Magento vs Shopify: What’s Best for Your Business?

According to the report by Oberlo, the worldwide ecommerce sales are expected to reach $5.9 trillion in 2023, thus marking a 1.8% increase from the ecommerce market’s growth rate in 2022. And what do these numbers tell us? They tell that the ecommerce market is blooming and if your business does not yet have a strong online presence, it’s the right time to change that.

Magento vs Shopify: What’s Best for Your Business?

It’s quite obvious that the success of an online store depends on the platform that hosts the store. And while there is an array of options available, when we discuss ecommerce, two names immediately pop to mind: Magento and Shopify. Both are incredibly effective and powerful and both offer an impressive range of features. So how to choose between the two and make sure that the choice is right? In this article, we compare Magento vs Shopify head to head and review the strengths and weaknesses of each.

What is Magento?

Before getting into the comparison, let’s start with the platform review, and we shall begin with Magento. 

Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform, released in 2008. In 2018, it was acquired by Adobe and is now known as Adobe Commerce, being part of the Adobe Commerce Cloud environment.

An important thing to understand here is that there are two Magento versions available: a free Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce (which is a paid platform). The main difference between these two (except for the price) is the range of features – Adobe Commerce offers much richer functionality compared to its version. 

Despite the competition in the market, Magento remains one of the most popular ecommerce platforms, ranking in the top three platforms to which merchants migrated the most in 2020 and being on top of the leading platforms worldwide, according to the report by Techliance of 2021.

As for the platform’s most notable features, they are:

  • Extensive customization;
  • A rich set of marketing and sales tools;
  • Great SEO tools;
  • Great reporting and analytics.

Overall, Magento is suitable for medium-sized and enterprise companies that are ready to invest a significant amount of money and time into its fine-tuning and development. An important note again – Magento requires coding experience! It’s not a beginner-friendly tool and might take up to 40 hours for onboarding. Hence, if you consider Magento for your business, you might want to pair with a savvy Magento development team (unless you already have an in-house tech team).

Magento’s newest features

In August 2022, a new Magento Open Source 2.4.5 version was released, and it brought several interesting features:

  • Enhancements to the security: Access Control List, support for Google reCAPTCHA, a MaliciousCode filter in the HTLM Purifier, supported security patches, IP-allow listing, and several others.
  • Enhancements to the platform itself: addition of Composer 2.2, improvements in B2B commerce catalogs, removal of Duplicate SKU data from shared catalogs.
  • Upgrade of available payment options: addition of Apple Pay and PayPal Later.
  • Improved SEO: addition of Google Tags.

As you can see, the platform continues to evolve and grow, and this constant evolution (in addition to strong functionality) is what keeps Magento competitive and worth your attention.

The pros and cons of Magento

While Magento is undoubtedly a powerful platform, it has its weaknesses (like any other software product). But first, let’s take a look at its main pros that make ecommerce store owners across the world choose Magento over alternatives.

The pros of Magento:

  • Vast customization options: due to the open-source nature of the platform, you can customize it exactly how you want – but on the condition that you have Magento developers to tackle the task.
  • Great community support: what’s awesome about Magento is its community. It’s incredibly vast, and you can rely on it whenever you face an issue.
  • Reliable extensions: Magento provides over 3,700 extensions available in its marketplace, and all of them are considered to be very reliable and scalable.
  • Solid SEO: Magento offers rich SEO features that significantly help you promote your store online without putting too much effort into it.

Now, let’s see what issues may arise from working with Magento.

The cons of Magento:

  • Hosting: Magento does not provide hosting, so you will have to take care of it (including all related costs).
  • Difficult to use and setup: as mentioned earlier, Magento is not a beginner-friendly platform and requires not only experience with ecommerce platforms but coding skills as well. Not to mention complicated onboarding if compared to Shopify.
  • Cost: Adobe Commerce offers several payments plans (for exact cost, please contact Adobe representatives) and don’t forget about the hosting costs which you will have to pay, regardless of whether you use Magento Open Source or Magento Commerce. 

In short, Magento is a powerful and feature-rich platform that can be customized as you wish – but in return, the platform demands solid development skills and a significant investment of time and money. Also, Magento might be slow if you don’t optimize it – more on that later.

Moving on to its biggest rival – Shopify!

