Time to replatform? Shopify Plus vs Magento.

Posted in Magento, Platform Talk, Shopify

One of the core philosophies here at Command C is that we don’t just develop websites; we develop businesses.

In planning ecommerce strategy for our clients, we build the path forward based on the merchant’s site platform — Magento, Shopify, or Woo Commerce to name a few. The platform becomes the DNA for the entire online retail business. Making sure the platform is the best possible fit is what we’re here to talk about.

Having worked with both Shopify Plus and Magento for years, there is one thing we can say with great confidence: Shopify Plus provides a smoother and easier to use admin interface. Our clients who use it, LOVE it. But there are a few limitations to the platform that may make Magento a better choice. If none of these is an issue for you, however, then Shopify Plus is the winner for its ease of use and top-tier support.

Our friends at Shopify have an enticing offer for Magento users who are ready to replatform to Shopify Plus. We break down the details here to help you determine if you should take advantage of this highly-incentivized deal.

Related: Top Takeaways – Shopify Unite 2017

What is it?

Migrate from Magento CE or EE to Shopify Plus and get 6 months free on a full-priced 2-year contract. Shopify Plus starts at $2,000/month (any business grossing under $800,000 in revenue/mo pays $2,000/mo for the platform. Beyond that, the cost is .25% of monthly revenue, up to $40k/mo for large merchants). This could save you a whopping $12,000.

Also included is a free standard data migration, or $1000 towards a non-standard migration. We can help you with the non-standard part.

This deal is on now. It’s time sensitive, and the deadline is June 30th, 2017.

Is it right for my business?

First thing to note is that Magento has announced that it will stop supporting 1.x in the Fall of 2018. At that time, Magento says it will no longer offer support, patches, or upgrades for 1.x. Since upgrading to Magento 2.x essentially requires a theme rebuild, many 1.x customers are ideal candidates for migrating now to Shopify Plus.

Top 4 benefits of Shopify Plus:

  • Plus packages hosting into its $2,000/mo price. This gives merchants one less vendor to manage and a whole lot less anxiety. Shopify’s infrastructure is truly remarkable–we’ve never had a single client complaint about this. Uptime is near 100% and we haven’t seen any site slowdown issues at peak times.
  • All-in-one also includes security for your ecommerce store. From the start, Shopify’s security system is PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliant. To be clear, Magento server environments can be configured for PCI Compliant security. With Magento, however, the individual merchant is responsible for ensuring against breaches of customer security. On Shopify, the platform assumes the ultimate responsibility for ID theft and other hacks.
  • It’s a pleasure to work with. The admin is intuitive, fast and all around user-friendly.
  • The Shopify Ecommerce Marketplace has hundreds – if not thousands – of apps to create the exact store experience you envision. These apps help entrepreneurs with marketing, inventory, accounting, shipping, and analytics – and everything in between.

Top 4 limitations of Shopify Plus:

  • Shopify has a 100 variant limit per product. What this means is that if your product can be arranged into more than 100 combinations, you will need to break it up into multiple products. We typically recommend doing this based on shape, when possible. For example, if you offer the same table in 60 finishes with two different leg options, you probably want to break the product into two separate products with 60 variants each.
  • Shopify also has a 3 attribute limit. Here it is straight from the horse’s mouth: Each product can have a maximum of 3 options, for example Size, Color, and Style. Note that options can differ from product to product. One product might use Size, Color, and Style, and another might use Weight, Finish, and Material. This limit of 3 options per product cannot be raised for any Shopify account or plan. We have come up with some pretty fancy workarounds for this in the past, but if your site requires a significant amount of attributes, Shopify might not be the best fit.
  • Magento also beats Shopify in the areas of internationalization and multi-currency. We came up with some technically creative workarounds for this — see our Here Plus case study — but if you have strict constraints with this functionality, Magento may be a better fit. Do note though that Shopify Plus contracts include up to 10 clone shops at no extra cost to help handle multiple languages, locations, currencies, etc.
  • Our final limitation to be aware of with Shopify Plus is checkout customization. While the platform has come a long way to offer more options here, as a hosted platform, there is only so much control it can give us. We have a solid amount of control over front-end customizations via checkout.liquid with Plus, and to some degree we can make payment/pricing/shipping customizations through ruby scripts, but huge checkout re-arrangements are pretty much out of the question. We don’t see this as a bad thing at all – their checkout flow has been widely tested and validated, and why re-invent the wheel? Especially when it comes to ecommerce.

And now you’re asking, HOW?

Contact us today to discuss your business goals and the possibility of migrating from Magento to Shopify. We’re experts in both platforms, and we’d love to talk about which one will best serve your business goals.

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