Going into the ecommerce business can be very tricky for a small business. In order to stand a chance in the world of competitive online business, you need to know that you require the ideal ecommerce platform that can offer your customers advanced product options. Choosing the right platform also helps to build upon your business prospects which can lead to an increase in the conversion rate.
Two of the most common e-commerce website creation platforms are Magento and Shopify. These platforms can help you design a selling site from scratch. However, if it’s your first time going into online retail, you may wonder which website is the right fit for you.
To begin with, you first need to distinguish between the two platforms so that you can tell which one is more suitable for your ecommerce business. For example, Shopify requires the user to pay for the services rendered to online businesses while Magento is an open-source software that’s free for all. Magento has many advanced plug and play solutions for ecommerce as well, such as Magento search. Conversely, since Shopify charges its users, it also offers a hosting solution that you can use to launch your online store.
On the other hand, Magento requires the user to carry out configuration, hosting, setup, and installation by themselves prior to creating their online store. This means that for Magento, you’re required to possess web development and programming skills from an intermediate to expert level.
Keeping these core differences in mind, here is a head-to-head comparison based on the evaluation of both platforms:
1. Management of Inventory
Inventory space capacity is an important aspect of any ecommerce business that wants to strive to meet high standards and expectations of the customers. Shopify is designed to offer various packages where the starter pack ($14/month) limits the user to a maximum of 25 items as inventory. Consequently, all the other packages allow an unlimited amount of items to be included as inventory.
On the other hand, since Magento is a free software, it offers an unlimited number of items to be put in the inventory. The main difference is that Magento is a free service site where your server and page loading speed can easily affect your online store response and functionality. This is mainly because Shopify already offers a charged, fully managed, and solution hosting to business users.
2. Shipping Charges
Fortunately, both Shopify and Magento offer flexible and structured options available for payment of shipping charges. Ideally, there’s a weight and volume system that’s employed to derive the final charges on shipped goods. This is a basic requirement for buying and selling physical goods online as an ecommerce venture.
3. Payment Gateway Options
When it comes to payment gateway options, Shopify is one store that has the most credible and reliable gateways with up to 70 various options. Magento, on the other side, has far fewer numbers of payment gateway options, but this is likely to get an increase via third-party add-ons.
4. Coupons and Discount Codes
Despite the fact that Shopify charges its users, there’s no allocation of coupons and discount codes for the starter pack option. However, Magento offers a series of coupons and discounts for consumer products across their entire functionalities.
5. Templates and Themes
Both Shopify and Magento are seen to have advanced product options that allow the user to customize their themes and templates to suit the preferable look for their e-commerce business. If you happen to take a close look, both sites offer free themes. However, bear in mind that Shopify has more modern-day themes as compared to Magento. In addition, both sites offer premium themes where Shopify starts at $80 and Magento at $1. This shows how much Magento has a bigger advantage over Shopify in regard to price.
6. Multi-lingual Capabilities
Magento seems to be more qualified under in this area because it offers in-built multi-lingual support. Shopify, on the other hand, has no available option for such a feature other than the use of third-party apps that facilitate the same. Shopify also allows the user to custom code their theme with both simple and advanced level interface.
7. Driving Traffic
Luckily, both platforms have highly effective and competitive SEO tools. This means that both Magento and Shopify are good at driving traffic to your website and influencing your site’s conversion rate.
8. Flexibility and Functionality
After you set up your ecommerce site, your customers are going to need an app for it and add-ons for enhanced functionality. Currently, Shopify has over 100 different add-on and app options while Magento has over 5,000 of the same. The reason why Magento has so many options is because it’s an open source community forum.
Although both Shopify and Magento offer a powerful and reliable e-commerce platform, you need to note that Shopify stands to be the easiest to use since it’s already has a fully-managed and hosted platform. This makes Magento as a much cheaper option, but requires more technical work as part of the preparation of the store.