When you are building an online store for your business, the sheer number of eCommerce solutions available to host and run the online side of the business can be a bit intimidating, to say the least.
But if you are a small business owner who is seriously considering taking their business online, then the decision to choose the right eCommerce platform can make or break your business. This is the reason why we are comparing two of the most well known eCommerce solutions in the market, Magento and Shopify, and helping you choose the right solution for your business.
Magento vs Shopify: Comparison
A quick overview
- Open source - free to install on your computer
- Best suited for enterprise level business
- Coding knowledge required, best works with development teams
- Limitless possibilities to design your store
- Easier to build eCommerce stores - suitable for small businesses
- Large community to help you out with queries
- Less coding knowledge required, platform best suited for small businesses
- Good backend with a host of ways to add functionality
We will be comparing Shopify and Magento, using the following 5 key parameters:
- Marketing apps and features
- Ease of Use
- Help and Support
- Sales Tools
1. Marketing apps and features
Shopify: Shopify makes marketing a lot easier, since it has an app for practically anything that you can think of.
From email marketing to apps to run Facebook ads and more, there is an app for practically anything and everything that you can think of. All the store owner needs to do is to install these apps on your store and get started with implementing them. There are 4000+ apps in the store as of today!
Magento: Magento is not as user friendly when it comes to marketing features as compared to Shopify, and the platform relies on its own Marketplace for the bulk of its marketing tools. To run email marketing campaigns, you will have to enlist the help of third-party tools such as Remarkety.
Scaling is also an issue when it comes to the use of marketing features by Magento. You will most likely require the help of a web developer if you want to truly use all the marketing features of Magento, whereas Shopify offers a tonne of in-built marketing features.
2. Ease of Use
If you are just starting out building your online store, chances are high that you probably don’t know your way around coding. This is why you need a platform that offers an easy learning curve.
Shopify is hands down the easier tool among the two when it comes to how easy it is to add a small detail, such as a product, to your eCommerce website. Shopify has a better on-boarding process and its editor is more user-friendly.
Shopify comes with a detailed step by step instructional wizard that helps you launch your online store with ease. Also available on Shopify is an extensive hub of documentation and how-tos, making it all the more easier for a newbie store owner.
Magento on the other hand comes with a steep learning curve. As someone who is just getting into the eCommerce game, the average small store owner will definitely need some hand-holding if they wish to use all of Magento’s features.
If you are short on time, have no patience to learn to code, and definitely don’t want to hire a programmer to add small details to your eCommerce site such as a product, then Shopify is definitely the tool for you.
Another important point to note is that Shopify offers a large number of themes compared to Magento. All the store owner has to do is to install one of them and customize it to match their store’s branding. So we have a clear winner when it comes to adding marketing features to your online store - Shopify.
Pricing is a key concern when it comes to an eCommerce store owner to choose a platform, especially when the resources are limited.
Shopify has the following pricing plans:
- Lite: $9/month
- Basic: $29/month
- Shopify: $79/month
- Advanced Shopify: $299/month
- Shopify plus : Based on requirements
Magento on the other hand has the following plans:
- Magento Startup: $9.95/ month
- Magento GrowBig: $19.95 / month
- Magento GoGeek: $29.95/month
In addition to these features, Magento also offers an Enterprise plan, but that is aimed at large customers.
Magento offers lower rates when you are starting out, but in addition to this, you also need to buy your own domain, which works out to $10 to $15 per month. So the overall cost comes out higher, and you’ll have to maintain your bills separately too!
4. Help and Support
If you are a small business owner who is just taking his business online, you need all the help you can get. You can be good at making Pizzas, have a big fan following for your clothes on Instagram, or be the owner of the hottest restaurant in town, but if you don’t know how to build an eCommerce store or hire Shopify developers, you are missing out on huge untapped potential for your business.
Shopify has a 24 * 7 customer support team, and has a great table of resources online, for anyone willing to do the hard work and learn the ropes. Thanks to the extensive documentation and a robust community forum, you will mostly find answers to your questions online, without the need to contact the support team.
Shopify also has a team of registered design and development experts as partners, to whom you can reach out in case of any queries.
