Magento Vs Shopify: Which eCommerce Platform is Right For Your Business

Magento Vs Shopify
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Choosing between two popular platforms is not easy for ecommerce owners. The right decision can help you make your business soar and the wrong decision can lose you thousands of dollars.

To the right fate of your business, the future, you need to form an informed opinion. We all know there can’t always be just one winner in every situation. So, before we dive into the comparison, keep an open mind and put the requirements of your business first.

In this article, we’ll explore the seven key areas to help you decide between Magento and Shopify for your business.

7 key areas to help you decide between Magento and Shopify

  1. Popularity
  2. Flexibility, Control and Customizations
  3. Ease of Use for Store Owners
  4. Performance Considerations
  5. Pricing
  6. Transaction Fees
  7. Inventory Management

1. Which is More Popular: Magento or Shopify

When it comes to popularity, Magento and Shopify are two extremely popular ecommerce platforms in the industry.

According to BuiltWith, there are currently 252,778 live websites powered by Magento. On the other hand, 1,077,045 live websites are powered by Shopify (as of Sept 2, 2019).

The figure might not matter when it comes to deciding which platform to use for your e-commerce business, however, the kinds of businesses that use these platforms might help you out.

On an average, small business and startups are more inclined towards Shopify. Magento is preferred by medium and large-sized online stores. However, Magento is a recommended choice for small stores who want to prepare for their online platform for seamless scalability in the future.     

2. Flexibility Considerations: Control and Customization

In the e-commerce industry, a flexible platform is crucial to customize the user experience as per your business needs. Control and Hosting is one of the fundamental differences between Magento VS Shopify.

Magento e-commerce platform is self-hosted, meaning you can opt for hosting and servers of your choice or business need. As it is open-source, it lets you control the complete UI of your online store – offering significant range of customization possibilities without any restriction at any level.

Unlike Magento, Shopify is a hosted solution, meaning you don’t need a high level of development expertise. With Shopify e-commerce platform, you don’t have to go through those hosting and configuration hassles, however, there’s a limitation. You won’t be able to access the source code, thus limiting the store level customizations.

3. Ease-of-Use for Store Owners

Shopify has limitations when it comes to customizability, however, it make up for those restrictions with user-friendliness in the platform. Store owners can easily modify the basic attributes of their Shopify store with drag-and-drop interface easily.

Magento’s interface is not complicated, but has a reputation of a bit steep; because Magento e-commerce platform has been designed to accommodate multiple customizations and flexibility. The extensive range of customization scenarios makes it comparatively lesser user-friendliness for store owners. However, if you have required Magento development skills or someone to work for you, user-friendliness is not an issue.

4. Performance and Speed Considerations

Speed and performance of your e-commerce website are crucial factors in deciding the conversion rate. In the era of digital shopping, customers don’t like to wait too long for your website to load, browsing through products they want to buy, making purchase and checking out. A weakness in any of these areas will lose you a huge chunk of your revenue.

As I have already mentioned, Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform, so you don’t need to worry about overall performance or loading speed of your ecommerce site. One downside of this hosted platform is that you have no control over the server level adjustments or hosting environment.

With the release of Magento 2, the self-hosted platform, Magento, has significantly enhanced performance and loading speed. Magento has loading speed is 1.5 times faster than Magento 1 and offers seamless checkout options to the customers along with much more. Since it’s a self-hosted platform, you can choose your own server, adjust required factors to enhance the performance metrics.

5. Magento vs Shopify: The Costs

Shopify offers 4 different plans. They also offer 15 day free trial to help you evaluate features and functionality of the platform.

  1. Lite Plan: $9
  2. Basic Shopify Plan: $29
  3. Shopify Plan: $79
  4. Advanced Shopify Plan: $299

Magento Community edition is a free, open-source eCommerce platform that you can download and use. You will need your own hosting.

6. Transaction Fees

With Shopify, you don’t need to pay any additional transaction fees if you use their own payment gateway. If you’re using any other payment gateway or method (like COD), they charge fixed transaction fee as: 

  1. Lite Plan ($9/mo.): 2%
  2. Basic Shopify Plan ($29/mo.): 2%
  3. Shopify Plan ($79/mo.): 1%
  4. Advanced Shopify Plan ($299/mo.): 0.5%

With Magento, you don’t need to pay any transaction fees (other than the gateway provider’s fees). Varying from one payment gateway to another, these fees are applicable for Shopify as well.

7. Inventory Management

While both the platforms let you upload unlimited products, Shopify isn’t designed for large online stores. Shopify has an easy and simple interface that lets you manage your inventory. This e-commerce platform also enables direct integration to dropshipping inventory applications. 

Just like Shopify, Magento also offers easy inventory upload along with advanced features. It offers different variation possibilities (such as colors).

Top 10 World Brands Using MagentoTop 10 World Brands Using Shopify
Coca ColaBulletproof
Fox ConnectWaterAid
Warby ParkerThe Economist
OlympusNew York Times Shop
Rebecca MinkoffLeesa Mattress
VizioSunday Somewhere
Christian LouboutinPenguin Books
NikeRed Bull
NespressoLady Gaga Official Shop


Like I have mentioned earlier, there’s no one winner for every situation. Magento and Shopify are two best ecommerce platforms available in the market. With the release of Magento version 2.x, Magento might be an ideal solution for business of all sizes.

Started free trial of Shopify here.

Download Magento Open Source here.

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