Selecting the right e-commerce platform for your business is one of the most important decisions you can make when presenting yourself to the online market. A great e-commerce platform will help make managing your store simple and straightforward, whilst displaying beautiful designs and layouts that appeal to visitors.
Shopify and Magento are the two biggest contenders when it comes to e-commerce platforms - with many people finding themselves torn between them. Here’s our comparison between the two to help you decide what’s going to work for you and your business.
One of the top considerations whilst making a decision on your e-commerce software is scalability. How does the size of my online store fit with the scalability of both platforms? Magento is the route for many large-scale online stores with lots of products and the desire for a large amount of flexibility within the system. Shopify is the platform of choice for smaller and mid-sized stores that are looking for a no fuss easy to use set up. However, that was until Shopify Plus landed on the scene, providing a rival to Magento for high-volume, fast-growing merchants.
When it comes to the hosting and security of your online store there are clear advantages and disadvantages between the two. With Magento you need to make sure you set-up your own hosting, possibly needing a dedicated server and CDN. Shopify on the other hand takes care of your hosting and provides domains from as little as £11.
It’s no secret that Shopify is a lot easier to use than Magento, with a key website-building tool in the back end to help customise store features. Magneto presents lots of back end features that can be difficult to navigate if you’re not native to web development.
When it comes to getting your visitors over the finish line, Shopify and Magento boast equally impressive checkout processes. With Shopify there’s a responsive checkout, adapting to differing screen devices in order to capture more of your potential sales. With Magento you can deter page abandonment with one-click account creation.
So when it comes down to it, what will you be paying for each platform? Shopify has no set-up fees, with monthly plans between £7 - £245* , it is also important to note that you’ll not be paying any bandwidth fees. Whilst Magento offers a free set-up with its Community Edition there is a need to host the site on a server and pay for an SSL certificate (free with Shopify), this can cost anywhere from £20 a month to hundreds of pounds depending on the size of store you plan to launch. These figures can then be doubled if you need to opt for Magento Enterprise instead of Community Edition. Alternatively, with Shopify Plus, you'll only be charged a single flat monthly fee.
*prices correct of 20/01/16.
There are pros and cons to both ecommerce platfomrs, and what works best depends entirely on each individual store and business owner's needs/desires.
If you’re looking to set up an online store for a small to mid-sized business, with great designs that’s easy to manage, Shopify should be your first choice.
If you’re a bigger organisation looking to handle large amounts of inventory and are willing to hire extra dev help, then Magento may be the way forward.
If you still want a platform that can handle high-volumes, with an easy to navigate back end system, it's definitely worth looking into Shopify Plus.