Magento is the most installed eCommerce platform in the world and has a huge community of developers. Shopify Plus is the fastest-growing eCommerce platform. How are they different? How are they similar?
And which one is right for your business?
Fresh off our most recent Shopify Plus project, we asked one of the development teams involved to compare and benchmark the current versions of both platforms: Magento 2 Commerce (formerly Magento 2 Enterprise) vs. Shopify Plus.
Disclaimer: this comparison was conducted in 2018 using a variety of sources and is subject to change.
1. Which platform best supports the customer journey?
We suggest looking at case studies produced by the different web platforms. Are reputable businesses of your size using this platform? When you visit the websites in question, how is the user experience?
Shopify Plus specializes in small and medium-sized B2C companies whereas Magento 2 is ideal for mid to upper market, multinational enterprises with more complex needs (including B2B).
2. Which platform is better optimized for mobile? / mCommerce ready?
Why is mobile important? Absolunet’s 2018 Q1 Canadian eCommerce Index reported a whopping 76% growth in mobile transactions among Canadian consumers.
When properly configured, both Shopify and Magento provide easy mobile browsing experience for consumers. For B2B transactions and service, however, Magento’s feature-set and options outweigh Shopify Plus. In all fairness, Shopify doesn’t claim to be a B2B platform.
Both the web platform and the agency you choose should have a proven track record of profitable mobile sites that make the end-customer’s life easier while on-the-go.
3. Which platform integrates best with your other technologies (ERP, CRM, POS, etc.)?
And will you need custom-built connectors?
Start by listing the features your business requires. Order them by must-haves, nice-to-haves, and so forth. Then check to see which kinds of extensions can already be integrated with the platform.
This could be for product information management solutions (like inRiver), email marketing (like dotdigital), fraud protection (like Signifyd), shipping & fulfillment (like ShipStation or an integrated Order Management System), and more.
4. How much will it cost and what are the “hidden” fees?
Different platforms have different pricing formulas. Here are some of the factors and metrics that eCommerce platform vendors might take into consideration when citing a price:
- Your website’s current revenue
- Your current Average Order Value (AOV)
- Your type of business (B2C or B2B)
- Current and future channels
- Traffic during peak periods
- Quantity of promotions
- Number of products or SKUs
You will need to reach out to the platform for updated pricing.
5. Will my team be able to use it?
Your team members will be adding products and doing the day-to-day tasks. Get a demo so you can see the platform’s dashboard and user interface. Is it inviting? Intuitive?
6. Is it built for business-to-business (B2B)?
B2B has its own complexities, like:
- Multiple Sales Channels
- CPQ – Configure Price-Quote
- Customer Side Spend Management
- Line of Credit and PO Purchasing
- Customer Side Approval Workflows
- Complex, configurable products
- Customer specific pricing & catalogs
- Advanced customer administration
- Punchout / Round Trip Procurement
- Regional Product Mix
7. Which is more scalable? Magento or Shopify?
Like the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If your growth plan includes expansion into other markets, will the platform grow with you? Can it handle regional and linguistic differences?
Clearly set your objectives for the short, medium and long term and choose a platform that will grow with you in order to avoid a costly platform change down the line.
Other Magento Commerce vs. Shopify Plus dynamics
Products, Catalogs, Search
Content Management (CMS)
So what’s the answer?
Are you doing B2B? Then without hesitation, Magento is the platform for you. Even if B2B is a smaller portion of your business, Magento still gives you crucial functionality and advantages.
Do you have multiple sites serving multiple regions? Magento will be a better fit when it comes to total cost of ownership (TCO) and efficiency.
Are you doing B2C alone? Or pure-play? Shopify works great for companies with less complexity.
Are you a large retailer/merchant? We recommend a more comprehensive assessment.
With your needs and priorities in mind, ask in-depth questions to both platform vendors and by all means, involve the eCommerce agency you might work with in the process.
Before any development happens, consider conducting an eBusiness Plan with senior-level eCommerce experts.
The information listed in this comparison was compiled from multiple sources by Ken Nguyen, Backend Web Developer and Nicolas Johnson, Frontend Web Developer at Absolunet.