Ecommerce is a continually growing sector, and there are plenty of different platforms to now choose from. You need a platform you can create, manage and maintain to maximise your online shop’s presence and potential. Maybe you are creating a brand new store, or perhaps you are looking to migrate to a new platform.
We have decided to compare Magento with one of its leading competitors – Shopify – to see how they stack up against one another so which one is right for you?
The first major difference between them is the software: Magento is open source and Shopify is not. In the end this will limit the amount of customisation available for a Shopify site, whereas for Magento the possibilities are literally endless.
Shopify is a commercial piece of software, requiring a monthly subscription fee and Magento can be downloaded for free. One of the reasons for this is Shopify host the store themselves but with Magento you need to arrange your own host which will cost money, so for a smaller business Shopify is the better option. If you have a bigger business, there are benefits to having you own host. If their hosts are under a lot of pressure it will impact on the speed of your store but with your own dedicated host this won’t happen.
We use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host all of our Magento stores which is fully scalable. This means that as your store grows, AWS is able to accommodate the increased pressure on your store so your website won’t slow down as a result of the higher demand. It can also cope comfortably with any add-ons or extras you choose.
If you are not experiencing a lot of traffic or are just starting out, Shopify’s hosting capacity should be more than adequate for your needs. The Shopify Starter plan allows you to have up to 25 items in your shop with more available with the different packages. Companies with a vast product catalogue would be better suited to Magento, as they let you have almost unlimited items.
EASE OF USE
From the stores owner’s perspective, it cannot be denied that using Shopify to set up your store is easier than Magento, which requires at least some coding/programming knowledge; with a bit of research you can create a great store using Shopify.
For Magento we would not recommend using existing themes, for one because it is completely customisable, limited only by your imagination and the abilities of your programmer/developers. You can create something completely bespoke to suit your specific needs, and it is easier to fix something you have created yourself.
The Shopify inventory interface is fairly standard and suits smaller, simpler stores who do not have multiple store locations. Using Magento, it is possible to extend the inventory so it syncs up with the inventory levels at the store(s) locations which makes multi-channel capabilities much easier. It allows you to customise your product details in the CSV file itself, making it easier to update.
MULTI CHANNEL SALES
You can sell your products across multiple channels with Shopify, they currently support some big names including Facebook, Twitter, House, Wanelo and Pinterest. At the moment they do not yet support Amazon, Ebay or Etsy which is a slight shame.
Magento lets you integrate with any channel of your choosing, and if you opt for Magento Enterprise you get full scale customer integration which allows you to make personalised offers based on the users purchase history, flash sale offers, and multi-location pricing differentials.
Shopify has suitable SEO tools; you can edit meta tags and meta data, and add search engine console tags to make your inventory SEO friendly. But by its very nature, Magento offers you that extra bit of SEO freedom.
You can alter the structure of your site and customize links for inventory pages, and alter the meta content meaning it is easier to implement on page strategy. Redirect, no-follow and canonical settings are all customisable within the configuration file for Magento.
To Conclude…Shopify is a great platform for a smaller business. It is user friendly and has all of the features you would require for your first online store.
Magento is the better bet for bigger businesses, due to its scalability and open source software allowing for a greater level of customisation and control.
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