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June 21, 2016

Magento vs WooCommerce vs Shopify

If you are planning to start an online store, one of the biggest decisions you will need to make is which ecommerce platform to use. With so many options available, it can be difficult to figure out which option best meets your needs. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the “best ecommerce platform” – each company offers different features and pricing, and the best choice will be based on your requirements, resources and preferences.

To help you make this decision, our web design and development team reviewed three favourite ecommerce platforms – Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify – to see how they compare to each other.

Platform Market Share

Magento Community & Enterprise Magento logo

Who is Magento best suited for?

Magento is an enterprise level ecommerce platform designed for mid to large ecommerce initiatives. It is feature rich, highly customizable with powerful integration capabilities which makes it suitable for both B2C and B2B stores.

Magento Strengths

  • Extensive professional feature set
  • Structured for productivity and high volumes
  • Tested and scrutinized 3rd party plugin and extensions
  • Highly customizable to meet most B2B and B2C requirements
  • Powerful integration capabilities with ERP, accounting, CRM, etc.
  • Advanced omni-channel capabilities

Magento Weaknesses

There is no perfect ecommerce platform. Here is a list of some Magento challenges:
  • Implementation is more complex requiring more highly trained personnel
  • Higher development cost due to product complexity
  • Magento Community is supported by your developer or the Magento Community, not by Magento itself

Magento Pricing

  • Community license: free
  • Enterprise license: $22K+ USD yearly
  • Setup/Creation of ecommerce store commonly: 30K-200K
  • Dedicated hosting and management required: $300-$800/month
  • PCI Compliance: $750 yearly

Magento Other

  • Multilingual, multi-currency & multi-store/brand
  • Multi pricing and extensive B2B pricing levels
  • Global availability zones, elastic scalability and redundancy

Magento Enterprise Edition

  • Magento Enterprise Edition is geared towards merchants handling more products and volume
  • Improved on-site search and additional feature sets
  • Built-in visual merchandising and omni-channel
  • Dedicated Magento support is provided for Magento Enterprise

WooCommerce with WordPress WooCommerce logo

Who is WooCommerce best suited for?

WooCommerce is an open source plugin for WordPress which is designed for B2B and B2C businesses who want to sell their products or services online. Its biggest benefit is that it is highly customizable allowing it to handle most requirements of a small to mid-size ecommerce store.

WooCommerce Strengths

  • Large number of 3rd party plugins and extensions
  • Customizable to meet most companies needs
  • Highly effective for search engine optimization

WooCommerce Weaknesses

There is no perfect ecommerce platform. Here is a list of some WooCommerce restrictions:
  • Not ideal for handling complex products with large amount of variations
  • Security and maintenance updates are the business owners responsibility
  • Open source which means support is provided by your developer or the community

WooCommerce Pricing

  • Open source license to WordPress + WooCommerce: free
  • Premium design themes $60+
  • Apps free or monthly cost
  • Setup/Creation of ecommerce store commonly: $5-10k+
  • Self-hosted, shared or dedicated servers $20+ monthly
  • SSL certificate $150+ yearly
  • PCI compliance $750+ yearly

WooCommerce Other

  • Stable and secure with large installed base
  • If you use WordPress, you’ll find WooCommerce familiar
  • Highly customizable design, usability and functionality
  • Excellent for supporting a content strategy for developing an inbound marketing campaign
  • Support for advanced shipping options and cost effective payment processors

Shopify Shopify logo

Who is Shopify best suited for?

Shopify is an entry-level solution for small to mid-size B2C (business to consumer) businesses that are entering into ecommerce. If you are looking for easy setup and to minimize your startup costs then Shopify is good choice.

Shopify Strengths

  • Software as a Service (SAAS) application containing just about everything you would need to get started with a simple store, including ecommerce software, hosting, security, payment systems, POS, etc.
  • Theme designs allowing you to produce professional looking designs quickly and easily.
  • Extensive App library to further extend the functionality of Shopify and your online store.

Shopify Weaknesses

There is no ecommerce platform that does it all. Here is a list of some of Shopify’s restrictions:
  • Checkout process is not customizable
  • Website data not 100% controllable by the ecommerce business owner
  • Limited customizability due to SAAS
  • Limited content management system
  • Experienced developer required to modify and customize the store

Shopify Pricing

  • Store pricing from $29 - $299/month
  • 2.4% - 2.9% +.30 cents per transaction for credit cards
  • Free or purchased premium themes
  • Apps free or monthly cost
  • No additional hosting costs

Shopify Other

  • Dedicated support team
  • Mobile commerce ready
  • Unlimited bandwidth and daily backups included
  • Website, shopping cart, payments and inventory included
  • Large Shopify vetted App store for additional functionality
  • Security, SSL, PCI compliance and platform upgrades handled by Shopify

Talk to an ecommerce specialist today

Our experienced team of ecommerce specialists can help you achieve online sales and marketing objectives with custom-fitted ecommerce solutions. We’ll find the ecommerce package that’s right for you and provide the tools, training and support to take your online business to the next level. Click here to learn more.

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