Choosing the absolute e-commerce platform for your online store can be tough and become a very prodigious process. An experienced e-retailer knows the importance of choosing the right solution as it can make or break the deal for you and your business. With more than 30+ Content Management Systems (CMS) options available for e-commerce site development in the market, it becomes quite difficult to get feasible advice on which CMS would suit your business. Plus, there is always an option to develop your website from scratch, which makes the business owners think twice about their decision. The deciding factor here is the method one chooses to bring their online store in action.
Making the wrong choice, in the beginning, makes the whole journey rocky and you can either get stuck with limitations on ideas, costs or migration process which is cumbersome as well as costly. Though the options are limitless, the main players in the market are three – Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify.
Of the three biggest e-commerce platforms, no single platforms a holistic package and a one-size-fits-all solution – what works for one retailer may not suit the other owing to many possible factors.
In this article, we will address questions like
a) What are they?
b) How are they different from each other- Magento vs. Shopify vs. WooCommerce?
c) Which to choose Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce?
The comparison showcases the strengths and weaknesses of each so that you can make the right choice when setting up your e-commerce store.
Each one has its own advantages and is a leader in its particular field. We look into exactly what each one does best for the traders.
Developed and founded by Varien Inc. in 2008, Magento is an open source CMS platform which is the most flexible of all platforms. It is a PHP based robust platform developed to suit tech-savvy retailers who wish to design and develop their online store with customizations impossible to produce with other platforms. Magento is designed for customization, therefore you need seasoned programmers to tweak the changes and get used to the interface it comes with. Once you get the hang of it, there is no limitation to the creativity you can use with the platform.
It comes in two packages- the community based open source and the SaaS-based enterprise edition for large organizations which can invest more. The platform offers best SEO capabilities though you require your own hosting with Magento.
Shopify is full-fledged, self-hosted eCommerce solution which takes care of the coding and implementation of your e-commerce store. It has a feature rich system with several options for payment gateways to suit diverse shoppers. Shopify eases the entire development process by being extremely flexible and transparent. It gives you a single user interface with everything built-in. Shopify is easy to use and allows its users (or the hired developers) to use HTML and CSS to code their sites if they wish to. It even suits the people without a coding background and has user-friendly features for new comers as well as advanced tools for industry veterans. With 3 Lakh plus online business worldwide. Shopify is being used extensively for managing the online business.
WooCommerce is the world’s most popular WordPress e-commerce extension aimed towards adding shopping cart system capabilities of e-commerce to WordPress. This free to use plugin’s best advantage is its smooth integration with WordPress besides supporting a majority of WordPress themes and plugins. If you are looking for a solution has a variety of uses and systems, the WordPress/WooCommerce combination is hard to beat. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world and WooCommerce is used on 2 million plus websites. As an open source platform, WooCommerce is highly flexible and brings a perfect balance between usability and features. This makes it an obvious choice for many online business owners even with its limitations.
Magento vs. Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Which is Better?
Here is a point to point comparison between Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce to assist you to choose the right platform for your online e-business. The following parameters are used to make the comparison –
While Magento and WooCommerce both come free of cost to the users as they are open source platforms, Shopify starts with 29$ per month. The advantage with Shopify is that it comes with built-in hosting whereas hosting and management of the site with Magento & WooCommerce will cost you additional moolah. For large organizations, Magento also comes with an enterprise edition but it’s costing is not available openly.
All the platforms are secure for users and have high-security systems. Fraud analysis is included in Shopify with plans ranging from 79$/month which leaves small business users at a disadvantage. Magento is the winner in this case as it comes with manual security patches that can be installed by programmers. WordPress which is a CMS empowers 50% of the internet today and provides high security to WooCommerce. In addition to this, security patches also come with WordPress updates and make it easy for developers of WooCommerce.
WooCommerce and Magento both being open source offer high level of customization and tailoring options and enable developers to tweak as they much as possible. But Shopify’s source code does not open itself to developers for customization and thus, you need to manage with the pre-built tools & features. However, among the three, when it comes to core customization, Magento wins the race here. With Magento, you can get a high level of customization with little development cost.
4. Payment Gateway:
All three platforms offer payment gateways for seamless financial transactions during shopping. Shopify offers 70+ payment options along with the 3rd party applications added as well. But this luxury also comes with a commission which ranges between 2% to 0.5% for in-built gateways. Magento has tied up with PayPal as its primary payment option but 3rd party gateways with plugins can be added to suit all types of shoppers. The same goes for WooCommerce as well. For this parameter, Shopify scores the highest with the best functionality at its base.
5. Themes and Add-ons:
Magento is in the market since long and comes with an extensive library of themes and add-ons. WooCommerce also plays along the same lines and offer numerous options for themes. Though Shopify is catching up rapidly on this, it still lags far behind the already two established open source platforms. Shopify is considerably costly for premium themes which start from 140$ while others are offerings that for as low as 2$ – 3$. If we compare the number of themes – WooCommerce comes with 29000+ add-ons, Magento comes with 5000+ add-ons and Shopify has just 150 add-ons.
Magento aces in this element as it offers cart tracking, coupons and discount options which are lacking in both Shopify and WooCommerce. This makes it the most functional CMS for eCommerce stores. Still, you will be required to hire an experienced developer to handle Magento and it will cost you. Shopify and WooCommerce, on the other hand, are user-friendly platforms which non-technical business owners can also use and they don’t have wait for developers to kick off their business online.
Since WooCommerce is a part of WordPress which has the biggest community of online users the support received is immense. This is followed by Magento as it is also open source and free forums are available for technical support. Shopify has a smaller community compared to the other two, but it has an efficient customer support which other platforms fail to offer. Magento Enterprise edition comes with customer support but is costlier than Shopify. If you have an expert development and designing team, they will be able to deal with issues as most of the queries are already answered in open source forums. However, a dedicated support offered by humans is incomparable, in which Shopify excels.
Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce – Which Platform to Choose from?
Now that we have learned enough about the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, it is time to choose what is best for you. This is where our expertise comes handy. We at WebBee have more than a decade of expertise in the e-commerce industry. We have been developing and designing the web and mobile technologies for clients across the globe.
We suggest, that if you already have a WordPress store then it makes sense to go with WooCommerce. This will save your time and effort required in migrating to another platform. WooCommerce has good enough capabilities to hold an eCommerce store and grow your business efficiently.
If you are new to the business or new to the online world of business and building your new online store from then your better options are to choose between Magento and Shopify. For small business owners who have the resources to manage entire store themselves then Shopify is the go to option with its built-in features to ease your pain in the beginning. Magento is best suited when you have a big idea in mind and have the budget to hire programmers to be able to execute everything as per your liking. When combined with cloud computing, Magento gains more power and is the most feasible solution for eCommerce businesses while giving great ROI.
If you are looking for a developer or a designer to take care of your website development needs, then search no more and contact WebBee for a consulting session. We at WebBee offer holistic solutions for eCommerce development, designing, and maintenance along with seamless integration with other software for managing your inventory and finances. With WebBee on your side, you can relax and focus on the other aspects of your business other than development. We Offers Shopify Development Services, Magento Development services and complete e-commerce solution.