Shopify Plus vs Magento 2 Commerce – comparison of e-commerce systems

Shopify Plus and Magento 2 Commerce are currently the two undisputed leaders of the e-commerce market worldwide. What are the differences, what possibilities they offer, for whom they are intended, what are the costs of implementation and maintenance - these and other aspects of comparison of these e-commerce systems I will try to present in the following article. 

Shopify Plus and Magento 2 Commerce as market leaders in e-commerce systems 

Shopify Plus and Magento 2 Commerce are considered leaders in e-commerce, but global statistics show us a different balance of power when it comes to the choice of e-commerce engine by online store owners. There is a whole cross-section of solutions on the market, tailored to different customers and business sizes. Currently, the division on the world e-commerce market is as follows:

source :https://trends.builtwith.com/shop 

 

In this article I focus on Enterprise version platforms for companies aware of their current needs and the scalability of their business. Both of that solutions are also available in poorer versions of Shopify and Magento 2 Community respectively. 

A little bit of history 

The first version of Magento 2 Commerce was released in 2015 and is the successor to Magento 1, existing since 2008. Since 2018, Magento has been taken over by Adobe, which has contributed more to the development of the Enterprise version. 

Shopify Plus and Magento 2 Commerce - comparison in key aspects 

 

Magento 2 Commerce 

Shopify Plus 

Hosting 

Maintained on your own server or in a Cloud version 

Hosting Shopify 

Customer support 

Paid support with a paid license 

Free 24/7  

Dedicated manager under license 

Development opportunities 

 

A full range of development work is necessary, all necessary modifications can be made 

Development work is not required at all or to a small extent, not everything can be done 

Adaptation possibilities 

 

Almost limitless 

Smaller than in Magento 

Types of products 

 

7 types od products, including digital and downloadable 

2 types of products 

Product variants 

unlimited 

Max. 100 variants 

Integration opportunities 

unlimited 

 

Limited by available APIs 

 

Licensing costs 

 

Annual fee based on forecast annual sales (GMV) starting at 22k $/year and rising 

In the Cloud version the fee starts at 3.33k $/month with hosting 

0.25% of the turnover min 2k$/month, which gives a min. 24k $/year 

Time to market 

Minimum 2 - 3 months of work per year 

We can sell for 1 day up to 20 weeks 

Target client 

Strongly scalable businesses, very large product catalogues, multi-warehouse, multi-language, multi-currency, customised functional solutions 

Fast-growing sales businesses, lower development requirements, higher Time to Market requirements, quick integration opportunities 

 

 Shopify Plus and Magento 2 Commerce  - wider cost comparison                       

 

Magento 2 Commerce 

 

Shopify Plus 

Monthly cost of the license 

 

From $1,840 and upwards, depending on GMV 

0.25% turnover, min $2000 

Hosting 

On your own, usually from $1000 upwards, depending on the scale of implementation 

Free under licence 

Cost of building the website (EU costs) 

50k $ – 500k $ 

20k $ - 100k $ 

Support and updating costs 

Agreed with the implementation partner usually from $2k to $15k per month 

Maintenance, SLA and upgrades included in the license price 

Reporting 

Magento BI up to $100 up to $2000 per month 

Included in the licence price 

 

Applications 

Paid once for implementation and update 

Monthly subscription for maintenance, average about $200 a month 

Total monthly cost of living 

From 5000 $ 

From 2200 $ 

 

Scalability of Shopify Plus and Magento 2 Commerce solutions 

Both of that solutions are designed and adapted to the high business scalability. Although both systems are adapted to this, the solution is different. 

In Magento 2 Commerce, when we address the issue of scalability, we are also talking about cost scaling. Scalability in Magento should be foreseen already at the stage of designing and implementing the future system. At the very beginning it is necessary to anticipate the possibility of high traffic in the store. This means that we need to have an adapted server infrastructure, hosting, SLA. The whole architecture must take into account the capacity and sales pick. So from the very beginning we incur high costs all year round to be efficient a few days a year. 

 

For Shopify Plus, the topic of scalability and performance is managed by Shopify - because it is a fully hosted SaaS solution. This ensures, that the Shopify-based shop is adapted from day one to accept every sales pick-up. The shop owner on Shopify Plus can quietly shift the burden of scalability and performance aside and can focus time and energy on value-added activities, such as product innovation, marketing and user experience. 

Customization and implementation options for Shopify Plus and Magento 2 Commerce 

  

Magento 2 Commerce is a fully open-source platform, so we can make all the modifications that we need. Unfortunately, it also involves quite high costs. Magento code building architecture requires work of specialized programmers. Additionally, each individual modification in Magento code prevents us from future automatic upgrading to newer versions, so current programming support is non-stop necessary and expensive. 

 

Implementation of a Magento store usually requires up to one year of work by programmers, network architects, DEVobs and the implementation team. The implementation doesn’t require a standardized code, so a possible change of the implementation agency or a combination of independent applications will certainly cause many problems with maintaining and developing the system code. 

 

In order to build a professional shop on Shopify, all you need to do is know front-end programming based on Liquid. In addition to full control over the front-end code in Shopify Plus we have Shopify Scripts available to increase the functionality and flexibility of ready-made solutions. Additionally, thanks to access to the SDK, we can create our own private and public applications, all while maintaining system scalability and security. Implementation of Shopify Plus usually requires about 6 - 20 weeks of work, but theoretically we can start sales after a day's configuration and selection one of many ready-made templates. 

Security of Shopify Plus and Magento 2 Commerce systems 

Nowadays, security is a key value for any business, especially in the e-commerce channel. Both systems meet PCI security requirements. However, it is important to look at these systems from the point of view of maintaining security over time. 

 

In case of Magento 2 Commerce, the owner of the implemented system is responsible for security. His responsibility is to constantly monitor threats, update the server software, secure the network and maintain the Magento version updated to security requirements. Please note that Magento is an open-source solution, i.e. it is more vulnerable to attack attempts. 

  

Shopify Plus is a SaaS solution, so it is Shopify that hosts, protects and maintains the core store to current PCI requirements. Shopify provides without the shop owner's involvement or additional costs:  

- Maintaining network security,  

- protection of customer data and their transactions,  

- managing access control to servers and infrastructure,  

- regular monitoring and testing of networks and software.

  

In the case of Magento, the shop owner must ensure that these steps are taken. 

  

Manufacturer support and software update 

Magento officially offers support for customers of Magento 2 Commerce system, but practically it is just a promise. When a selected implementation company individually processes the Magento code, the support from the manufacturer usually ends and it is necessary to maintain the SLA agreement with the partner.

  

Attention should be paid to the support for older versions of Magento - which for Magento 1 systems ends on 30 June 2020. This situation forces the migration to a newer version of Magento or to another system. 

  

In the case of Shopify, from the very first day we get access to dedicated help through Launch Engineer, who will help us to get acquainted with the system or carry out the migration from another system. In Shopify there is no support topic for previous versions, as we always work on the latest version of the system in the SaaS model.