Magento vs Shopify: Choose the Best eCommerce Platform!

Magento and Shofiy both have advantages for particular types of projects. How can you choose what is best for your ecommerce development project?

Magento 2.0 is going to be released for merchants very soon. Many businesses with expanding product portfolios might choose to build their new domains on this platform; moving away from Shopify. This is a shift waiting to happen as Shopify is often limited on features or the huge inventory is strained because of the lack of width on the Shopify server. This decision will be easy for some businesses; for others, I suggest they make a decision with a little caution.

If you largely operate in the eCommerce arena, then these two giants will be familiar names. While Shopify has strengthened its position with budding entrepreneurs over the years among those starting small to medium ventures with small catalogue sizes,  Magento has offered a whole range of features for those with larger catalogue sizes and a demand for functionality beyond the ordinary.

One must consider costs, flexibility and development time for each of the two eCommerce platforms before making a decision to switch.

We at Rubico have successfully delivered projects using both Shopify and the Magento platform for a number of clients. On our team, we have Magento certified developers  These Magento certified developers will help me explain the few major gaps and differences between the two products.

Shopify – best eCommerce platform for entry level

This is an easy to deploy, self hosted application for your simple eCommerce website. If your catalogue is only a couple hundred products or has very few variants, Shopify is still the right choice for you.

Shopify is built on the Ruby on Rails framework, which is widely used and quite simple to work with. The logistical steps of deploying your domain are also fewer than on Magento.

Functionality can be added to the basic e-store but is limited to what the monthly subscription allows you to do.

Shopify has packages starting as low as $29 per month. This monthly subscription includes the unlimited web hosting charges. The benefit is that your costs are regulated.

However, there are no multi-store or multi-website options for different countries. Even a geo-location based inventory is not possible on Shopify.

Magento – the choice for sophisticated eCommerce websites

This platform offers ease of caching and indexing large catalogues very briskly. The support offered by the large community of developers on this platform is definitely its biggest advantage. The custom development or add on features can be easily found for various functions.

User interface and user experience related features like multiple themes and multiple location support are possible. Further, many e-tailers use reward points, coupons for different product categories, differing dates or even for different regions. All these parameters can also be easily configured with the help of modules available on Magento.

Maintaining multiple inventory accounts and pricing is another marquee feature for which Magento scores over Shopify, if you   have such needs.

The programming language used is simple PHP, however it requires advance level developers to build a quality product, tailored to your needs.

The advantages are not just limited to the development side of the platform; even the store admin has access to more flexibility in terms of displaying catalogues and products.

APIs for all major payment gateways can be integrated with a lot more options, because the platform core offers inbuilt support for these APIs.

Unlike Shopify where you are limited in terms of the features and ownership, the product owner is more in control of the code. The customized code is owned by you.

This platform requires a dedicated virtual server; the bigger the better.

On the flip side, Magento is costly and time consuming to optimize. The core version is free, but there is a one time only installation fee. The enterprise version with unlimited functionality is expensive, but makes you limitless.

Advantage Magento 2.0

Magento, as a robust application, has a clear lead over Shopify which is an good entry level eStore platform. Magento 2.0 promises an even further improved directory structure. Magento 2.0 also promises to be more store admin friendly than Shopify. Advanced SEO support is also another added incentive to choose Magento.

Comparison of Shopify vs Magento

Feature/Functionality Shopify Magento
Intro Shopify is an an eCommerce hosted platform that enables individuals and businesses to create online stores. Magento is an open source eCommerce web application.
Simplicity Shopify is simple to use and manage for a non-technical user. Magento is a powerful estore suited for a more sophisticated user needing more customized features. It comes with a complete manageable back-end to keep control on inventory, users and other eCommerce rules.
Cost Perspective Shopify is a cost effective solution with complete integration. There are costs relating to setting up Magento, customizing it, and hosting it. The total cost may be more than Shopify, however it is able to be fully customized and is flexible to be expended as per your business requirement.
Data Security Shopify hosts all information in a secured environment causing little concern to data integrity. Magento can be made secure by choosing the right hosting accounts (Cloud managed secure hosting). Magento regularly dispatches security patches which help keep it secure.
Module Implementation (Flexible) Core functionalities cannot be modified easily, however there is a stable experience for the developers as well. It prevents interference or damage to the integrity of the store. Magento has plugins available to make the most of eCommerce related features. There are free and paid plugins which help make the functionality extend. Magento also allows users to create custom plugins to further enhance the functionality.
User Experience Shopify is simple and elegant, but limited in its options. It has a visually appealing user interface, both on the front and back end. Magento comes with pre design themes and some professional/responsive, easy to use themes. It also allows developers to design a custom theme based on the design requirements. The user interface can be built effectively by designing the right mockups.
Installation Process There is no need to configure databases. It is a hosted solution. There is a smooth installation process. The user just needs to make sure, the hosting server supports the required elements.
Manageable Shopify is a lightweight solution. It is manageable by Shopify for upgrades. Magento has its own framework and is easy for an experienced software engineer to set up, customize and manage.

About us:
Rubico provides customized eStore solutions to web and mobile development companies and internet marketing agencies.

We create complex web and mobile applications. We bring together expert Indian developers – ranked among the top in their field – and India-based, American relationship managers, who provide stateside context for client’s needs and expectations. This combination creates a new kind of contracted development that doesn’t trade quality for cost.