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Marketing Tips, Insights, and Trends

Shopify vs WooCommerce vs Magento

Author: Kaitlyn Partington Category: Web Design Date: March 20, 2020

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Maybe you’re thinking about launching an eCommerce store—or maybe you’re already well established and ready to reevaluate your eCommerce solution. Whatever the case, before making a decision that can impact business performance and, ultimately, your bottom line, get familiar with what’s out there so you can determine which platform would work best for you.

The three most popular eCommerce platforms are Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento, which, together, power the vast majority of the top 100K eCommerce websites today. In the ongoing Shopify versus WooCommerce versus Magento battle for market share, WooCommerce continues to lead the pack with 26%, followed by Shopify at 20% and Magento at 10%.

Each solution has its own unique set of features and benefits that cater to specific customer needs. As you familiarize yourself with each to narrow down your selections, be sure to factor in things like price, skill level required, functionality and your projected business growth.

Let’s explore the Shopify versus WooCommerce versus Magento question in greater detail.

Shopify: Ease of Use

Shopify is an all-in-one platform that’s known for its ease of use and streamlined setup. Because all the software and hosting are included, you can easily create and run your store without the burden of managing a website. No need to install, manage or update any software or worry about security, performance, backups and compatibility issues.

Shopify comes with its own payment method called Shopify Payments, or you can integrate with 100+ other payment providers. While Shopify Payments is free, if you want to use one of their approved payment gateway providers, you’ll be charged a transaction fee. Consider this both a pro and con of the solution. With unlimited file storage, no product limitations and various plan levels, the eCommerce solution offers the convenience of scalability as your business grows.

That said, if you’re looking for more than basic customization, you’ll either need to learn Shopify’s coding language or skip the platform altogether in favor of one that offers the freedom to customize. Additionally, as you grow, you will likely find yourself paying for more third-party tools and add-ons, which can add up quickly.

WooCommerce: Customizability and Integration with WordPress

WooCommerce is an open source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. Ideal for businesses that already run a WordPress website, WooCommerce has tons of free and paid themes, with hundreds of plugins and extensions for limitless customization.

With WooCommerce, your start-up cost will be significantly lower than Shopify. The plugin itself is free; you just need to pay for hosting and the domain name. Also, while WooCommerce does not come with its own payment method, it does support the most popular payment gateways (Stripe, PayPal, Square, Authorize.net and more)—with no associated transaction fees.

However, WooCommerce is not as turnkey as Shopify. It is a self-hosted solution, which gives you exponentially more flexibility than Shopify, but you’re on the hook for the technical stuff, including the install, updates, storage and security. Plus, you won’t get the technical customer support that Shopify offers.

Magento: Advanced Features

Then there’s Magento—or more specifically, Magento 2, its newest, more robust version. This one is by far the most technically complex but offers the most functionality of the three. Like WooCommerce, Magento is a free open source software solution—though it also comes as a paid version for large enterprises.

Ideal for larger eCommerce retailers, Magento offers one of the most robust suites of features out there. It is highly customizable and comes with blog functionality. With the ability to manage hundreds of thousands of individual products and 80,000+ orders per hour, Magento is extremely scalable. Built with SEO efficiency in mind, Magento makes it simple to optimize product pages and descriptions. It also features powerful options for shipping charge calculation, discount codes and more.

Now for the “but.” To use Magento, you’ll need a skilled developer, as the more advanced features require significant technical acumen.

Shopify vs WooCommerce vs Magento: Which is Right For You?

In the Shopify versus WooCommerce showdown, it comes down to this: If you’re looking for ease of use over customization, go for Shopify. For limitless design options and flexibility with less of the technical hand-holding, WooCommerce is the way to go.

So where does Magento fit in?

In a Shopify versus Magento comparison, the two pretty much bookend the spectrum. While both Magento and Shopify are well-established, viable eCommerce Solutions, they offer vastly different features and benefits. Shopify comes with a low barrier to entry—no technical experience required. But, while it is a visually appealing site, you are limited in how much you can customize. Magento, on the other hand, is an extremely robust solution that offers limitless distinct experiences based on very specific user needs. But, it’s not for the faint of heart—be sure you have a skilled developer on your team to manage your Magento site.

When considering Magento or Shopify for large enterprise needs, both offer viable solutions by way of Magento Enterprise and Shopify Plus, respectively. While both are reliable and scalable, only Magento Enterprise features multi-store capabilities with limitless customizability. Shopify Plus, on the other hand is easier to use and offers full technical support, but it does not support a multi-store site. Who wins in a Shopify Plus versus Magento Enterprise head-to-head? If you want usability, go with Shopify Plus. For versatility on a large scale, Magento Enterprise wins.

Finally, let’s look at the side-by-side of WooCommerce versus Magento. While both are open source platforms, WooCommerce is easier to master and maintain. The Magento framework, on the other hand, caters to skilled web developers. If you’ve got a large catalog of products, complex requirements and access to technical resources, Magento may be for you. If you have a smaller budget and are already running a WordPress site, choose WooCommerce.

If you start with one and decide you want to move to another, that can be done with varying levels of complexity. Moving from Shopify to WooCommerce is relatively simple, while a Shopify to Magento migration requires advanced expertise. A Shopify Magento integration can be done and may be the right move for your eCommerce site, but don’t go it alone! Conversely, WooCommerce offers an add-on to guide your Magento migration.

As you explore the features and benefits of Shopify versus WooCommerce versus Magento, understand each comes with a learning curve. Paradigm’s web development team is experienced in all of these eCommerce platforms and can help you select the one that will work best for you and your business. And we can set it up for you!

To get started with your eCommerce site, or to discuss the Shopify versus WooCommerce versus Magento comparison in more detail, contact us today!

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