It’s easy to get lost in all the eCommerce platforms options.
It’s also tempting to just choose the most popular one, and realise (after a while) that:
- you either feel like the platform cannot keep up with the potential of your business,
- or you feel like you’re overpaying for the things you don’t use often, or won’t be ever using at all.
In both cases, or your business efficiency drops down, or you feel like you have just reached the top of your possibilities.
Therefore, we strongly believe that spending a short while, and reading about possible options will make your work and business much better prepared for the future.
Our recommended choices
We have chosen three popular eCommerce platforms, that are great for:
- Small and freshly starting businesses
- Businesses that are in the moment of hyper growth
So anyone can find something for himself.
Here you will find a ready-made comparison of the three popular platforms that we recommend using for different sized companies – Shopify vs Magento vs Saleor – with the consideration of the crucial aspects.
Common difficulties when selecting an eCommerce platform
As we said, choosing an eCommerce platform seems not an easy task. There are so many different options and possibilities that require thorough research or consideration, that it’s best to start from your needs and capabilities.
So, one of the most common problems is choosing the suitable size and complexity of technology fitted exactly to your specific case.
Some are aimed at medium and large businesses, and the others are designed with regard to small businesses.
The wrong option leads to high costs, problematic use of the chosen platform, difficulties with customizing the webshop, and most of all – wasted opportunities.
Resons for choosing a platform
This is why eCommerce platform choice might be a time- and money-consuming process. It involves not only getting familiar with various options, but also reading opinions, and testing a few possibilities using free trials.
Maybe you are new in the market, and your business is just starting to grow and offering goods online. Frequently, the decision about the choice of a new platform is also based on dissatisfaction with the current one.
Sometimes technologies prove to be useless, not suitable, and too expensive for your needs. Thus, you are disappointed with the services, and you search for new possibilities.
This kind of migration between platforms is not unusual. The shop might have outgrown the capability of the current technology, or the business owner wants to develop their webshop in ways that the currently used platform does not offer.
Popular eCommerce platforms – a comparison
We love to recommend three popular eCommerce platforms that we consider great for different-sized webshops. These are Shopify vs Magento vs Saleor.
Each has its advantages, but also drawbacks that make them suitable, or unsuitable, for a certain group of users.
You might probably already know which one to choose, but you wish to be a bit more certain, or you have only just started selecting one. Whatever are your reasons are, here you will find an extensive juxtaposition of the three we recommend.
One of the most commonly used eCommerce platforms serving the world-known businesses is Shopify. Its popularity is not a coincidence. Shopify offers its users a vast array of possibilities, with the easiness to start out in the first place.
In comparison with others, it performs well and is suitable especially for beginners. The simplicity of the platform is visible, especially in the Shopify vs Magento juxtaposition.
However, like every other platform, it has its disadvantages as well.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a hosted website builder that allows fast and easy creation of webshop. It has numerous advantages for small businesses that do not have their own team of web developers. It is also an easy-to-use platform because it does not require the knowledge of coding to choose a theme, change its arrangement, or add different features.
Pros of Shopify
The major pros of using Shopify are:
- It is easy to use for beginners
- No coding knowledge required.
- Ready to use themes.
- Hosting provided.
- Responsive themes.
- Multichannel selling on various websites.
- Extensive app store.
- Customers support.
Cons of Shopify
- The majority of themes are not for free.
- Transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments.
- It is not intuitive in terms of SEO.
Not sure which one to choose?
Shopify has an impressive collection of apps in its store, but there are also numerous built-in functionalities.
- Sales tools – Shopify provides users with a variety of sales tools, such as abandoned cart recovery, or multi-channeling. The first option helps to recover those sales that are potentially lost. It sends e-mails to the customers who had left the shop before finalizing the payment. Multi-channel sales allow you to sell on other websites (Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, or Instagram). Shopify enables offering digital as well as physical products. There is also a possibility to establish partnerships with a given courier service.
- Easy marketing – some built-in functionalities facilitate the marketing activities concerning your webshop. You may run some e-mail campaigns or advertise on different websites. There is also a possibility to create a multilingual version of the shop.
- Calculation of shipping charges – when selling products online, the possibility to quickly and accurately count the shipping charges is useful. Shopify offers a built-in option or a possibility to integrate with other calculators.
- Customization – although Shopify offers ready themes and templates, you also have a chance to customize them. You do not need the help of a web developer to choose fonts or the arrangement of elements in the webshop.
When is best to use Shopify?
Shopify is a good tool for small businesses and the ones that are just getting started and do not hire web developers nor have funds for that.
It requires monthly payments of subscription, but in return, it gives the outside hosting, so all you need to do is to click things out start selling online.
You don’t have to worry about the running of the page and transfers, as Shopify provides it all in the basic package and as a user, you can count on customer support, and you don’t have to worry about any technical problems yourself.
When not to use Shopify?
Shopify is great for beginners, as you can just click things out, and make your shop working right away.
However, this also makes it super limited if it comes to customization. You can have your shop quite easily, but it will look like thousands of other shops.
If you want customization, you will need to pay quite a lot for the Shopify Plus option, and hiring a Jamstack developer, or agency to build a customizable static storefront may appear a better idea in the long term.
On top of that, monolithic Shopify won’t be so SEO competitive, so we always recommend using Shopify as a headless platform, together with Jamstack/static storefront on the frontend to make it superfast, and more SEO efficient.
