Anyone who has wanted to set up a site with e-commerce has come across Magento and Shopify. These have been the two most accessible e-commerce platforms but they are used differently by various companies. Magento is regarded to be the ideal platform for mid to big sized businesses whilst Shopify has been utilized by all and medium enterprises. Things have changed now as these platforms are vying to take over the e-commerce industry.
Shopify has launched its newest version, Shopify Plus which is set to give Magento and Magento Enterprise a run for its money.
It addresses the myth that has plagued Shopify for years. The myth that Shopify is only good enough for small businesses needs to be addresse. Even before Shopify Plus, this e-commerce platform was the best platform to create and manage an e-commerce store, not just retailers that sold small products. The new Shopify Plus has raised the bar as high volume merchants looking to move away from traditional enterprise applications, continue to grow and thrive on the platform.
Magento is the biggest e-commerce platform. Since its launch in 2007, Magento has managed to attract over a quarter of a million merchants from around the world. Magento was created to empower online retailers of all sizes with e-commerce tools and in response to demand by big enterprises, Magento offered the Enterprise version which is used by big companies and retailers like Hermes, Paul Smith, Nike and other. The growth of Magento has a lot to do with the community which has helped create and publish great documentation.
Shopify might have begun as a platform focusing on SMEs, and retailers who are looking to trade online without being bogged down by technicalities. Setting up a Shopify store is easy. It can be done in a matter of minutes. Since its inception in 2006, it has drawn a lot of small businesses who love how simplicity. Shopify has now launched Shopify Plus, a premium package that is geared at serving medium to large retailers and large volume online sellers.
Shopify Plus Vs Magento and Magento Enterprise – Let’s look at how these two e-commerce platforms stack up against each other:
Shopify Plus is a fully hosted, SaaS e-commerce platform. It is the next generation e-commerce platform. Magento is a self-hosted e-commerce solution which means unlike Shopify, it does not get monitored and upgraded as constantly as it should for maximum efficiency.
Shopify offers hosting and offers security for your hosted site too. You don’t have to understand the specifics of how it is done. It should give a lot of merchants’ peace of mind knowing that their transactions are protected and that the site protecting them is constantly upgrading its systems. Shopify Plus is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant. This means that your data is protected by the same security protocol that is used to protect bank products like credit cards and debit cards. So not only can a business rest easy knowing that their site won’t crash, but online shoppers can be assured that their information is secure and protected. those who have a Magento site, need to find their own hosting solution. Magento does not offer hosting in its monthly package. A hosting solution for an e-commerce site can cost more than $4,500 depending on the size of your store. There is a cloud version of Magento that has been recently released but how this will ease the burden remains to be seen. Magento is also known to be heavy to host. It has tons of code and requires a lot of resources and a lot of optimization to get it running quickly. To make up for this some sites use extensions like Turpentine which requires the user to reconfigure your server. In addition to leaving the hosting to users, the platform leaves the security of theirs sites on the shoulders of users. All this is a lot of work that will take many hours. This is why Shopify Plus would be a better option than Magento Enterprise.
Shopify Plus is more cost effective as far as hosting is concerned, you will get value for money from the features you get from its hosting solution. You pay a minimal fee that offers top notch features. With Magento Enterprise you have to spend time and more money getting your hosting just right. Magento Enterprise is the kind of platform that might drive you to find a service provider to manage your site.
Shopify Plus is built to handle small and big businesses, it can handle quick and high volume purchases during flash sales and intense traffic that comes when there are special sale days. Shopify Plus is capable of receiving and processing thousands of transactions per minute without overwhelming your site to the point of shutting down. A lot of big enterprises that have often complained about how Magento Enterprise had the tendency of crashing in the middle of a big volume transaction window leaving customers frustrated and costing the business money in lost revenue. With Shopify Plus customers can have an enjoyable browsing experience with no limit on sales volumes and no bandwidth restrictions. There are no transaction fees so your business can grow without needing to worry you about being taxed for being successful.
Magento has always been known for having the best extensions and apps that make online stores function like they should. However, Magento apps need a little bit of coding knowledge to get around them. If you are a growing business running some of these apps might turn out to be more of a pain. Magento extensions are less stable it opens up unstable integrations between third-party vendors which will lead to inefficiencies that frustrating and inconveniencing.
From the beginning, Shopify Plus has prioritized quality and maintained a high standard on what apps they approve to be available to their customers. By holding all the apps to a high standard, this keeps out anything that will have excessive bugs or faults.
