Shopify Plus or Magento Enterprise Edition: Is it High Time to Switch?

Are you scaling up? Do all of your recent metrics indicate that your eCommerce business is rapidly growing into an enterprise-level? Is it high time for your retail business store to have an enterprise ecommerce platform?

If you’re in the eCommerce industry for quite some time now, you might have noticed that majority of the owners of retail businesses, from small-scale to even enterprise-level, are usually oscillating only to two eCommerce platforms -it’s either Shopify or Magento.

Shopify Plus and Magento Enterprise Edition are the top two contenders when it comes to enterprise eCommerce solutions.

Shopify currently manages more than 275,000 eCommerce stores, while Magento has over 228,000 stores. With these numbers, Magento actually accounts for 8.7% of the entire eCommerce platform market, specifically for large businesses or enterprise-level stores. Shopify follows the lead with an 8.4% share. While Shopify’s market share does not differentiate between its pricing plans, that is, for both basic to enterprise solutions, it is still interesting to note that the company’s growth has increased to over 124% markup in the last few years. Additionally, no signs or any indications of slowing down has been seen with the recent reports for Shopify.

With the recent release of Magento 2 in the eCommerce-enterprise-platform market, the option between Shopify Plus and Magento Enterprise Edition has become more difficult. Shopify Plus, on the other hand, was introduced to the market earlier, in 2014. To help you make an informed decision, we’ll focus our discussion on what each of these two eCommerce-enterprise-solutions providers has to offer for your business needs, rather than mainly putting up a detailed comparison of their technical differences.

Magento’s Top Clients:

  • Zumies
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Nike

Shopify Plus’ Top Clients

  • General Electric
  • Red Bull
  • Budweiser
  • Google’s Zagat
  • Wikipedia Store

What Type of Cloud Service Do You Need?

Both Shopify Plus and Magento Enterprise Edition are cloud-based services and are fully-hosted. They’re both identical in that context, but Magento Enterprise Edition is classified as a PaaS, or a Platform as a Service. Shopify Plus, on the other hand, is a SaaS, or a Software as a Service.

In choosing between the two, the type of cloud service is the very first consideration that you need to understand. This will greatly depend on what type of features and functions you want in your eCommerce store and what level of work you plan to invest, for both your back-end and front-end systems.

In simple terms, a SaaS platform would be your best choice if you already built your website and want to host it in the cloud. On the other hand, a PaaS would be the best choice if you are just planning out to build your website, but you don’t want to buy some of the necessary softwares to build it like Visual Studio. With PaaS, it would be more like renting the license of the softwares that you need to build your website and host it in the cloud.

As a PaaS, what can Magento’s Enterprise Edition offer?

With PaaS, you can manage the following on your end:

  • Applications
  • Data

With PaaS, the provider or vendor manages the following on their end:

  • Runtime
  • Middleware
  • O/S
  • Virtualization
  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Networking

However, with Shopify Plus’ SaaS platform, all of the above enumerations are managed by Shopify. Thus, if you want more control and flexibility for your back-end systems, your best pick would be Magento. While Magento’s PaaS solution could provide you with full control and flexibility, it would also require more time and additional staff resources. Thus, if you don’t want to deal with all the technicalities of your back-end systems, Shopify Plus would handle it for you.

What Security Mechanism Do You Want?

When you’re running a retail store, especially an eCommerce enterprise level business, security is always on top of your list.

Did you know that more than 30,000 websites are being hacked every single day?

Both Magento and Shopify are certified PCI Compliant platforms. However, there’s a slight distinction, which could mean a huge difference in how you install a security mechanism on both platforms. Since Magento is a self-hosted service, your security mechanism will not be provided by Magento. Instead, you take care of your own website and implement the security level that you want. You could either source it out from another vendor or install your own. With this, you have full control and have full responsibility of your own website security.

A security mechanism that is on par with how banks secure their customers’ data is what you need in your enterprise eCommerce website. This level of security is guaranteed with a PCI-DSS Compliant Level 1. This is the type of security that Shopify provides. Because Shopify Plus provides hosting, it also handles the security of your enterprise eCommerce website.

What Type of Support and Integrations Can You Expect?

If you’re the type of person who wants a long list of available options, Magento is the best fit. But, if you want to narrow down your list to as few as possible to focus on the basics and intermediates and to save time going through all the options, Shopify can certainly help you.

You can start deciding with these numbers.

Magento’s Add-on Upgrades, Extensions, and Integrations:

  • Payment Gateways – 906
  • Sales and Marketing – 1817
  • Shipping Related – 422

For Shopify:

  • Payment Gateways – 41 (available for US)
  • Sales and Marketing – 287
  • Shipping Related – 96

Since both Shopify Plus and Magento Enterprise Edition boast a large community of merchants, developers, and forums, you can expect a lot of support from the simplest down to the most technical. As mentioned, Shopify serves more than 275,000 and Magento with over 228,000 stores. Users of both platforms usually form communities and forums to discuss current news, issues, and provide feedback and suggest developments for their respective platforms.

So, What Enterprise Ecommerce Platform is Right for You?

Let’s admit it though, it’s not a simple black and white decision. Each enterprise eCommerce platform is replete with their own advantages. These advantages would benefit you depending on how you want to run your enterprise eCommerce website.

If you want to build a fully customizable eCommerce website – from the back-end to the front-end systems, Magento is your answer. Since Magento is an open source platform, you can expect that the level of technical expertise required to muster the platform would be higher. If you have a team of developers with an excellent grasp of this, then, this would not be an issue. Magento is the best option if you’re planning to build your eCommerce store from scratch.

However, if you do not want to go through the learning curve and spend much needed resources on technical stuff, Shopify Plus is your way to go. Since Shopify Plus comes with hosting, you don’t have to worry much about your back-end system. Though, the level of customization available in Shopify Plus is streamlined and you are limited with what’s available, you can spend more of your resources on the front-end of your website – the template, the design, how your product line looks and the like. Shopify Plus will handle all the technical hacking for your back-end systems, so you can spend more time focusing on the actual website.

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