Replatforming to a new ecommerce platform can be a transformative process for any online store. You can unlock new features, streamline processes and drive additional revenue just with the platform your store is built on.
A common consideration is between Magento 2 and Shopify – two popular platforms for retailers across many verticals. Magento 2 now offers cloud-hosted capabilities with their Magento 2 Commerce Cloud platform and whilst, traditionally, Shopify has exceeded at cloud, how do the two platforms now compare and contrast?
#1 – Pricing
The most clear comparison between the two platforms is price. Shopify plans do initially appear cheaper than Magento, but calculating true cost is always case dependent.
Shopify Plus may initially appear to be cheaper, but you have to explore the cost for partner services, extensions and apps, third parties and the added costs for implementing customisability and features unavailable as standard.
While subscription costs for Shopify’s basic plans are lower, Shopify has significant capability and feature gaps compared with Magento 2 Commerce Cloud. Closing those gaps quickly adds costs and any customization or deviation from Shopify’s basic templates will incur additional customization and implementation costs.
#2 – Multi-Store Management
Magento certainly has stronger capabilities for multi-store management and multi-sites. Firstly, Magento 2 Commerce Cloud offers the opportunity to manage your multiple stores and site under one account. This was a key reason why Augustinus Bader migrated their seven Shopify Plus sites over to one Magento 2 site with us.
Magento also allows for up to five sites and licenses, whilst Shopify Plus only allows for one site per license.
For internationalisation, managing multiple sites is crucial. You need a platform that can allow you to manage these sites with ease and not hinder you with the challenges that a limited platform brings.
#3 – Multi-Currency
Similarly, multi-currency is also crucial for internationalisation. Ecommerce platforms that offer multiple currency options are key for expansion into markets outside of the UK, and Magento offers this currency configuration with ease.
Shopify does not offer support for local languages, currencies, search engines, social media, and payments. Shipping options are also weak or non-existent. Multi-currency support also depends on your payment gateway provider.
#4 – Pricing Rules, Coupons and Promotions
Shopify Plus does offer extended pricing rules and promotions with their added functionality tools such as Shopify Flow and Launchpad, but historically this has been a challenge for many Shopify users. Even with the added tools, the complexity is certainly still limited.
Magento 2 Commerce Cloud offers flexible pricing rules, coupons and promotions and even store credit. Magento also offers unlimited product variations whilst Shopify has a limit of 100 variants per product, significantly limiting the flexibility and complexity in your pricing and promotions.
#5 – B2B and Wholesale
Shopify is primarily a B2C platform with limited B2B capabilities. Shopify Plus can handle B2B and does have some enterprise features such as restful APIs and SKDs to integrate with back-end systems, along with integration with ERPs, PIMs, OMSs, CRMs and third party logistics etc. However, the platform lacks key B2B features such omni-channel, order management capability, wholesale functions, support for complex and digital products, advanced analytics, and BI.
Magento however offers these features seamlessly and, with its partner ecosystem, have more B2B experience as a whole. This enables Magento to be a long-term partner in empowering B2B retailers with their ecommerce journey.
#6 – Self-Service vs Agency Management
Both platforms offer a number of trusted, professional agencies who are experts on the platform. Shopify is known to be one of the easiest ecommerce platforms to manage internally, but this is with the caveat of only if you use their default templates and standard feature set.
If you’re looking for a platform that your whole team can use with ease, including warehouse teams, marketing teams, ecommerce teams and more, you may wish to explore Shopify but there is the risk of relinquishing control over your customer experience by keeping with their basic features. Shopify’s self-service model is great for simple online stores, but Magento has the platform to deliver ecommerce that can adapt and scale for a wide variety of use cases and across many industries.
When it comes to design and development of your store, you would need a Shopify partner to work with their proprietary Liquid language, so it isn’t entirely DIY and self-service. Without the knowledge or an agency to work with, you are certainly limiting flexibility and interoperability with third party systems.
Magento 2 Commerce Cloud vs Shopify
Magento 2 Commerce Cloud brings the benefit of cloud, flexibility and full customisation without the restrictions that Shopify struggles with. Shopify and Shopify Plus lack the sophisticated features required by many growing mid-market and enterprise retailers, such as DOM, complex products, multi-brand and multi-sites, predictive and advanced analytics, logistics and fulfilment, integration APIs and heavy customisation.
Magento is a more flexible, scalable and customisable platform, whilst Shopify provides basic ecommerce capabilities with limited customisation capability, but with some extensibility.
Ultimately, it boils down to what customer experience you are offering your customers. If you’re designing a feature-rich experience, you will need a platform with complexity and scalability.
The world of ecommerce changes rapidly – all features mentioned in this article for Magento 2 and Shopify are accurate at the time of writing.