Choosing an eCommerce platform for your retail brand is tough. Not only can it be responsible for the success or failure of your business, but there are so many to choose from. It can be hard to know where to start.
Narrowing your shortlist down to Magento and Shopify is a great choice. These are two of the biggest and most popular players in the space, and either makes for a great eCommerce platform — but which is best?
Below we compare Magento vs Shopify to find out.
Magento vs Shopify: An Overview
Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform with an enormous amount of customisation options. It’s a brilliant platform for large retailers, but it may be a bit over the top for smaller stores. It also comes with a bit of a learning curve.
Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that aims to make it easy for anyone to create an online store. As a hosted solution, you don’t need to worry about finding a hosting provider and building a website from scratch. Shopify handles almost everything for you, but you’ll need to pay for the privilege.
Magento vs Shopify: Setup and Design
Shopify makes it easy for anyone to set up and design an online store, even if you don’t know how to code. The same can’t be said for Magento.
On Shopify, you can choose from a handful of free themes and thousands of paid ones to quickly build your store. Drag-and-drop functionality makes them easy to customise without you having to dive into code. Better still, Shopify provides a setup wizard to help even the most novice users create a store. You can literally build a functional eCommerce store in an afternoon.
Magento is much more customisable but a lot harder to set up. You can design your store in any way imaginable, but you’ll need the help of a designer and developer to do it. That’s because there are only a handful of pre-made themes, almost all of which aren’t as easy to customise as their Shopify counterparts. You’ll also need to find a hosting provider and register your own domain name as part of the setup process. In other words, it will take you a lot longer than an afternoon to get started with Magento.
Magento vs Shopify: Features, Apps and Extensions
Both platforms have all of the core features you need for an eCommerce store built-in. That includes inventory management, shopping carts, checkouts and payment gateways. The difference is Magento offers significantly more intermediate and advanced features like customer loyalty tools and business intelligence dashboards.
Even so, you will probably want to install an extension or two on both platforms to create the store you want. Good thing both Magento and Shopify have expensive app libraries, then.
On Shopify, there are over 7,500 to choose from, covering all manner of functionality from product sourcing and translation to shipping and delivery. Magento boasts over 3,000 extensions helping users add a similar functionality level.
Magento vs Shopify: Payment
Both platforms make it easy to collect payments, and, in truth, there’s not much to choose between them. The only difference is the number of payment gateways available and the fees both platforms charge.
Shopify offers almost a hundred payment gateways to UK users, as well as its own version, Shopify Payments. Shopify charges 1.7% + 25p on all card transactions if you use their own gateway and have a standard Shopify plan. Rates rise to 2% + 25p if you use the basic plan, and Shopify charges a 2% fee on all transactions processed through a third-party gateway.
Magento also offers dozens of different payment gateways, but it doesn’t charge any additional fees on top of the gateway provider’s fees. If you care about fees, it’s probably best to go with Magento.
Magento vs Shopify: Price
The biggest difference between Magento and Shopify is what you pay for both platforms.
Shopify offers three plans depending on your store size and needs. The basic version costs £19 per month, the Shopify plan costs £49 per month and comes with reduced fees, and the Advanced plan costs £259 per month. Shopify also offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.
Magento is free to use as an open-source product. But you’ll need to pay for a hosting provider and all the other associated costs of creating and maintaining your own website. You’ll likely have to pay a designer and developer to create your ideal store, too.
How to Ship With Magento vs Shopify
Shipping is one of the most critical parts of the eCommerce process and, as such, deserves its own section. Thankfully, both platforms offer several shipping options and integrations.
Magento lets you integrate with third-party shipping providers or do self-service shipping. Integrations include DHL, UPS, Royal Mail, and 3PL providers like Pro Carrier. You can also connect with several drop shipping providers if you prefer not to carry inventory yourself.
Shopify also integrates with every major UK and international postal carrier, as well as 3PLs. It also provides its own delivery service, Shopify Shipping, which lets you manage orders without leaving the app. The service is run in partnership with DPD and Evri. Shopify also has several dropshipping integrations to help you run a successful dropshipping business.
Magento vs Shopify? Integrate both with Pro Carrier
Hopefully, this article has helped you decide whether Magento or Shopify is better for your eCommerce store. Shopify is certainly the winner if you’ve never run an eCommerce store before, but Magento is infinitely more customisable and perfect for heavy-duty users.
Whichever you choose, you can still rely on Pro Carrier to streamline cross-border commerce for your store. We have custom-built integrations for Magento and Shopify, allowing you to connect your store with your service in just a few clicks. Once you do, order data will automatically be sent to your Pro Carrier account, allowing you to automate part of the process and manage everything from a single dashboard.
Find out more about integrating Pro Carrier with Shopify, Magento or any other eCommerce platform by