Magento 2 versus Shopify - eCommerce Development | iST Digital


Magento 2 versus Shopify & Why

Written by Brendan Wright

Oct 30, 19
Magento 2 versus Shopify & Why

Welcome to the greatest battlefield of ecommerce platforms. Magento 2 Vs Shopify - & the simple question of Why. Online marketers & shop owners are often confused regarding the decision about which platform is the one to use. Both systems are powerful in their own rights, so finding the one that is right for your business will be the game changer for years of sales. We hope you enjoy the our comprehensive blog as much as we enjoyed writing it.

To analyse both we are very sceptical regarding their pros and cons so, we decided to give a thorough understanding where the process will involve the following steps.

  • Breaking down what each platform offers.
  • Outlining which platform offers the best overall value.

With this in mind, let us make it as simple as possible & allow you to understand how these ecommerce giants work.

Similarities between Magento 2 and Shopify

  1. Both offer features and facilities that majority of the time are hassle free. These include product showcase, adding to cart, checkout, payment facilities & order management.
  2. Vivid ranges of ecommerce themes if this is the road you want to go down.
  3. Both have user friendly interfaces.
  4. Although in a different ways, both provide strong options.
  5. Both offer premium versions of their platform, Shopify Plus for Enterprise & Magento 2 Enterprise.
  6. Both Magento 2 & Shopify have been around for 10+ years.
  7. Both have a strong following

Payment options:

Magento 2 provides really good payment options with help of modules whereas Shopify provides only 1 type of payment method.
Whilst some think this is all they need, there are now many payment methods out in the market & more ways to 'add' and create a better user experience.
In terms of payments, Shopify is pretty much locked down in their process, so if you are looking to customise your payment solution, Shopify is most likely not the solution for you.

On the other hand, Magento 2 offers full customisation and functionality. We found it to be easy to customise almost every point of the checkout process to suit the online business and its needs.

Google loves user experience, so when it comes to being able to create that customised touch, Magento 2 wins.

Inventory Management:

Shopify brings a straight forward inventory interface to the market, which is very easy to use and manage on a day to day basis. Magento 2 takes inventory to a new level, allowing for drop shipping, Amazon integration, eBay integration, multiple pricing structures, multiple currencies and a range of other third-party services.
Whilst not all stores use these 'add on's' it allows for future proofing of your online store.

SEO and Marketing:

Shopify comes with very basic SEO solutions whereas Magento 2 has ability to customise SEO by implementation and integration.
Based on experience of doing SEO for over 12 years, Magento 2 wins hands down with its SEO package & ability to optimise & set up page structures.

Shopify allows very simple structures which allows users to update the basics on SEO. As things are locked down in Shopify its hard to fully optimise the site.

Customer Support:

Both platforms offer great support. Shopify prides itself on getting back to the owner within 24 hours, whilst Magento 2 offer a wide user base and following which allows for quick support.

As Shopify is locked down on their hosted cloud solution, Shopify's support can easily trouble shoot any issues.
Magento 2 on the other hand is open source and support is reliant on your developer.



  • eCommerce First (designed for eCommerce)
  • Easy to install apps
  • Easy drop shipping setup
  • Full blogging platform
  • Easier to use and navigate for beginners
  • Easy catalogue management
  • Theme setup is much simpler and easier to use out of the box themes
  • Hosting and SSL included on their cloud based servers with 99.99% uptime
  • Can connect to their POS system
  • Free updates
  • More out of the box payment and shipping integrations
  • 24/7 Customer support
  • Automatic Backups
  • SSL Certificate & Level 1 PCI Compliance
  • Fraud detection


  • Lack of complete flexibility - Closed source SaaS
  • Just over 500 apps compared with Magento 2, 10000
  • Weak CMS capabilities for larger content sites
  • More difficult / impossible to do certain things outside of core feature set on their app market
  • Weak catalogue scalability for large and complex catalogues
  • Fees can increase dramatically as you increase your Shopify version / plugins
  • Transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify payments
  • Limited integration & alot harder to change
  • Cant touch too much 'Userbility' features throughout the checkout process

Magento 2


  • Much better CMS capabilities
  • Unlimited product variations
  • Full control of code base for customisations
  • No transaction fees
  • Massive plugin options of almost 50,000 +
  • Can handle more complex catalogues
  • Massive open source community contributing to progress
  • Easy integration with Amazon Australia and eBay
  • Can use own hosting environment
  • Long term cost savings due to no monthly ongoings outside of website hosting


  • Requires updates to its core software and plugins
  • Will rely more heavily on a developer to maintain and improve
  • There are alot of apps out there & things could become confusing for non digital minds
  • Weaker support through email
  • May require Linux Server optimisation
  • As a development package, you have to know Magento commands if you want to touch code
  • Setting up hosting can be a challenge for some. If the site goes down, you are responsible
  • The initial setup of Magento 2 is alot higher than other platforms

Magento 2 or Shopify: Which one is ideal for you?

Now, let’s discuss in a subjective way, Shopify will be an ideal option for the merchants who want to invest less on online store designs and customisation. It is because its inbuilt interface provides an easier and limited access in terms of decorating the interior of the site. However, since Shopify do not have free subscriptions and holds a routine cost method many new comers may find it difficult to start on it.

On the other hand, Magento provides free and customized subscriptions as a result users get more options to choose from accordingly. With lots of customisation scope and third-party interference Magento 2 gives the freedom to create your own site however it can require immense skill and knowledge.

The customer facilities and service play a very important role since Shopify needs to uplift its service as Magento is way ahead with its community-based approach.


Both are extremely powerful platforms, however 1 has a clear advantage over the other in terms of performance & optimisation.
For smaller ecommerce stores with smaller budgets, I would 100% recommend Shopify. Its a very locked down solution, however this also suits many smaller businesses.
The worry of hosting, payments, security are all taken away, as shopify lock all these things down. The monthly plugin payments can certainly put alot of people off, as a basic ecommerce shopify website roughly costs $150 usd per month to maintain & this does not include shopifys yearly annual fee.

Magento 2 on the other hand is a full open source environment, which to me wins hands down.
The business only pays for what they develop, so there are no monthly ongoing fee's, other than hosting.

The two main points on deciding which platform is right for you, or your business would be:

  • Understanding of your business needs & its budget
  • What functionality do you require. I would recommend thinking beyond 12 months when answering this question

With over 55 ecommerce stores developed to date, our expertise & recommendations are based on the above information.

Even our Managing Director has his own ecommerce store 😁

Posts similar to this

What is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and why do I need it?

Ecommerce After COVID-19: How to Adapt to the New Normal

Top Suggested WordPress Plugins for 2023

Got a project on the cards? We’d love to hear about it.

Schedule a time to discuss
To Top