Shopify vs Magento 2: Which Platform to Migrate to
Shopify Vs Magento 2: Does It Make Sense to Migrate from Magento to Shopify?
Chances are you’ve either already decided to migrate from Magento 1 or you’re thinking of migrating and wondering how difficult (and expensive) it will be.
Magento will be cutting off support for its legacy version — Magento 1 — in June 2020. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s time to migrate. Since you can’t avoid migration, why not replatform?
We understand how scary and confusing this can be, so we will demystify some of the uncertainty.
Shopify vs Magento 2 — what’s the best option for you?
Why you absolutely need to upgrade Magento 1
Magento 1 “end of life” sounds like a bleak way of putting it, but it’s true. Not only is Adobe cutting off support for future updates of Magento 1.x, they will also remove all Magento 1 extensions from Magento Marketplace. From our perspective, there are two major reasons why you have to choose a new platform — security and performance.
No support = no more security updates. Hackers have always targeted ecommerce sites because they go where the money is and they realize how fragile an unprotected system can be.
After June 2020, newly discovered flaws in Magento 1 won’t be addressed, which means you’ll either have to search for a third-party fix or risk losing customers (and money).
We covered the advantages of Magento 2 in our article comparing Magento 1 vs Magento 2. Magento 1.x uses legacy architecture and technologies. After the cut-off date, all of Adobe’s invested resources will go into new features for Magento 2. Including recent additions like the Multi-source inventory module, PWA Studio, Page Builder, etc.
New Magento 2 features you may not be aware of
B2B suite – Available for Magento Commerce, the B2B suite includes features like advanced account management, the ability to manage quotes, credit options, advanced buyer roles and responsibilities, and lots more.
Page Builder – A Magento extension for creating content by dragging and dropping pre-built controls.
Multi-source Inventory (MSI) – A native module that can handle multiple inventory sources. MSI offers:
Different configurations for merchants whose inventory originates from a single source or multiple sources
Concurrent checkout protection
Shipment matching algorithms
Performance improvements – Apart from a major facelift to the admin panel, you also get a solid performance boost thanks to the advances in technology and architecture. We highlighted some of the biggest improvements, as well as other reasons to migrate to Magento 2, in a previous article.
New native checkout flow – The new three-step checkout is a great base for merchants and it’s a huge improvement on the M1 native checkout.
How much will it cost to migrate?
The pricing for both Shopify and Magento 2 depends on multiple factors.
You can’t truly know how much either will cost until you figure out what you need. In the case of Shopify migration, you’ll definitely need to do a full site redesign. For Magento, redesign costs will depend on how fresh your current site is.
The rest of the incurred costs vary according to the level of customization that you require. What’s important to note is that if you have made significant backend changes in Magento 1 (business logic, order/stock management, etc) you will be able to transfer it over to Magento 2 more easily. Doing the same for Shopify will likely take more time and money.
Migrating to Magento 2
Cost of theme (Range from free to $499)
Note that it’s rare that clients are satisfied with the default theme. For example, they may want to add extra page elements like buttons, carousels, etc. We have an article that covers redesign costs. Read it here.
You’ll find that many of your Magento 1 extensions are also available for Magento 2. Depending on what you choose, there are free and paid extensions (which can cost up to thousands of dollars).
Thankfully, there’s an official Data Migration Tool from Magento which makes the process easier. However, it can take up to three months to migrate to an enterprise-level store because of the new capabilities of Magento 2.
Examples of how much migration costs
Extinent estimates a price range of $5,000-$100,000+
A lot can be customized without tech knowledge, but for in-depth customization, you’ll need to hire Shopify developers.
Many are available for free, but it will take more time to find the ones you need. Depending on what you choose, there are free and paid extensions.
There’s no easy way to drag and drop data like products, customer info, other database elements, and content. You’ll likely need to find a service like Cart2Cart or LitExtension to handle the data migration.
Examples of how much migration costs
It cost eCommerce Fuel a total of $50,000 to migrate from Magento 1 to Shopify (granted they admittedly had support from Shopify, which may have affected the decision to switch)
Replatforming to Shopify as opposed to Magento 2 will, arguably, cost around the same amount (obviously depending on many factors).
