Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce — Who is the winner? (2020)
Are you an e-commerce store owner with millions of dollars in sales per year? If so, you may want to consider migrating your store to an enterprise-level platform. Two of the most highly appreciated options at the moment are Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce (formerly Magento Enterprise and Magento Enterprise Cloud).
You may wonder which platform is more powerful, but well, this is just one part of the question. The other part is about which one is better suited to your current business. Well, it is not really the question of which platform is more powerful. It is about which one is better suited to your current business. This article will compare the functionality of Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce to help you make your final decision.
Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce: Overview
Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce, the best two platforms for enterprise brands, are exclusively for high volume sales. They are frequently pitted against one another for platform superiority, even though in reality they have very little in common.
Shopify Plus is the enterprise edition of Shopify, one of the biggest names among online shopping carts. Shopify Plus offers the same core dashboard and features as Shopify, but it also gives you a lot more tools. You would have access to new features, integrations, your store’s underlying code, dedicated support options, and more. Some of the most well-known Shopify Plus’s clients are: Nestle, Hawkers, Kylie Jenner, Budweiser, PepsiCo, Current Body, Gymshark, Protein World.
Magento is better-known as an open-source e-commerce platform, providing a free comprehensive solution for online retailers. However, Magento has been offering a free and a paid version of its platform since its inception. With the release of their Magento 2.0 version in 2015, these versions were re-branded as Magento 2 Open-Source (previously Community) and Magento Commerce (previously Enterprise & Cloud). Magento Commerce gives you two options to self-host or pay for cloud-hosting as part of the subscription fee. Some of the largest Magento Commerce’s customers are: Helly Hansen, Paul Smith, End Clothing, MADE.com, BrewDog, Paperchase, Bulk Powders.
If you want to know more about the difference between Magento Community vs Magento Enterprise, you should have a look at our article.
Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce Comparison
Before considering other factors, you may want to take pricing into account. Every store owner wants to avoid unnecessary charges to minimize their investment.
How much is Shopify Plus?
With Shopify Plus, you need to click on the “Get Pricing” button and fill in their contact form to get a quotation. Their pricing is not public on the website, and you can negotiate the rates based on your sales volume. But you can have a look at the costs that you have to incur below:
- Platform fee: the minimum charge for this is $2,000. However, their charging method will change into a revenue-based model after you score $800,000/month in sales. You will pay 0.25 % of your monthly revenue, but no more than $40,000.
- Credit card processing fees: The fee differs depending on what payment method you choose. Shopify offers its own payment provider (Shopify Payments) along with a wide range of supported third-party payment providers. For Shopify Payment, the default payment method on Shopify, you will have to pay 2.15% plus $0.30 for each transaction on domestic Visa and MasterCard. Luckily, this rate on Shopify Payment can be negotiable if you have high sales volume and good merchant history. “Good merchant history” here means that your business is not in an industry which has had a history of scamming, and the products you sell do not violate regulations and legal requirements. For AMEX and international cards, you would bear an additional fee of 1%.
If choosing other payment gateways like PayPal, 2Checkout, Skrill, you would incur an extra 0.15% fee.
- Hosting: Shopify Plus requires no further cost on hosting service. Migrating your site to Shopify Plus will clear any concern about hosting, networking, or load testing.
- Development cost: Theoretically, your build cost is from zero to $180 if you use available Shopify themes. However, as a large retailer, you may demand custom features for your store. Depending on the agency hired, your customization cost can differ significantly from $30,000 to $250,000.
How much is Magento Commerce?
For Magento 2 Commerce, you encounter the following charges:
- Platform fee: Magento’s license fee is an annual up-front fee based on merchants’ Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and company size. As a result, the pricing for Magento varies widely. Licensing starts at about $22,000 per year.
The table below shows the platform fee of Magento Commerce based on annual revenue:
- Hosting: Unlike Shopify, hosting service is not included in Magento’s platform charge. You may consider selecting third–party hosting services that cost about $1,000/month. Another choice is Magento 2 Commerce Cloud Hosting, about $3,333 per month for both hosting and platform fee combined.
- Development cost: Average Magento Commerce Edition build cost varies between $100,000 and $500,000, and can also be much higher. It is much more expensive than Shopify Plus. However, it is also more scalable thanks to its ability to develop custom features.
Some may be confused why development cost on Magento Commerce is much more expensive than Shopify Plus. Although Shopify Plus enables you to customize your store much more than the normal plans, server-level configuration is still restricted. Even when you want to pay more to modify the site to the way you want, you cannot change anything. Magento Commerce would be favorable option for store owners that need to access source code for further development features.
About Magento Commerce hosting fee from a third-party provider, $1,000 is just the minimum recommended rate. Based on your store traffic, you need to choose a reliable hosting company and a suitable package. If the number of site visitors increase unexpectedly and your server is not strong enough, your site would crash down.
Compared to Magento 2 Commerce, Shopify Plus has an edge over in terms of support. The support saves you a considerable amount of cash that you need to pay for development.
