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In our last post, we discussed how Shopify, Magento and Magento Commerce compared to each other in terms of your business size and budget. While these two factors are important to consider when launching an eCommerce store, functionality also comes into play.
When you think about your individual business needs, you probably have certain ideas in mind. Be sure to choose an eCommerce platform that accommodates your vision.
Shopify: A Plug-and-Play Solution that can do wonders for your business
The number of people gravitating to Shopify each year is growing. Since its launch in 2004, the eCommerce platform has quickly evolved into one of the world’s leading online retail tools. Shopify is considered one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in North America and is now home to 1 million business owners (as of November 2019).
Here are some of the perks of using Shopify.
- Shopify is ideal for beginners
For those who want to build an online store from scratch, Shopify is a practical solution. It includes all the functionality needed to launch an eCommerce website in minutes, even with the basic plan. Shopify handles store layout and taxes, and users have full control of their stores via the dashboard. It is also considered one of the best platforms for dropshipping.
- It is an easy-to-use platform
Shopify offers dozens of modern and stylish themes, so users without design experience can still create a store that is visually appealing. In addition, Shopify’s platform does not require you to have web development or tech skills to keep sites running smoothly.
Users of all levels are able to create unlimited products and manage inventory through a user-friendly dashboard. They can also access marketing and social media integration tools. Many more useful features can be leveraged at additional costs.
- Shopify offers headache-free hosting
Shopify includes unlimited and secure eCommerce hosting on all plans. It holds a leading position on the “hosted, all-in-one” platform market. It is traditionally best recommended for startups and small to medium-sized ventures.
Magento Open Source: A Tech-Savvy Platform
Magento, originally launched in 2008, has been repeatedly ranked among the best eCommerce platforms. Originally known as Magento Community Edition (CE), it became Magento Open Source as part of a 2017 rebranding initiative. It is an open-source platform, meaning the source code is available to users to modify and share. Additionally, the website hosting is managed locally rather than through a third-party Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. Magento Open Source is recommended for medium- to large-sized enterprises with online retail experience.
- Magento is more suitable for advanced developers
The basic version of Magento is free. However, a user on this plan must provide their own hosting and is responsible for setup and configuration. Medium to high-level programming and web development skills are required.
While this may sound like a tough task, the platform is not impossible to use if you are a beginner. There are a variety of templates to choose from, so it may be a plausible option if you consider yourself a tech-savvy fast learner. Otherwise, you may consider hiring a developer.
- The platform is focused on scalability and growth
Many big brands who are using Magento Commerce for their online retail platform started out using the more lightweight Magento Open Source. As their businesses grew, they were able to easily upgrade to Magento Commerce to better suit their needs. Growth forecasts are something to keep in mind as you navigate your eCommerce journey so you can plan ahead.
- Magento has a variety of apps and add-ons
Since its inception, Magento has built a global user community of certified developers and partners, and the platform continues to improve as a result. An abundance of extensions, plugins and third-party integrations make it possible for users to easily expand the functionality of their online stores.
Magento Commerce takes functionality further
Magento Commerce, previously known as Magento Enterprise Edition (EE), is aimed at larger businesses with its license fee starting at $22,000 per year. It is offered as an on-premise or cloud-based solution as part of the Magento Commerce Cloud.
- Magento Commerce facilitates enterprise-scale functionality
The core codebase for both Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce is the same. The enterprise edition combines powerful out-of-the-box functionality and various tools to transform your business. Switching to the Commerce version of Magento can be justified if your business requires access to such features as B2B suite, page builder, visual merchandising, content staging and preview, various pre-installed modules and more.
- On-premise vs. Commerce Cloud solutions
The on-premise version of Magento Commerce may be preferable for merchants who have experience running in-house enterprise-grade systems or a team of developers. Some organizations even avoid cloud-based systems because of the risk for downtimes, etc. However, about half of new Magento Commerce clients choose the cloud option.
Magento Commerce Cloud offers a scalable solution that offers all the benefits of the Magento platform. It also lifts the burden of self-hosting. In recent years, Magento has made many advancements with its cloud service that has resulted in better online support, enhanced security, stronger infrastructure and improved performance.
While it is important to know how eCommerce platforms differ in terms of functionality, cost is a factor for any business. Some features may have to be bypassed if the price tag is too high. Don’t miss our next post that will show a price comparison between Shopify, Magento and Magento Commerce.