How hard will it be to get used to a new platform?
Shopify would definitely provide you with a whole new experience, but what about Magento 2?
As it turns out, Magento 2 is so much newer and better, it’s almost like a brand-new platform. However, from a technical point of view, there are some distinct advantages.
Advantages of migrating to Magento 2
Similar logic — both Magento 1 and Magento 2 use similar business logic and database structures.
No need to look for extensions — most extensions for Magento 1 are available for Magento 2.
Official data migration tool — including documentation. If you migrate to Shopify you have to find and hire a technology provider that will migrate your store.
If you’re migrating to Shopify, you’ll need to get used to a brand-new platform, new technology partners, and new business logic.
Advantages of migrating to Shopify
Extremely simple upgrade process — It’s much less likely that something will break after a platform update. Plus, you can update your plan with a click of the mouse.
Closed backend — You can tweak the frontend as much as you want depending on the subscription plan. For example, you can only edit the checkout page if you buy a Shopify Plus plan.
Very user-friendly — Although the initial learning curve may involve some getting used to, it will be easier to onboard new employees, who will then be able to catch on quickly.
Faster technology adaptation — Since Magento is now an Adobe company, the corporate nature of Magento may be a hindrance to quickly pivoting or adopting new technologies.
Magento 2 vs Shopify: Feature list
Which platform is best if you plan to scale?
People migrate platforms for various reasons. In your case, you really don’t have a choice but to switch from Magento 1. What you do have control over is choosing the best platform for the job at hand — migrating your store.
We don’t mean to be biased, but a lot of the features you get out-of-the-box with Magento Open Source are only available in Shopify’s enterprise-level subscription plan — Shopify Plus — which costs at least $2k/month.
People who start out with Magento may eventually begin to understand that the platform is beyond their requirements. This could be because you either don’t need the level of customization Magento offers or need a quicker, simpler way to get to the market.
So, in our opinion, scalability is higher with Magento. You can scale products, stores, sites, and everything in between.
Which platform is more innovative and will continue to innovate?
The global retail industry is going through some serious changes. Ecommerce platforms will be forced to adapt to emerging technologies like PWA, AI, Big Data, and AR/VR.
Once people realize the advantages of these technologies, they’ll want to incorporate them into their stores. Right now, the race is on to improve the digital customer experiences, and this race requires resources. Since being acquired by Adobe, Magento recently debuted new integrations with Adobe tools like Adobe Sensei. Adobe Sensei uses AI and machine learning to map user behavior for smarter product recommendations.
Additionally, the Magento Innovations Hub, which is powered by community members and Magento Solution Partners, is producing never before seen tools like PWA Scan & Go for quick in-store purchases, robot-assisted in-store shopping, and hands-free shopping.
Magento is fast on the heels of Shopify (or the other way around, depending on who you ask). Last year, Shopify introduced Shopify AR to elevate mobile shopping by bringing products to life through 3D models that you can size up, examine from all angles, and even place in the environment around you.
Just this year, Shopify invested serious cash into an AI-powered fulfillment network. The network uses machine learning to ensure products are delivered on time with lower shipping costs.
Who will benefit most from migrating to Shopify instead of Magento?
Businesses that do not have B2B/wholesale business plans and are not looking to scale and remain agile.
Businesses that are unsure of their trajectory or are just looking to try their hand at ecommerce.
Simple (US-based) retailers who do not require high-level customizations or centralized management.
B2C retailers with a simple product catalog structure and order/inventory requirements.
Takeaways —Shopify vs Magento 2 Which platform is the best?
Shopify is one of the fastest-growing ecommerce platforms currently available. It’s no secret that they have a bigger market share than Magento.
It’s also clear that Shopify is the best choice for people who just starting out — and Shopify makes the experience super easy. They offer free tools and no-hassle hosting, plus you don’t have to worry about updates — they take care of everything.
Magento, on the other hand, has a steeper learning curve. However, Magento is more customizable and has more features overall (for less money). Most importantly, it’s a good investment for the future because of the Adobe approach of integrating Magento with cloud services to create an ecommerce powerhouse.
Have you already migrated to either platform? Let us know what the deal-breaker or deal-maker was and we’ll include it in an edited version of this article!