You are able to get access to a dedicated merchant success manager. He/She would be available 24/7 to help you grow your business and handle all your issues without any additional fee. You are free to request support for technical problems, marketing or conversion rate optimization. Support is accessible via different channels like phone, email or live chat.
Meanwhile, for Magento Commerce clients, it is purely developer support. Magento Commerce Consulting Group (ECG) can also give you a hand, but it requires extra fee.
From this aspect, Magento Commerce has an absolute advantage over Shopify Plus. Large-scale stores need an enormous number of product variants with distinct colors, sizes, styles,… To satisfy that kind of demand, Magento Commerce offers store owners unlimited variants. However, you should not let the number of records exceed 2,500 per product.
Meanwhile, whether you are using Shopify or Shopify Plus, you only have a restriction of 100 variants and 3 options on a specific configurable product. This is an absolute hurdle for the growth of high-scope stores on the platform. To handle this issue, you need to use custom options by installing an app on Shopify like Advanced Product Options by MageWorx and Infinite Options by ShopPad Inc. However, you cannot manage stock with these options and multi-level details for variants are not available either.
4. Multi-store management
Luckily, merchants are now able to create multiple stores on both Shopify Plus and Magento Commerce.
As a future store owner on Shopify Plus, you would be interested in the following features:
- Expansion store: Shopify Plus enables you to add 9 more storefronts for shoppers from various locations besides the main one. From a single dashboard, you can manage all your stores, analytics, employee accounts, user permissions, and automation tools. However, you need to notice that each additional store would be charged based on your GMV (Gross Merchandising Value).
- Currency Converter: Only stores using Shopify Payment can use this feature. The conversion fee will be added to the last price and automatically converted based on the foreign exchange rate. Unfortunately, it means that you cannot set up different prices for a product in separate locations.
- Multi-warehouse: Like Shopify, Shopify Plus allows you to set up many locations to track your inventory and fulfill your orders efficiently. You can only have 4 locations on the Basic Shopify plan, but the maximum number in Shopify Plus would be 20.
Magento’s multi-store architecture seems to be superior to Shopify Plus. From just one interface, you can manage multi-brand, regional stores and all B2C/B2B stores. In comparison with Shopify Plus, Magento Commerce supports the features below:
- Expansion store: Magento sets no limit to the number of additional stores you can create. It helps you to build various websites for a unique brand or even multiple brands. Product catalogs can be shared across different websites, stores, and store views, and you can easily make changes at distinct levels. This feature is unavailable on Shopify Plus, although it is essential for store owners with large catalogs shared across many sites.
- Localized pricing: If your business is running globally, there are many reasons why you want to set different product prices in different locations. It can vary a lot because of inventory cost, taxes, competitors, etc. You do not want to simply convert to another currency based on foreign exchange rate like in Shopify Plus.
- Multi-source inventory (MSI): This is a built-in feature since the release of Magento 2.3, not only on Magento Commerce but also on Magento Open Source. You can set up your own stocks, sources, salable quantity, performance, and partial shipment. Furthermore, Magento has its own Source Selection Algorithm to optimize the operation of your inventory.
In this competition between Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce, Magento Commerce is the obvious winner when it comes to multi-store management. No matter how big your brand is, you can keep expanding without meeting any limitations.
Merchandising is “the activity of promoting the sale of goods” and it plays a significant role in the success of an e-commerce business. Without a doubt, Magento is much more flexible in this field and better suited to customized requirements. Natively, there are 7 standard product types on Magento Commerce:
- Simple products
- Configurable products
- Bundled products
- Downloadable products
- Virtual products
- Grouped products
- Gift cards
Meanwhile, Shopify Plus only supports 1 type of product, but you can use variants for configurable items. Because of its simplicity to manage a product category, Shopify Plus is a favorable choice for simple products like fashion retailers. If your store is using Magento Commerce Edition, you can create rules to set up related products that you want to display. These rules reduce the manual work, especially for sellers with large categories (consisting of thousands of products). This is the unique selling point of Magento Commerce and a feature that lots of merchants use a lot.
Visual merchandising is also available on Magento Commerce. It is a set of advanced tools that allows you to position products and apply conditions that determine which products appear in the category listing. It also enables merchants to position products and apply conditions that determine which products appear in the category listing. You can just drag and drop or set position value to change the position of a product.
When it comes to Shopify Plus, the platform can also facilitate merchandising in some ways. Users can choose from base ordering options and also manually reorder products in their collections, which is better than a lot of platforms. You are also able to set a base order and then switch to manual and re-order from there, which satisfies a lot of users.
The options for base ordering are:
- Best selling
- Product name A-Z and Z-A
- Price high-low and low-high
- Newest and oldest
You can then use the manual method as well, which allows for users to drag and drop products in their chosen order, as below:
Alternatively, you can improve your merchandising performance is out-sourcing to third-party apps and extensions. Magento Marketplace and Shopify App Store can provide you tons of tools.
