Let’s briefly compare the two to see where
the differences originate from.
Magento and Shopify both offer an eCommerce solution, but any similarities end there. They have clearly distinct styles, which can be traced straight back to a difference in underlying philosophy.
Magento is open source, and like many open source solutions Magento assumes that users want complete freedom (read: thousands of options). Complete freedom comes at a price, however. To be able to use all these options, you need technical know-how. Lots of technical know-how.
Which brings us to one of the major disadvantages of Magento: unless you are an IT-wizard yourself, you will need a Magento developer for your bespoke webshop. The alternative, giving yourself a crash course in IT-wizarding, only works if you have plenty of room for trial & error. Which you usually do not have, as an online entrepreneur.
Complete freedom also comes with a bunch of responsibilities. Taking care of hosting yourself, for instance. Running updates by yourself, and if your site accidentally stops working after that, figuring out where the problem is, by yourself. Tackling issues with security, cyber attacks and whatnot, by yourself. Trying to get your crashed site back up, by yourself, the Sunday before Christmas, on the eve of the most profitable week of the year.
Of course you could outsource all that to your Magento developers, but this comes with an impressive price tag. And if you need them outside office hours, that price tag becomes more impressive still. The big advantage: you retain the final say at all times. The big disadvantage: problems will only be solved if and when you initiate it. And usually only for a fee.
The creators of Shopify clearly come from a different place.
They assume that users primarily want accessibility and ease of use.
The idea behind Shopify is that entrepreneurs want to have their hands free for their core business: selling stuff and making customers happy. Yielding a bit of control in exchange for that freedom is a good deal for these entrepreneurs. They'd rather not spend too much time on a digital tool: it should do what it is supposed to do, preferably in silence.
Hence, with Shopify you will never have to migrate to a completely renewed version of your platform. If your site becomes the target of a DDOS attack, you won't even notice it. Updates? Happen automatically. Hosting? Is included in the price, no action required on your part. Your traffic goes through the roof all of a sudden? Cloud-hosting smoothly broadens your bandwidth. Your site crashes? Hardly ever occurs. If you do run into an issue, you simply call the helpdesk. At no extra cost, and you won't have to explain to them what version of the software you're using and how you customized it with your own code.
This is not to say that Shopify doesn't have less attractive features. The most important is of course the ideological difference that we explained above. Do you want full control, at all cost, or do you want to have your hands free? That is a choice everyone has to make for themselves.
Next to this it's good to remember that Shopify takes a cut from every sale: between 0.15 and 2% depending on your plan. We should mention, however, that even with the levy Shopify is typically a lot cheaper than Magento. Hiring Magento developers for a couple of hours is sufficient to exceed the costs of a Shopify plan by far.
While we're on the subject of developers: for a migration you usually do need them, whether you work with Magento or with Shopify. The major advantage of Shopify here is this: it's so easy to configure that migrations take relatively little time. For that reason alone switching to Shopify is automatically way cheaper than migrating to Magento 2. As Magento developers have to admit: updating to 2.x is definitely no picnic.
Code can complete your migration from Magento to Shopify in less than 30 days, including any connections to third party software that you require. Interested? Call, email, or visit us in Delft, Amsterdam or Berlin!