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Magento vs Shopify 2020: Which Platform Should You Use for Your eCommerce Store? And Why?

Magento vs Shopify 2020: Which Platform Should You Use for Your eCommerce Store? And Why?

by Adriana Cacoveanu on Sep 18 2020

A bit stuck? Are you looking to roll out your online store, but… you’re struggling with a Magento vs Shopify 2020 dilemma?

Which solution works best for the size and the type of your eCommerce business?

Which one covers most of your feature needs?

In today’s post you’ll get your answers to the following questions:

  • How are they different?
  • Why would you choose Shopify over Magento? What are its strongest selling points?
  • What are the cons of Shopify?
  • What are the pros and cons of Magento vs Shopify?
  • Which eCommerce platform works best for your type of business?

1. What Are the Major Differences Between Magento and Shopify?

The main reason why you’re torn between Magento and Shopify is that:

You don’t have a clear picture of the essential differences between them.

So, let me expose them to you:

1.1. Magento is an eCommerce solution for enterprise-level online stores.

It’s robust and flexible enough to power fully customized eCommerce websites, built from scratch — that you can further expand to fit your growth plan — by teams of Magento developers.

1.2. Shopify, on the other hand, is self-managed. 

You don’t need any specialized skills — or server-side techs — to set up a Shopify store. 

A front-end developer and a designer, at most, will do.

“How easy is it to use Shopify?”

Shopify is best-known for being beginner-friendly. 

In short, the Magento vs Shopify dilemma comes down to:

Flexibility and customization vs Ease of use.

Which one's more important to you?

2. Magento vs Shopify 2020: Why Would You Choose Shopify?

What makes Shopify a candidate for the title of “the best solution for creating an eCommerce website in 2020"?

Here’s why Shopify could be the better choice for your online store:

  • you have no (or limited) coding skills
  • the idea of having a huge app marketplace at your disposal to browse through sounds tempting to you
  • you need to get your e-Store up and running… now: the drag-and-drop website builder allows you to set up a new store in… minutes
  • it’s an end-to-end eCommerce solution that you’re looking for, one that enables you to roll out and manage your online store with no technical experience
  • it’s easier to use: its interface is famous for being particularly user-friendly
  • you run a small or medium-sized eCommerce business
  • page loading time is critical for you: Shopify’s just… fast

Magento vs Shopify 2020: With Shopify, you don't need to worry about web servers

Overall, it’s much less of a headache than Magento and usually the go-to option for small eCommerce business owners, with no web development experience, who need to get their websites rolled out fast.

3. What Are the Cons of Shopify?

What could make you hesitate to choose Shopify for your eCommerce website?

For there are, indeed, some limitations to consider before going for this particular platform:

 

  • You’d be trading some of the control over your online store for… ease of use and the convenience of setting up your eStore quick and easy, with no technical expertise

     
  • You do get a huge collection of plugins to choose from but… they all come with a price tag on; one that you’ll need to consider when planning out your budget

     
  • You won’t be able to customize every single aspect of your website. By comparison, Magento puts no limitation on the configurations that you can make to your site

     
  • Shopify provides you with weaker SEO features

     
  • It charges a transaction fee per… sale

     

4. Why Would You Choose Magento over Shopify?

When dealing with a Magento vs Shopify 2020 dilemma, what could make you opt for Magento?

Lots of reasons... Here are the strongest ones:

 

  • It enables you (or your team of Magento developers in Toronto) to customize everything about your eCommerce website, from theme to checkout process, to main menu, to email template, to...

     
  • You get to build custom functionality for your website, that’s not available on the market

     
  • You have lots of extensions available to choose from — Magento being open-sourced — and to customize your online store

     
  • You benefit from its strong SEO capabilities

     
  • You get to tap into its multi-store functionality: Magento enables you to manage all your online stores from one central dashboard

     

“In fact, according to eCommerce Platforms research Magento SEO scores 95 out of 100, and that is great result!” (source: Cart2Cart )

In short, you’d want to go with Magento because it enables you to build pretty much anything that you might need for your eCommerce website.

Magento vs Shopify 2020: Use Magento if you need unlimited power of customization

5. What About the Cons of Using Magento?

For you need to be aware of the disadvantages of using this eCommerce solution, as well, before you make any decision.

Now, here are the most… discouraging ones:

 

  • Building a fully customized website in Magento takes time and requires web development experience and Magento expertise; you can’t get away without a team of back-end Magento developers to handle the whole process and all the customization wok

     
  • You do have a large and thriving community to rely on, but no 24/7 dedicated support (like you have with Shopify)

     
  • You’ll need to optimize your Magento website on a regular basis to make sure it keeps performing at its best

     
  • You’ll need to take into account the cost of all the extensions that you might want to add, of the web hosting service, and the Magento expertise needed

     

6. Magento 2 vs Shopify vs... Shopify Plus: Which One’s the Best Fit?

Considering that, starting June 2020, Magento 1.0 is no longer supported, your Magento vs Shopify 2020 dilemma turns into: Magento 2 vs Shopify.

What new features does Magento 2 bring to the debate?

  • simplified navigation
  • (even) better customization capabilities
  • better performance
  • a more admin-friendly panel
  • drag-and-drop layout editing
  • improved checkout

 “And what about Shopify Plus?” you might then ask yourself.

Here are some of the enhancements that Shopify Plus ships with, so you can see for yourself whether it’s the best fit for what you’re looking for:

 

  • It gives you greater control over your online store: you gain more customization freedom

     
  • It’s robust enough to handle more than 10,000 transactions per minute, which makes it a viable alternative to Magento 2 for enterprise-level eCommerce businesses

     
  • You’re free to edit your checkout page (a feature that’s not available in Shopify)

     
  • You get your own launch manager: basically, a dedicated Shopify Plus team will handle everything for you, from implementing the custom Shopify theme that you need to code writing

     

7. Which Commerce Platform Works Better for Your Type of eCommerce Business?

Now that you have a clear(er) picture of the pros and cons of Magento vs Shopify, how do you know which one’s the best fit for you? For your business goals and size?

It’s simple: just pick the answer(s) that best fits your scenario from the following ones:

You’ll want to use Magento if:

  • you have a large product catalog
  • your customization  needs are… above the average (i.e. complex product configurations): you want a fully customized online store built from the ground up
  • you need a commerce platform robust enough to support your entire network of vendor/supplier fulfillment channels
  • you have qualified Magento developers in your team (or the budget to hire some professionals, who know what they’re doing)

You’ll want to use Shopify over Magento in 2020 if:

  • it’s a small to medium product catalog that you need to set up
  • being able to integrate/cross-sell on multiple platforms is a crucial feature for you
  • you need to get your storefront online as quickly as possible

Does this head-to-head help you with your Magento vs Shopify 2020 dilemma? 

No matter which one’s the “winner”, the next question stays the same:

“How do I get my Shopify/ Magento website built and suited to my needs?"

Just drop us a line and we’ll have either our Shopify or our Magento expert team assigned to your eCommerce project!

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay 

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