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Magento vs Shopify

Magento or Shopify - which of the two?

If you are an entrepreneur wishing to start selling online or even a well-established brand or retailer who would now like to go online, you have multiple technology choices ahead of you.

Technology is an important decision as it has many implications for you and your business in the future. Technology is only the start of the journey. You need to have a road map and clear vision about how you want your online store to look, work and cope with your business growth

Setting up an online store could draw up some parallels with offline retail.

1. Store design and Architecture:

This design of a physical store requires some architectural thoughts. It can be outsourced to a professional architect or can be worked on by the retailer themselves. Whoever designs the physical store needs to keep in mind various aspects relating to the flow of consumers, the accessibility of different products and many other aspects which are now very high tech science

2. Store merchandise and display:

Another important aspect is to make sure that the store looks attractive enough for consumers to walk in and once they are in, they get to see merchandise that they have come in to look for and buy.

3. Features and conveniences within the physical store:

This could include easy access shelves and displays, clear pricing, highly visible promotions and discounts. Ability to fill your cart and move around the store to be able to go back to an aisle that you had memorized. And to be able to see a wide variety within the product range that you considering buying and after completing the purchase process. To easily locate the checkout section and the cashier and to be able to check out with minimal time and effort. Also in some cases consumers may need to get products gift wrapped or specially packed and that too is a value add from any physical store.

So, if you look at the nuances of setting up a physical store you would see that they are pretty much similar to setting up an online store. Not to forget aspects like signage, security and visibility also can draw parallels from the physical retail world.

To set up all the features, have design elements and to be able to have the web store operating not only on computers but also handheld devices like smart phones and tablets, the design and technology of the web store is very critical.

And setting up your online store is a decision you cannot change frequently or easily - It is like setting up a physical retail store and not having to change it at least in the near term

Now imagine if you had a physical store that was also using its inventory for selling its products on market places like Amazon. You would like to keep that part of the store separate while though on the same premises. Similarly technology has a major role to play in seamless integration of your inventory for your physical store; your online brand store as well as online market places that you serve.

Going forward omnichannel and offline to online, online to offline will gain significance. Other key features like curb side delivery, concierge services, price comparison and others also, will increasingly play an important role

Just like you have an architect to help you with your physical store you also need to have a software architect to build your online store. And you need designers and user interface and navigation experts to be able to go into various aspects of the consumer experience. Based on such knowledge you can create the appropriate software that you would deploy for your online business.

There are various technology solutions available from the complex and highly scalable technologies like Hybris to highly customisable and flexible technologies like Magento to very convenient and easy to set up and manage technologies like Shopify

So if you were to select between Magento and Shopify which one would you go for?

The answer would depend upon what you would like to achieve.

Magento can be customized and literally built from scratch based on your specifications and requirements. There are enough Magento developers and resources available in the eco system to be able to help you with creating you web store and managing it over time. The advantage is that you are not dependant only on one software company as any software developed on Magento easily be taken over by another qualified magento development technology company.

So if you are looking for software that you don’t mind investing in development into and one that is moderately priced with a lot of developers and support available, then Magento is a good option. However to manage a Magento store you would surely need to rely on an outsourced technology partner or a dedicated inhouse team who will be responsible for making changes and for hosting and managing the web store on an on-going basis

Shopify, currently a rage in the ecommerce world, is software as a service (SAAS) model. It’s pretty much like if you were to take on an office in a shared space, you could start up pretty fast and also get most of the features that you desire in your office while not have to take care of landlords, utility payment, security, cafeteria management and others.

Similarly if you setup your store on Shopify you can pretty much leave most of the headaches for

Shopify to manage while you focus on the following:

1. Site design and navigation that suits you best. This can be selected from various templates on Shopify or could be modified by a Shopify partner at a relatively low cost

2. Focus on your content, product relevance and product pricing

3. Focus on your supply chain, logistics and fulfilment

4. Focus on site traffic generation, marketing and consumer promotions

5. Focus on your customer service and customer care

6. Focus on your CRM and repeat purchases by your customers

Responsibilities for Technology, the big time guzzler and the energy taker, are virtually missing from your responsibilities when you setup an online store on Shopify

However, any software as a service platform comes with its own limitations of customization, availability of adequate technology partners who can help you with customizations, integration with other systems which may be very local and need to be connected with the Shopify platform. Local customizations that are relevant to your country could be one of the minor challenges as you go along

In summary, if you are embarking on a mid to large size business and want to have a lot of flexibility and surely plan to outsource the entire tech development and management, you could consider Magento community edition or Magento enterprise

If you are a start-up or a smaller enterprise or even a large corporation that does not want to invest too much into technology and the management of technology and you can do with limited customization in (though Shopify too will expand its capabilities over time) then you could consider going with a Shopify solution

To get advice and to know more about which solution may suit your business, please feel free to contact us on email or Whatsapp +6583886673 or Wechat Tigerpug or if in US call 2123801356.

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