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a subscription-based ecommerce platform founded in 2006 and loved by 1.75 million sellers. There are currently (as of 2023) 3.76 million websites running on Shopify, and new Shopify online stores pop up on a daily basis. 

What’s so great about Shopify? First, it’s incredibly easy to use – you can launch a store in mere minutes (thanks in no small part to the drag-and-drop interface). Second, it’s an all-in-one solution: Shopify not only offers all services needed to run an online store, but also offers its own POS (point of sale) software to effectively sell in brick-and-mortar stores. Finally, Shopify has almost all the same features that Magento offers in terms of core ecommerce functionality. So, no wonder it’s always the number one choice for store owners across the globe.

It’s important to remember that, unlike Magento, there are no free (open-source) and paid versions. However, Shopify does offer a free trial (which Magento doesn’t) and its Basic Plan starts with only $5/month, which is more than affordable.

If we need to list Shopify’s most interesting features, they will probably be:

  • Shopify Dropshipping;
  • Thousands of integrations;
  • Responsiveness of all themes;
  • Shopify POS.

While many people state that Shopify is only suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, that’s not true. What makes Shopify so loved by small business owners is its ease of setup and affordable monthly fees. However, the platform is highly scalable and rich in functionality and hence, can be used for online stores of any size.

Shopify’s new features

In 2022, Shopify also saw an update of its functionality in terms of added new features. They include:

  • Shopify Audiences: this app helps business owners identify customers who search for their products.
  • Twitter Shopping: enables merchants to sell from Twitter directly.
  • Shopify POS: software that enables users to sell products in brick-and-mortar stores.
  • B2B on Shopify: a set of features that enables merchants to sell business-to-business without the use of any third-party apps. 

As you can see, Shopify really does its best to become a one-stop ecommerce platform and suit the needs of both B2C and B2B sellers.

The pros and cons of Shopify

Though Shopify is undoubtedly a great platform, it has several cons, which is perfectly okay. Below, we’ll take a closer look at its biggest strengths and weaknesses.

The pros of Shopify:

  • Beginner-friendly: the main idea behind Shopify is to enable any business owner to quickly and easily set up their store without any experience in coding. Hence, Shopify is incredibly user-oriented and easy to use.
  • Many responsive and beautiful themes: Shopify offers both free and premium themes and the best part about free ones is that they are as responsive and good-looking as paid ones. 
  • Drag-and-drop interface: due to this easy interface, users experience zero issues with setting up and customizing their store. This, in turn, promotes quicker store launch.
  • Hosting: Shopify provides its own hosting so you 1) don’t have to worry about finding the right option and 2) don’t have to pay any hosting fees.

The cons of Shopify:

  • Limited customization options: Shopify is not an open-source platform and you can’t just go into its code and adjust the look of your store as you wish. 
  • Price: though Shopify pricing plans seem to be quite affordable, you will also have to pay for the premium features and you will have to pay transaction fees (unless you use Shopify payments).
  • Mediocre analytics: while Shopify provides reporting and analytics, it’s not very detailed and you might want to use a third-party provider.
  • Fewer features: unlike Magento, Shopify has fewer built-in powerful features and relies on apps instead. These, in turn, often turn out to be quite expensive and may even slow down the store performance.

Comparing Magento and Shopify: the key factors

As for now, both Magento and Shopify seem pretty much equal. So what factors will impact your final choice of an ecommerce platform? Let’s take a look at Shopify vs Magento.


As already mentioned, Magento has a free open-source version and an Adobe Commerce one. While you need to contact an Adobe representative for an exact pricing of the paid version, some business owners state that the price starts with $22,000/year. Also, don’t forget about extra costs:

  • Hosting
  • Security
  • Customization
  • Domain name

You need to consider all these fees when calculating the final price of your Magento platform per year (or per month, whatever is more convenient for you).

As for Shopify, you won’t have to worry about the hosting costs since Shopify already took care of them. As well, unlike Magento, there is a free trial with Shopify and there are three available pricing plans:

  • Basic: $39/month
  • Shopify: $92/month
  • Advanced: $399/month

However, that’s not all. You will also most likely have to pay for premium apps, a theme (unless you select a free one), and for transaction fees.

