The platform battle of Magento vs Shopify rages on. Increasingly merchants are moving to Shopify from Magento due to easy of operations and website management.
For many, where the decision was a no-brainer, the move has already been done.
For others, this question rages on, as shopfiy adds more features from itself and its partners in an easy to manage.
This article is written in 2022 for the “others”.
The “others” I refer to have some of these characteristics
- A working eCommerce business – one that makes money, increasing the risk of a move
- Migrated to Magento 2 and hence have invested in the technology
- Customizations that differentiate the store and would be difficult to achieve in Shopify. These may include custom attributes, use of custom options, personalization technology, etc.
- Headless frontend
- Worried about data ownership
What are the pain points in Magento that makes merchants look at shopify
- Managing the Agency or Magento Agencies are expensive!
- Website speed scores or Magento website speed scores can be bad.
- Everything is so hard in Magento compared to Shopify
What options you have to ease the pain and stay on Magento?
- Managing the Agency.In my conversation with merchants unhappy with Magento, the main reason to consider a move is the performance of the Agency – i.e. they have an agency problem, not a platform problem.
- Agencies have powerful marketing presentations that appeal to the heart of an eCommerce merchant. But, a merchant should pay attention to the compatibility between of the agency to how the business operates before choosing one. Infact, it may be even desirable to manage multiple agency relationships.Some factors to consider.
- If you have an in-house project manager, you need developers – an strong in development. One of our customers has 2 agencies – a cheaper local and a more established one. Depending on the complexity of the project, they decide which agency will be best. They have their own project manager.
- Some agencies have a delivery manager that acts as a single point of contact. They work with you on your requirement, discuss with the developers and are responsible for the delivery. Ensure they communicate with all teams – including business and SEO.Some agencies offer a full eCommerce service – including SEO to development. These are very suitable for growing eCommerce arm of a omni channel merchant. Such agencies can work on outcome basis – with a profit share for example.
- A point of conflict between merchants and agencies is the business model – Agencies like an hourly billing model as it closely matches their biggest cost – the manpower used to execute the project. Many merchants may think of a fixed cost model best suits them – with outcomes well defined. Software on the other hand is very difficult to estimate, especially in an agile development world. Merchants wanting a fixed cost model should be more acceptable to cost escalations due to change requests.
- Use an expert to interface with an agency. If you have a complex project and do not have an inhouse eCommerce manager, it will be a good idea to hire an consultant to interface with the agency. The consultant can act as a project manager communicating the business needs to developers and ensuring the delivery meets the quality goals.
- The user interface. From a competitive perspective, UI is the most crucial part that can help you differentiate from your competitors. A more personalized website or an emersive experience will attract more visitors to stay and purchase.But, magento websites are slow on page speed scores, especially those developed on the original Magento 2 theming, which is archaic by todays UI technology standards.The Magento UI stack is evolving. Apart from the many headless options, Hyvä Themes has completely rewritten the theme to be fast and modern.Infact, in my opinion, UI should be the main reason to stay on Magento – the ability to give the best user experience. Rather than have a single page speed goal for the website, have a more user experience view. Even google suggests to have targets for faster website and work towards achieving them.
- Ease of Shopify vs Magento. A big complaint against Magento is its bloat – too many features, not many, easy to use. A customer recently made this comment when they were trying to enable the watermark in Magento. Turns out, while the watermark feature is shown in Magento’s admin dashboard, enabling it will immediately remove all images – until the developer had accounted for this in their development. The feature bloat meant the developer did not really understand why it would not work. While this feature just works out of the box in shopify.
Magento has a community
Magento has over the years grown to have a very vibrant community. Some estimates put it at over 300,000 strong. Mainly tech professionals, it also consists of many areas of eCommerce business.
For some merchants, it is important to know they (or their online business) is not beholden to a single corporation. A Shopify network for example, though very cohesive, is orchestrated by Shopify. Shopfiy does whet these vendors, but there is no assurance of quality given by Shopify on their behalf. Moreover, Shopfiy can decide to compete with one of the features with any partner in that network, making your favourite plugin obsolete.
Magento on the other hand has independent plugin developers, some of who have made a name for themselves. The agency and merchant have the task of ensuring every plugin they use is good in terms of quality and functionality.
Migration to shopify may not be all roses
On the other hand, shopify’s ease of administration can get in the way of large changes. A process has to be used including using staging site for UAT, git and tools like ThemeKit, Beanstalk and/or the shopify github app. Which brings back the agency and project management question.
Getting feature parity with a Magento website may also not be easy. One merchant moved to Shopify and lost some upsell opportunities as they had used custom options in Magento. They commissioned some custom development and realised that the agency would launch a server and store some data there. This added to a vendor lockin (their agency) they did not want.
luroConnect easing the pain of Magento and Headless/PWA
luroConnect is a managed hosting platform for eCommerce – including Magento and Headless eCommerce.
We believe in serving 2 stake holders in an eCommerce website – the developer / agency and the merchant. We have tools and features to help both. To remove the pain of taking developer code to production. luroConnect supports dev, staging and production environments, with an inbuilt CI/CD for all platforms we support, with low downtime deploys.
The luroConnect stack deploys on the cloud of customers’ choice. The production site is backed by a performance dashboard, configurable alerts and 24×7 support.
Our extensive agency network helps us match a merchant to an agency.
Considering moving from Magento to Shopify? Talk to us. We may just give you a reason to stay back!