Shopify vs. Magento, Which is the Best eCommerce Platform?



The two most popular platforms today for eCommerce solutions are Shopify and Magento. For any eCommerce business, choosing the right platform to build, manage, and maintain the shop is paramount, because it’s the main factor to either succeed or fail. For small businesses and startups, choosing the appropriate platform is of extreme importance due to the limited budget and resources.

The Shopify platform has in a way a stranglehold in the ‘all-in-one, hosted’ platform market. Magento, on the other hand, is the largest player in terms of more complex and bigger eCommerce websites. Both platforms have boosted eCommerce development a great deal.

Shopify vs. Magento: A Feature Comparison

1. Basic online shop functionality.

Both platforms provide store functions that are relatively robust and easy for continuous maintenance as well. When it comes to set up, use, and maintain, Shopify is considerably easier. Basic features, including checkout modules, product pages, shopping carts are all available in the two platforms.

The key difference is that Magento has significantly more advanced and intermediate built-in features. Often, you need an app for extended functionality with Shopify.

2. Managing inventory.

All plans for Shopify enable unlimited store products. Magento allows creating and selling unlimited products as well. Products could be created and collected on both platforms. Nonetheless, Shopify gets the edge here because of the direct dropshipping inventory apps integration, such as for instance the Oberlo app.

Keep in mind though that although Magento enables virtually unlimited products, the performance of the host or server and loading speed could turn out to be serious concerns when adding too many products, something that’s not a problem with Shopify because it’s a completely hosted and managed solution.

3. Payment gateway alternatives.

The major edge goes to Shopify, with support for more than 70 payment gateways. Magento is at a slight disadvantage with support for lesser gateways. However, more gateways could be added to Magento through third-party add-ons.

The key issue with Shopify is that it sorts of pressures you to go with the built-in payment gateway. The gateway of the platform has zero percent cost, but third-party gateways have corresponding fees.

4. An array of templates and themes.

Both platforms offer a wide collection of templates and themes for a look and feel that suits products and tastes. The free themes in Shopify may be lesser compared to Magento, but the themes, in general, are more contemporary than those in the Magento Open Source.

5. Shipping costs calculation.

Shopify and Magento allow powerful and flexible options for shipping charges calculation, which is one of the most essential and basic aspects of selling goods through an eCommerce storefront. There are several dropshipping tools that Shopify integrates, along with shipping estimates and more exact calculators that could be helpful if you want to be as accurate as possible.

6. Discounts and coupons.

Shopify is at a disadvantage here since it does not have this feature on its Lite Plan, but available on all the other paid plans. Magento, on the other hand, enables the creation and calculation functions to discount code from the very beginning.

7. Multi-lingual capabilities.

Shopify does not offer directly offer thorough multi-lingual capabilities. For building fully multi-lingual stores, paid and/or third-party applications are available for Shopify. Another available option is to custom code the theme so it would have multilingual capabilities.

Nevertheless, you likely would have to find an experienced Shopify development company to complete the job. Magento has the edge here, with more in-built multi-lingual support.

8. Capabilities for customization.

Both offer strong customization capabilities through an advanced interface. It enables direct editing of raw HTML/CSS code to provide entire control over the design as well as the look and feel of the store. Nonetheless, Shopify has an edge here with a menu-driven, simple method to change better store attributes, like colors, fonts, and more.

Customizing with Magento is difficult since all the code is open source. The unrestricted form to customize could only be used by those with deep knowledge and expertise in web programming and knowledge in HTML/CSS coding.


Shopify and Magento are both robust eCommerce platforms. Shopify provides much usage ease due to its being a fully managed and hosted service. The Magento platform, although free would require a hosting purchase and having to do the installation and setup of the software/system yourself, something that only tech-savvy persons could do.

Shopify is more user-friendly compared to Magento. You could get online faster, with team support close at hand. Magento is more a project and takes time and technical knowledge to bring the vision to life, thus you would be greatly reliant on a Magento forum or developers.

Ultimately, Magento has more power than Shopify. While the potential of Shopify is not overlooked, it’s behind most of the large brands you purchase daily. The payment processing of Magento lends itself to a store that operates on a worldwide level.

The choice really would depend on the goals you set up for your eCommerce business, the extent of the market you want to reach, and the most suitable platform that best fits your store concept.

Author Bio:

Olivia Diaz is working at eTatvaSoft, an Enterprise level Mobile Application Development Company. Being a tech geek, she keeps a close watch over the industry focusing on the latest technology news and gadgets. Follow me on Twitter.

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