Choosing the Right E-commerce Platform – Picking Between Shopify and Magento

Ibad Rehman

26 Sep, 2023


5 min read


The choice of platform for setting up your e-commerce store plays a major role in your store’s success. Shopify and Magento are two of the most commonly used platforms. Which of the two is the Best E-commerce Platform for Your Business?

You’ll have an answer by the end of this blog.

Grasping the Basics

Originating in Canada in 2006, Shopify was the brainchild of founders who wanted an online storefront for snowboarding gear. Faced with the limitations of existing eCommerce solutions, they devised their own platform, which evolved into what we know as Shopify today. Recognized for its straightforward nature, it comes equipped with functionalities such as web hosting and an approachable interface, making it a go-to for those less familiar with technology.

In contrast, Magento, launched in 2008 and subsequently bought by Adobe, prides itself on adaptability. It provides both an open-source variant and a premium model. Tailored for businesses with specialized demands, it requires users to manage their hosting. Magento stands out with an array of plugins and a dedicated developer base. Attributes like adaptability, growth potential, support for diverse shops, SEO tools, and multiple version choices are what set it apart. This platform is consistently refined by its community of developers.

Comparing Platforms on Various Criteria

Ease of Use

Designed with the user in mind, Shopify offers an intuitive interface that reduces the learning curve for beginners. Whether you’re setting up a store for the first time or migrating from another platform, Shopify’s guide and in-platform prompts make the journey easier. With an abundance of templates and themes, even non-tech-savvy users can launch a professional-looking store quickly.

Magento’s appeal lies in its extensive customization capabilities. It’s a preferred platform for businesses that have specific needs and a vision that demands customization beyond templates. However, to exploit its full potential, having skilled professionals proficient in coding on board is essential. If a business lacks such resources, outsourcing your project to a specialized e-commerce development company is a viable option.


Magento stands out when discussing performance scalability. With the right development expertise, businesses can optimize Magento to handle extreme traffic spikes during events like Black Friday or holiday sales. Moreover, with its open-source nature, businesses can choose their hosting solution to further optimize performance.

Shopify manages the hosting itself, ensuring consistent performance and uptime. It also benefits from regular updates, ensuring the platform remains secure and performs efficiently. The added advantage of built-in CDN services guarantees faster load times globally.


Shopify’s ecosystem is enriched with apps that cater to every facet of marketing. From email marketing integrations like Mailchimp to SEO tools and analytics, the platform ensures businesses have the tools they need to grow. Its ability to integrate with Instagram and Facebook shops also offers a seamless social selling experience.

Magento’s strength in marketing is rooted in its flexibility. Through its vast array of extensions, businesses can integrate advanced SEO tools, affiliate marketing platforms, and even automation tools. Its ability to support multi-currency and multilingual sites can give businesses an edge in global markets.


Shopify presents a range of pricing structures, including a Lite option for social media sales and the more robust Shopify Plus, designed specifically for high-volume sellers and expansive enterprises. As businesses progress through these levels, they can unlock more features, ensuring the platform’s adaptability to growing needs.

With Magento two primary editions are available – Magento Open Source (at no charge) and Magento Commerce (subscription-based). While you can access the open-source variant without any upfront fees, the expenses related to hosting, safeguarding data, add-ons, and potential customization can accumulate. Magento Commerce, targeting larger corporate entities, includes cloud hosting and an expanded feature set but comes with a heftier price tag.

Which is the Best E-commerce Platform for Your Business?

It depends on a range of factors like your business goals, the industry you operate in, and your operational procedures.

When Should You Choose Magento?

Some of the top global brands are using Magento and are happy doing so. But that shouldn’t make you blindly follow the giants. There are specific scenarios when using Magento is the optimal choice for a business which include:

  • Industries with Sensitive Content: Magento’s open-source flexibility is advantageous for industries that frequently confront shifting regulations or public opinions. This is particularly relevant for sectors like firearms or vaping. In contrast, platforms like Shopify might suddenly restrict certain types of businesses.
  • Complete Technological Control: For businesses that demand or prioritize full authority over their technological infrastructure, Magento is ideal. For example, those in tightly regulated sectors, like pharmaceuticals, may need specific technologies or total control over their hosting environment.
  • B2B E-Commerce Needs: Business-to-business online transactions often come with specialized requirements, including negotiated prices, corporate account management, and quotation systems. Magento offers the adaptability to tailor user experiences and synchronize with legacy back-office systems.
  • Adaptability and Growth: Being open-source, Magento can be molded to align with specific business objectives. It’s especially suitable for enterprises targeting expansive growth or those needing intricate integrations, like merging online and in-store inventory systems.
  • Pioneering in Technology: For businesses aspiring to lead in technological innovations, open-source platforms like Magento grant the needed agility. This can be seen in areas like progressive web apps (PWA) and headless e-commerce.

If one or more of the above-mentioned scenarios are true for your business, then going for Magento might make perfect business sense.

When Should You Opt for Shopify?

If the criteria mentioned in the last section don’t hold true for your business, then opting for Shopify might be the option. Here are situations in which Shopify is the ideal e-commerce solution:

  • Your product is straightforward: If you’re selling products that don’t require complex configurations, numerous customization options, or intricate buyer pathways, Shopify can be an excellent choice. It’s particularly suited for businesses that have a clear and straightforward product offering, making the buying process intuitive for customers.
  • Integration with simple systems: Shopify seamlessly integrates with a range of warehousing, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Warehouse Management System (WMS) solutions. If your business uses uncomplicated systems in these areas, Shopify can help streamline your operations. Its compatibility ensures that the backend processes, like inventory management, order processing, and shipping, run smoothly.
  • Minimalist website design: Shopify offers a plethora of themes that cater to minimalist design sensibilities. If your brand emphasizes a clean, distraction-free shopping experience where the focus remains on the essential elements such as the product’s price, its image, and a clear “add to basket” or “add to cart” option, Shopify provides the tools to create such an aesthetic with ease.
  • Simplified ERP and fulfillment systems: Businesses that don’t have multi-layered ERP and fulfillment systems will find Shopify’s capabilities adequate. The platform is designed to work best with streamlined and efficient operations. If your fulfillment process is relatively straightforward, without the need for multiple checkpoints or validations, Shopify is a viable option. Its built-in tools and third-party integrations can further enhance and automate these processes, leading to quicker order processing and happier customers.

Getting Started

Both platforms have their pros and cons. Which one is the best for you depends on your vision and your particular scenario. This blog gives you the information necessary to make the right platform choice for your e-commerce store.

If you decide to go custom, you will need a capable e-commerce development partner to set your e-commerce store up for success. Cubix has been developing market-leading business solutions for over a decade. The company’s clientele and portfolio speak for themselves.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of evaluating dozens of different development partners consider joining hands with Cubix. Discuss your idea with us now!


Ibad Rehman

Keen to experiment with new approaches, yet obsessed with sticking to the basics - trying to find the right balance between the two.


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