Intro – Magento vs. Shopify | 2017 Review & Comparison

Selecting the perfect ecommerce platform to create and manage your online storefront can be extremely daunting.

Simply take a look online and you will see various reviews and options out there. For example, prime competitors, such as Shopify vs. Magento or WooCommerce  vs. BigCommerce, will come up again and again.

If you are someone who is planning on entering into the world of ecommerce to open your online store or if you want to migrate your current storefront to another platform, there are numerous factors to consider.

Let’s take a look at the battle between Magento vs. Shopify as they are two of the most popular platforms.Magento vs. Shopify Review

Image source: Bigstock

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Magento vs. Shopify: Fundamental Features Comparison

There are many essential features that need to be considered when looking into ecommerce platforms such as Magento or Shopify. What features you need are dependent on what you are trying to do.

For example, if you simply want to place your products within a marketplace, such as eBay, Etsy or Amazon, you wouldn’t have much to consider. If you are venturing into ecommerce, you may be asking, “What is Magento and Shopify?” or you might be seeking information on Magento alternatives.

Simply put, Magento and Shopify are two of the top ecommerce platforms.

This Magento vs. Shopify review will provide you with an in-depth analysis of the two platforms so that you will have all the necessary information for deciding which is best for you.

Features to consider (Magento vs Shopify reviews):

  • Hosting & Security
  • Pricing: It Costs What?
  • Design: First Impressions Matter
  • Marketing: SEO, Promotions, and Selling Channels
  • Support

Let’s jump into the features and elements within the Shopify vs. Magento war of platforms and see how they compare.

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Shopify vs. Magento – Intro

Magento and Shopify are ecommerce platforms which provide you with solutions to market your products/services in a storefront. These ecommerce giants have been competing for some time and have a strong foothold in advancing their merchants’ selling experiences.

Magento boasts over $25 billion in merchant sales annually while Shopify pulls in approximately $14 billion. Shopify hauled in over 275,000 merchants, utilizing its platform annually, while Magento pulled in close to 240,000. Both pull in hordes of merchants, but the two diverge in many ways.

Hosting & Security

Is Shopify safe? What about Magento? Is Magento safe, even though it is an open source platform? The answer to both questions is yes.

From Magento to Shopify, being PCI compliant carries a connotation of safety, and, rest assured, they both are. They are, however, complete opposites when it comes to hosting.

When comparing Shopify to Magento, Shopify provides a robust hosting account, utilizing ServerCentral, where you can bring your domain or buy a new one for your site when you sign up for a plan. A blow below the belt, Magento requires its users to establish their own hosting (which can be provided by its partner, Magento also requires you to provide your own SSL certificates and web design.

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It Costs What?

The pricing of Magento and Shopify seems to be night and day. The champ, Shopify, markets itself as a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. It has a complete pricing structure which is easy to understand and provides a look into which features, fees, and selling avenues that each plan provides. Keep in mind that if you want an online store (click on chart to view), you have to get the basic plan.shopify pricing and fees

Image source: Shopify

Magento simply markets itself as a flexible, powerful OmniChannel solution to help you build and create your online store. Upon a Magento review of its service prices, it appears difficult to find any information on its website. One article, by John Rogillio, utilizes Magento for the individual’s online store. He seems to be very knowledgeable on the pricing and features available to Magento users (click on chart to view post).

Magento features - Custom vs. Framework

Image source: Magento

Design: First Impressions Matter

A Shopify review on design proved that design is the most important element in any storefront campaign. First impressions matter, and your brand must be brilliantly introduced. Magento’s and Shopify’s design elements are very distinct from each other. Within a Shopify vs. Magento review on items such as themes, navigation, app extensions, and quick loading compatibility with mobile devices, Shopify takes the cake once again.

Shopify and Magento platforms offer over 100 different themes to their merchants. There are extremely professional and customizable options in each suite. A Shopify review offered industry-based themes whereas a Magento review offered themes directed at specific platforms.

Navigational tools are a must when building a storefront. Both platform suites offer a help center or resource portal to their navigational tool sets.

Want a complete app store with what seems to be 100s, if not 1000s, of apps? Want social media and partner apps as well? Both Shopify and Magento deliver on all counts.

All things online need to be mobile-friendly in today’s chaotic world. Once again, the battle between Shopify vs. Magento go head to head in the mobile ready arena. The result is a stalemate between the two’s capabilities. The polar opposites actually offer similar help pages and resources to make your site mobile ready.