6. B2B functionality
In Shopify Plus, there is a Wholesale section in the dashboard for you to set up a separate channel. Based on your existing shopping cart data (products, customers, orders…), you can configure your tiered pricing structure and discounts for specific customers. However, this feature is still quite limited for sellers.
The front-end template for wholesale is extremely basic and everything is non-editable, except for your logo.
As you can see from the theme above, if you need to add other product details in the category page such as star rating, numbers of orders, you have no way but customize the theme from scratch for different groups of tagged customers, or build a completely separate store for wholesale.
Moreover, you also have to encounter issues with payment and shipping options. It is impossible for you to provide different payment methods (e.g. pay a certain percentage of total cost as a deposit first, and make the full payment later), shipping options (e.g. a special shipping rate for customers or a same day option) to different wholesale customers.
On the contrary, Magento Commerce is a much more comprehensive solution for B2B businesses. Magento B2B suite comes with a lot of strong features, such as:
- Manage quotes
- Create customer-specific catalogs
- Manage various settings against customers
- Assign roles to users
- Assign budgets to users and companies
- Setup credit limits
- Various approval workflows
Even when you are using Magento Open Source, things like customer groups, tiered pricing, customer-based pricing and product availability, customer-specific promotions,… are all supported. These features are also available on Magento Commerce, and a wholesale store with those functions is even better than a store in Shopify Plus. You can even turn your Magento store into a multi-vendor marketplace like Amazon, Alibaba, Etsy… just with an extension.
7. Extensions and apps
When it comes to existing integrations and marketplaces for extensions and apps, both platforms have well-established ecosystems. The majority of the popular third-party systems, like ERPs, fulfillment services, payment gateways,… are now available on their app store and marketplace.
As a SaaS offering, Shopify Plus has thousands of pre-vetted apps available to support merchants at very low cost. You can access more support with advanced Shopify apps that are exclusive for high-growth merchants:
- Shopify Flow: an e-commerce automation platform that helps you reclaim your time and focus on growing your business. With Flow, it is easy to automate tasks and ideas within your store and across your apps.
- Launchpad: a scheduling tool that lives inside your Shopify admin allowing you to schedule product visibility, Shopify Scripts, themes, discounts, and more with a defined start and end time. It is particularly a helpful tool to automate your sales campaigns on Black Friday, Cyber Monday,…
- Transporter: data migration tools that simplifies the process of switching to Shopify Plus. However, you need to convert legacy platform data to Shopify-friendly CSV files, which means your data file structure needs to follow Shopify’s standard. If you are not a tech person, it can be a huge obstacle for your migration process. In that case, LitExtension would be the best choice for you to get the job done.
Unlike Shopify Plus, Magento Commerce does not build any exclusive apps for large-scale users. However, you still have a wide range of choice between 404 third-party extensions on Magento Marketplace that support both self-hosting and cloud-hosting versions.
SEO is a principal factor to your e-commerce business. Therefore, merchants would definitely prefer choosing a SEO-friendly platform from the start.
Thanks to Magento Commerce’s open-source system, it is more flexible to improve SEO performance on this platform. Additional features like no-follow links, redirect links and canonical tags make it easier for search engines like Google, Bing, to index your website. Magento is actually very strong for SEO and you will not need to make substantial changes.
Another big strength of Magento Commerce over Shopify Plus is that your store does not need to be on a local CCtld (country code top-level domain) or a subdomain. You can absolutely build it on a sub-directory. With sub-directories, your site could get crawled more often as you are constantly adding new content. The SEO authority that you have will be inherited by your primary site.
In contrast, with Shopify Plus, you make any configurations at server level. You cannot modify things like URL structure and hierarchy and caching headers, or implement certain technical SEO components easily. Shopify Plus comes with a very basic set of SEO options. You can only edit meta tags and optimize both your inventory and your product pages. And lastly, building a Shopify Plus store on a sub-directory is impossible.
Shopify Plus vs Magento Commerce: Conclusion
Overall, Shopify Plus is more suitable for stores that are quickly growing and requires less complex, customized and integrated solutions. It is especially the best option if your website is already on Shopify.
For those of you looking to build your portfolio on a large, international scale and are close to generating $5 million in revenue per year, Magento Commerce would offer you more flexibility. It provides a much richer core functionalities than Shopify Plus. You may want to consider: do you need flexibility or simplicity for your business? Obviously, the more flexible and customizable a platform is, the more complex it is.
Are you planning to migrate your store?
After careful consideration, you may have already made your own choice for your business. If you are planning migrate from Shopify Plus to Magento Commerce or vice versa, LitExtension is there for you.
With our help, switching to another platform is no longer a big deal. We offer an advanced automated migration tool that transfers all your data to another platform quickly, with high level of security and accuracy.
To have your doubt cleared in a blink of an eye, we provide a free Demo Migration feature for you to check it on yourself how the process works. Should you have any questions, please contact LitExtension Team!