April 26, 2021 by Ben Chafetz

Comparing Magento Commerce Vs. Shopify Plus – Everything You Need To Know

If you’re looking to expand your eCommerce business, you may be wondering if you should switch to a new eCommerce platform. Magento Commerce and Shopify Plus are both positioned to provide quickly-growing entrepreneurs and enterprise businesses with the features they need to scale their eCommerce capabilities. 

But which one is better, and will provide a better return on investment? That’s a good question.

To determine which one may be a better fit for your business, we need to look at a few different aspects of each platform, as follows:

  1. Analytics & Reporting
  2. Integration Capabilities
  3. Scalability
  4. Product Catalog 
  5. Search
  6. Themes 
  7. Security
  8. Vendor Support & Resources
  9. B2B eCommerce Features
  10. Pricing

Ready to get started? Let’s discuss the differences between Magento Commerce vs. Shopify Plus now, and help you determine which platform might be a better choice for your eCommerce store.

1. Analytics & Reporting

When it comes to analytics and reporting, Shopify Plus has a lot of features that are great for enterprises and quickly-growing eCommerce businesses. You get reports with overviews of:

  • Finances, including taxes and payments
  • Product analytics
  • Live view of data
  • Marketing and behavior reports
  • Inventory and acquisition reports
  • Sales and profit report
  • Customers reports

Each category has several individual reports to examine. Shopify’s reports are based on a tiered pricing system – but with Shopify Plus, you get full access to all of these reports.

Magento Commerce features 21 basic reports split across the categories of Orders, Customers, and Products. But you also get access to the Magento Business Intelligence Suite, which contains an enormous suite of advanced, customizable reporting tools giving you insights on your website’s performance, customer behavior, and much more. 

2. Integration Capabilities

Shopify Plus has reasonably-good integrations with leading software and platforms from Microsoft, Quickbooks, NetSuite and SAP, as well as a selection of 60+ Shopify Plus partners who offer integrations for marketing automation, fraud prevention, shipping solutions, customer support and more.

This is pretty good, and means Shopify Plus is a decent choice if you’re interested in its supported integrations. However, it’s not easy to integrate unsupported platforms and tools – so if your accounting software isn’t supported, for example, you can’t use custom code to integrate it into your installation.

That’s where Magento Commerce has the edge. Not only does the Magento Marketplace feature thousands of paid and free extensions, but Magento Commerce also supports modern APIs like RESTful, as well as webhooks and other major integration methods. With the right development team, it’s possible to integrate almost any third-party software or tool directly into your Magento store – which provides you with a lot more flexibility.

3. Scalability

Shopify Plus boasts excellent scalability, since it’s a cloud-based platform. You will automatically get access to more bandwidth, storage, and computing resources as you need them – with no intervention needed from you or your administrators. It uses a combination of AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google Cloud Platform to host eCommerce websites.

In addition to this, Shopify supports unlimited expansion stores and allows you to administer all of them from the same platform, though if you have more than 10 total stores, you’ll need to pay an additional fee. Shopify also supports multiple currencies and languages, making it easier to scale into new service areas.

Magento Commerce is very similar but has a slight edge over Shopify Plus.  It’s very scalable since it’s hosted using Adobe’s cloud infrastructure, which is built on AWS. 

You can also host unlimited stores with Magento Commerce. Unlike Shopify, there is no additional charge for doing so, so Magento Commerce is a better option if you have a very large portfolio of brands and eCommerce stores to manage. Multi-currency and multi-language support is also excellent in Magento Commerce, so you can continue to expand beyond your home country.

4. Product Catalog

Shopify Plus offers an extensible, flexible catalog, which can support a huge number of total items. There is no cap on the number of items you can sell using this service. There are stores using Shopify Plus that have more than 1 million products in their catalog.

However, there is a strict 100-variant limit on individual products, due to the architecture used to build Shopify. It’s not possible to create more than 100 variants of an individual product. This is not usually a problem for most eCommerce stores, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Beyond basic product catalog functionality, Shopify Plus also supports a wide variety of features to help you sell more items and boost average order value, including product bundles, free gifts, discounts, and free shipping. 

Magento Commerce offers a similar set of features. There are no limits on how many products you can add, and features that allow you to up-sell, cross-sell, and show related products when customers are browsing your product catalog and checking out. Rule-based shipping offers and promotions can also be quickly and automatically integrated into your Magento product catalog.

But In addition to this, Magento Commerce allows you to create a single, unified product catalog for each and every store you run, which dramatically simplifies the process of managing and administering your backend.

5. Search

Search in Shopify Plus is usually considered to be pretty weak. It can search for items based on the product name and description, but does not have support for advanced features – such as adding synonyms to product searches. 