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Marketing: SEO, Promotions, and Selling Channels

Your business is to market your products/services and boost revenues. Marketing campaigns are multi-layered and a full-time job. Whether you choose Magento vs. Shopify, you have to worry about your selling channels, inventory management, shipping costs, promotional/advertising campaigns, discounts, and SEO to give you a small window into a very dark tunnel.

In this Shopify review, one will see that it offers great marketing tools within its platform. It has a whole portal for sales channel management. Reigning champ Shopify proves much more helpful with managing your inventory, customers, orders, and stats. It seems that the code-based Magento is strictly app-oriented while Shopify offers more resource-based options for selling via Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter

Upon a Magento review of its inventory management systems, it appears more app-driven. It does not provide a free service, and you have to be able to handle code writing in order to use these apps. The rock-solid Shopify provides a very detailed and organized inventory management system. It helps you manage product variation, assigning bar codes and tracking stock counts. Shopify relies on apps and plug-ins only to provide more support for your inventory systems.

Simply put, businesses that needs to ship products will face a giant hurdle with Magento. The setup and fees involved with app-based Magento are so overwhelming. However, the resourceful and helpful Shopify does a great job in walking you through the process. In its help center, there is a document center dedicated totally around shipping. Shopify will hold your hand from setup to assigning shipping zones.

Marketing on Shopify is much easier. SEO is a tough nut to crack, but it seems that it has its merchants covered. It offers customizable H1, title, and meta tag capabilities. On the other hand, a Magento review on marketing proved to be a little more overwhelming.

Promotions, discounts, and gift card options on the user-friendly Shopify are very simple to follow, with its free tools marketplace and blog posts on just about everything about marketing. However, the code-driven, more daunting Magento review showed that performing these marketing promos could cause a migraine.

This ultimate fight between Magento vs. Shopify comes down to customer support. The availability of support while using these ecommerce platforms possibly gains you an advantage in propelling your business to huge profits.

The hard-to-manage Magento, unfortunately, does not offer you full support if you are using its Community platform (much more support in the Enterprise edition). The ease of use between Shopify and Magento is very noticeable. Specifically when you need to be a great developer or dig around on Magento’s site to find what it is you are having trouble with. Below are some support areas on Magento’s site that prove useful:

Our champ, Shopify, excels at customer support. A quick Internet search for “Shopify support” brings this up first on the list:

Shopify Customer service 1 (888) 746-7439

Support guru Shopify has a great support resource on its site. It seems it is an open book with its knowledge and guidance to help you be a successful merchant.

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Shopify Without a Doubt

The Shopify review vs. Magento review provides several reasons why Shopify comes out ahead of Magento:

  • Provides hosting and support
  • Prices per service are much more manageable
  • Marketing and apps are superior
  • User-friendly to a non-developer/non-tech person

Quick Summary of a Few Magento Alternatives

If you are searching for an ecommerce platform which is in the Magento to Shopify range for your storefront, these are just two of many platforms out there today. Below are some other examples.

WooCommerce is a free ecommerce plug-in that works seamlessly with WordPress. It is a favorite ecommerce solution and it gives store owners and developers free reign over content and scalability.

Bigcommerce is comparable to Shopify in that it has a pricing structure and offers the same discount for upfront payment. Both have a very user-friendly interface and excellent support. The only difference would be what you get for the standard packages.

The price is the same for both, at around $29, but with the basic plan on Shopify, you don’t get a few items you would get with the standard plan at Bigcommerce. The standard plan on Bigcommerce gives you real-time carrier shipping, gift cards, and a rating/review system, which Shopify does not.

WiX Stores is an app you can drag & drop into your WiX website. It is very customizable, user-friendly, and actually quite fun, but you need the Premium edition to utilize it. There is an alternative app within WiX that you can use for free. It is powered by Ecwid and is a store where you can add your products or services to. They are both mobile-friendly, and you can sell on social media platforms as well.


We hope you found this review on Magento vs. Shopify helpful and engaging. As you can see, Shopify appears to be the superior choice; however, it may not be for everyone. This comparison of Magento and Shopify only represents two entities in a huge ecommerce world.

There are just as many pitfalls as wins, so do your own research and take your time. Find what works best for you and your brand, and get to work making money!

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