We’re hearing a lot of merchant concerns about where they should migrate their ecommerce stores to, in advance of the Magento 1 end of life (EOL) in June of 2020.
One of the most well known names in ecommerce today, is Shopify. We’ve jokingly referred to it as the 2nd coming of Magento, since its assumed the ‘name brand’ recognition that Magento once held in the ecommerce space.
But is Shopify the best fit for Magento 1.x merchants who are trying to make a long term commitment to a new ecommerce platform?
Hopefully our post will help!
The first question to ask, is why were you on Magento in the first place?
A little bit of self reflection goes a long ways when we’re trying to figure out what to do looking ahead.
If you look back, and reflect on why you chose Magento in the first place you’ll help identify whether or not Shopify is right for you going forward.
Many Magento merchants were incorrectly referred to the platform by web design agencies that (a) only knew Magento, or (b) only knew of Magento. That and Magento was free!
If you started your ecommerce site on Magento with relatively straightforward or commonplace ecommerce requirements, chances are it never really was a good fit. And if that’s the case, Shopify may be a great new home for you.
Shopify is a Software as a Service (SaaS) ecommerce platform with aspirations of being an all in one, monolithic provider of ecommerce services. To date, Shopify offers not only its core ecommerce software, but its also added in shipping solutions, payment solutions, financing solutions, and more. Its also well regarded for its ease of use, and for its large app store which will cover many of the shortcomings the platform has.
If you started your ecommerce site on Magento with highly complex requirements relating to any of the following things, Shopify may not be a good fit-
- You had a large product catalog that requires complex or voluminous information to support customers.
- You have a diverse customer base, from different countries, regions, or buyer groups (B2B, consumers, etc).
- Your business depends on advanced promotional logic (coupon codes, automated discounting, layered discounting logic, etc).
- Your business depends on well integrated, multiple storefronts.
In those circumstances, Shopify may be a poor fit. While it has some meaningful offerings / features in each of these arenas, Shopify and Shopify Plus are usually more limiting than you would want.
The second question to ask, is what does my team need moving ahead?
One of the big drawbacks and frustrations for Magento merchants on Magento 1.x, was the difficulty they had managing and maintaining their site.
If the expense of managing and operating an ecommerce site built on Magento was a big headache, Shopify could be a fantastic upgrade for you.
Shopify is widely regarded as the easiest to use ecommerce platform, even if it comes up short elsewhere. Everyone from side hustlers to the technically illiterate have been able to make the Shopify platform work for them. Its interface is easy to use and intuitive. The support documentation is great. The 24/7 support team is able to answer most straightforward questions and some not so straightforward ones. The admin side tools allow for easy updates to your content, store front end, marketing materials and product catalog.
Shopify also auto publishes patches and upgrades to the software, unlike Magento, where every new critical security patch could be time consuming and was always on your budget.
If that sounds appealing to you, Shopify could be a great 2nd home.
One of the final questions we often get, is what platform alternatives to Shopify are out there?
Shopify’s biggest direct competitors is BigCommerce. While proportionally smaller in terms of the # of total stores deployed, BigCommerce is well funded and has a lot of successful case studies in different industries. It is also well regarded for being easy to use, scalable, secure, and supporting some more complex business requirements than Shopify. Magento 2 could also be an option in certain circumstances. And if none of those is a perfect fit, headless ecommerce solutions built by our web application development team could be a good alternative too.
The best way to find out what ecommerce platform is right for you, is to talk to our team of ecommerce experts. Contact us at email@example.com to learn more.
You can also read up a more in depth summary of the platform comparisons on our blog post here.