Categories: Insights

Shopify vs Magento: Which One Is The Better Choice?

With the existence of multiple eCommerce platforms, it is hard to choose which one works best for your brand. On the understanding of those concerns, today’s article will compare two of the most popular systems, Shopify vs Magento, from different perspectives to help you gain an overview and decide what is the best fit for your company. 

Shopify vs Magento: Overall Description

Shopify was founded in Ottawa, Canada in 2004 by three programmers. Shopify is famous for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. They also offer payment gateway, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools for online retailers. As of June 2019, the company had 1,000,000 businesses in approximately 175 countries using its platform with a revenue of 1.58 billion USD. 

To use Shopify, business owners don’t need to be a tech-savvy. The platform is a hosted solution, specifically designed for users with only basic technological knowledge. 

Magento was founded in 2008, best known for its flexibility and customization. In 2018, Adobe acquired Magento. Inc for 1.68 billion dollars. Although it offers functions to help amateurs develop their own brand, this platform is more suitable for intermediate to advanced users with coding and technical skills. For enterprises and corporations with professional developers teams, Magento is highly recommended as it requires self-hosting, install and setup. 

Shopify vs Magento: On The Front End

Shopify vs Magento: Ease Of Use

Ease of use should be one of your first priorities when choosing a platform for your company. In the end of the day, the chosen one has to help you run your store smoothly and conveniently or else, sales loss will most likely happen. 

Magento is open-source which means the code is freely available and modified when Shopify is the complete opposite. However, due to the high involvement of coding, Magento is not a wise option for beginners or first-time users. Even with Magento Open Source (the regular version of Magento), it requires users to at least learn some codes, including PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript, as there are a lot of technical terms business owners need to acknowledge to maximize the platform potential. 

Shopify has the best advantage when it comes to ease of use. With its wizard mode, Shopify allows non-technical users to comfortably move around on the platform to set up their stores properly. Business owners can easily adjust the basic design of the store websites by a drag-and-drop editor and easy-to-use tools. 

Considering the fact that Shopify is aimed towards beginners, many different types of help and support are made available on this platform, including: 

  • 24/7 Support Through Phone/Live Chat/Email
  • Social Media Support
  • Community Forum
  • Help Center
  • Video Tutorials
  • Advanced Specialist Support

Meanwhile, Magento is designed for professional web developers, which means the calibre of its users’ knowledge is extremely high. The platform only has SiteGround’s superb support, which scores really high in regards to the help and support category for hosting platforms. 

In this term, Shopify seems to be a better option. 

Shopify vs Magento: On The Back End

Shopify vs Magento: Product Management

Shopify has a full range of product management tools, which enable businesses to track stock levels, monitor orders, and update product listings. It can be easily set up on the platform to automatically mark products as sold out. Other than that, customers can have different product variations, such as size, color, material, prices or weight by dividing into many specific categories to choose from. 

Magento offers more advanced product management functions with higher prices, including full support for simple, configurable, grouped, bundle and virtual product management. It is easy to create, edit, remove or assign categories to multiple products at once. For the comprehension purpose, Magento has a category tree with multi-layers subcategories,  in which we can assign goods to them in bulk by using the drag-and-drop or import function. 

Making product search more accurate on Magento with customized product grid, which can be adjusted with standard and custom product attributes. The platform can integrate goods into marketplaces, generate barcodes and make many other advanced actions from the grid via the context menu. 

Both platforms allow users to add unlimited products to their stores. You can create and remove products and collections easily from these platforms. However, in terms of product management, Shopify is preferred because of its direct integration to dropshipping inventory apps like Oberlo. Despite being able to sell an unlimited number of products, the Magento server performance and speed might turn out to be serious issues if there are too many products uploaded – something you don’t have to worry about with Shopify since it is a fully managed and hosted solution. 

Shopify vs Magento: Abandoned Cart Recovery

Abandoned cart recovery detects when a customer has put a product in their online bag but leaves right before making a payment and automatically sends an email to convince them to complete their order. According to a survey, nearly 70% of your shoppers will abandon their carts at checkout. Fortunately, both Shopify and Magento are built-in with this function, which is a huge advantage for customers to make use of. 

No matter what plan users choose on Shopify, it all includes abandoned cart recovery. With a few clicks on this platform, you can manage to get the most out of this valuable feature. A typical example is to send an email with discount codes or coupons to encourage customers to return to your store, and choose whether to manually create emails, or set them up to send automatically. Abandoned cart recovery can win back averagely 12-15% of customers, which is a whole lot of sales that would have been lost without this feature. 

As for Magento, it does not require any coding for this function. The system will ask the user to manually input several information in order to work properly. First of all, Magento needs to know the length of payment delay for a cart to be listed as abandoned. Then, users tell the platform when to send the first series of abandoned cart campaigns to customers. Lastly, determining what type of campaign users want to send to the cart owner, maybe an encouraging email with or without a coupon/discount code. 

How To Set Up Abandoned Cart Recovery Campaign on Magento

It’s a tie. Shopify and Magento have similar abandoned cart recovery functions available. Therefore, it can’t be said which one is better in this sense. 

Shopify vs Magento: Security

For an online business, security is fundamental as there are thousands of websites that are hacked daily. Business owners need to ensure to have the best security plugins and updates available on their websites to prevent any information leaked or money heist. 

In this sense, SSL encryption and Level 1 PCI DSS compliant are in service on Shopify, that make your site automatically be protected. Moreover, the platform is very popular for protecting customer’s sensitive information (bank card number, phone number, address, etc.) during their shopping experience with the store websites.

In Magento, the security level entirely depends on yourself to set it up, which gives you the flexibility to adjust it in whatever way you are capable of. . Magento’s security is very tight and robust, where you are required to be hands-on and follow PCI compliance by yourself. To make it easier, Magento usually sends patches to keep you up-to-date with new security features out there. 