Magento has a better list of online resources to support the customers who are building their eCommerce stores, since it is aimed at professional web developers who are comfortable with code. Magento is developed by SiteGround, who themselves offer excellent customer support, so it is a win-win for anyone willing to take their business online.
5. Sales channels
If you are running an eCommerce store, you need to hang out in the same online space that your ideal customer is frequenting. This means being very active on Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and other online marketplaces that your customers frequent.
If you are active on these channels, you can easily sell from these channels and Shopify gives you the option to track your inventory with ease.
Magento, on the other hand, needs a lot of technical integrations to be able to have a seamless flow of inventory and the ability to track sales from these channels leaves a lot to be desired.
So which one among the two would you choose? Both Shopify and Magento have similar features, but some of Magento’s more advanced features such as multi-channel selling are only available if you install expensive extensions. So Shopify wins this round too!
Magento vs Shopify: Which one should you choose?
We have told you which tools which work for which scenario. We have also given you the pricing of various tools. So which is the one tool you should choose for your small business?
The answer is subjective, and really depends on what you want out of your eCommerce store.
If you are leading a small team and are just setting up an online store for the first time, we would highly recommend Shopify. Here are some of the other reasons we recommend Shopify over Magento.
- Easy, customizable themes
- Not much technical dependency to get up and running
- Promotional built-in tools that are much more effective
- Shopify app market is super easy to use
- Allows multi-channel selling with no additional extensions required
- Dedicated support team to answer all your queries
- SEO friendly
- Easier to scale
How to migrate from Magento to Shopify
The migration process from Magento to Shopify will take the transfer of all the contents of the website and the transfer of the domain name. In addition to this, you will also need to make adjustments to your website and SEO settings to keep your Google Search Rankings intact.
With that information in our hands, let’s jump right into how we migrate.
Step 1: Sign Up for Shopify
Explore the features of Shopify, see what all the platform has to offer, and make sure that this is THE platform you want to build your eCommerce store on.
Once you sign up, the platform will ask your goal about using the platform, your industry and your email id. Provide these details and boom, you are ready for the next stage.
Step 2: Create a backup of your Magento store
When you are transferring all your data, you risk losing all your precious customer’s data if your migration falls apart, which is the nightmare of any store owner.
Create a backup of your magento store by going to your admin sidebar and selecting ‘System’ > ‘Tools’ and then ‘Backup’. Choose the type of backup you want to create and you are good to go.
Step 3: Download the Import Store App
By downloading the ‘Import Store’ app from Shopify’s App store, you will be able to migrate all your product and customer data to your Shopify app with ease.
As an alternative, you can also use other highly rated apps such as Excelify or Multichannel Importer. Before you do this, make sure you export all your data from Magento, which is explained in the next step.
Step 4: Export data from Magento
It is now time to pack all your unique customer and product data into files so that apps such as Shopify will understand them. How do you do it? You can use the same procedure as you did to create a backup of your store, from the Admin Sidebar.
On the Admin Sidebar, go to ‘System’> ‘Data Transfer’> ‘Export.’ Select if your entity type is ‘Products’ , ‘Customers Main file’ or ‘Customer’s Addresses.’ The final data will be in the form of a spreadsheet, which can be easily processed by Shopify.
Step 5: Import Store data to Shopify
The data which you have converted into a Shopify - friendly format is now ready for import!!
Simply go to the Shopify admin page and select ‘Apps’> ‘Import Store’ and then select ‘Magento’ from the drop down menu. Go to ‘Upload Files’ > ‘Add File’ and then select your exported file.
Step 6: Review Imported Data
When moving such crucial information such as customer data, you need to assure that nothing falls through the cracks. This means looking at every nook and corner of your imported data, to make sure all of the products or customers are successfully imported.
If any of your ‘Products’ or ‘Customers’ did go missing, you can always import them from the admin page
Step 7: Design your new Shopify Store
You have now reached the final step of the migration process, and designing your store on Shopify is super simple, thanks to all the ready-made themes and visual cues available. Choose from a range of themes available, and then sit back and relax, since these themes are mobile responsive.
Setting up an online store for your business is not a daunting task, and you need not be afraid of both these platforms when starting out for the first time.
We hope the above blog gave you a small intro as to how these platforms work.
But if you need help choosing an eCommerce platform or migrating from Magento to Shopify.