Magento vs WooCommerce vs Shopify: eCommerce Side-By-Side Comparison

Magento vs WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which Will Work Best For You?

It is no secret that growing a successful business today means carving out a unique niche within the eCommerce market. It also means finding the right eCommerce platform. With many out there to choose from, we set out on a mission to gather all the most important facts, details, and hidden features of the three most popular – Magento, WooCommerce, & Shopify. Choosing the platform with the right price, user interface, mobile capabilities, and design options may largely come down to your own personal preference. However, making the best choice to fit your needs means arming yourself with all the right insider knowledge. Competition for digital success is only growing steeper and having the right guide help you navigate the leading eCommerce solutions may be your answer to the challenge.

Here, we will not only compare all of the essential features Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify but get into the nitty-gritty details that may be the most important to you when it comes to making your decision.

Fitting Your Budget

We get it, one of your goals with your eCommerce store is to bring in revenue. So, finding the most economical platform is important for making your business profitable and leaving room in your budget for other priorities. The good news is, most of the leading options offer free (or almost free) plans, that can help get you started. While each one of the platforms has completely different pricing structures, you’ll soon notice that some are more straightforward than others.

Magento bills itself as “the world’s most flexible eCommerce platform,” and this motto is reflected in their pricing. Their free Community Edition comes with plenty of features for small to mid-sized businesses and should be plenty powerful enough for the majority of users. The price scales up dramatically if you want to upgrade to Magento Enterprise ($18,000 per year) but also offers a whole host of features that help larger businesses grow, such as 24/7 developer support, automatic security updates, and exclusive store enhancements.

WooCommerce is a good alternative for those who prefer an a la carte approach to their eCommerce platform. WooCommerce is a free, open source WordPress integration that can be tacked on as part of your current WordPress website (if you have one). It includes the most important eCommerce features, such as a variety of available product types, currency options, inventory tracking, and shipping configurations. You can also integrate special functionality such as subscription or membership sales, UPS/USPS automatic shipping rates, and plenty of other features for between $79 and $199 a piece.

Shopify is the only one of these that does have a monthly usage fee, ranging anywhere from $29 to $299 per month, depending on which features your eCommerce store needs. The basic cost includes some site necessities, such as your SSL certificate and your monthly hosting costs. On top of that, there’s a typical credit card processing fee/transaction fee, and Shopify also charges transaction fees if you choose to use an external payment gateway. Although ideal for smaller businesses who want to put up a quick eCommerce page without jumping through a lot of hoops, it’s important to review it’s higher-end features so your business’s growth doesn’t get slowed down when it’s time to scale.

Getting Down to Details

These days, you can expect every eCommerce option to offer features like mobile accessibility and in-built marketing, and so the major differences come down to user interface and flexibility.

Magento is the option for those who really want to get their hands dirty in the design and management aspects of eCommerce. Offering near-limitless customization options, the platform is well-suited for scaling to the needs of bigger businesses. The platform even allows for fine-tuned ERP management that can process mass quantities of SKUs and other specific inventory, shipping, and payment needs.

WooCommerce might not offer all of the robust features that Magento does, but many users will find it to be well suited for their needs anyway. What it is known for, however, is its attractive and readable reports and smooth-as-silk user interface. As mentioned earlier, WooCommerce is available as a plugin for existing WordPress builds. This comes as a bonus, as for many users as it can be integrated at the snap of the fingers without the need to alter many aspects of an existing website.

Shopify is the only-closed source option of the bunch, meaning that adding extensive features not offered within any of their pricing levels is pretty much a no-go. It also means that you are pretty limited with your design options, and you wouldn’t be able to “pick up and go” with all your products and data entact if you ever decided to leave Shopify. With that being said, Shopify might be the most intuitive, offering easy setup for users with limited web experience. Shopify is typically ideal for smaller businesses who don’t have the time or resources to micromanage more advanced eCommerce aspects.

PlatformInitial Setup CostHostingDomainSSL Certificate
Magento$0$20-$600+$10/yearFree-$200
WooCommerce$0$5-$60/mo$10/yearFree
Shopify$0$29/mo$9/yearFree

Adding Up The Score

The major question comes down to whether you are the sort of business owner who wants to manage every design aspect and get the most detailed feedback from your eCommerce solution, or one who would rather let your platform do the work for you. There is no wrong answer, and both paths can lead to success if you have good user experience and a solid marketing plan. The key is finding the option that best fits your personal style and finding a way to integrate it seamlessly into your everyday operations.

Still having trouble making the call for yourself? Newbird has experience with all of the leading eCommerce platforms and is ready to sit down with you to find the one that will best meet your goals. Get in touch today to find out more.

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