adds- on and apps

  • Marketing features

  • Payment processor and transaction fees

  • Pricing

  • Scalability

What is an e-commerce platform?

According to Adobe, an e-commerce platform is “a software that enables the commercial process of buying and selling over the internet. An e-commerce platform needs a search feature that lets customers find a specific product, a cart feature that lets them manage their order, and a payment feature”. In other words, by using an e-commerce platform, businesses can sell their products and services online.

There are many reasons why you need an online store. Needless to say, in the era of technology and the Internet, especially with the dominant of online shopping due to COVID-19, an efficient e-commerce platform that can keep up with the demand is a must.

Traditionally, an e-commerce store was expensive, inflexible, and time-consuming as it usually required extensive IT setup and in-house management with an expertise backend team. However, today with an infrastructure that unifies business applications and data, the needed commerce and business functions are integrated into a single e-commerce platform, which simplifies the process of management for businesses, and creates relevant and personalized online experiences for customers.

A highly-rated e-commerce platform should satisfy those criteria:

  • Have a single, unified platform: the systems added into the e-commerce platform should be seamlessly integrated, including accounting, POS, inventory, marketing, customer service, financial solutions, and so on.

  • Deliver excellent customer experience: it must provide a consistent and personalized experience, responsive interfaces on desktop and mobile.

  • Manage the orders in a superior way: include fulfilling and returning orders, managing inventory across all channels and logistics.

  • Support expansion: businesses can easily find any add-on features for different business models, countries, and languages

Magento vs Shopify: At the first glance

First released in 2008, Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP. Magneto is similar to WordPress, which means that you just need to install on the computer and use it. In the meantime, Shopify is an effective e-commerce website builder. User needs to pay a monthly fee, and it’s capable of supporting both fledgling and high-volume businesses.

Let’s go through the extensive comparison to come to the decision: Magento or Shopify, which e-commerce platform is right for your business.

1. Magento vs Shopify: Themes

Themes are the look/ presentation of your online store when the customers first land on your website. Therefore, an attractive and appropriate theme will leave a strong and memorable impression in your online visitors’ minds. Having access to the right theme will help you stand out from the crowd, and enhance the customer experience.

Shopify: 4/5

Magento: 3/5

Shopify provides 9 free themes and 64 paid versions with an average cost from USD$100 to USD$180. All of these themes are mobile-friendly, which means that the mobile version will be displayed in response to the device of the users. It is a tempting feature of the Shopify theme satisfying the demand of the market as 70% of mobile users have made a purchase online in 2020.

Once you choose one theme on Shopify, you can customize your online appearance without needing a code. You can add new pages, move and resize the elements, integrate the social media platforms, and change the color. No code needed!

On the other hand, the cost for a theme on Magento is more expensive than that on Shopify. 10 out of 16 themes on Magento are mobile- responsive. Ready-to-use themes may cost you around USD$100, and if your business would like to go for a customized option, it will cost you about $600 to $2,500, together with the requirement of a professional developer. On the bright side, Magneto has some awesome customizations, such as product sliders, or animations.

2. Magento vs Shopify: Ease of use

Both Shopify and Magento are powerful e-commerce store-building platforms.

Shopify: 4 / 5

Magento: 3 / 5

Shopify is easier to use compared to Magento. Basically, Shopify allower users to move the elements of the page exactly the way they desire. They just need to drag and drop the cues. We can say that all levels of users can use Shopify.

However, if you desire to build a professional website in which every element must satisfy your sense of art, and you have a definite level of coding knowledge to create the code, then Magento is a more suitable platform.

3. Magento vs Shopify: Add- ons and apps

Extra functionality should be always considered when choosing an e-commerce store-building platform, especially if the chosen platform doesn’t provide enough built-in apps for your desire. Both Magneto and Shopify have a wide range of extensions, apps, and add- ons.

Shopify: 4 / 5

Magento: 3.5 / 5

Shopify offers around 1,200 free and paid apps to choose from with just a click of a button, categorizing in various areas such as Marketing, Inventory management, Fiances, Sales, or Reporting.

E-commerce platform: Magento vs Shopify, which one is right for your business?

Similarly, Magento also offers thousands of extensions and apps for its users, but at a higher number than that of Shopify, around 5,000 apps and add-ons (approximately 1,970 of them are free).

E-commerce platform: Magento vs Shopify, which one is right for your business?

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