Shopify Plus also has the capabilities to offer thousands of professional apps from their Shopify App store. Businesses can also create integrated solutions that connect their stores with IT platforms using Shopify Plus API. This means businesses can create seamless integrations with independent CRM, ERP and other systems they use.
In addition to all that, Shopify Plus has an extensive community of developers and designers that they have partners with to work on creating unique customer experiences. So if your site needs a custom feature, a deeper social media plan Shopify Plus can provide businesses with the support they need.
Of course, if you cannot find the feature or app that you need you need to find a way to build it yourself. This used to be a bit of a challenge because as a hosted platform Shopify Plus didn’t allow FTP access. Developers had to go through the API or at the front end. The new and improve Shopify version has changed all that. Shopify has released scripts that make it easier for developers to create their own customizations. These scripts allow developers entry into Shopify’s servers to make their own customizations. Custom scripts reduce the time one needs to spend customizing. Having scripts gives website owners more flexibility and more control.
Creating customizations with Magento Enterprise is a bit hard because it does not have a standard code. You can contract someone to develop and build a customization for you which is another cost you could do without. And with you running your own hosting, it becomes hard to find someone to tell you whether you have good code or not.While Magento calls on you to add an extra level of IT, Shopify Plus removes that extra for a more efficient e-commerce platform.
Templates and Themes
Magento has thousands of templates and themes available fromMagento Connect store and elsewhere. Shopify has always been lagging with this, although Shopify Plus has improved on the offerings, the volumes aren’t nearly as big as the ones Magento has. Magento has always been Pro design and a lot of designers have taken advantage of the seemingly high budget that Magento has to create a prodigious amount of themes for Magento.
Shopify Plus and Magento Enterprise both have free and first-class themes. Magento themes are considerably cheaper than the Shopify Plus ones because of the sheer volume. A lot of these themes are of poor quality created by people looking to try their luck at coding. So, having more themes that are cheap does not guarantee quality. Shopify Plus is a little bit more discerning and isn’t loading themes for the sake of loading themes.
Shopify Plus and Magento Enterprise offer the same products like catalog management, product views, and other features. Magento Enterprise has more features than Shopify like bundled products, wish lists and capabilities for upselling products. Shopify Plus has a couple of add-ons and of course, you may need to rely on third party offers.
Shopify Plus apps are much easier to set up. And a lot of users appreciate the fact that most apps do not require the added cost of having a developer that you’ll have to pay. If they are so easy for people to do add them without any technical expertise then it means your business can save money and free up that resource for other things. Third party applications are also easy to install, this helps ease the burden off your development team – they can focus on creating things that aren’t already in the market instead of spending time re-inventing the wheel and costing you money.Magento is a bit complicated. If you are adding an extension that is in conflict with your module, the app you want to add will need heavy customization. In Magento, even the smallest changes can end up costing you more money than you should have to spend.
Magento and Shopify both have great marketing capabilities. They can increase the visibility of your store and convert traffic to customers. From a Search Engine Optimization point, they aren’t exceptionally different. They have a problem with the indexing of dynamic pages. Magento is a bit better in this respect as it provides additional options and modules that can help with things redirect management, control over robots, structured data and more.
Magento Enterprise and Shopify Plus both have email marketing tools integrated with the platforms. Magento has a little bit more than Shopify Plus. It has features to create coupons, promotional bundles. For Shopify, you need to find the marketing extras from its marketplace. Magento might have great marketing tool but Shopify Plus has the best social media capabilities. You can sync your social media accounts from Facebook to Snapchat and to shopping pins.
It is important for businesses to spread information about themselves in different spaces. When it comes to selling across varying channels, shoplift has built-in capabilities that make this easy. While both platforms have the capability to populate their message across multiple channels, Shopify has out of the features that make offline selling possible and selling over social media platforms. Shopify had entered into a partnership with platforms like Facebook and Pinterest. This means businesses can integrate their business with social media platforms. Shopify has a point-of-sale that has a card reader that enables businesses to sell wherever they are.
Shopify Plus also accepts more payment gateways including Bitcoin and PayPal. This enables companies to have a wider each over different countries and regions. Being accessible, even if it is not on a one-on-one basis, but over social media allows businesses to have somewhat of a direct contact with customers and reach potential ones.