Winner: Shopify

Even though there may be hidden fees included in your overall monthly fee, Shopify is still more affordable and flexible in terms of pricing than Magento.


Customization is one of the biggest selling points of Magento. The platform allows you to get to its code and fine-tune the look of your store exactly as you need it. As well, Magento offers plenty of customizable themes that you can play around with. 

Spotify, on the other hand, does not offer much customization. Instead, it offers many free and premium themes to choose from. 

Winner: Magento

If you have specific requirements towards your ecommerce store and customization is a high priority, Magento is the most suitable option.


A theme is basically the look of your store and creates the first impression. Hence, it’s crucial to select (or create) the right one that will represent your brand, vision, and the way you want customers to perceive you.

By default, there are two themes in Magento: Blank and Luma. Luma is a fully responsive and ready-to-use theme while Blank is basically a blank theme waiting to be customized. So if you don’t want to buy a theme from a market, you can choose between these two. However, there are also many themes designed by software developers that you can choose from and the price will vary from $0 to $200 and more – you can see the available options in the official Adobe market

With Shopify, there are 141 themes available, 12 free and 129 paid ones. Though Shopify does not provide as much customization as Magento, all its themes are responsive and user-centric and come between $200 – $360. 

Winner: Tie

Both platforms offer a great number of free and paid themes. We’ve already talked about customization above – so if we judge by the availability of themes only, both Magento and Shopify have many great themes to choose from.

Search engine optimization

SEO is critical for any website, especially for ecommerce. The ultimate goal of any store owner is the number of conversions and sales – but where do they come from? That’s right, they come from users who browse your store. And will the users be able to find your store among thousands of competitors if it’s not SEO-friendly? The chances are quite low.

If your ecommerce store is SEO-optimized, you increase its visibility and ranking in search results, thus, increasing the chances for users to find it. Of course, the big part of SEO is your own efforts, such as proper and SEO-focused copywriting or writing of correct and attention-grabbing title tags. But if the ecommerce platform is already equipped with some SEO features, things will be much easier for you.

Magento offers its users many SEO features aimed at making your store more visible and converting. These features include:

  • Customizable text for navigation links: considering that navigation links play a big part in the store’s navigation and thus impact the SEO-friendliness of a site, it’s always good for SEO to make them as specific as possible. Magento allows you to customize the anchor text of navigation links and thus improve user experience and website navigation.
  • Canonical tags: Magento lets you apply canonical tags to products that appear in several categories to evade duplicate content. 
  • Google Search Console integration: due to a seamless integration of Magento with Google Search Console, store owners can easily access information about the store performance, its crawlability, and content indexation. In this way, you always know what calls for your attention and needs to be optimized.
  • Header tags and alt tags: Magento allows you to use and customize header tags and alt tags to structure your content and describe it in an accurate way so search engines can understand what a speciifc page is about.

These are just a few examples of SEO features that come as pre-built in Magento. You will obviously need to fine-tune them from their default settings in accordance with your needs, but their presence, in general, greatly facilitates your SEO efforts.

Same as Magento, Shopify also comes with a set of built-in SEO features that can help store owners improve their store visibility and ranking. Some of these features are:

  • Auto-generated canonical tags;
  • Auto-generated sitemap.xml and robots.txt files;
  • Social media sharing for your themes;
  • An option to edit title tags, meta descriptions, alt texts, etc.

Winner: Tie

Both Magento and Shopify offer equally helpful SEO features, but the final result will depend on your SEO specialists and efforts invested in SEO fine-tuning. 

Apps and extensions

Ecommerce apps and extensions help you expand the functionality of your store and customize it according to your specific needs. Both with Magento and Shopify, there are free and premium options available.

Magento currently offers over 5,000 extensions to choose from. In the official marketplace, you can find extensions for both Open Source and Adobe Commerce (for both on-premise and cloud versions). Their price ranges from $30 to $15,000 and all of them are aimed at augmenting your ecommerce store. 

Shopify has approximately 7,000 free and paid apps, and their price is overall lower than the price of Magento apps. This said, Shopify has a bit more to offer when it comes to apps and extensions.

Winner: Shopify

Though both platforms have a rich variety of apps and extensions to offer, Shopify versus Magento becomes a winner with its bigger selection of options.