Magento offers a better security system but it requires professional coding skills. For amateurs and beginners, Magento might not be a great idea to choose. Instead, Shopify is more suitable. Even though it doesn’t have advanced features, it is simple to use and has enough functions to properly protect our site. 

Shopify vs Magento: Apps and Add-ons

Adding extra features to your online store is highly recommended to better manage your store. In most cases, the built-in functions on both platforms are not enough for your eCommerce desires. Fortunately, Shopify and Magento both offer up to 5000 free and paid options for apps, extensions, and add-ons. 

Apps in different areas of business such as marketing, product filter & search, orders and shipping, or finance are placed at your fingertips on Shopify App Store. The app’s price is significantly varied, from $7/month to $2000/month. 

Shopify App Store

Among over 5000 extensions and apps to select from Magento Marketplace, 1970 of those are free. 10% of the paid choices cost around $30/month while other extensions can cost up to $2000/month. The price fluctuation depends on the development agency that creates them. 

Magento App Store

Magento offers more advanced apps but they lack basic built-in functions. A typical example is Facebook. On Magento, it costs $199 to integrate your online store with Facebook while this function is free on Shopify. Furthermore, apps on Magento require coding knowledge to install, which is more suitable for large corporations with developer teams. Therefore, in regards to apps and add-ons, Shopify is the winner because its App Market is easier to use and offers more polished apps than Magento’s. 

Shopify vs Magento: Payment Processors And Transaction Fees

Whichever eCommerce platform you choose, it should be embedded with plenty of ways to take payments. After all, you can only gain profits from your site after the transactions happen safely. 

Shopify and Magento all let you take online credit card payments and other transactions from your customers. However, Shopify charges extra fees of up to 2.9%  and transaction fees of 30 cents. If users use Shopify Payments, an integrated payment processor by Shopify, the transaction fees of 30 cents would be waived but the extra fees are unavoidable. 

Shopify supports more than 100 different payment processors add-ons for familiar platforms like PayPal or Amazon Pay, which can be set up and implemented quickly. However, it is worth considering that customers will need to pay extra fees for each transaction made. 

Shopify External Payment Integrations

Meanwhile, Magento has over 150 payment processor integrations. It asks for a bit more work to set up because users are not working with a hosted platform. You will need a different set of skills, including coding. Additionally, Magento’s apps give users access to many payment options in different languages and countries. Hence, it is easier to expand your business overseas. 

Magento External Payment Integrations

Although Shopify still has its simplicity advantage, it charges extra fees and transaction fees which Magento doesn’t. Using Magento, users will be able to avoid any types of extra fees and sell internationally. However, it requires technical skills to set up payment platforms. 

Shopify vs Magento: Point-of-sale System (POS system)

A point-of-sale system is able to take your business wherever you need to, connect your online and offline stores, or record real-time inventories. With the understanding of this trend, both Shopify and Magento offer POS solutions for users to choose from. 

Among the most popular eCommerce platforms, Shopify is the only one that has their own POS system, the ShopifyPOS. It is a cloud-based system which equips your store with multiple POS features and customization. There are two versions. the Lite and Pro version of Shopify POS, both offering a wide range of features yet there are some differences between the functions offered. 

Both versions have basic attributes for a POS system, such as barcode scanning, creating custom sales, managing staff activities, or showing order history. The Pro version offers some advanced features like click-and-collect, support shipping, or smart inventory management. The Lite version is free while it costs $89 per month for the Pro plan, which difference lies on the advanced features the Pro version has. 

Magento doesn’t have their own POS system, only the extensions are available which also have many great features. The apps offer real-time synchronization of inventories, customer orders, click-and-collect or buy online then pick up offline. The price of Magento POS varies significantly from $49/month to $1299/month. 

ConnectPOS offers both Magento POS and Shopify POS systems which provides basic to advanced features such as various payment methods, tax rates synchronization or AI facial recognition. 

Shopify vs Magento: Pricing

On the surface, Shopify is a hosted platform where it takes care of all your hosting worries for you while Magento is self-hosted. Therefore, Magento is free to install and Shopify has 4 different plan to choose from:

  • Shopify Lite Plan – you are able to add eCommerce to a Facebook page or existing website. 2% transaction fee is included when each payment is made  ($9/month).
  • Basic Shopify Plan – this is the cheapest plan to build your own store. It provides all the essentials for a new online store. 2% transaction fee is included ($29/month).
  • Shopify Plan – this plan is for growing businesses. It has features such as gift card creation. 1% transaction fee is included ($79/month).
  • Advanced Shopify Plan – this plan is specifically for big businesses wanting to grow. It includes advanced reports and third-party calculated shipping rates. 0.5% transaction fee is included ($299/month).
Shopify Plans

Magento Open Source is free while Magento Commerce is not as it contains customized features. Users need to contact Magento directly to know the exact price. Hence, the true cost of a Magento online store varies massively. 

It’s a tie between Shopify and Magento when it comes to pricing. Depending on your need, the price will vary greatly. Shopify has 4 fixed plans to choose from, cheaper extensions and add-ons while Magento is free to install but has more expensive apps and fees to pay for.  

Wrapping up

With all of these perspectives compared above, we hope to help you make an easier decision of whether to choose Shopify or Magento. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions on this topic!


ConnectPOS is the retail pos system in the ecosystem. ConnectPOS gladly presents a comprehensive training guide ebook tailor-made for cashiers in the retail business.
Quinn T.

Quinn T. is an enthusiastic copywriter at ConnectPOS - a leading Point of Sale provider. Focusing on the retail industry, she has researched and followed closely to various technology solutions that support an omnichannel journey.

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