“Should I use Shopify or Magento?”

“Should I use Shopify or Magento?”

3 min read

Merchants looking to grow business online have a number of ecommerce platforms to choose from. Two of the most popular ecommerce platforms are Shopify and Magento. So, should you choose Shopify, or Magento?

Short Answer: There’s no best or worst platform. It’s about which ecommerce platform is best for YOUR business. And we’ve done the groundwork to help you decide…


The Teeter-totter Analogy

Two old friends take their kids to the park and comically find themselves teeter-tottering while talking about growing their businesses online...

One friend owns an enterprise-level business, with an inhouse web development team that can manage coding – his nickname is Buzz.

The other owns a successful independent business with great growth potential – his nickname is Woody.

There is no winning or losing in teeter-tottering (Unless someone jumps off the bottom while you’re at the top…. but I digress). Buzz and Woody are just two old friends with the common goal of growing business online, but with different needs and resources.

 Buzz COULD consider Magento   |    Woody SHOULD consider Shopify

Buzz MagentoTechnically Speaking: Magento is an awesome highly-flexible ecommerce platform. You’ve got to know what you’re doing to get the most out of it though. This isn’t a problem for Buzz though – he has a capable team to manage his coding.

Woody ShopifyTechnically Speaking: Shopify offers all the features an independent business owner like Woody wants, with much less of the hassle – making it easy for non-developers like him to build, manage, and market their own scalable online store.

Buzz MagentoFinancially Speaking: The more Buzz customizes the more he will need to spend, both on apps and his development team’s time/resources. If outsourcing his web technology/marketing team, a retainer might be a good idea.

Woody ShopifyFinancially Speaking: The infrastructure is hosted and maintained by the vendor, so these potential overheads are covered in Woody’s license fee. The price to get himself started can start as low as $29 per month.

Buzz MagentoCustomization: This extremely customizable platform can be built around Buzz’s specific needs in almost all respects, from the server it’s on to how it functions. Whether his customers are browsing on PC, Mobile, or Tablet, this platform integrates seamlessly. Buzz will have access to every metric he’ll ever need in order to create his personal marketing strategies.

Woody ShopifyCustomization: Shopify’s extensive themes are beautiful and, of course, customizable. Seeing as Woody doesn’t have his own in-house marketing team, he can also take advantage of built-in tools that help him formulate and analyze his personal digital marketing strategies. The platform is mobile commerce ready too. Woody can use his existing domain name if he likes, or simply purchase one through Shopify.

Time to Market: Even with an in-house development team, this won’t be quick for Buzz.

Time to Market: With Shopify’s ease of use, Woody’s time to market can be very short.

SUPPORT: If Buzz’s team gets stuck they can reach out on Magento’s user-run forum.

SUPPORT: If Woody is pulling his hair out over something, Shopify offers 24/7 Support.

Glitches in Magento’s Matrix:

  1. Slow to market: The complex system can take time to build.
  2. Having your own proficient developers at-the-ready comes at a premium price.
  3. Although the open-source platform is free to install, the costs of web hosting, apps, and security all add up.

Glitches in Shopify’s Matrix:

  1. Without your own development team you’ll need to research and implement the do’s and don’ts of running on-line stores.
  2. Although customizable, there is only so much one can do at the end of the day.
  3. There are a few limits when using certain tools, like API calls for example.

In Summary:

Want to know if you should use Shopify or Magento? Each of these ecommerce platforms has pros and cons. Shopify suits some merchants while Magento suits others. Generally, Shopify will suit independent business owners while Magento is better suited for an enterprise-level business with an in-house web development team or a dedicated retainer relationship with a suitable technology partner.

If you’re still uncertain about which platform is right for you, feel free to drop us a line and we’ll help you make the right decision for your business.

Masthead photo by Javier Allegue Barros

Daniel Connor
Daniel Connor

Hi, I’m Daniel. I was just a Creative Copywriter until ShopCreatify handed me the green pill and I entered the Shopify Matrix. ShopCreatify is basically my Morpheus. Let's see how deep the rabbit hole goes...