Ecommerce businesses are at some point in the process of choosing an ecommerce platform to start their business, migrate to or upgrade to. Comparison between the two industry leaders Magento 2 vs Shopify is quintessential for these people. At a higher level both these platforms are designed with one objective, optimize ecommerce performance. The choice can often be tricky and complicated. In this article, we delve into the pros and cons of both these platforms to help take an informed decision. Remember the platform you choose can makes all the difference in making or breaking your brand.
1. Brand Presence
- Both these platforms have a strong market presence and a loyal following. With a collective market share of 18% between them, they are far ahead of the pack. According to a recent report there are 155,818 active websites which are powered by Magento.
- Shopify powers close to 249,384 websites in the domain of ecommerce. However, Magento 2 holds the highest share in the top rated sites, which feature in Alexa ratings. Magento 2 has 15,583 sites in comparison to Shopify’s 8,660 in Alexa top 1M.
- This clearly indicated that brands looking for long-term scalability and growth prefer Magento 2 over Shopify. This point is reinforced by the fact that top brands like Paul Smith, Agent Provocateur, Hermes, Fred Perry and Nike prefer Magento. These stores churn out revenue to the tune of $1 Billion.
2. Theme and Design
- Choosing an apt theme is the vital in building a loyal brand. You should be able to forge a brand that is unique and can connect with your customers. The major part that goes in your branding exercise is design.
- In this aspect both Shopify and Magento 2 offer great responsive themes for all screen sizes. This takes care of your omni channel strategy with a default mobile responsive site.
- However, themes offered by Shopify are proprietary and cannot be tweaked to suit your brand needs. In Shopify, not much customization can be done barring fonts and styling. The new Magento 2 has gone a step further in terms of themes. It fares better even when compared with its predecessor Magento 1.
- After the acquisition of Bluefoot, Magento 2 inculcated the drag and drop option in its theme manager. This allows even non-technical users to create beautiful themes suiting their brand imaging. Additionally, Magento users also enjoy the benefit of working on an open source platform. Ecommerce companies can leverage on agency services to develop custom themes without compromising efficiency.
3. Hosting and Performance
- Site performance is a critical factor. Imagine with a page load delay of 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of the bounce rate increases by 32%. That is the importance associated with page load time. Hosting plays a prime role in the page load time of your site.
- If you fail to address this issue your shopper is very unlikely to come back for a return purchase. In this factor there is a marked difference between Shopify and Magento 2. Shopify is a complete self-hosted solution and the onus of maintaining your site on Shopify.
- Magento 2 comes with two hosting options i.e. Open source and Cloud. Open source is the option where you have to take care of hosting. This is a very strong point in favor of Magento 2 as you can easily choose from numerous reliable Magento hosting provider like Nexcess. You can always opt for budget friendly plans available with the hosting provider.
- Choosing a cloud commerce Magento solution provides you a site which never goes down completely hosted and maintained by Magento.
4. Marketing and SEO
- SEO and Marketing is another important factor and important for long term in brand building. In this scenario, choosing a SEO friendly ecommerce platform is of prime importance. In term of this factor both Shopify and Magento 2 fare well.
- SEO capability is native to Shopify. Editing meta tags, optimizing product pages by including SEO is fairly easy for Shopify users. Shopify even allows in-depth SEO optimization function which allows you to modify the file structure. This makes the job easier for Google crawlers and drastically improves the SEO ratings.
- However, according to a study conducted by BuiltWith, Magento 2 outperforms Shopify on the SEO index. Magento 2 being an open source platform has more flexibility in relation to SEO perspective. Shopify is self-hosted and this makes changes in URL structure and SEO implementation a bit difficult.
- Magento 2 provides the facility to fine tune permalinks and meta content. Using no follows, redirects and canonical tags is easier here. This make indexing and ranking Magento 2 based ecommerce websites easier.
5. Product Management
- All said and done both Shopify and Magento 2 are ecommerce platforms. Being ecommerce platforms they should have a robust product/inventory management system in place. There is again a stark difference between Shopify and Magento 2 in regards to this factor.
- Shopify only has 2 types of products i.e. simple and configurable products. But in Shopify’s favor the front end management is very easy. This makes the work easier for ecommerce retailers having standard catalogues and selling simple products. The CSV import option in Shopify further augments this point in Shopify’s favor.
- However, managing Shopify is difficult when product range and business complexity grows. Magento 2 caters perfectly to a business with a complex and wide product range. Magento 2 supports more product types such as simple, configurable, bundled, downloadable and virtual products.
- These robust and native features of Magento 2 makes product management easy for you. The same can be developed with Shopify with the help of third party extensions.
6. Multi-Store Management
- Any business is poised for growth. When an ecommerce store grows, you must add multiple stores and channels to match your distribution channels.
- Magento 2 is very good at managing multiple stores and channels and this is a strong point in its favor. Magento 2 allows business owners to assign product names at a global level but manage the attribute at a store level. The same product catalog can be shared across multiple channels, stores and websites with the ability to make changes at those levels on the fly.
- This is the feature of Magento 2 which is utilized perfectly by international brands with multiple stores like Nestle and Nike.
- Shopify on the other hand also supports multiple stores, but it is not as robust as Magento 2. Shopify does not have a proper multi store management architecture which is native to Magento 2. This heavily tips the scales in favor of Magento 2.
7. B2B Capabilities
- What good is an ecommerce platform when it cannot cater to its B2B audience? Magento 2 and Shopify are almost neck-to-neck in terms of features. But Magento 2 races ahead over its competitor in the domain of B2B.
- Magento 2 has great B2B capabilities which is native to this platform. Any additional extensions and tweaks are not needed for using Magento 2 for B2B ecommerce. Creating customer grouping, customer order based pricing, tiered pricing and personalized quotes are all part of Magento functionality even to its predecessor Magento 1.
- Magento 2 has only upped its ante by introducing advanced B2B features. Creating customer specific catalogues, assigning budgets to companies based on their orders, managing customer settings, creating customer and company specific product catalogues are all part of the all new Magento 2 B2B features.
- This makes Magento 2 the most preferred ecommerce portal in B2B ecommerce.
- Shopify on the other hand does not have the B2B expertise which is native to Magento 2. To get this level of B2B finesse in Shopify you would have to rely on third party extensions and developers. We can safely state that B2B is definitely not Shopify forte.
Conclusion i95Dev worked with various companies spanning different continents since 2000. We are Magento platinum certified ecommerce solutions providers. Our clientele span across various domains both B2B and B2C. Apart from Magento development, we even provide integration solutions between your Magento store and the most widely used ERP systems (Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, SAGE, SAPB1). If you are an ecommerce operation looking to take the next logical step contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org