Setting up a functional eCommerce platform takes time and energy, but the process is significantly easier when you’re building your site on the right platform.
Rushing into the decision of choosing an eCommerce platform is never a good idea. The right platform allows you to navigate the set-up process easily, has SEO capabilities, is secure, has factored in user experience, and is mobile-friendly, to name a few.
Shopify and Magento are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms available today, and both have great reputations in the digital marketing world. Here’s how they differ from a basic level.
Shopify is an all-in-one platform that is ideal for supporting both small and large businesses. It streamlines the process and charges users a monthly fee.
Magento is an open-source platform meaning it is free to install on your computer, but you can still expect to pay around $10 per month for hosting. Magento is more ideal for businesses that want to customize many aspects of their site through coding.
Depending on your needs, Shopify can be easier to use. It is a simple, one-stop-shop that allows you to easily drag and drop different website elements into the website builder. It allows users of all technical skill levels to be successful.
Magento has a steeper learning curve that requires users to sift through code and jargon to set up a successful eCommerce website. Because Magento allows for such a high level of customization, it is often more difficult for the average user to use.
Online “themes” make up the design of what your customers will see when they visit your website. Shopify offers 10 free themes and 64 premium themes, with each premium theme costing $140-$180.
Shopify’s themes are mobile-friendly and allow for a high level of customization.
Magento also offers pre-made themes that don’t require additional customization in addition to personalized themes. On average, these themes are around $100, but Magento also offers custom themes that cost up to $25,000. This is better-suited toward large businesses with even larger budgets.
To have an effective website, it needs to have sales tools. Both Shopify and Magento feature unique sales tools to help you make your decision between the two.
Shopify has features such as abandoned cart recovery, multi-channel selling, USPS and DHL partnerships, and more. It also allows you to sell digital products.
Magento boasts an impressive inventory system that comes with features such as bulk imports from your database, total revenue report, and total visitor count.
Overall, Shopify’s range of tools is more impressive than Magento’s.
Search engine optimization is important for increasing organic traffic and growing your eCommerce company’s bottom line. While both Shopify and Magento have SEO tools built into their platforms, they have different strengths.
Magento edges out Shopify in its SEO capabilities as it allows for a high level of customization and easy-to-use guides. It also allows for the customization of URLs, something that Shopify does not.
Remember that Shopify is a hosted platform, and Magento is self-hosted. Magento may be free to install, but it requires website hosting, security, extensions, and your domain.
Shopify’s most basic plan starts at $29/month, and its most advanced version is $299 per month. Magento’s most basic plan starts at $9.99/month, and its GoGeek version is $29.95/month.
The needs of your business will ultimately determine which platform is right for you. If you’d like more personalized assistance when making your decision, our digital marketing experts at Catapult Revenue are happy to help.
Get started with a free consultation today.
Ivan is Catapult Revenue’s co-founder and production director, spearheading all of the agency’s design, development and digital marketing efforts.
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