So, if you:
- just got bigger, and simple Shopify seems not enough, but Shopify Plus seems too expensive
- aim to deliver a better experience and more value to your customers than basic Shopify options
- want to become more recognizable than competitors
- aim to become more SEO efficient,
- using headless Shopify
- not using Shopify at all, and search for other possibilities
Magento is more difficult to use and customized than Shopify. As a result, it is mostly chosen by bigger businesses that have their web developers in the team or can hire them when needed.
In comparison Saleor vs Magento or Magento vs Shopify, it is not easy to indicate which of the three is best. All of them have different assets that are appealing to various businesses.
What is Magento?
Magento 2 (that is also using Adobe Commerce name recently) is an open-source eCommerce platform that enables you to build more complex webshops with outstanding user experience in mind.
If you consider using Magento, remember that you will need your own hosting, which is both a pro and a con, as you do not pay a monthly subscription fee, but you are also responsible for any possible problems with the hosting that will occur.
Magneto is an advanced tool, which means that you will need coding knowledge, or you will need to hire a team, or a developer to operate on the platform.
Pros of Magento
Among the major pros of Magento are:
- Flexibility and huge customization possibilities.
- Helpful and large community.
- Available themes to use.
- No subscription.
- Supports SEO.
Cons of Magento:
- Requires coding knowledge.
- Long time-tomarket
- Additional costs to make the shop operate properly.
- Hard to find a hosting provider.
Built-in functionalities of Magento are giving you quite a lot.
If you are searching for new technology to rebuild and improve your already existing webshop significantly, or you simply have funds to deliver a truly great and customizable user experience, Magento seems great to consider.
Its main built-in functionalities are:
- Unlimited customization – build a web shop truly the way you want it
- Visitor count and revenue reports – features that help better manage your webshop.
- Various product variants – in the online shop.
- Multilingual features
- SEO capabilities – Magento helps take care of SEO by suggesting possible solutions.
When is best to use Magento?
Magento is a good option for medium and large businesses that have large funds or a team of web developers at their disposal.
If you are considering migrating from one platform to another, to expand your business and improve the online shop, Magento will be the right choice.
One of its main advantages is the possibility to almost entirely customize the site.
When not to use Magento?
Magento is a powerful, effective eCommerce platform with a vast array of possibilities, but only for those tech-experienced, so if you don’t have any internal development forces, nor funds to hire Magento experts, it’s better to search for other options.
What is Saleor?
Saleor operates similarly to Magento as an open-source platform. It has numerous advantages that make software appealing to growing businesses. Mostly because it is focused on expanding and changing the already existing webshops.
As mentioned above, Saleor is an open-source technology, which gives its users a great deal of flexibility. As a result, the juxtaposition of Saleor vs Magento is more common than Saleor vs Shopify, as there are more similarities between the first two. What differentiates Saleor is that it is a headless eCommerce platform that gives possibilities to build your apps and use various frameworks.
Pros of Saleor
As the pros and cons of Saleor are the most interesting part for those who consider using it, here are the main advantages of this platform:
- Operates fast and allows full personalization.
- Easy to integrate with other systems.
- Possibility to use the ready-made shop.
- Is multilingual and accepts various currencies.
Cons of Saleor
- Hard to use for beginners.
As eCommerce software, Saleor has useful built-in functionalities that facilitate the operations of a webshop, making the purchase experience more pleasant for customers and allowing the business to expand.
- Inventory and catalog management – allows recording inventory and monitoring catalog of products.
- Multi-store – Saleor enables you to control multi-store operations with one platform.
- SEO operations – this platform helps you focus on the SEO of your webshop.
- Easy returns managing.
- Integration with an existing ecosystem – of the business.
When is best to use Saleor?
Saleor is especially recommended to small and medium businesses that are on the verge of rapid growth.
It may not be the best choice for beginners, but it provides the business with possibilities to customize.
As a result, the webshop becomes easier to manage, and the customers have a satisfactory shopping experience.
The three eCommerce platforms described above have both similarities and differences, which might make the decision harder.
Not all of them are suitable for small companies, and some might prove to be not sufficient for larger businesses.
Best use cases
Shopify and Saleor are usually considered best for small and medium businesses. However, these are completely different platforms.
As a result, it is tough to create a Saleor vs Shopify complex comparison. Shopify is good for beginners and gives the possibility to work on webshops without outside help.
Saleor, on the contrary, requires knowledge of codes and using them. However, it gives numerous options to its users to customize the web page, similarly to Magento, which is recommended especially to larger businesses.
Juxtaposition of Shopify vs Magento vs Saleor
|Start cost||Monthly subscription||Free + additional extensions and features||Free + additional extensions and features|
|Pricing options (monthly cost)||from $29/month||Custom||Custom or from $950/month|
|Business size||Small, medium, and large||Medium and large||Small and medium|
|Max. number of items||No limits||No limits||No limits|
|Is it easy to build?||🟢||🔴||🔴|
|How fast can you start?||Immediately||After setting up hosting||After setting up hosting|
|Complexity of use||🟢||🔴||🔴|
|Do you need developers?||No||Yes||Yes|
|Flexible with other tools||🟢||🟢||🟢|
|Customer support||Online and 24/7||Online||Online|
As you see, searching for the differences between Shopify vs Magento vs Saleor makes sense in the case of different business options, individual needs, and goals of the business, as well as its size and available funds.
Only the right eCommerce platform will help your webshop develop and extend. There is no sense in choosing the option that is most popular or highly regarded if it has numerous features you will not use but will be paying for it.
The same is with selecting a platform that does not fulfill your expectations just because it is recommended by other users.
Still not sure which one to choose?