To make the right decisions during the Magento End of Life cycles, which are currently well underway, it is important to be equipped with the right information. You might be frustrated when trying to research, hit with thinly-veiled marketing materials from hundreds of companies explaining why their products are the best. To help you sift through this, we’ve taken our years of experience and combined it with the latest data to present to you a Magento vs Shopify vs Woocommerce, as well as some other leading platforms. We’ve highlighted each platform’s strengths and weaknesses, and you can be sure in the knowledge that this is totally independent advice, and whatever you choose to go with, AsOne can build and maintain an eCommerce store on any of these platforms.
When you’re weighing up a Magento vs Shopify comparison, it really should be a consideration of:
1. How automated is your business?
2. How well integrated are your business’ systems and processes?
3. How large of a budget do you have for development?
If your business isn’t a near-fully automated, large-scale operation, then all the tools that can be built into Magento might be wasted on you. If you haven’t got a large and continuous budget for development, maintenance and security, you might find that Magento’s developmental needs are too great for your business – just because it can be developed into anything you could possibly need, doesn’t mean that you need all of its functions, and there are cheaper options available when you strip your search back to functions that you really need. Choosing Magento means that you may also need full-time, highly skilled development staff to keep it secure, another cost that you will have to factor into your decision – as well as requiring a dedicated server.
The reason that Magento vs Shopify comparisons are so common is that they really serve businesses at opposite ends of the spectrum. Where Magento’s platform is only really suitable for large-scale operations that are highly integrated and automated, Shopify is great for those small stores, which may only have a few products. Certainly, when you’re starting out, Shopify is incredibly simple to use and start generating revenue.
This convenience does, however, come at a price. You have to buy add-ons as you scale up your business, and costs quickly begin to mount. This is compounded by the fact that on top of outright purchases, Shopify also takes 1% of revenue through your site – meaning that high-value, low margin products are not an option on Shopify stores.
When people dress up eCommerce choices as Magento vs Shopify, they really forget about WooCommerce, which is in our opinion the best solution for most businesses; for those business whose operations are too extensive and ambitious for Shopify, and yet not so integrated and automated as to be suitable for Magento. For those for whom Shopify is restrictive, but Magento is excessive, WooCommerce offers easy to use functions that can be optimised by anyone. You are unlikely to need ongoing specialist development support to the same degree as a Magento site, which saves you costs. What’s more, you won’t need to buy any expensive add-ons, as the out-of-the-box package comes with everything included that most shop owners need. As it’s final triumphant note, a wooCommerce shop is fast even on a shared server, meaning you save the cost of an expensive dedicated server without compromising UX.
Whilst a classic Magento vs Shopify vs WooCommerce comparison might stop there, we think it’s important to have all the facts available. So we’ve got two more platforms that you need to consider before you make your final decisions.
Another competitor to consider for a smaller business, BigCommerce is a direct competitor with Shopify and has many similar benefits and disadvantages. A simple, cheap-to-set-up basic plan seems incredibly inviting, you do need to purchase extra elements as add-ons (although BigCommerce’s out-of-the-box package is a little more extensive than Shopify’s). One advantage that BigCommerce does have over Shopify is that it does not charge a transaction fee – but when your sales exceed certain thresholds, you are required to upgrade your plan to more expensive versions. These costs aren’t astronomical though and with 24/7 support available, the only drawback in terms of maintenance is that it may be more difficult to find an expert to turn to in order to further develop your store – particularly if you are not based in the US where the platform is more popular.
Not as scalable as Shopify, but it doesn’t come with the exponentially rising costs either. If you don’t need to scale – for example, if you are running a hobby business that you don’t see making a full time living from or expanding beyond anything larger than a run-from-home operation, a Squarespace site might be a great option for you. Going for this platform also means you get access to a great support team at Squarespace – which might be another crucial factor if your business is small and you need technical support without additional expense.
As you can see, choosing your next eCommerce software is much more than a Magento vs Shopify choice, and there are actually a host of platforms for you to choose from. At AsOne, we have all the technical expertise to help guide you through the process on all platforms, as well as explaining the differences in a way that you understand, so that you can make the best decision for your business. Talk to our experts today on 0161 368 9100.
Quick Cost Comparison Between ECommerce Platforms
|Setup Cost (£)||<40,000||<3000||<15,000||<3000||<3000|
|Monthly Cost (£)||600-1200||23 – 230 + Apps||80 – 280||23-193, rising with increased revenue||20 – 30|
|5-Year Cost (£)||82,000||12,120 + 1% of revenue||18,780||14,580||4,800|