Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce: Which Platform is Best for Your eCommerce Business?
Shopify Plus is a globally renowned and admired SaaS platform which is changing the game for enterprise-level ecommerce stores trading in B2C and B2B alike. If you've been considering scaling up because your ecommerce website has experienced rapid growth and high traffic, you may also have come across one of Shopify's biggest competitors. Industry giant Magento has long been a staple of on-premise ecommerce. But since the launch of Magento 2, many Magento merchants are now faced with the decision of sticking with this platform or migrating to a simpler SaaS solution.
As an ecommerce merchant, you might be asking yourself some questions about Shopify Plus and Magento: Which platform offers the best scalability? Which is the most customisable? And which offers the best overall store management? This guide will help you answer these questions. Click on one of the links below to jump to that section:
- Comparison overview
- Apps and extensions
- Store management
- Frequently asked questions
While both Magento 2 and Shopify Plus are good choices for enterprise businesses, there are some critical differences between them. Whereas Shopify Plus provides an easy start-up with a dedicated interface and design to help you get up and running quickly, Magento is very much an advanced tool intended for developers.
|Flexible plan starting at $2,000USD per month.
Annual fee based on Gross Merchandise Value, starting at $22,000USD per year.
|Easily implemented and customised with a wide range of different apps, extensions, and themes.
|Open source platform with extensive knowledge needed to implement effectively.
|Fully hosted platform.
|Self-hosted platform either externally or through the Magento Commerce Cloud.
|Two different product types supported.
|Up to seven product types supported, including digital and downloads.
|100 product variants included.
|No limits on product variations.
|Around-the-clock support with a dedicated manager for implementation.
|Open source includes no support, while Magento 2 licenses offer general, essential support.
If your focus on scalability is to increase your audience and consumer interest with a core collection of products, the Shopify Plus ecommerce platform is an excellent choice. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of large, enterprise-level stores, so you won't need to worry about infrastructure on launches or problems with traffic.
Scalability for a Magento store is related to continuously growing the number and variety of products being sold. With a more robust product system, it's possible to scale further and do more. The downside of this is that you'll need to be more hands-on and involved to make it happen.
Being able to customise your storefront is key to making your brand stand out is key for many ecommerce brands. Shopify Plus aims to make this as easy as possible with their extensive theme marketplace and Shopify Scripts, which allows merchants to customise their shopping carts. With a little knowledge of HTML, CSS and Liquid—Shopify's coding language—you can create a branded platform that suits your business needs.
As mentioned above, Magento is open source and is built for developers; customising your store through the Magento platform requires extensive knowledge of the code and a familiarity with the platform architecture. This is even more necessary with the Magento 2 version, which can slow implementation times significantly.
Apps and extensions
Both Shopify and Magento boast a comprehensive ecosystem of apps and extensions, further customising your customers' shopping experience. Shopify Plus has a higher API limit than alternative Shopify plans and apps which are verified, easy to install through the Shopify app store and frequently updated with new features and improvements.
Magento 1 users may be disappointed to know that many of their favourite original Magento applications and extensions haven't made it to Magento 2. That means working with a developer to carry out extensive modifications to restore your site to how it was before the change, or trying out something new.
Shopify Plus focuses on speed and ease of use for its merchants and their customers. This translates into their store management experience, with extra staff accounts, organisation-level admin and additional user permissions. Shopify Flow simplifies the day-to-day management of mundane tasks by automating processes, whereas the Shopify Launchpad scheduling tool automates discount codes and campaigns.
As a Shopify Plus merchant you can also manage localised stores with custom domain checkouts, with up to nine stores from a single dashboard and extra stores available for an additional fee. This allows your business to take advantage of growth opportunities for your online store by targeting new countries and currencies.
In contrast, Magento allows merchants to manage multiple stores within a single interface, unlike Shopify Plus where stores are treated as separate entities under one account. Magento also doesn’t offer the same omnichannel selling opportunities as Shopify Plus, as they don’t have the same integration with social media channels and marketplaces such as Facebook.
Frequently asked questions
What's the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus?
While the standard Shopify experience is better suited to small to medium-sized businesses, Shopify Plus is targeted explicitly at an enterprise-level user base. Shopify Plus includes a range of premium features and integrations that vastly improve the platform's functionality in ways that are necessary for large-scale businesses. These include Shopify Flow and access to the Shopify Script Editor for far greater control over ecommerce storefronts and branding.
For more details, read our Shopify comparison guide now.
What are the benefits of Shopify Plus over the basic Shopify plan?
Shopify Plus's benefits are geared towards large-scale B2C and B2B businesses. For example, a higher number of transactions can be processed through the platform, you get a great deal more customisability and excellent integration. Shopify Plus users also gain access to a Launch Manager and additional support specifically for the enterprise-level ecommerce business.
Can you maintain control of the code if you choose Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus provides merchants with 100% ownership of their stores, whether your domain is purchased through Shopify or a third party. However, if you're using a default Shopify theme for your store, Shopify has ownership of that code. Anything custom that you create remains in your ownership, and Shopify will delete your store, code and all of your data should you choose to end your subscription permanently.