Customer service: Being treated like a VIP
Shopify has Plus Account Managers that it offers to its users. These account managers are there to provide a personalized service. They work hard at ensuring that you get the best service. They oversee daily operations of the site and will alert you when things are not working out. Businesses on Shopify get discounts and an immediate access to the company’s 24/7 support service priority support phone number.
Shopify and Magento both have a network of experts that are available to customers. You can gain access to these people to get the technical information and designs you need. The networks provided offer more that technical advice but sometimes you can get very valuable information, after all, they have seen companies like yours wax and wane on the networks.
Magento’s developers and experts might outnumber Shopify’s mainly because Magento is an open-source platform. It attracts a lot of programmers and developers who are constantly perfecting code and other things. There are a couple of agencies that maintain Magento stores. Shopify Plus focuses on the end-user. While Magneto developers make it a point to meet and share information at a conference and other events, the Shopify developer community is still so small that there aren’t that many meetings that take place. The one benefit for Magento users is that in all the vastness of codes you are bound to find one person who might have come across a specific problem.
Because of the SaaS platform, Shopify Plus can offer better customer support than Magento. Magento actually relies on support from its community. There aren’t any customer representatives to attend to your query via phone, chat or email. You need to find forums that can help you resolve a Magento problem. The easiest way is to becomes partner with a local Magento specialist that you can consult if you have specific problems with your Magento store.
Shopify has a dedicated community but it also has representatives that you can call. There are blogs and forums and a knowledge base that you can have easy access to online. Shopify also handles upgrades and security patches which are something you will not get from Magento.
Shopify Plus has its own community of users who are willing to share tips about making the most out of using the platform. To learn as much as you need to about Shopify you can go online. There is all sorts of information on e-commerce platforms and Shopify specifically want to. If you want to learn or you have a technical problem you would like to discuss with someone, there are hundreds of forums, websites and forums offering advice.
Magento is an open source platform. You can download it for free however, you need to be mindful of the cost of hosting the site for shared hosting. Magento has a lot of good specialist hosting companies that can host your site for you. Magento hosting is probably one the most complex processes that you can get into if you are a non-technical person. The cost can be driven up by any extra features you may require. You might also incur costs if you are using third party modules.
There are thousands of businesses making their move from their ecommerce platforms to Shopify:
A certain merchant who started selling his products from his garage became absolutely bowled over when orders for more started to come from everywhere. He found that the numbers of clients and the amount of products on demand was higher than he had anticipated. He needed an e-commerce platform that would be quick but would be user friendly enough for customers to want to use. As the business grows, his ecommerce platform has had to improve. He found Shopify to be easy, user friendly and scalable.
After going through a couple of platforms the first time he changed platforms, he found that the one he was using it did not deliver on promises and could not supported rapid growth.
The second platform could not be scaled to cover a growing sales force that was spreading further into the country.
The third platform charged tens of thousands to add important features.
The forth platform kept going down which frustrated customers. When customers are frustrated they click away.
After all those first attempts, the company moved to Shopify Plus and since then the company doubled its conversions, had significant year-on-year sales growth and drew the attention of investors.
The company reported that with Shopify, customers are reaching the checkout stage and not leaving the site in the middle of the browse. The best part is that not only were they getting customers who were looking for their particular brand of product but some people just stumbled upon their site and lingered long enough to have their interest piqued.
For this particular company, the customer experience was important and they were not getting a sense that their previous platforms were taking it as serious as they did. The fact that Shopify plus was drawing so many customers and conversions showed that customers enjoyed browsing through and shopping for what they wanted.
The Founder of said company has said that they could have done thing differently had they went to Shopify. The reason he, thinks they overlooked it as a viable platform was that it could handle volumes generated by small businesses. They now realize how wrong they are and have since not stopped to laud praises on Shopify Plus ad the game changer that has seen their sales orders grow by up to 174%. So what’s next?
Shopify is offering anyone who still on the fence about moving platforms. The price of a Shopify Plus site is low, the outlay id negligible and the features are remarkable. Offers to move Magento sites over to Shopify have been made and they will do the migration for free subject to you signing a two year contract.
A lot of people don’t like the idea of being locked into a contract. The downside with this deal is that if Shopify made changes you didn’t like, you cannot up and leave. Allowing yourself to be locked in means you are pledging that you will go along with everything they dole out.
The good thing is that Shopify has a good track record and a reputation for putting their customers first.
Immigration could be an easy risk to take. Having said that, and everything outline above, it is clear that Shopify Plus is a great platform, one that will foster the growth of many companies regardless of how big or small they are.