Ecommerce features

As we’ve already mentioned, the success of an ecommerce store greatly relies on the platform that it runs on. This is so because of the built-in ecommerce features that the platform offers, starting from the basic ones like product browsing and ending with advanced catalog management.

Magento has an impressive set of features, including:

  • Total revenue reports;
  • Import of bulk products;
  • Multichannel selling;
  • Recovery of an abandoned cart;
  • Catalog management;
  • Multiple stores.

Obviously, there are many more features than listed and all of them are designed to provide a seamless user experience and help you manage your assets and your customers in an effective and data-driven manner.

Shopify also has a solid and rich functionality, that includes:

  • Multichannel selling;
  • Partnerships with courier companies;
  • Auto-calculation of shipping prices;
  • Abandoned cart recovery;
  • Discount codes and gift cards;
  • Dropshipping.

Winner: Tie

These two platforms are pretty much the same when talking about ecommerce functionality. Both are great and both have a lot of powerful features to make your store shine.

Payment options and fees

The more payment options you can offer to your customers, the better. Thus, it’s a strict requirement for ecommerce platforms to support multiple payment options and gateways.

Magento offers approximately 150 payment gateways, most of which you’ll need to install from the official marketplace (if you really want A LOT of options). However, do not forget about transaction fees that are:

  • Magento Open Source: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Magento Commerce (including Cloud): 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction

Shopify offers slightly less payment options (around 100) but on the other hand, it has its own payment gateway called Shopify Payments. If you use it, there will be no transaction fees (excluding common credit card processing fees). But if you use other payment options, there will be a fee for every transaction:

  • Basic: 2% / transaction
  • Shopify: 1% / transaction
  • Advanced: 0.5% / transaction

Winner: Shopify

In this case, not only is Shopify more affordable, but is also more suitable for small and middle-sized businesses. As for payment options, both platforms support a great number of payment gateways, so they are equal.

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Magento vs Shopify: an ultimate comparison

Let’s wrap everything up in a table, in which we will briefly review Magento and Shopify. Note that this table contains only core facts about both platforms, and for more details on each, we highly recommend going through the article for a more detailed Shopify vs Magento comparison.

Release date20082006
Number of live sites267,0004.5 million
Number of apps and extensions5,700+8,000+
Free trialNoYes
For exact pricing, contact Adobe representatives
Basic: $39/month
Shopify: $92/month
Advanced: $399/month
Transaction feesMagento Open Source: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
Magento Commerce (including Cloud): 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
Basic: 2% / transaction
Shopify: 1% / transaction
Advanced: 0.5% / transaction
CustomizationA high level of customizationMedium to low
Responsive designYesYes
Customer support24/7 access to live rep, email, chat, FAQs, knowledge base24/7 live chat and email

Final thoughts

When it comes to choosing between Magento vs Shopify, the choice will mainly depend on your business, its size, specific business needs, and available budget and resources. Magento is known to be a highly customizable and powerful platform, best suited for large and medium-sized businesses, while Shopify is often seen as a universal and swift ecommerce solution. What we can recommend is to calculate all costs in a long term, evaluate whether the platform will satisfy your needs for scalability in the future, and whether Shopify or Magento will provide the needed level of customer service.

Being experienced with both Magento and Shopify, SoftTeco is always ready to help you choose. Whether you have any questions left, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will gladly guide you through the process of selecting between these two platforms.


What is Shopify?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that offers its users subscription fees and provides not only all needed ecommerce services but also hosting. Due to its ease of use, Shopify is considered one of the most popular ecommerce platforms, especially suitable for small businesses and startups who don’t want to invest too much time and resources into setting up a store.

How to start a Shopify store?

To start a Shopify store, you’ll need to go to the official Shopify website and create an account. Shopify will first ask you a few questions to understand what pricing plan will best meet your needs. After selecting the plan, you will have to add products, set up payments, configure the checkout, and take care of all other processes – and you are done!

What is Magento?

Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform that was acquired by Adobe and is now known as Adobe Commerce. There are two Magento versions: a free Open Source one and a paid Adobe Commerce. Magento is known for its great customization options and a set of powerful ecommerce features.

How much does Magento cost?

The Open Source version is free and the pricing plan for the Adobe Commerce one might start from $22,000/year. For more information on the pricing, please contact Adobe representatives.

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