Because of this, most Shopify Plus customers turn to a search partner to improve the native search functionality on Shopify, such as InstantSearchPlus or a similar tool that extends search functionality and provides more powerful features.

Magento Commerce definitely has the edge here. It comes with Elasticsearch, which is one of the most powerful, versatile, and flexible search engines used on modern websites. This search engine allows Magento to provide a much richer and better user experience when it comes to eCommerce search. Natively, Magento Commerce supports the following with Elasticsearch:

  • Quick and advanced searches
  • Multiple languages
  • Stop words and synonyms
  • Real-time data and search analysis
  • Downtime-free search reindexing

If that’s not enough, you can extend the functionality of Magento’s search even further with extensions available on the Magento Marketplace – and add features like autocomplete and instant search with a few clicks.

6. Themes

Shopify Plus allows you to choose from hundreds of different free and paid themes using its theme store. It’s also possible to build a new theme and template from the ground up with the help of a development team if you want a custom solution rather than an off-the-shelf theme.

Magento comes with only 2 default themes out of the box, but thanks to its open-source design, there are a ton of different marketplaces online where you can browse, buy, and apply professionally designed themes and apply them to your store with just a few clicks. Both free and paid options are available, depending on your needs.

Magento Commerce also lets you build custom themes from the ground up to create a truly unique experience for your customers. With the help of web designers and developers, you can quickly build a one-of-a-kind theme and apply it to your store.

7. Security

Since both Magento Commerce and Shopify Plus are cloud-hosted solutions, they both offer excellent security, and you don’t have to worry about getting your own hosting provider or meeting PCI standards.

All stores powered by Shopify Plus and Magento Commerce are PCI-compliant, since they are both Level 1 Service Providers under PCI/DSS (Payment Card Industry/Data Security Standard) regulations. This simplifies the process of PCI compliance, since merchants can use Shopify or Magento’s Attestation of Compliance to verify that they comply with PCI standards.

8. Vendor Support & Resources

Shopify Plus members get dedicated front-end technical support for their websites, as well as a “Launch Team” who helps migrate and set up their new eCommerce website when they first sign up.

In addition to this, Shopify has a lot of resources and tools for new Shopify Plus users, such as the Shopify Plus Academy, as well as plenty of technical documentation for you and your administration and development team.

Magento Commerce offers comparable support. When you first launch your Magento Commerce Store, you’ll get help from a Magento technical support specialist to make sure that the process goes smoothly. You also get priority access to customer support, and can file support tickets 24/7 to get the assistance that you and your team need if you encounter an issue with Magento.

Magento also has an enormous community that can help you troubleshoot and resolve most technical issues without filing a support ticket. There are dozens of online communities and forums dedicated to Magento and Magento Commerce, which are very helpful resources when launching and running your eCommerce store.

9. B2B eCommerce Features

When it comes to B2B eCommerce, Magento Commerce is the clear winner. Shopify Plus may be the “enterprise” version of Shopify, but it’s very clearly designed for B2C sales. It does have some B2B features, but these are fairly limited. These include:

  • The ability to set up a password-protected wholesale store with tiered pricing and separate catalogs
  • Custom user-based pricing and catalogs for individuals or groups
  • Flexible payment and negotiation options
  • Payment options including purchase orders
  • Self-service reordering and order management
  • Integrations with CRM, OMS, ERP, and 3PL software

Magento Commerce includes all of these features, as well as a lot of other advanced B2B features that make it a better solution for business-to-business sales. To name just a few, these include:

  • One-click reordering
  • Order by SKU
  • Support for bank transfers, credit cards, purchase orders, net terms, and all other major payment methods
  • Rule-based fulfillment to handle multiple fulfillment centers
  • Tiered accounts with multiple levels of buyers and varying permissions

Overall, we think Magento is a superior choice for complex B2B sales – especially since it’s an open-source platform that supports more features and customizations. 

10. Pricing

Shopify Plus starts at $2,000/month, and depending on your overall sales volume, it may increase in price. There are no other hidden fees or add-ons – what you see is what you pay. To get a quote for how much you’ll pay based on your sales volume, you can

Magento Commerce is similar. It’s priced based on your Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and Average Order value (AOV). The more you sell, the more you’ll pay – since higher sales mean higher resource utilization. To get an estimate for how much your Magento Commerce license will cost, you can contact Magento support

Choosing Between Shopify Plus & Magento Commerce? Let Us Help!

Shopify Plus and Magento Commerce are similar in many ways, but they’re far from identical – and it’s important to understand the differences between these platforms when determining which one is right for your business.

If you’d like to learn more about Magento Commerce, how it differs from Shopify Plus, and whether or not it’s right for you, 121eCommerce is here to help. Contact us for a consultation now. We’re always happy to discuss your needs, and whether or not Magento Commerce is the right choice for your business.


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